Perfect Film For The First Trump Christmas? Batman Returns

It’s beginning to look a lot like a Christmas movie, but it isn’t one.

Here are some of the best seasonally appropriate flicks that don’t hit you over the head with jingle bells and tinsel. Don’t get upset when you don’t see “Rent,” “Love, Actually” and “Die Hard” on the list — they’ve ascended from Christmas-adjacent to True Christmas over time.

Diane Keaton and Al Pacino buy presents n 'The Godfather,

Diane Keaton and Al Pacino buy presents n 'The Godfather," just before everything utterly falls apart.

(Paramount Pictures)

The Godfather (1972)

If you like a helping of murder with your Christmas ham, “The Godfather” is the film for you. There’s just enough Christmas, family, and church to make it the perfect incidental Christmas flick, with a side dish of betrayal and death. Fun fact: It was originally meant to be released on Christmas, but production was delayed.

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For a more romantic Italian Christmas alternative, you can watch “Moonstruck,” which was released on Christmas of 1987, but only features a few Christmas paraphernelia in the background.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Nearly every Harry Potter movie has a big Christmas scene, but the first one is a beautiful display of magic and Christmas. Harry receives his first presents ever in “Sorcerer’s Stone” and it’s heartwarming and enchanting. It was also directed by Christopher Columbus, who really loves Christmas, if “Home Alone,” “Rent,” and “Step Mom” are any evidence.

It usually airs as a part of Freeform’s 25 Days of Christmas movies, but — grab your wand — it’s been left out this year.

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�Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

If Christmas isn’t about fighting the bad guys, I don’t know what is.

(©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection/©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett C)

Lethal Weapon (1987)

“Lethal Weapon” gets shafted as the greatest action Christmas movie because everyone fights for “Die Hard,” but “Lethal Weapon” did the Christmas action movie thing a year earlier. The movie ends with Riggs spending Christmas with the Murtaughs at the end. What’s more festive than overcoming an explosive partnership by bonding over beating the bad guys?

MIchelle Monaghan in “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” gave us a sexy and deadly Santa’s helper.

MIchelle Monaghan in “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” gave us a sexy and deadly Santa’s helper.


Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

Directed by Shane Black — who also directed both Christmas-adjacent movies “Iron Man 3” and “Lethal Weapon” — “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is the film noir Christmas crime movie you need to balance out the happy happy joy joy films you’re used to. Plus there’s Michelle Monaghan wearing a sexy Santa outfit with a gun.

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Joy to the world, Batman will come.

Joy to the world, Batman will come.

(Warner Bros.)

Batman Returns (1992)

Of course a movie whose main villain is a penguin takes place in winter. Christmas isn’t central to the “Batman Returns” plot, but it is the backdrop to the opening sequence. And who could forget Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman seducing Batman under the miseltoe?

“Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it.” “Hmm, but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it.”

Trading Places (1983)

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This “Prince and the Pauper” tale of Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy switching places takes place around Christmas and features Dan Aykroyd spending a portion of the film as a drug-peddling, gun-toting, very dirty Santa.

Keep your kids far, far away from this one.

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

“Edward Scissorhands” might be a True Christmas movie, if not for the Goth fantasy element. It was released at Christmas time and features Edward trimming trees and dicing ice sculptures, but the essence of the story isn’t about Christmas. It’s a dark romantic fantasy about self-discovery and being an outcast, with little shavings of Christmas snow thrown in.

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Gremlin bells, Gremlin bells, Gremlins all the way.

Gremlin bells, Gremlin bells, Gremlins all the way.

(Warner Bros.)

Gremlins (1984)

“Gremlins” toys the line between Incidental Christmas and True Christmas. It was released in June of 1984, but the plot kicks off with Randall looking for a Christmas present. Replace Christmas with birthday and not much changes. Without Christmas, however, Kate doesn’t reveal her dad got stuck in their chimney playing Santa and there’s no cute Gremlins in Santa hats, but at least poor Barney the dog wouldn’t be tangled up in those Christmas lights.

Mean Girls (2004)

“Mean Girls” goes through a school year, so of course Christmas happens, but Lindsay Lohan makes it a memorable one — and deserving on the Incidental list. Lindsay Lohan’s Cady saves the Winter Talent Show when the the old boombox goes out and she has to save the Plastics’ “Jingle Bell Rock” routine by singing the song herself.

Fans of “Mean Girls” have been perfecting the routine for years.

I bet Gwyneth Paltrow would put Tony Stark’s giant stuffed bunny on her Goop Christmas gift guide.

I bet Gwyneth Paltrow would put Tony Stark’s giant stuffed bunny on her Goop Christmas gift guide.


Iron Man 3 (2013)

“Iron Man 3” is basically “A Christmas Carol” with superheroes and an arc reactor. At Christmas, Tony Stark faces off with his past, his present and his future as Iron Man. There’s also a J.A.R.V.I.S. Christmas stocking.

You could decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments of all 47 Iron Man suits.

Serendipity (2001)

Winter is an important season in “Serendipity,” but Christmas isn’t essential to the plot as the characters reconnect years after first meeting. But what’s more in tune with the Christmas spirit, than the magic of love and very specific cosmic timing? That’s Christmas in a nutshell.

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