Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Movies

Everyone is familiar with the traditional Christmas holiday movies. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf

And lets not forget the same continuously rehashed Hallmark Channel story of a young female advertising/writer/social media manager from the big city and gets stranded in a small town only to find love where she least expected it in the form of an attractive small town country guy or handsome prince from a wealthy fictitious European nation that happens to have British-accented English as the standard language…

But how about the best Non-Traditional Christmas movies to binge on the couch while snuggling up with your favorite alcohol-spiked egg nog?

Here are Geeky Daddy’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Movies!

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

(Disclosure: I left Die Hard off this particular list as I believe the eternal debate about whether it is a ‘Christmas Movie’ or not has been a little worn out over the past couple years. Spoiler: It is.)

Lethal Weapon

Die Hard gets all the Christmas violent movie love, but lets not forget this mid-80’s gem starring a pre-flaked-out Mel Gibson, a coherent Gary Busey, a Danny Glover who was just barely getting “To old for this $#!T!” and a gun fight in a Christmas tree lot. How much more festive can you get?

Side Note: Glover was only 41 when he realized he was “getting to old for this $#!T”. I am now 44 and I gotta say: Yeah, I get it.

Batman Returns

What could possibly say “Merry Christmas!” more than an army of weaponized penguins!

Side Note: I am really looking forward to seeing Micheal Keaton re-visit his role as Bruce Wayne in the new Flash movie!

Trading Places

This is probably my favorite Christmas comedy not named Christmas Vacation. Trading Places introduced me to the corrupt world of commodities trading, the theory of ‘Nature vs. Nurture’ and Jamie Lee Curtis’ beautiful body!

Iron Man 3

Not all fans want to have their expectation subverted. In that regard, Iron Man 3 is The Last Jedi of the MCU.

Probably one of the least favorite entries among MCU films, I thought Iron Man 3 did a pretty good job of trying to tell a non-traditional super-hero story. The direction they took with the Mandarin character was certainly polarizing (and was later quasi ret-conned in Shang-Chi), but I did like how Shane Black introduced the concept of a super-hero suffering from PTSD.


I will humbly admit that this movie freaked me out as a kid. It probably didn’t help that my brother told me that our dog Cuddles would also turn into a gremlin if we fed her after midnight.

Anytime my wife is channel surfing and comes across this movie, she never misses an opportunity to watch the Howie Mandel-voiced Gizmo race around in the Barbie sports car.

Bad Santa

I laughed my butt off throughout this movie!

Just make sure the kiddies are tucked in their beds dreaming of sugarplums (or at least not within earshot) because Billy Bob’s colorful language could leave a dive bar full of drunken sailors blushing.

L.A. Confidential

A terrific period piece exploring the dark side of 1950’s Hollywood, L.A. Confidential showcased some excellent performances from Guy Pearce, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, James Cromwell, Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito.

Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang

Shane Black makes some good movies but I’m not sure why he feels the need to base them around the holidays, but his movies made up 30% of our list.

Side Note that may be interesting to just me: Shane Black starred in the 1987 Predator as Hawkins and directed the 2018 Predator.

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

A serious departure from the darker first movie, this sequel took the franchise in a much more campy direction. While not laugh out loud funny (like Bad Santa or Trading Places), plenty of goofy sit-com style humor keeps this movie entertaining from beginning to ending.

Nightmare Before Christmas

The only animated film on our list, Nightmare Before Christmas features Tim Burton’s creativity at his most ‘Tim Burton-esque’

Please check out some of our other Christmas Movie List, including the Top Ten Christmas Movies, Top Ten Christmas Movies For Guys and My Observations From Being Forced by My Wife to Watch Hallmark Channel Christmas Movies.

Also, read my Fan Theory about Peter McCallister Really Being A Mob Boss! (Which was my most viewed post from 2020).


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