There are many names for Santa Claus and even more versions of the jolly old saint on the big screen. For decades, Hollywood’s been making films about Kris Kringle, a benevolent figure gifting presents and spreading cheer. Some films imagine him as an elderly man with a fluffy white beard and a love of sweets. Others reanimate him as a tough, no-nonsense type in charge of saving Christmas, a holiday action hero if you will. The form may vary, but the spirit of Santa stays the same.
Still, we live in a culture that demands we rank and quantify everything, and even Kris Kringle isn’t safe from that. It turns out, some Santas are just better than others, and we’re here to do the hard work of sifting through holiday reels to find the best (and worst) versions of Father Christmas. Here they are, in order from naughty to nice.