5 Non-Conventional Movies to Watch at Christmastime

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with eggnog, mistletoe and holiday cheer, here’s a list for you. It’s a cinch to make a list of your favorite holiday films, but here are some non-conventional movie choices for the season. Criteria #1: Must take place around Christmas time. That’s it. Although, it’s an added bonus if there’s a chase scene or explosives. Here are 5 picks to get you started.

Die Hard (1988) NYPD Cop John McClane is flying to LA to spend Christmas with his wife Holly. Arriving just before the start of the corporate Christmas party, John is freshening up in the bathroom when all you-know-what breaks loose! A group of thieves, believed to be terrorists, are out to rob a corporation, but the one thing they didn’t count on– the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench– was McClane himself. It’s one big cat and mouse chase movie as Lt. John McClane tries to save Christmas for everyone.

Lethal Weapon (1987) Roger Murtaugh is about to retire from the LAPD just as he’s assigned a new partner, Martin Riggs, a man who has lost his wife and has suicidal tendencies. Murtaugh takes on the case of an old war buddy whose daughter was recently murdered. As they investigate, they discover the murder runs much deeper than anyone had imagined. A fun action-packed movie with plenty of laughs.

LA Confidential (1997) If you have not seen this film, it is a must see, nominated for 9 total Oscars including Kim Basinger’s supporting actress performance win. LA Confidential’s conflict starts early with things going awry at the Police station Christmas party. Two unlikely partners– brilliantly played by Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce– are paired together to investigate the Night Owl murder, during which they discover that the corruption has infiltrated their own police force. This fantastically written, well acted modern-day film noir movie should be seen at least a few times.

Batman Returns (1992) Batman Returns has its very cheesy moments, yet it does take place at Christmas time. A disfigured man, known as the Penguin, wants to become part of society again. He blackmails business man, Max Shrek, to help him with his task. Batman, not convinced by Penguin’s recent generosity, uncovers a plan to take control of the city and the main power plant. Selina Kyle, Catwoman, complicates things by developing feelings for Bruce Wayne, not knowing his alter-ego is Batman. Great comic fun!

Behind Enemy Lines (2001) Fighter pilot Chris Burnett (Owen Wilson) is shot down while flying missions over Bosnia on Christmas morning. The chase is now on. Trying to elude the Bosnian army, Admiral Reigart (Gene Hackman) stays in communication with Burnett and together they work their way to a safe extraction point.

Can you name a few more? Do you have any favorite non-traditional movies you like to watch around the holidays?

Remember, no talking or texting during the feature presentation.

— Jim

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