ByGrant Hermanns, writer at
I know way too much about movies, my mind is like a walking IMDB, only not perfect. Don't forget to hit up my Twitter: @grantheftautho
Grant Hermanns

The holidays are a time known for family-friendly movies that parents can sit down and enjoy with their little ones and the grandparents. But for the adults and teenagers who tire of the same old sentimental work, there are plenty of naughtier, more explicit films that are entertaining for the month, and here are some of my personal favorites for the best Christmas movies for kids (in no kind of order).

10. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

  • Director: Shane Black
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Shannyn Sossamon

Writer/director Shane Black is well-known for setting his movies during the Christmas season, and one of his best is Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a neo-noir black comedy following a New York thief, Harry Lockhart (Downey Jr.), who comes to Los Angeles following a botched robbery to become an actor. In the process of training with a detective consultant, Gay Perry (Kilmer), Harry becomes wrapped up in a murder conspiracy tracing high into the ranks of Hollywood. Though Christmas is certainly the backdrop for the film, it still makes itself apparent multiple times through costumes and direct references by characters, and with some stellar dark comedy that's a little too grown up for the little ones (not to mention it's also one of my favorites of all time), it's a great Christmas movie for the adults. Here's the trailer for the neo-noire Christmas comedy:

9. Silent Night

  • Director: Steven C. Miller
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Stars: Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong

There have been a number of Christmas-themed slasher films released over the past 40-some-odd years, but the majority result in cheesy schlock that could be considered fun for how bad they are. However, one of the many films in the genre that is actually a good movie is Silent Night, the 2012 loose remake of a 1984 horror slasher about a man who goes crazy as an adult after seeing his parents murdered as a child and going on a murder spree while donning a Santa suit. While the original film was ultimately a critical and commercial flop, the remake fared better with critics, and for good reason, it was a much more solid slasher pic, delivering a gleefully gory and thrilling Christmas slash-fest. Here's the trailer for the holiday horror pic:

8. Lethal Weapon

  • Director: Richard Donner
  • Release Year: 1987
  • Stars: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey, Mitchell Ryan

Appearing for the second time on this list, Shane Black made his big-screen debut with the script for the widely-acclaimed buddy cop comedy considered the best in its genre, Lethal Weapon, and the movie was filled to the brim with Christmas tidings. Ranging from a shootout in a Christmas tree lot to a plunge off a balcony decorated with colorful lights, the action comedy was certainly not one for the younger audiences (nor the faint of heart), but thanks to its wonderful chemistry from leads Gibson and Glover, it makes it one of the ultimate adult Christmas films. Here's the trailer for the 1987 buddy cop comedy:

7. Krampus

  • Director: Michael Dougherty
  • Release Year: 2015
  • Stars: Toni Collette, Adam Scott, Allison Tolman, David Koechner

Now honestly, this movie could almost be argued as an in-betweener, as it's never truly so scary as to ward off little kids, but still features some very tragic events that wouldn't be recommended to show the little ones. Featuring a fair combination of B-movie concepts (borrowing often from films such as Gremlins) and modern horror elements, Krampus is a fun and thrilling big-screen introduction for the European folkloric entity that does not let the naughty kids or disbelievers get by scot-free, making this the perfect non-family Christmas movie. Here's the trailer for the Christmas horror comedy:

6. Bad Santa

  • Director: Terry Zwigoff
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham

Bad Santa is the perfect Christmas movie for adults in that it doesn't celebrate Christmas at all. Instead we get a depressing black comedy about a criminal that poses as a mall Santa every Christmas to rob from the mall. It's pretty dark and can be quite a downer to watch in moments, but it's also hilarious, raunchy and vulgar with one of Billy Bob Thornton's best performances in his career. Here's the trailer for the dark Christmas comedy:

5. The Ref

Is it possible for you to shut up for 10 seconds?
Is it possible for you to shut up for 10 seconds?
  • Director: Ted Demme
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Stars: Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey, Judy Davis, Raymond J. Barry

This is actually one of the more underrated Christmas movies of all time, starring a pretty big-name cast, including Denis Leary and Kevin Spacey. The Ref is another dark comedy from the holidays, following a burglar as he is forced to take a constantly bickering married couple hostage after a failed burglary. The dialogue deals with a lot of heavy topics, such as divorce and child neglect, but still finds ways to make audiences laugh with some hilarious one-liners from star Leary, as well as dysfunctional family bickering and insults with Spacey and Judy Davis's families. Without an actual trailer in circulation, here's a fan-made trailer for the 1994 black Christmas comedy:

4. The Night Before

  • Director: Jonathan Levine
  • Release Year: 2015
  • Stars: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Jillian Bell

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have made hit after hit together for the last eight years, and Rogen previously found quite the success with director Jonathan Levine in 2011's Warm Bodies. When the news dropped that the three of them, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie, would team up for a Christmas movie, audiences rejoiced at the potential hilarity. When The Night Before released just before Thanksgiving, critics and audiences were not disappointed, as it was a great blend of vulgar humor and Christmas warmth. It has the right amount of drugs, sex and language to entertain any weekend audience, but also has the right amount of heart and light-heartedness to satisfy those looking for a sweet holiday movie. Here's the NSFW trailer for the hilarious Christmas party:

3. A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas 3D

  • Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Stars: John Cho, Kal Penn, Neil Patrick Harris, Thomas Lennon

The Harold and Kumar franchise is one known for being some of the funniest stoner films out there, and the third entry into the film was definitely the wildest, most outrageous and warm-hearted entry into the franchise, and happens to fall into the Christmas holiday. We see the famous duo reconnect seven years after their previous adventure for one night to try and help Harold impress his father-in-law after they accidentally burn down the family Christmas tree. The film is full of the Christmas spirit, as well as the typical crazy antics of the stoner pair, and is a funny, stylish experience sure to entertain the teenage and adult audience during the season. Here's the insanely funny red-band trailer for the Christmas adventure:

2. Friday After Next

  • Director: Marcus Raboy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Stars: Ice Cube, Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, Katt Williams

The Friday franchise is another one of the most popular stoner comedy franchises in film history, and much like Harold and Kumar, the last installment saw its characters dealing with more of their typical problems during the holiday season. In this case, we saw Craig and his cousin Day-Day have to deal with sketchy Christmas shoppers, an unruly apartment manager and having to come up with their rent money after being robbed by Project Santa Clause, all taking place on Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day. It's a hilarious ride for potheads and parents alike while their kids sleep. Here's the trailer for the third entry into the Friday franchise that pits Craig and Day-Day against Project Santa Clause:

1. Die Hard

  • Director: John McTiernan
  • Release Year: 1988
  • Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

There have been long-standing debates throughout film history on many movie theories. Was Leo stuck in a dream in Inception? Does Robert De Niro die at the end of Taxi Driver? And what's in the f****ng box?!! However, one of my favorites is the question of whether Die Hard can be considered a Christmas movie, and to that I say absolutely. Die Hard is not just a Christmas movie because that happens to be when the film takes place, but the holiday itself is referenced and used for humor multiple times throughout it. In addition to the holiday humor, the film is chock-full of awesome action, good ol' fashioned one-liners and great performances from Bruce Willis and Allan Rickman. Here's the trailer for the action-packed Christmas thrill ride:


What's your favorite non-family friendly Christmas movie?


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