Top 10 Christmas Movies for Adults

Christmas, the so-called most wonderful time of the year, is right around the corner. Shops are full of festive things, Christmas music is being played in public places, and the movie channels are suddenly playing Christmassy flicks around the clock.

But while some of us love nothing more than to go full-festive the second we’ve slipped off our Halloween costume, others would rather punch themselves in the face than deck their halls whilst watching Elf for the ten thousandth time.

Whether you’re a grown-ass adult who wants to get into the festive spirit without a low-key revelation that Santa Claus is real, or an absolute Grinch who enjoys their Christmas movies with a side of death and destruction, our list of Christmas movies for adults will have something for you.

10. Black Christmas

‘I’d like to bury the hatchet with my sister… right in her head.’

In at 10 we’ve got the 2006 remake of 1970’s horror, Black Christmas. Black Christmas is a little different from your usual holiday viewing, being a typical teenage stalk-and-slash flick about a group of sorority sisters who are murdered by one of their house’s former inhabitants during a blizzard. The murderer on the lose is Billy Lenz, who escapes from the mental asylum where he ended up as a child after murdering his horrible mother, her boyfriend and violently attacking his sister… who is also his daughter. Lovely festive viewing that has everything you love about Christmas – incest, inbreeding, blood, guts and teenagers who simply refuse to stick together and find safety when there’s a murderer on the loose.

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9. Love Actually

‘Fuck wank bugger shitting arse head and hole!’

In at nine, we have a little love – a collection of intertwining love stories that as teen I saw at the cinema four times (not quite my record, I saw Pirates of the Caribbean no less than the five times it deserved). The film explores ten romantic (and often complicated) tales that somehow all tie together, all occurring during the festive period. It will make you laugh, cry, blush and wish you were married to Liam Neeson in equal measure.

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8. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

‘I shot Santa in the face! He’s real! And I shot him in the face!’

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is the third movie in franchise, boasting two features the previous two did not: Christmas and 3D. Six years after the original (and three after their Guantanamo Bay adventure), stoner buddies Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree. As they try to replace it, they get up to all sorts. A special shoutout to Neil Patrick Harris, who plays a straight womanising version of himself with hilarious consequences.

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7. Scrooged

‘I’m sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.’

Imagine a version of A Christmas Carol that was funnier, scarier and starred the legendary Billy Murray – boom, meet Scrooged. Bill plays a selfish, cynical T.V. executive who is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. I watched (and loved) this movie as a kid, but it terrified me, and looking back now, I was a little too young to get some of the PG-13 jokes. Now we’re all grown-ass adults, we can watch and enjoy every part of it. It still kinda scares me though…

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6. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

‘Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?’

If there’s one thing I love, it’s the National Lampoon vacation movies, and the Christmas one is no exception. In this movie, the Griswold family’s plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster, with all of the usual humour and quotable lines you’d expect. Watch it and find a new level of appreciation for your family, safe in the knowledge you Christmas won’t go as terrible as the Griswold one.

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5. Turbulence

‘That’s it. I’m never flying this airline again!’

In at five is a flick that is seriously underrated for its festive properties – Turbulence. Turbulence is an alternative Christmas tale that is, you’ve guessed it, set on an airplane. Sometimes you want the festive the cheer, the snow, the turkey, the pretty lights and Santa Claus during the holidays, but other times you want criminals let lose on a plane, hostages, murder and a young, sexy Ray Liotta. Packed full of action, suspense and twists that will leave you in knots until New Year’s Eve – at the least.

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4. Gremlins

‘Now I have another reason to hate Christmas.’

In at four we have Gremlins (and Gremlins 2 if you have the time, because I cannot watch one without the other). The terrifying yet hilarious tale tells the story of a young man who gets a strange pet for Christmas. When he inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet, he unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town. Whether we’re cooing at Gizmo or laughing at what the actually quite terrifying Gremlins get up to, this movie is a Christmas staple in our house. And definitely not for kids.

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3. Bad Santa

‘Santa likes to fuck fat chicks in the ass.’

A movie about Santa Claus that is definitely not for kids… Bad Santa follows the life of Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) who, along with his dwarf friend, Marcus, poses as Santa every year so that they can rob apartment stores. Willie is not your typical happy Santa, with a love for the holidays and spreading cheer to the children, oh no. Willie is a waster, obsessed with the three Bs – booze, bullshit and a third one that I’ll leave to the imagination. When Willie meets a strange boy who lives with his strange grandma, he tells him that he is the real Santa so that he can stay at his house. An absolutely hilarious festive must-watch.

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2. It’s a Wonderful Life

‘What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.’

In at two, we’ve got a true classic for you, the oldest flick on our list, It’s A Wonderful Life (1939). It’s not only a wonderful Christmas film – by most it’s considered one of the greatest films ever made. A man is on the brink of ending his own life, causing an intervention by his guardian angel. It’s a tale that has been borrowed by so many TV shows, from Rugrats to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and while suicide isn’t exactly one of your usual festive themes, it’s a movie that warms my cold, cold heart each year.

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1. Die Hard

‘Yippie-ki-yay, motherfucker.’

And finally, at number one, we have Die Hard (and Die Hard 2, because good things come in pairs). John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. The movie is every inch the eighties action flick you’d imagine it to be, with cheesy, quotable lines, and a whole lot of action. It’s also wonderfully festive and features a young Bruce Willis running around in a vest, being hard – which is exactly what I ask Santa for each year.

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