I know you've probably had this argument before, but Die Hard, opens a new window is most definitely a Christmas movie. Why limit yourself to the schmaltz that passes for Christmas films each year, and broaden your knowledge of this sub-genre by watching a holiday film with some ridiculous action, dark humor, or marital discord.
So by now we have agreed that Die Hard is simply an action film set during the holidays, but Lethal Weapon takes this idea to a whole different level. The film begins with Mel Gibson, opens a new window's character contemplating suicide while watching Bugs Bunny's Christmas Carol, drug dealers are running a Christmas tree lot, and the villain ruins Danny's Glover, opens a new window's family's Christmas display by running his car through it. The screenwriter Shane Black, opens a new window is notorious for setting his films during the holidays and his other credits include Iron Man 3, opens a new window, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, opens a new window, and the Long Kiss Goodnight, opens a new window all of which contain acknowledgements of the Christmas season. The Lethal Weapon series stands as the pinnacle of the 1980's and early 90's absurd Hollywood action films with one of the genre's masters, Richard Donner, opens a new window, at the helm.
This unique and dark blend of horror and comedy shocked audience members who brought their children to what they thought was going to be a relatively cute PG rated movie, but instead they saw a film where the cuddly goes quickly out the window once the Gremlins begin to run amok. The film also contains a small narrative about a character's father who died on Christmas Eve while trying to come down the chimney as Santa Claus. Not only is the film set during Christmas, which is why the famous Mogwai creature is purchased, but the film also references other famous holiday films such as It's a Wonderful Life, opens a new window.
So the action genre may not be your thing, but Stanley Kubrick, opens a new window's last film before passing away in 1999 has managed to stand the test of time as an erotic thriller that is more cerebral and haunting than suspenseful. This stunning and dream-like film is set during the holidays and instead of coming together as a family, husband and wife William Harford (Tom Cruise, opens a new window) and Alice Harford (Nicole Kidman, opens a new window) are falling apart. After Alice reveals a secret desire for a sailor she met while on a family vacation, a shocked William leaves for the night and begins a late night odyssey through New York City that leads him to a possible homicide. When the film arrived in theaters in July of 1999, it was sadly neglected and misunderstood, but with time it's stature has only grown as layers of this film continued to be peeled away by viewers.
Remember in the mid to late 90's when nearly every indie film seemed to be ripping off Pulp Fiction. Sure it inspired a series of trite and sophomoric examples, but a couple have so far managed to stand the test of time like Thing to Do in Denver When You are Dead, opens a new window, and this little gem called Go. Directed by Doug Liman, opens a new window, who also had a classic film in the 1990's with Swingers, opens a new window, Go tells the story of three different people who work at the same grocery store in Los Angeles and the 24 hours before Christmas as they find themselves in all sorts of predicaments. The film focuses on three different stories with one involving a character named Roona (Sarah Polley, opens a new window), who becomes an impromptu drug dealer after taking a shift for her British co-worker Simon. In the other story, Simon escapes to Las Vegas with his two friends and a stolen credit card, and the final story involves two soap opera actors played by Jay Mohr, opens a new window and Scott Wolf, opens a new window, who are busted for narcotics possession and must set up a sting operation to complete their plea deal. As the stories converge the tension and dark humor accelerates in a film that stands as probably the best example of the Pulp Fiction rip-offs from the 90's.