10 Unconventional Christmas Movies To Watch This December

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Only five more days left until Christmas is here! While we all wait for it to come we can indulge in another ten movies until then. This time around, though, these are the films that aren’t exactly Christmas movies – if at all – but feature or whose events take place during Christmas. A solid argument can be made that any of these qualify as Christmas movies (except maybe Rise of the Guardians since that actually takes place in Easter, but Santa’s in it and it’s winter!)

For the TL;DR of this list, watch the video above.


1. Trading Places – 1983

Written by: Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod.

Directed by: John Landis.

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Synopsis: A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires. – IMDB.

 2. Gremlins – 1984

Written by: Chris Columbus.

Directed by: Joe Dante.

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Polly Holliday and Frances Lee McCain.

Synopsis: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. – IMDB.

3. Lethal Weapon – 1987

Written by: Shane Black.

Directed by: Richard Donner.

Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover and Gary Busey.

Synopsis: A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers. – IMDB.

4. Die Hard – 1988

Written by: Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza.

Directed by: John McTiernan.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov and Bonnie Bedelia.

Synopsis: John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. – IMDB.

5. Batman Returns – 1992

Written by: Daniel Waters.

Directed by:  Tim Burton.

Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, Pat Hingle and Michael Murphy.

Synopsis: In the second of the blockbuster Batman films, the legendary hero does battle against the mysterious Cat Woman and the diabolical Penguin.

Gotham City faces two monstrous criminal menaces: the bizarre, sinister Penguin (Danny DeVito) and the slinky, mysterious Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer).

Can Batman (Michael Keaton) battle two formidable foes at once?

Especially when one wants to be mayor and the other is romantically attracted to Bruce Wayne? – Warner Bros.

6. The Nightmare Before Christmas – 1993

Written by: Caroline Thompson.

Directed by: Henry Selick.

Starring: Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page and Ed Ivory.

Synopsis: Halloweentown is inhabited by strange people, grinning monsters and malicious creatures whose greatest pleasure is to indulge in macabre play-acting and pranks of the worst possible taste. The principal organizer of these caustic rituals is Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King and ruler of Halloweentown, who, for many years, has had the honor and difficult task of amusing his fellow citizens. But Jack is fed up with having to sacrifice all his time to such festivities, and longs for new experiences. He happens upon Christmastown, and decides to change Christmas into another Halloween. He kidnaps Santa Claus, then takes it upon himself to deliver some alternative gifts to unsuspecting children. – Big Cartoon Database.

7. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – 2005

Written and Directed by: Shane Black.

Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan and Corbin Bernsen.

Synopsis: A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor. – IMDB.

 8. Joyeux Noël – 2005

Written and Directed by: Christian Carion.

Starring: Benno Fürmann, Guillaume Canet, Daniel Brühl, Diane Kruger, Gary Lewis and Alex Ferns.

Synopsis: In December 1914, an unofficial Christmas truce on the Western Front allows soldiers from opposing sides of the First World War to gain insight into each other’s way of life. – IMDB.

9. In Bruges – 2008

Written and Directed by: Martin McDonagh.

Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy and Jérémie Renier.

Synopsis: Guilt-stricken after a job gone wrong, hitman Ray and his partner await orders from their ruthless boss in Bruges, Belgium, the last place in the world Ray wants to be. – IMDB.

10. Rise of the Guardians – 2012

Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire.

Directed by: Peter Ramsey.

Starring: Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Isla Fisher and Jude Law.

Synopsis: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is an epic adventure that tells the story of a group of heroes – each with extraordinary abilities. When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children all over the world. – Dreamworks Animation.

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About The Author

An avid reader who accidentally discovered her love and talent for writing and has loved movies for as long as she has been watching them. Stumbled into film-making and found her second love because she decided to read for a degree in it on a whim - kind of.