10 Non-traditional Holiday Movies

‘Tis the season for holiday movies. Some viewers prefer traditional heart-warming holiday classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street. For the rest of you—who prefer your holiday movies with explosions—there is probably no better holiday movie than the 1988 action classic Die Hard.

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I’ve rounded up a handful of seasonally appropriate movies below, with something that should appeal to even the most discerning cinefile and/or saccharine-adverse.

aboutaboy

About a Boy
Hugh Grant convinces a lonely adolescent to pretend to be his son so he can score with attractive single moms. There’s some Christmas thrown in there too, and maybe even a little bit of redemption.

theapartment

The Apartment
An insurance employee loans out his apartment to managers and their mistresses, with the hope of getting a promotion. Everything is going along swimmingly until the aftermath of the office Christmas party.

christmastale

A Christmas Tale
A bone marrow transplant, mental illness, self-injury, alienation, general family dysfunction, and Catherine Deneuve. It’s a very French holiday film!

diehard

Die Hard
A holiday party is in full swing at the Nakatomi Plaza building in Los Angeles, when suddenly the building is taken over by Hans Gruber and his henchmen. It is then up to our hero, police officer John McClane, to save the day and restore holiday cheer.

frozenriver

Frozen River
It’s almost Christmas time, and two single mothers bond while smuggling illegal immigrants across the New York-Quebec border.

gremlins

Gremlins
A perfect lesson in why it is never acceptable to give a pet as a gift without the recipient’s consent.

inbruges

In Bruges
Two hit men lay low in Bruges, Belgium during the holiday season and develop a love/hate relationship with the city. One loves it, one hates it.

lethalweapon

Lethal Weapon
On a recent re-viewing, I discovered that this quintessential buddy cop movie is also a holiday movie—if for no other reason than a fantastic scene taking place at a Christmas tree lot.

rareexports

Rare Exports
A Finnish film that reimagines Santa as a supernatural creature that punishes naughty children instead of rewarding nice ones. (Side note: I still haven’t seen this one yet, but numerous co-workers have told me it’s excellent.)

tradingplaces

Trading Places
This one counts as a Christmas movie due to one memorable sequence about halfway into the movie—Dan Aykroyd dons a Santa suit and sneaks into his former employer’s Christmas party to destroy the man (Eddie Murphy) who replaced him. It goes poorly to say the least, but, he does manage to make it out of the bash with a full side of salmon which he then consumes on a city bus.

tradingplaces

Ho, Ho, Ho. Image taken from the site: http://www.latimes.com

How about you? What sort of classic (or non-classic) holiday movies will you be watching this season?

Yippee-Ki-Yay Happy Holidays,
Tara

7 Comments

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7 responses to “10 Non-traditional Holiday Movies

  1. Jen

    Great list. About a boy is one of my faves!

  2. Awesome. Gremlins; love that movie!

  3. “The Ref” – an overlooked Kevin Spacey/Dennis Leary/Judy Davis gem!

  4. Yay! If you like supernatural stabbing in your xmas flicks, might I recommend Jack Frost (1997)?

  5. Tara

    I completely forgot about “The Ref”–which I intend to check out now! Thanks for the suggestion, @boozeguru. Happy Holidays!
    -Tara

  6. youroriginalpoetry

    I’ve always found Gremlins horrifying! Good list.

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