We’re inching ever closer to Christmas, can you feel it? Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking at some of the many Christmas films. Week one it was holiday animated classics and last week it was romances. This week, it’s action films. There are a plethora of good options, but below are six that fit the bill.
So, without further ado, here’s your Christmas Action films!
Reindeer Games (2000)
About: Affleck has made a few Christmas movies and at some point you have to believe he’ll make a good one. Of his current titles, this is the best. Affleck stars as a prisoner whose cellmate died before they were released. Affleck impersonates his cellmate to enjoy a reunion with his pen pal, Ashley (Charlize Theron), and finds more than he bargained for as he’s roped into a robbery attempt. Things go off the rails. The robbery takes place in Santa suits, on Christmas. This has a good cast, and a couple incredible lines. It’s not very Christmasy I guess, but it’s a decent action flick.
Batman Returns (1992)
About: This was the second film in the Batman franchise from director Tim Burton, and features Michael Keaton—the best to wear the cape and cowl—as Batman. This one takes place at the Christmas season, and that fact is a prominent part of the plot. Danny DeVito is solid as The Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer works well as Catwoman. We also get a pretty fun performance from Christopher Walken. This one isn’t as good as the first Burton Batman, but it’s still a lot of fun.
About: Zachary Levi plays the titular hero here in one of the most light-hearted films from DC in recent years. This one also takes place at Christmas and focuses on an orphan whose selfless nature earns him a big time role, but it’s not until he learns to embrace the concept of family that he really starts to soar. I love Levi, and have since his Chuck days, so I was a natural target for this film. Like others, the Christmas connection her is a little tenuous, but it’s there and this movie is a lot of fun. It’s also one that works for the family.
Shane Black Collection
Lethal Weapon (1987)
About: Shane Black as a screenwriter has a penchant for writing hard boiled L.A. crime stories set at and around Christmas. That kicked off with Lethal Weapon, the buddy cop franchise starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover. It’s easy to forget, but the first of these films is set at Christmastime in the city. The introduction to Gibson’s character even comes at a Christmas tree lot. This one is a pretty good action film and kick-starts a cop franchise that I quite enjoy.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
About: Years later, Black was back at it with the tale of a small time criminal (Robert Downey, Jr.) who gets cast in a film and comes to L.A. at Christmas. He gets paired with a private detective (Val Kilmer) to learn the trade and ends up getting roped into a murder mystery, all the while trying to help his childhood crush (Michelle Monaghan) figure out what happened to her sister. This one has a lot of humor and a lot of good action. Downey and Kilmer are magic together, and that really makes this one hum. It’s an overlooked gem for a lot of reasons.
Die Hard (1988)
About: Yes, this is a Christmas movie. Yes, this is one of the greatest Christmas movies. It features a Christmas party on Christmas Eve with a New York detective (Bruce Willis) invited to L.A. to try and reunite with his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) at her company Christmas party. When terrorists seize the party, everyman John McClane becomes the one fly in the ointment capable of saving lives. This one features the great Alan Rickman in the lead villain role, and he’s incredible. This is one of my favorite films of all time, and a great Christmas tradition. Yippee Ki Yay!
Matthew Fox is a graduate of the Radio, Television and Film program at Biola University, and a giant nerd. He spends his free time watching movies, TV, and obsessing about football. You can find him @knighthawk7734 on Twitter and as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a proud member of the Drive-In Podcast Network.