In the run-up to Christmas we're looking at the best seasonal movies decade by decade.

Some of these Christmas movies you'll know well while others you may not have seen or heard of. In either case, we'll be giving you tons of suggestions for what to watch over the coming weeks.

In the past eight years we've had some lovely modern Christmas classics. We could have gone for adult comedies with the likes of 'Daddy's Home 2' and 'A Bad Moms Christmas' proving hits. Christmas horrors, like 'Krampus' and 'Rare Exports', have also been welcomed by audiences. However, we chose the jollier movies on offer instead.

 

'Arthur Christmas'

'Arthur Christmas' is so full of warmth and charm that it easily wins over all who watch it. It follows four generations of the Claus family from Grandsanta (Nighy) to brothers Arthur (McAvoy) and Stephen (Laurie). Arthur learns that his dad, Santa (Broadbent), forgot to deliver a gift. He thus goes on a quest to bring it to the missed child. James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton all star.

 

'The Man Who Invented Christmas'

Led by two excellent performances in Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer, 'The Man Who Invented Christmas' is one of the best Christmas movies in the last couple of years. Stevens plays Charles Dickers while Plummer plays Ebenezer Scrooge. The story follows how the former was inspired to write the seminal 'A Christmas Carol'. Part of the film was shot in Ireland so make sure to watch out for some recognisable sights.

 

'Iron Man 3'

It may come as a surprise to some but 'Iron Man 3' has pretty much been accepted as a Christmas movie since its release in 2013. After all, the third solo outing for Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark was helmed by none other than Shane Black - the man behind such alt Christmas movies as 'Lethal Weapon' and 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.' The whole film is set at Christmas, features Christmas music, and has a message of holiday spirit as our hero triumphs over adversity. So there.

 

'Carol'

As with 'Iron Man 3', you wouldn't immediately think of 'Carol' as a Christmas movie. However, its holiday setting and themes are undeniable. Magnificently directed by Todd Haynes, beautifully filmed by cinematographer Edward Lachman, and tenderly performed by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, 'Carol' relates how a shop clerk and aspiring photographer develops an intimate relationship with an older, glamourous woman in 1950s New York.

 

'The Grinch'

Since it was only been released in the last year - in the last month in fact! - it's hard to know if 'The Grinch' will stand the test of time. It's the second full-length adaptation of Dr. Seuss' story after Jim Carrey's live-action take. However we believe the new animation from the studio behind 'Despicable Me' and 'Minions' will prove its worth as one of the best in recent Christmas movies. It's so feel-good, touching, warm, joyful and colourful that not even the Grinchiest out there will be able to resist it.

 

Honourable mentions: 'Krampus', 'Rare Exports', 'The Night Before'

 

See also our Top 5 Christmas movies picks from: