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The Top10 Best Christmas Action Movies You Must Watch!

It’s that time of year again when the age-old question of whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie comes up again. Well, we’re here to confirm that it is, and we’re also here to tell you that it belongs to a special subgenre of Christmas action movies.

These are movies that take place in or around December and are full of action and thrills. We’ve put together a list of the ten best Christmas action movies in honor of the upcoming holiday, and yes, Shane Black gets a lot of love here.

Die Hard

I mean, come on, it’s in the main picture, it’s the reason this list was made, and it’s a masterpiece. People can argue all they want that it shouldn’t be a Christmas movie because it’s more about the action than anything else, but they should look at some of the most important parts of the movie and its story to see the truth.


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John McClane is at the Nakatomi Plaza building to try to get back together with his wife Holly. It’s also Christmas Eve, and Holly’s company is throwing a party to celebrate the holiday. Hans Gruber’s gang of thieves breaks up the party, though.

From Christmas decorations in some of the movie’s settings to John putting a dead bad guy in a Santa hat and threatening the rest of the gang with “Ho-Ho-Ho,” it’s hard to deny that this movie has a lot to do with Christmas.

Lethal Weapon

Shane Black’s first movie script, which he wrote in 1987, set some standards for all of the movies he would write or direct in the years to come. First, there will be a lot of dark comedy and banter between a pair of people who don’t seem to go together. Second, the action will be fast and exciting.

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Third, the story will probably take place around Christmas, and Lethal Weapon may be one of his best movies and one of the most Christmassy.


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From holiday decorations on homes and businesses in the Los Angeles area to a gunfight in a Christmas tree lot, it uses the time of year in a way that makes sense and doesn’t get old.

Batman Returns

Tim Burton, who is known for his love of the macabre, has also used the holiday season in several of his movies. The most popular and exciting of these is Batman Returns, which stars Michael Keaton. In Burton and Keaton’s first movie together, Gotham did look pretty cold, but when it started snowing, the city took on a more gothic and interesting look.


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It also made way for some exciting set pieces, like a parade in which Danny DeVito’s Penguin sends an army of bomb-armed penguins to destroy the city.

The Long Kiss Goodnight

Well, that didn’t take long, but we’re already back in Shane Black’s library to talk about his underrated cult classic The Long Kiss Goodnight, which stars Geena Davis as a schoolteacher who can’t remember her past as an ass-kicking assassin.

It’s an underrated holiday gem because both the past and present parts of the story take place around Christmas. For example, another Christmas parade is used for a terrorist-level attack, and there’s a lot of exciting action and great acting from Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. But don’t just take our word for it, take Jackson’s.


Following in the footsteps of Burton’s Batman sequel and Black’s Iron Man 3—which was my favorite of the Robert Downey Jr.-led trilogy but just missed making this list—David F. Sandberg’s first superhero movie not only reintroduced audiences to Shazam! but also made good use of the holiday set to bring out its main themes and messages and provide some fun set pieces and jokes, most notably the local winter carnival.

Die Hard 2

Even though it’s not my favorite Die Hard sequel, Die Hard 2: Die, Harder, which came out in 1990, is a great Christmas-themed action movie. John’s relationship with his wife is better than in the first movie, but on Christmas Eve, as he waits for Holly to arrive at the Washington Dulles International Airport, which has just been taken over by terrorists, John finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time again.

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With more dialogue and jokes about the holidays and a lot more decorations, it may not have changed the Die Hard series, but it is a very entertaining Christmas action movie.

The Last Boy Scout

Even more, than the movie that came after it, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Shane Black’s buddy action comedy The Last Boy Scout didn’t get much attention from critics or audiences when it came out, but it has since gained a cult following and is his most underrated work.


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The film is about alcoholic P.I. Joe Hallenbeck and disgraced football star Jimmy Dix working together to solve the murder of Dix’s girlfriend and how it’s connected to sports betting conspiracy. It’s the least Christmas-y of the three, but it does make a few references to the holiday, most notably with a drawing from Joe’s daughter of a satanic Santa Claus. With its exciting action and hilarious comedy, it’s a great movie to watch


We’ve seen everything from happy Saint Nicks in Elf to almost depressing mall Santas in Bad Santa, but Mel Gibson’s gun-toting Nick in the Nelms brothers’ Fatman was one of the most unique and exciting characters we’ve seen in recent years.


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Even though Walton Goggins’ Skinny Man may take a while to get to the Santa action it teases, it has a good amount of thrills and some great offbeat humor to keep things interesting until the wild and brutal showdown between the two.

Enemy of the State

In The Last Boy Scout, Tony Scott briefly showed how the holidays feel from behind the camera. In Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, he had another chance to make the action feel like the holidays. Even though this episode isn’t nearly as focused on the season as some of the others on this list, it does help move the story along. Smith’s character, Bobby Dean, is out shopping for lingerie for his wife when he runs into his college friend Daniel Zavitz, who is on the run from corrupt government agents because he has proof that they killed someone.

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The plot moves forward after the evidence is left on Dean, who doesn’t know about it. Thanks to stylish direction from Scott, strong performances from Smith and Hackman, and lots of exciting action, it’s a great action ride for the holidays.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

We didn’t start this list with Shane Black, but we’ll end it with his first movie as a director, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is funny, interesting, and great. Robert Downey Jr. plays a thief from New York who accidentally wins a screen test and goes to Hollywood to train with a P.I. for his role, only to get caught up in a hardboiled murder mystery.


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Starting with RDJ’s Harry robbing a toy store to get a specific item for his niece and continuing through multiple holiday parties and half-hearted wishes of “Merry Christmas, sorry I f***ed you over,” it’s not just a great movie to watch any time of year; it’s also a great movie to watch in December and one of Black’s best ways to use the holiday season.

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