Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The 5 Best "Other" Christmas Movies


I love Christmas movies. A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Elf and so on and so forth - all favorites of mine this time of year.  However, there comes a time when you just can't watch them again - usually around the 30th time TBS or TNT is airing them - without wishing you could shoot your eye out.  You're still in the mood for something festive, but you want something different.  

Well, fear not - I'm here to recommend the best of the other Christmas movies for you!  These are the ones that might not make the typical top ten lists, but they're Christmas films all the same.  Just pick one of the suggestions below, pour another glass of egg nog, and let the holiday cheer wash over you.  Before you know it, you'll be having the best Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Kaye!

1.  The Ref

Christmas is a time to get together with your family and sing carols and eat cookies while laughing and smiling and sharing the love.  Or, maybe, your family's idea of Christmas is full of making passive-aggressive backhanded compliments and barely tolerating one another's presence while downing copious amounts of alcohol.  Throw in a kidnapping or two and you've got "The Ref," a comedy/drama starring Denis Leary as a thief who stumbles into the most dysfunctional Christmas gathering ever.  Clip is NSFW.

2.  Gremlins

Nothing says the holidays like crappy gifts, right?  Okay, maybe we can't really blame the gift-giver in "Gremlins" for the chaos that occurs.  Billy knew the rules - don't get them wet, don't expose them to bright light, and don't feed them after midnight.  Three easy little rules!  And once they're broken, the entire town experiences a Christmas they'll NEVER forget.

3.  Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Ok, ok, maybe this one is not strictly about the holidays, but it does take place at Christmas time AND it includes Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer at their snarkiest best, so who's complaining? An actor/thief gets tangled in a murder case, and, well, it's hard to explain this hilarious take on noir - you should really just see it for yourself. Clip is NSFW.

4. Tokyo Godfathers

I bet you'll never see this one on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas.  "Tokyo Godfathers" is a gorgeous anime about three homeless people who discover an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve.  They decide to try to reunite the baby with her parents, and along the way, reveal how each of them came to live on the streets.  I love how these three vagrants form their own nontraditional family, and their adventures make for wonderful holiday viewing.

5.  Monty Python's Life of Brian

So you burnt the cookies, you ran out of tape, and it's snowing and there's no end in sight.  You think you're having a bad Christmas?  Try being mistaken for the Messiah.  That's what happened to poor Brian in "Monty Python's Life of Brian," Monty Python's masterpiece from 1979.  It doesn't matter what faith you are - Python's humor transcends all walks of life.

Now that you've heard my suggestions, tell me - what are the best holiday films for when you've had your fill of Grinches and elves?


  1. Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are both on our list. I also watch The Holiday every Christmas season, since it's set at Christmas but not actually about Christmas. Also sometimes Little Women, which has great Christmas scenes and an excuse to watch Baby Bale.

    1. Ooh, Little Women is a good one! Sigh, Baby Bale.