It’s that time of year where Hallmark Christmas movies play non stop. If you can’t handle another unrealistic tear-jerker of being trapped in a snow globe, a small Christmas village or a capitalist Grinch turning into a secret santa then this is the list you’ve been waiting for.
This list of the best anti-Hallmark Christmas movies will get you in the holiday spirit without wasting all of your December on the Hallmark channel. If you can’t skip it altogether, these unconventional Christmas movies will at least help cleanse the palate before you call it a night.
Bruce Willis may not call this a Christmas Movie, but it’s the quintessential Christmas movie in my house and many others.
This 1988 Christmas classic follows John McClane to the coast for a few laughs as terrorists take over the Nakatomi Plaza during a Christmas party to steal millions.
McClane is the fly in the ointment that brings the party to a head. With epic performances by Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman, this is a Christmas movie that needs to be in your list.
Die Hard is available through Cinemax or to rent on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
While not as iconic of a Christmas as Die Hard, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is set during Christmas and you get a treat of a performance from Robert Downey Jr. And Val Kilmer.
During Christmas in Hollywood, Harry Lockhart manages to land a role in a mystery film while on the run from the cops. His high school sweetheart and private eye Perry van Shrike round out the Noir parade that isn’t typically Christmas, but it’s holidays in Hollywood and directed by Shane Black, so it’s squarely a Christmas movie.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is available on HBO Go and HBO Now as well as available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.
Hit men in Belgium at Christmas? If that sounds like the perfect chaser to a Hallmark movie, you’ll love In Bruges.
With impressive performances by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleason, this one doesn’t delve into Christmas as much, but you do get a story of redemption with loads of humor.
In Bruges is streaming on Netflix and available to rent on Amazon Prime, Google Play and iTunes.
Another 80’s classic is Gremlins. This is set at Christmas time and it takes a dark turn pretty quickly.
When a salesman brings home a mogwai from Chinatown, with instructions to avoid bright light, water and feeding him after midnight things don’t turn out so merry.
Soon a band of Gremlins take over the town on Christmas Eve.
Gremlins is available to rent on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime Video and airs on AMC regularly during the holidays
Any movie with a “Bloody Christmas” scene deserves to be on this list.
Set in L.A. during the Christmas season this movie features three cops who are dealing with their own demons set in the 1950’s.
You get Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacy and Danny Devito in a Christmas movie for the ages.
Watch L.A. Confidential on Netflix or rent from Amazon, iTunes or Google Play
You may have forgotten that Lethal Weapon is set during Christmas.
This laugh filled action movie will keep your attention and keep the laughs rolling as you clear the air after Hallmark’s stakeout for Christmas.
Mel Gibson and Danny Glover take the reins of this comedy that starts out with Jingle Bell Rock and action that doesn’t stop until the credits roll.
Rent Lethal Weapon on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.
While you typically think of St. Nick and Santa, there is another character that you can’t forget about this holiday season.
Krampus is a horned monster that finds and punishes bad children at Christmas. A long forgotten fairytale is real for the Engel family in Krampus
Max loses his holiday spirit and earns the wrath of Krampus, which leaves the family to join forces to make it out of Christmas alive.
Rent Krampus on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play.
Two friends go looking for the tomb of Santa Claus in the mountains of North Finland after a drilling project nearby uncovers something special.
This isn’t a happy Santa, and when one of the boy’s father captures an old man things really heat up as they start to understand why reindeer are being killed and children are disappearing in the area.
Stream on Hulu or Amazon Prime and rent on iTunes or Google Play.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
We close out the list with a movie that has Christmas in the title. The Nightmare Before Christmas follows Jack Skellington through Halloweentown’s pumpkin patch as he accidentally discovers Christmas, or Christmastown.
What follows is a kidnapping of Santa and a plan to take over Christmas that doesn’t go quite as expected.
Rent on iTunes, Amazon Prime or Google Play.
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