Ten Awesome Holiday Action Movies (That Aren't 'Die Hard')

Lethal Weapon still, with Santa hat,
Warner Bros.

Is Die Exhausting a Christmas film? We don’t know. However let’s think for a second that it’s, and skip that drained debate. If Die Exhausting counts as a Christmas film simply because it’s set round Christmastime, then so does any film roughly positioned on the industry finish of the calendar.

That being the case, it’s time to retire your yippee-ki-yays and enlarge your vacation motion film playlist. All of those films are nice amusing—smartly, possibly now not “amusing” within the vacation merriment sense, however cast movies in their very own proper, whether or not or now not you care in regards to the Christmas attitude.

Deadly Weapon, 1987

As a movie sequence, Deadly Weapon has at all times performed 2nd mess around to Die Exhausting, however the unique access remains to be a minor vintage. The tale of police officers as opposed to drug sellers hits numerous the similar beats—police officers in LA, mental trauma, and naturally, Christmas— however it’s somewhat extra prepared to inspect its protagonists and allow them to do greater than shoot up numerous actual property. It additionally has a couple of authentic laughs in its script. Say what you are going to about their later paintings, however there was once by no means a greater good friend cop duo than Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, and that core dynamic is influencing motion films greater than 30 years later.

Deadly Weapon is rated R. It’s streaming on HBO Max.

RED, 2010

Perhaps Bruce Willis isn’t making an attempt as tough as an actor as he was once long ago in 1988. However the ensemble solid of RED, together with Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl City, and Mary Louise-Parker, is pulling further weight. When a retired CIA agent flirts together with his pension account supervisor, he unwittingly uncovers a conspiracy … which reasons him to kidnap her (in a really nice method). They beat a street commute across the nation to reunite his outdated secret agent friends and resolve issues. Is it Christmas-themed? Handiest in probably the most ancillary method imaginable. Is it amusing? Ho-ho-hell sure.

RED is rated PG-13. It’s streaming on Fubo and Showtime.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, 2005

One among my private favorites, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is the sleeper motion film that put Robert Downey Jr. again at the map as a number one guy. The tale has numerous parallels to Die Exhausting, too: New Yorker involves La Christmas, a lot of people get shot, et cetera. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang isn’t a lot of a spectacle subsequent to different films in this record, however the razor-sharp conversation between burglar-turned-actor Harry (Downey), hard-boiled and really homosexual detective Perry (Val Kilmer), and Midwest transplant Unity assists in keeping you coming again. The film may be a love letter to vintage detective noir, directed and written through Shane Black of Deadly Weapon popularity. He’s additionally were given an attachment to Christmas, so this isn’t the ultimate time he’ll seem in this record.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is rated R. It’s streaming on Hoopla, and to be had for hire all over the place else.

Eyes Large Close, 1999

This mystery is in fact the very ultimate film directed through Stanley Kubrick, of 2001, The Shining, and Dr. Strangelove popularity. Eyes Large Close is extra contemplative and sensual than any of the opposite films in this record—folks die, however no person will get shot—and its New York Town-at-Christmas environment is inconsequential. However seeing Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman at their A-list top, in a film fantastically built through a Hollywood grasp, is value no less than one viewing. Simply get ready to be disturbed on a extra elementary stage than any Nightmare Earlier than Christmas re-run—this film needed to be minimize down slightly a bit of simply to get its R ranking.

Eyes Large Close is rated R. It’s streaming on Hulu.

The Lengthy Kiss Goodnight, 1996

Hiya glance, any other “Christmas” film written through Shane Black! This one has so much in not unusual with The Bourne Identification and different secret agent thrillers, with the refreshing twist of Geena Davis as a feminine protagonist. When a automotive crash shatters her suburban myth lifestyles with recovered reminiscences of normal badassery, she takes to the air with non-public eye Samuel L. Jackson to find extra about her secret previous. The movie was once met with lukewarm evaluations again in 1996, however it’s recovered some since: Sam Jackson says it’s one in every of his favorites in his completely gigantic filmography.

The Lengthy Kiss Goodnight is rated R. It’s now not recently streaming on a subscription carrier, however it’s to be had for hire.

The Ice Harvest, 2005

An extraordinary and refreshing instance of Midwest noir, happening on a frigid Christmas eve night time in Kansas. Two thieves (John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton) simply completed the take in their lives, however their getaway is spoiled through frozen Wichita roads. What follows is a madcap get away round the city, operating into attention-grabbing characters together with strip membership proprietor Connie Nielsen and an amusingly under the influence of alcohol Oliver Platt. Now not a particularly memorable film by itself, I’m together with it on this record as a result of we want “Christmas” tales that aren’t set in New York or Los Angeles.

The Ice Harvest is rated R. It’s streaming on Peacock.

Iron Guy three, 2013

The one superhero film in this record is, in all probability unsurprisingly, a reunion between creator and director Shane Black (once more indulging in his love for the vacations) and Robert Downey “I’m Iron Guy” Jr. This 3rd access within the sequence is probably the most divisive: some enthusiasts of the comics don’t like how it treats vintage villain The Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), however I really like its twisty tale and exploration of Tony Stark’s post-Avengers stressful pressure. The finale is well probably the most attention-grabbing motion set piece of any of the solo Iron Guy films.

Iron Guy three is rated PG-13. It’s streaming on Disney+.

The Ultimate Boy Scout, 1991

This underrated motion film from ’91 hits the hat trick of this record: Bruce Willis starring (along Damon Wayans, but any other good friend cop non-public investigator), Shane Black writing, and a tale set in Los Angeles. Oh, and vaguely set at Christmastime, however that in point of fact doesn’t topic. The hook is attention-grabbing: a soccer participant will get a threatening name that claims he will have to win the sport or he’ll be murdered, resulting in a capturing on nationwide TV. However the meat of the film is pressure between the leads, who discover every others’ pasts as they examine a conspiracy entwining professional sports activities and executive officers. K, now not precisely merry, however the tempo is superb and the finale is natural Hollywood.

The Ultimate Boy Scout is rated R. It’s streaming on Hulu.

At the back of Enemy Strains, 2001

There are slightly a couple of unrelated films known as “At the back of Enemy Strains”—this one is from 2001, starring Owen Wilson in a temporary try to pivot to motion. An American fighter pilot is shot down over Bosnia, uncovering a localized genocide and getting shot down through rogue squaddies. On Christmas day, no much less. As soon as his co-pilot is killed, Wilson will have to make their method throughout freezing Eu forests full of enemies in an effort to get away and disclose the plot. The film is satisfactory if most commonly forgettable, except Gene Hackman taking part in his standard authority determine. Skip the sequels—they’re associated with the unique At the back of Enemy Strains in identify simplest.

At the back of Enemy Strains is rated PG-13, and it’s streaming on Starz and DirectTV.

In Bruges, 2008

It’s tough to make hitmen relatable, however in an excessively low-key and really Eu “Christmas” tale, Colin Farrell manages it. After successful is going fallacious, his Irish mob boss (Ralph Fiennes) tells him to put low in Bruges (roll credit!), Belgium, the place he and his acerbic spouse (Brendan Gleeson) take within the provincial points of interest whilst ruminating on his melancholy. In Bruges isn’t a lot of a Christmas film or a mobster film, however the small moments of personality in its brief runtime assist in making it memorable, and the gothic, tinsel-speckled surroundings is contemporary and fascinating.

In Bruges is rated R. It’s to be had for hire just about all over the place.


Notice that the streaming services and products indexed above are in accordance with america, and streaming being what it’s, they may alternate round in accordance with the time or the place you’re studying this. If you need one thing that’s somewhat deeper, extra definitively Christmas-themed, and far a lot more unhinged, take a look at Satisfied! on Netflix.

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