When it comes to unconventional holiday stories, I believe we have one man to thank: Charles Dickens. We're so numb to the traditional charms and affirmations of A Christmas Carol that we don't realize how bizarre it really is. Visions of death and despair figure more prominently than sugar plums and reindeer hooves -- I mean, the Grim Reaper shows up! Surely that helped pave the way for violent Christmas stories like these. I doubt many of you will find these selections that unconventional (Die Hard is a Christmas staple in many a household) but they certainly don't star Jimmy Stewart or Charlie Brown.

1. L.A. Confidential

"You're like Santa Claus with that list, Bud, except everyone on it's been naughty. " This is a Christmas staple in our house. Technically, only the beginning of the film is set at Christmas, but the entire plot hinges on that fateful holiday. If Bud White had never stopped to buy some booze for the station's Christmas party, he and Ed Exley would have never cracked the case, plain and simple. This is a great film to watch all year round, but you really need to squeeze in a viewing between Miracle on 34th Street and It's a Wonderful Life. (And Bud's smackdown on that abusive husband? Sexier than The Holiday.)

2. The Long Kiss Goodnight

Christmas and Shane Black go together like holly and ivy. I think Long Kiss is particularly suited to the holidays, because sandwiched in between all the guns, knives, explosions, and Samuel L. Jackson expletives is the most traditional Christmas theme of all. That ruthless assassin Charlie Baltimore tries to pretend her daughter and her fiancee were nothing more than a cover to her -- but then she catches a glimpse of her family through the scope of her rifle and realizes what they mean to her. Cue the jingle bells and bring out the hanky!
categories Cinematical