Top 10 Non-Holiday Movies Set During Christmas

Christmas movies have been airing pretty much non-stop of cable since Thanksgiving. Between A CHRISTMAS STORY and THE POLAR EXPRESS, you may be ho-ho-hoed out. So, why not watch a movie set during Christmas but is not directly about Christmas? These ten flicks all take place around December 25th but don't have too much to do with the holiday itself. See if you agree with these picks or if you have your own favorite non-holiday holiday movie! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

#1 - DIE HARD 2

You expected DIE HARD? Well everyone always lists DIE HARD as an unconventional Christmas movie but no one shows enough respect for the sequel. DIE HARD 2 also takes place on Christmas Eve but instead of being a complete retread, the movie manages to switch gears and deliver a bigger movie with some unique airport set setpieces. While there may not be a villain as iconic as Hans Gruber, this movie still manages to be a worthy successor to the first film.


Winter plays a major part in some of the action sequences in this movie but Renny Harlin framing the opening scenes of Geena Davis as Mrs. Claus has the actress at her hottest in a long time. The movie doesn't really kick into gear until she cuts her hair and dyes it blonde, but whenever she returns to her amnesiac life with husband and daughter we see Christmas all over the place.


A more direct connection to the holidays but one that drives some character actions despite not being the primary narrative device. Still, Dan Aykroyd as a dirty drunken Santa Claus is alone one of the actor's best achievements on the big screen. I can watch that lone sequence over and over and enjoy it as much as the first viewing. I love this movie so much.


Another Shane Black script and another connection to Christmas. On top of the image above, there is the classic scene where Riggs confronts a group of criminals at a Christmas tree lot. It is fleeting and not directly a part of the plot development in the film, but Christmas pops up throughout the movie in one capacity or another.


Terry Gilliam's dystopian comedy is like a funny version of 1984 but with 100% more Santa Claus. Well, not the real Saint Nick but rather a nightmare interrogation version in a wheelchair with a bottle of liquor. Yeah, BRAZIL is not exactly a Christmas movie but it is one of the best films to feature Christmas.


Do you know when Rocky Balboa fought his unsanctioned grudge match against Ivan Drago? Yup, it was December 25th. At the height of the Cold War, the idea of an American Christian besting his Soviet nemesis on the day of Jesus' birth could not have been more of a f*ck you to Russia, but that is the 1980s for you.


Stanley Kubrick's sexual nightmare fantasy drama is best remembered for the mass orgy sequence and Nicole Kidman's nipples. It is not remembered for the opening Christmas party where Tom Cruise and Kidman try to seduce strangers or the various scenes set with Christmas lights or the couple toy shopping. Yeah, you will never look at the film the same way again when you imagine the Yuletide spirit of deviant sexual acts.


This movie is so damn good that you likely didn't notice all of the holiday decorations throughout the film. Some of the funniest scenes involving Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes take place with ornaments and candy canes all around. But it is Colin Farrell's heart-breaking backstory that has Christmas trees in the background. A damn good movie and one that probably won't go over well with your grandparents if you throw it on on Christmas Eve.


Gremlins features a lot of snow, holiday music, and a chilling Santa Claus story, but the fact that this film was originally set to be released in December only to get bumped up to a summer tentpole release takes it out of contention to be viewed as a Christmas movie. Yeah and the PG-rated violence that borders on PG-13 helps, too.


Shane Black loves to set his movies during the Christmas season. KISS KISS BANG BANG, a cult favorite, does not directly involve the Yuletide but it does offer a wonderful chance to see Michelle Monaghan in a sexy Santa outfit. Yeah, that is all the Christmas I need to keep me warm. The rest of the time you can enjoy violence and great one-liners delivered by Val Kilmer and Robert Downey Jr.

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