Top 5 Christmas Action Movies

Photo Credit: Warner Bros., Dimension Films, Buena Vista Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox
December 26th, 2013

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Top 5 Christmas Action Movies

In the holiday season, what says "Merry Christmas" better than flying bombs, rattling guns, and crazy chase scenes? This year, check out these top five Christmas action movies to get your blood pumping before you settle down to the usual prosaic celebrations with your friends and loved ones.


Top Christmas Action Movie #5: Ben Affleck took to the big screen in 2000 to show that "Reindeer Games" can be far more involved than a bunch of frolicking animals carrying a tubby old man on a Christmas journey. Affleck's character, Rudy, who is about to be released from jail,  impulsively takes on the identity of his just-slain cellmate and meets up with the man's female penpal, played by screen darling Charlize Theron. This is just the first twist and deception of many in the "Reindeer Games," which also features gun-toting Santas and Gary Sinise in a rare bad-guy role. People who think that their own families are convoluted and complicated need only view this film to be reminded of just how normal they are.


Top Christmas Action Movie #4: "Batman Returns" demonstrated that not even Bruce Wayne can orchestrate a flawless Christmas. Tim Burton, whose neo-classic "Nightmare Before Christmas" was released one year later, directed an all-star cast in a film that many fans consider to be among the best major motion picture Batman depictions. Its roll call of famous actors is a veritable early nineties who's who, which includes Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken. The audience also gets a few tips on how to combat their nearest and dearest using holiday decorations as the reminds one and all that the favored plant of the holiday season—mistletoe—is just as deadly as they come.


Top Christmas Action Movie #3: Everyone can sympathize with how hard it can be to buy Christmas presents. Long lines at the store, grouchy fellow patrons, and checkout clerks who take the Grinch as a role model all conspire to make life harder. But for Will Smith in 1998's "Enemy of the State," a simple Christmas shopping trip leads to his entire life crumbling before his eyes. Smith's character, Robert Dean, must figure out why he is suddenly the target of the NSA, an agency whose role in this film is far more menacing than its real-life phone-tapping and text-watching. He teams up with a retired NSA agent and the duo race to stay ahead of the agency and its efforts to trap Dean and wreck his life. Can Dean figure it all out in time to reunite with his wife before Christmas?


Top Christmas Action Movie #2: Danny Glover and Mel Gibson may not be the best of friends, may not be the LAPD's first choice for poster-boy police officers, and may not be the most loveable men in history. They are, however, hilarious, and this duo carried four "Lethal Weapon" titles to box office greatness. The original "Lethal Weapon" reminds the audience that even when everything is going wrong, a quick change in circumstance can turn everything around and lead to a peaceful, if unexpected, Christmas celebration. Along the way, the audience is treated to a plethora of blow-'em-up action sequences that became the hallmark of the entire "Lethal Weapon" franchise.


Top Christmas Action Movie #1: "Die Hard" is the quintessential Christmas action movie. If you poll almost any group of action movie enthusiasts or movie reviewers about their top five favorites, this title invariably lands in the top spot: and why wouldn't it? Hero John McClane, played by perennial favorite Bruce Willis, is on scene and ready to ensure that the bad guys are going to have to go through him to fulfil their goals. When  the volatile NYPD officer's wife is taken hostage during a Christmas party in LA, the proverbial hits the fan. Villain Hans Gruber, played spookily well by Alan Rickman, runs into far more resistance than he expects as McClane manages to alert the LAPD and singlehandedly disable the majority of Gruber's nefarious plans. McClane rules the day, shuts down Gruber's threat, is reunited with his wife, and rides off in a limo at the end: who but Bruce Willis could carry that off?

Whichever action film from this list you choose to enjoy during the holiday season, you'll be in good company. Each of these films has experienced as much, if not more, popularity in the years since their theatrical releases as they did while on the big screen.