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Under-Appreciated Holiday Movies: The Actually Good Edition

By Margaret Lyons in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 12, 2007 7:00PM

We'll never understand why The Muppet Christmas Carol doesn't get more love. The music is alternately joyous (above) and tear-inducing, like "Bless Us All," which seriously still gets us.

The Christmas story in Smoke is sublime.

A movie whose IMDb plot keywords are "Nativity / Urination Scene" might not sound like a holiday classic, but 1994's The Ref is actually pretty decent. Dennis Leary, Judy Davis, Kevin Spacey--tough to keep a cast like that down.

The Ice Storm isn't a cheery Christmas movie, but it is fantastic. Ang Lee's 1973-set suburban ennui drama gets better with repeat viewings.

And if you're looking for classic-classic, the Barbara Stanwyck/Fred MacMurray tale of the redemptive power of love is a total charmer.