Christmas. Love it or hate it, it’s that time of the year where everything comes together in weird and hopefully fun ways. Presents and beliefs aside, it’s also a fun time to catch up on some classic Christmas movies … except for the fact that most of them suck. So to ensure a positive Christmas entertainment experience, here’s a couple of recommended movies to help you pass the time before the big day.

Die Hard & Die Hard 2

Let’s get the most obvious one out there first. I’d probably get a lot of flack if I didn’t include Die Hard, but I’m also including its rather entertaining and equally as Christmas based sequel too. Both original Die Hard films had memorable moments, plenty of action and a Bruce Willis at the peak of his powers. Thankfully, whatever references to the holiday season were also kept to a minimum, so you can enjoy a little joy without feeling sick from over exposure.

Lethal Weapon

Writer/Director Shane Black is well known for his love of the Christmas holidays, given the many movies he’s either written or directed that are set around this time of the year. There’s another movie on this list of his that I’ll get to shortly, but the one that put him on the map and (for me) is as solid and entertaining a flick as Die Hard itself, is the original and still very engaging Gibson/Glover combo.

Gremlins

A monster mash at Christmas time is the perfect antidote to all that cheery, lovey stuff, wouldn’t you say? Just be careful where you leave the water for Rudolph and co., you wouldn’t want the little furball falling into it.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Now I know what you’re thinking, “but Mark, there’s only one Star Wars Christmas we should be talking about. Blasphemy!” Fortunately for every Star Wars fan, The Force Awakens kinda helps to take away that sour flavour from our collective mouths, thanks in part to being released near the silly season last year AND having snow become a dominant player in its third act. I’ll take that as a win, I don’t care what you say. Of course, in just a handful of days we may be updating this list with an entirely new Star Wars film instead…

Iron Man 3

I told you Shane Black would be on this list again, but this time I’m going with a rather unlikely pick, and yet entirely relevant to the current Hollywood landscape. The superhero genre doesn’t have much to go on at this time of the year, but Iron Man 3 comes damn close thanks to its Christmas setting. Plus, anything involving RDJ should help alleviate all that tension. It’s also an underrated gem within the MCU, if you’re not a die hard comic book reader that is.

Toy Story

Buzz and Woody have had plenty of adventure, even a Christmas themed one, but to avoid too much of the holidays permeating everything we ever touch, I suggest adding Toy Story to your list. Though it may not hold up as well as its two sequels compared to Pixar’s more recent efforts, this animated classic is still highly entertaining and damn funny … and leaves its Christmas references to the last few scenes, so it most definitely counts.

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