For years, folks have been searching for the perfect unconventional Christmas movie. Something besides the super sweet holiday movies of Hallmark or the conventional classics you and your family have seen thousands of times.
After all, as much as we all enjoy watching Ralphie get his BB gun or George Bailey running through the streets high on Christmas spirit, it does get a little worn out after the 50th viewing.
Recently, films such as Gremlins and Die Hard are now considered the new Christmas classics because of the holly and twinkling lights that hang out in the background of every scene. And while not specifically about the birth of Jesus or gift giving in any way, these unorthodox holiday movies still count as season favorites. Why? Because they accomplish the exact same result as A Christmas Story or It’s A Wonderful Life: They bring people together in the spirit of the holiday for a fun time around the television.
And really? Isn’t watch Billy’s mom whack a gremlin into the microwave gift enough?
With that in mind, here is a list of more unconventional Christmas movies to keep you happy until the New Year.
What makes it merry?: Tim Burton’s second take on the legendary DC detective is a solid choice as Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) and Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) make out under some mistletoe.
Remember: “Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it…but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.”
Die Hard 2
What makes it merry?: Sure, people love to celebrate the death plummet of the everyone’s favorite ex-Volksfrei radical, but what about when Major Grant falls into the jet engine? Everyone gets so wrapped up in “Die Hard” that folks forget that it’s sequel was also set around the holidays.
What makes it merry?: One of the most underrated comedies of all time, pic features a Cracker Jack cast as a bunch of lifelong buddies who gather in their hometown diner during the holidays.
Starring Mickey Rourke, Daniel Stern. Tim Daly, Steve Guttenberg, Ellen Barkin and Kevin Bacon, this Barry Levinson comedy is the first of his “Baltimore Films” series and one of the very best.
Eyes Wide Shut
What makes it merry?: This choice is for after the kiddies go to bed.
Stanley Kubrick’s final outing follow the erotic adventures of a New York couple (Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman), all of which are kicked off by attending the Christmas party. Hijinks, bondage, weird ass sex masks and holiday spirit ensue.
Iron Man 3
What makes it merry?: The mediocre Marvel movie may not be the best in the Disney-owned powerhouse franchise, but hey, it’s Christmas about forgiveness. Watch as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr. again) suffers from PTSD from the Battle of New York as families around his celebrate the season.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
What makes it merry?: This Shane Black comedy starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer is set against the holiday. If you are tired of Christmas movies featuring snow and good tiding, this LA-set black comedy noir will make for a great unconventional choice. Celebrate the birth of Christ with Michelle Monaghan, who looks adorbs in her skimpy Santa suit.
What makes it merry?: Curtis Hanson’s brilliant take on modern film noir starts off on Christmas Eve. Holly decorates the desks of many a policemen as the station bursts out in horrific violence during the films’ “Bloody Christmas” scene.
What makes it merry?: Did you forget that Roger Murtaugh’s (Danny Glover) house is completely decked out in Christmas lights? How about the “Dear Bad Guys” letter that Riggs (Mel Gibson) leaves on the wreath? A solid holiday choice and it goes great with any of the “Die Hard” pics.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
What makes it merry?: The pic begins with Geena Davis’ amnesiac Samantha Caine getting ready for the holidays. Along with her main squeeze Hal (Tom Amandes), the duo attend Christmas parties and appearing in Christmas parades, which eventually gets her spotted by a former foe looking for revenge.
What makes it merry?: Here. Watch this scene:
What makes it merry?: Takes place between the time of Thanksgiving to just after New Year’s Eve. At one point, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) even dons a Santa outfit and goes on a bender, complete with eating a slab of ham about of his beard.
Children of Men, The Apartment, In Bruges, Go, Fanny & Alexander, You Got Mail, The Thin Man, Less Than Zero, Rent