ByLouis Matta, writer at
I first learned how to read by going to video stores and reading old VHS boxes. Using the VCR was one of the first things I learned to do o
Louis Matta

A lot of people love Christmas movies. They make you feel all warm and fuzzy, and a lot of them you can enjoy with the folks. But, a recent surge in the movie community has become the unconventional Christmas film. Many people have made screenings of films such as Die Hard and Bad Santa as synonymous with the Christmas tradition as A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life. But, is there a line to be drawn? We're gonna break down four of the more unusual Christmas selections and discuss their variety across the Christmas spectrum.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Petty crook Harry (Robert Downey Jr.) joins forces with Private Eye Gay Perry (Val Kilmer) to solve an intricate murder mystery with a struggling actress.

Notable Christmas lines:

"Merry Christmas, sorry I fucked you over."

What makes it a Christmas movie:

Typical to the Shane Black structure it takes place over Christmas season, although nothing is exactly tied to that within the plot. Harmony (Michelle Monaghan) wears a skimpy Santa outfit. The film opens with Harry stealing a toy for his nephew for Christmas.

Christmas grade:

D (This goes for pretty much every Shane Black Christmas movie.)

Die Hard (1988)

New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) must fight his way through terrorists on Christmas Eve to rescue his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia).

Notable Christmas lines:

"Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho."
"It's Christmas, Theo. It's the time of miracles."
"If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Years."

What makes it a Christmas movie:

Basically the entire conflict is about McClane saving his marriage in time for Christmas morning. Holly invites him to an office Christmas party, thus leading to the terrorists. The reason John's in LA is to see his kids for Christmas.

Christmas grade: A

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Over the course of one night, an esteemed doctor (Tom Cruise) in New York City, are plunged into a dark sexual underworld.

Notable Christmas lines: n/a

What makes it a Christmas movie:

Another marriage is on the rocks just in time for the holidays. The entire family dynamic is put to the test at the most family-oriented time of the year. Alice (Nicole Kidman) wraps presents with her daughter, while her husband works. The Christmas aesthetic and lighting play a major part to the over-all look of the film.

Christmas Grade: C

Batman Returns (1992)

A crooked business man (Christopher Walken) teams with the Penguin (Danny DeVito) to take control of Gotham City with a little help from Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). Only Batman (Michael Keaton) can save the city.

Notable Christmas lines:

"Merry Christmas, Alfred. Good will towards men...and women.", "Two lives left. I think I'll save one for next Christmas. But in the meantime, how about a kiss, Santy Claus?"

What makes it a Christmas movie:

The entire film takes place over the holidays. A major set piece becomes a Rockefeller Center-esque Christmas tree. There's many small/weird Christmas references throughout.

Christmas grade: B

Agree? Disagree? Let me know! Thanks for reading, and Merry Christmas!


What's your favorite unconventional Christmas movie?


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