From Elf to Home Alone to A Christmas Story, there are plenty of all-time classic Christmas movies that are a must-watch every holiday season… but what about non-traditional Christmas movies? For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we take a look at the best non-traditional Christmas movies ever. [Note: the list takes the Christmas factor into account, and clips may be NSFW.]
10. In Bruges (2008)
Not many people might know of this movie, but the Colin Farrell crime comedy is actually an Oscar-nominated film. Farrell plays a hitman that spends Christmas waiting orders from his boss in Bruges, London—the last place in the world he wants to be. Because it’s a dark comedy, it might not be for everyone.
9. Bad Santa (2003)
Most people have probably watched or at least heard of Bad Santa, as Billy Bob Thornton stars in the comedy about a mall Santa who tries to rob the place on Christmas Eve. In the process, he befriends an innocent kid who is always asking questions, including “Should I fix you some sandwiches?”
8. Batman Returns (1992)
The original Batman by Tim Burton that stars Michael Keaton as the caped-crusader could also be on this list, but the second film takes the Christmas setting up a level. In the sequel, Bruce Wayne must balance his own life and stop Penguin and Catwoman, not to mention the rampant corruption in Gotham City.
7. Goodfellas (1990)
One of the greatest movies ever made, Goodfellas only has a brief Christmas scene, but Jimmy Conway (played by Robert De Niro) alone makes it worth putting on the list, as he scolds people (“What did I tell you?!”) with holiday music playing in the background.
6. Die Hard 2 (1990)
It’s safe to say another Bruce Willis movie might be on the list, but Die Hard 2, the second installment of the series, sees John McClane take on another terrorist group on Christmas Eve. McClane says he just wants a “regular, normal Christmas,” but it sure is fun watching him save the day.
5. Lethal Weapon (1987)
Mel Gibson and Gary Busey fighting to the death in Danny Glover’s Christmas-covered front yard is as non-traditional as it gets.
4. Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the true story about Frank Abagnale Jr., a 19-year-old conman that poses as a doctor, pilot, and lawyer, all while making millions of dollars by forging checks. Christmas is a theme throughout the film, including the best use of The Christmas Song in movie history.
3. Trading Places (1983)
In this festive comedy, Bill Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) and Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd) have their lives switched all because of a one-dollar bet by a couple of old, rich brokers. Valentine goes from the streets to running the company, and Winthorpe goes from a rising star to a criminal after being framed by the petty Duke brothers. Fortunately, the good guys get together and wind up on top, fixing everything that’s happened to them and being better people because of the experience.
2. The Godfather (1972)
Arguably the greatest movie of all time, The Godfather has a few Christmas scenes that make it worth a watch every holiday season, including Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) and Kay Adams (Diane Keaton) shopping together, an assassination attempt on Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) getting picked up by the enemy, and Michael protecting his father at the hospital. Even The Godfather: Part II could be considered for this list because of the memorable final scene that flashes back to Christmas time.
1. Die Hard (1988)
Die Hard is absolutely a Christmas movie, and it should top all non-traditional Christmas movie lists. John McClane’s first heroic holiday features German terrorists led by the villainous Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who is towards the top of the list of greatest movie villains ever. Of course, Bruce Willis saves the day as always—this time with the old gun-taped-to-the-back trick.