If we’re honest, the best thing about Christmas probably isn’t the presents, the food or seeing your family – but getting time off work, watching TV and eating huge amounts of leftovers.
The Christmas week kicks off with Toy Story, a film designed to bring your childhood bouncing back as well as easing you into the festive spirit.
It’s the first in a host of brilliant children’s films that have been quietly hijacked by adults. The best of the bunch is Up, playing a few days after Christmas and guaranteed to cheer even the most miserable individual.
If you’ve had enough of all the Christmas cheer being flung about, there are plenty of non-festive offerings on the box.
The latest remake of Jane Eyre, starring Michael Fassbender, is a beautifully slow film – with not a mention of Christmas.
Casablanca is being shown on Christmas Day, and the bittersweet epic love story is a sure-fire winner for the anti-Christmas brigade.
Finally, if you’re really set against Christmas cheer, there’s always Independence Day: a luridly jingoistic succession of explosions which makes surprisingly enjoyable viewing.
Best films on TV this Christmas
Best films on TV this Christmas
1/14 23rd December - Jane Eyre
A recent re-make of Bronte’s novel, Michael Fassebender is suitably brooding as Rochester and Mia Wasikowska gives an excellent performance in a film that’s a perfect antidote if you’re beginning to feel a little overwhelmed by Christmas cheer. (8.30-10.20pm, BBC2)
2/14 Christmas Eve - The Grinch
The perfect film for Christmas Eve, Jim Carey stars (although underneath all that green, you’d be hard pushed to recognise him) bringing a touch of dark humour to an almost too saccharine tale. (3.50-6pm, C4)
3/14 Christmas Eve - Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sitting down with a drink in hand, this film makes for easy evening viewing. Harrison Ford stars as the world’s best known archaeologist, taking on Nazis, booby traps and ancient demons, rescuing some distressed damsels along the way. (8-9.45pm, BBC3)
4/14 Christmas Day - James and the Giant Peach
Christmas morning is here – and if your kids are already climbing the walls post stockings, this is a great family film to keep them amused while you have a break. Joanna Lumley’s spiky asides add a touch of grown up entertainment to this beautiful animation. (8.50-10.25am, C4)
5/14 Christmas Day- Casablanca
'Here’s looking at you kid.' With more iconic lines than you can shake a stick at, Humphrey Bogart is Rick, the bar owner who looses his apathy when Ingrid Bergmann’s Ilsa appears on the scene. Perfect for quietly playing as you snooze off your Christmas lunch. (2.35-4.40pm, C5)
6/14 Christmas Day- The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine stars in the Muppet’s take on Dickens’ tale. Keeping the morals of the original story the Muppet’s add a touch of light-hearted frivolity to an enjoyable family film. (4.35-6.15pm, C4)
7/14 Boxing Day - 101 Dalmatians
Easy viewing on Boxing Day morning: Glenn Close is magnificent as Disney’s Cruella De Ville (recalling a touch of The Devil Wears Prada in the opening scenes) with Joely Richardson supporting. (9.55-11.30am, BBC1)
8/14 Boxing Day - Independence Day
Hugely entertaining, with impressive special effects given the film was made nearly 15 years ago. A crash, bang, explosion epic which is great fun. (6.20-9pm, C4)
9/14 Boxing Day - Emma
This gentle period drama offers a perfect excuse for settling down on the sofa for the afternoon. Gwyneth Paltrow gives a bright performance as the hopeless matchmaker with an excellent supporting cast. (12.05-2pm, BBC2)
10/14 27th December - The Inbetweeners Movie
The teens gather for the holiday of every adolescence as they head to Malia for sun, sex and more toe-curlingly embarrassing antics. You don’t need to be a fan of the series to enjoy this likeable film.(9-10.55pm, C4)
11/14 27th December - Bridget Jones’s Diary
We have gone Bridget Jones mad recently but the first film is Bridget truly at her loveable best. Renee Zellweger stars with Colin Firth and Hugh Grant scrapping for her attention. (9.35-11.20pm, ITV)
12/14 28th December - Up
An animation with real heart, Up’s fantastical elements are anchored by tear-inducing sequences and packs a real punch. Perfect viewing for those feeling a little deflated post-Christmas. (6.50-8.15pm, BBC1)
13/14 29th December - Fantastic Mr Fox
Wes Anderson’s retro animation works well and is a refreshing change from the usual slick appearance of kids' animations. Roald Dahl’s story is amusingly carried by George Clooney as Mr Fox with a host of supporting actors carried along in his charismatic wake. (6.10-7.55pm, More4)
14/14 29th December - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
It’s difficult to tell what’s supposed to be happening here – but the fourth film in the series still looks amazing and is a fun watch even if you’ve no idea what’s going. Keith Richard’s cameo appearance is worth waiting for. (8-10.05pm, BBC1)
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