Movie Reccos | Christmas Special Pop Culture Picks

In the spirit of the season, here are team NGTI's picks for Christmas-related travel.  
Weekend Reccos | Christmas Special Pop Culture Picks
A scene from The Holiday.

The Polar Express

This one is for those who don’t believe in Santa Claus—or possibly, are on the fence. It’s a journey of a young boy, who has just started doubting in Santa’s existence, to the North Pole on a train called the Polar Express. As the train crosses snowy peaks and ice-covered lakes, inside its cosy cabins the boy learns the meaning of friendship and loyalty with steaming mugs of hot chocolate on the side. Santa’s village, of course, is every kid’s dream, with a lavish Christmas tree, piles of gifts, and helpful elves. It could all be a dream of a feverishly excited child, but is it? Hop aboard to find out.

-Lubna Amir

 

Rare Exports

Reindeer die by the hundreds. Children disappear in the dead of night. Too long have naughty children been rewarded on Christmas for bad behavior—this year, the real Santa is coming to town, and he’s hungry for more than milk and cookies. An American archaeological expedition in Finnish Lapland, deep in the heart of the Korvatunturi mountains, unleashes chaos in a small hamlet, leaving our heroes, young Pietari and his father Rauno, to hunt the very creatures hunting them. This cult, indie film features old school snow mobiles, old fashioned corporate greed, and a marauding army of evil old, naked elves.

-Julian Manning

 

The Holiday

Sparkly L.A. executive Amanda (Cameron Diaz) can cry no tears, and in countryside England, a ‘Bridget Jonsey’ Kate Winslet cannot stop bawling in her postcard-perfect cottage. But in Hollywood, broken hearts are often the soil to nourish blooming, pink ones, and a whimsical holiday house swap leads these women on the trail. In the bargain unfolds two romances, one less contrived than the other (go-go, Jack Black!). While Jude Law adds some Christmas cheer in the shape of, well, himself, it is really the side-track of Kate Winslet discovering spiffy Los Angeles neighbourhoods—and herself—through the eyes of a Hollywood veteran (Come back, Eli Wallach) that stays on.

-Sohini Dasgupta

 

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Christmas brings people together. Even estranged friends like Harold Lee and Kumar Patel, who now lead very different lives. The movie picks up six years after the duo’s adventures in Guantanamo Bay. When Kumar accidentally burns down Harold’s father-in-law’s prized possession—a Christmas tree he had been tending for eight years—all hell breaks loose. The two set out on a mission around New York City to mend the damage and what follows is a stoner adventure peppered with unapologetic humour. Think Russian mafia, cult jokes, family drama and rekindled relationships; the film takes holiday spirit to new highs (pun intended).

-Pooja Naik

 

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

No matter what age you are, if you say the sight of little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) watching the Christmas lights at the Rockefeller Centre in New York doesn’t melt your heart, then you truly are a Christmas Grinch. Home Alone 2 allows us to discover the magic of a white Christmas in the city of dreams through the curious eyes of a 10-year-old boy. We follow Kevin through his run-ins with the ‘pigeon lady’ at Central Park, a luxurious stay at the Plaza and his mother’s search for him through a crowded Times Square. Their reunion at Rockefeller only seems befitting—a Christmas miracle, some would say.

-Sanjana Ray

 

To subscribe to National Geographic Traveller India and National Geographic Magazine, head here.

Psst. Want a weekly dose of travel inspiration in your inbox?