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12.09.2016by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Underrated Christmas Movies

During Christmas, people usually stick to the classics like MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, ELF, A CHRISTMAS STORY, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and so many other great movies. The holidays also offer a lot of off the beaten path or underseen movies that deserve a spot in your December rotation. Here is my top ten ranking of the ten best underrated Christmas movies that should be added to your list to watch in the next few weeks. You probably have seen most of these movies, but maybe you didn't think of them as Christmas appropriate. Let us know if we missed any in the talk backs below.

#10 - ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

Aardman Animation has proven to be a very talented group of claymation movie creators but they have stumbled a bit when it comes to computer animation. But, their 2011 holiday themed film ARTHUR CHRISTMAS retains that same charm and wit as the Wallace and Gromit movies while also telling a unique Santa Claus story. A very British sensibility may have kept American audiences from checking this movie out, but it will surely please kids and adults alike.

#9 - KRAMPUS

Just released last year, KRAMPUS comes from the mind of TRICK R TREAT creator Michael Dougherty and features a cast of talented funny actors. KRAMPUS is absolutely funny but is also pretty damn scary, too. This movie is not for the faint of heart but has made North Americans much more aware of the legend of the anti-Santa that has been a staple of the season in Europe for hundreds of years. This is a great flick that deserves to be in your holiday rotation.

#8 - RARE EXPORTS

Another Christmas horror film, this Scandinavian flick plays more like ALIENS or PREDATOR. Santa Claus is a villain here and a pretty vicious one at that but it is the elves you have to watch out for. I completely did not expect this movie to be as good as it is. Some may have avoided it because of fear of subtitles, but I promise you will not regret checking this one out.

#7 - RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

Dreamworks Animation rarely missteps but when they do it often dooms the beginning of what could be a great franchise. Audiences didn't quite click with RISE OF THE GUARDIANS despite a series of tie-in novels that had the potential to really showcase the legendary world of these characters. Santa Claus himself has a badass origin story and looks really cool on screen, too. Alec Baldwin rocks as St. Nick with tattoo sleeves and some serious fighting skills. A great action flick to watch during the season that will appeal to boys and girls alike.

#6 - ERNEST SAVES CHRISTMAS

This one takes me back. I have a soft spot for this movie because I grew up with it. Ernest may not resonate as well with younger audiences, but children of the 80s know how ridiculous the redneck character could be. After his first films, a slew of holiday themed Ernest films were made of which this is the best. It is stupid, absolutely, but in a wholesome and fun way that only Ernest could achieve. Know what I mean, Vern?

#5 - BATMAN RETURNS

Christmas movies tend to be relegated to a niche box office market so when a superhero film elects to tie their plot to the holiday it could spell financial doom. BATMAN RETURNS works because it does not rely on Christmas to work as a movie but still makes it an integral part of the story. The massive christmas tree, the giant presents, and the decorations all set the film in a very specific tone and style that makes it feel unique in the rest of the original BATMAN films.

#4 - THE ICE HARVEST

Maybe it is just me, but I like crime flicks set during Christmas. Like KISS KISS BANG BANG, THE ICE HARVEST is a neo-noir that uses the cold of December and the jovial mood of the masses to tell a dark and serious crime tale. THE ICE HARVEST is a jet black comedy on top of being a noir so it has it's fair share of blood and violence. Billy Bob Thornton and John Cusack are great but the eternally sexy Connie Nielsen steals the show.

#3 - JUST FRIENDS

Romantic Christmas movies abound, but JUST FRIENDS is the one a lot of people have not seen and absolutely should. Ryan Reynolds does not exactly have the most solid filmography prior to DEADPOOL but this gem deserves to be seen more. Reynolds plays a friend-zoned guy who loses a ton of weight and returns home to face his family and friends. What ensues is absolutely one of the funniest movies of the last fifteen years with great turns by Amy Smart, Chris Klein, and Anna Faris.

#2 - THE REF

Another personal favorite, THE REF is one of my favorite funny movies that also happens to be a great Christmas movie. Denis Leary is at the height of his douche-bag best as a thief who has to pose as the therapist for the worst couple ever (Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey). The vitriol is brutal as everyone treats everyone else like utter shit. But, in the end the film finds some happiness for these miserable characters which will make you feel better about spending Christmas with your messed up family.

#1 - IRON MAN 3

Another superhero movie set during the Christmas season, IRON MAN 3 is often lamented for many reasons. But, it works as a wonderful seasonal redemption story and features a couple of jolly Xmas songs. Plus, Tony Stark in the snow is a perfect reminder of how his story parallels the Grinch and Scrooge. That's it, I am going to go watch IRON MAN 3 right now with a glass of eggnog.

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+1
2:03PM on 12/10/2016
Iron Man 3???
Iron Man 3???
Your Reply:



1:57PM on 12/10/2016
I actually enjoy Iron Man 3 just as much as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Nice Guys. Shane Black knows how to surprise me in the humor department. What other Marvel movie is going to have Tony Stark say something like "Dads leave, no need to be a pussy about it"

I think a favorite of mine that's very underrated is Die Hard With A Vengeance. Original Die Hard is a great Christmas movie, but the third one gets a bad rap
I actually enjoy Iron Man 3 just as much as Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Nice Guys. Shane Black knows how to surprise me in the humor department. What other Marvel movie is going to have Tony Stark say something like "Dads leave, no need to be a pussy about it"

I think a favorite of mine that's very underrated is Die Hard With A Vengeance. Original Die Hard is a great Christmas movie, but the third one gets a bad rap
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+0
7:35PM on 12/09/2016
I'm still amazed how many people loathe Iron Man 3. But can you tell me reasonably WHY you didn't like it? (Outside the Mandarin-twist!)
I'm still amazed how many people loathe Iron Man 3. But can you tell me reasonably WHY you didn't like it? (Outside the Mandarin-twist!)
Your Reply:



1:20PM on 12/09/2016

The Long Kiss Goodnight

That is all.
That is all.
Your Reply:



12:29PM on 12/09/2016

Christmas Movies?

How are most of these considered Christmas Movies? Just because a movie takes place in winter or has a christmas party in it does not make it about christmas.
How are most of these considered Christmas Movies? Just because a movie takes place in winter or has a christmas party in it does not make it about christmas.
Your Reply:



11:26AM on 12/09/2016
Iron Man 3 is the worst dog shit of a movie that marvel has released. Even as a christmas movie i cant bring myself to watch it. It should be called pepper pots 1. Also what about gremlins? I guess that movie is not underrated.
Iron Man 3 is the worst dog shit of a movie that marvel has released. Even as a christmas movie i cant bring myself to watch it. It should be called pepper pots 1. Also what about gremlins? I guess that movie is not underrated.
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12:25PM on 12/09/2016
Actually, no, GREMLINS isn't underrated.
Actually, no, GREMLINS isn't underrated.
11:00AM on 12/09/2016
Another list, another marvel film atop it! Honestly open up a comic book section I'm sick to death of everything on this site pandering to marvel fanboys!
Another list, another marvel film atop it! Honestly open up a comic book section I'm sick to death of everything on this site pandering to marvel fanboys!
Your Reply:



10:01AM on 12/09/2016
Happy to see Just Friends on here. One of my favorites and have watched it countless times.
Happy to see Just Friends on here. One of my favorites and have watched it countless times.
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-2
9:57AM on 12/09/2016
-4/10: BATMAN RETURNS
-5/10: ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
-6/10: JUST FRIENDS
-7/10: IRON-MAN 3
-4/10: BATMAN RETURNS
-5/10: ARTHUR CHRISTMAS
-6/10: JUST FRIENDS
-7/10: IRON-MAN 3
Your Reply:



9:51AM on 12/09/2016

IRON MAN 3!?

What the fuck kind of list is this, especially being number 1.

That movie was complete dog shit. Kudos on Just Friends though.
What the fuck kind of list is this, especially being number 1.

That movie was complete dog shit. Kudos on Just Friends though.
Your Reply:



9:38AM on 12/09/2016

Total Balls

It Batman can show up on this then so should Die Hard. HO, HO, HO. Now I have a machinegun....
It Batman can show up on this then so should Die Hard. HO, HO, HO. Now I have a machinegun....
Your Reply:



9:58AM on 12/09/2016
DIE HARD isn't underrated.
DIE HARD isn't underrated.
9:20AM on 12/09/2016
The Ref, hands down. A lot of talent in it, ton of funny one liners and is unique because not everyone is happy around Christmas, here's a perfect example.
The Ref, hands down. A lot of talent in it, ton of funny one liners and is unique because not everyone is happy around Christmas, here's a perfect example.
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