Naughty Or Nice: Holiday Film List
I stopped giving a damn about Christmas years ago - at least in the traditional sense - preferring to spend the holiday season giving to others where I can and trying to avoid the inevitable barrage potlucks and office parties that flood my inbox each holiday season. Santa skipped my house enough times in life - because as my mother explained, “Santa doesn’t come to Oakland” - for me to realize the holiday season isn’t always kind to everyone.
By adulthood some of us wish Santa really did exist, so we can shove some of these bills and student loan payments his way. Tuh. But whether you consider yourself Scrooge McDuck or are bursting with holiday cheer, when it comes to Christmas films there’s literally something for everyone...even those who don’t give a damn about the holiday at all.
And so we present our official “Naughty or Nice: Holiday Film List” that absolutely no one asked for. You’re welcome.
14. Naughty - Gremlins (1984)
It’s the classic tale of a father trying to give his son a great Christmas. Instead he buys a ‘Mogwai’ inside of a shop in Chinatown from a reluctant shopkeeper that warns him not to expose it to light, water or feed after midnight. Just what a growing boy needs right?
By Christmas Eve the town is overrun by gremlins. Merry Christmas!
13. Nice - Trading Places (1983)
Before Coming to America, Eddie Murphy and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Dan Aykroyd were trading places - as Murphy is literally taken from the street and into a brokerage firm where he soars. Along the way both learn lessons in humility, and more importantly we get to see a drunken Aykroyd crash a company Christmas party. Fun times.
12. Nice - A Christmas Story (1983)
“You’ll shoot your eye out.” While most parents aren’t rushing out to get their kids toy BB guns anymore, at least not in this political climate, we can still watch Ralphie’s dreams come true in this classic tale about a boy, Santa and his gun.
11. Naughty - Batman Returns (1992)
From Christian Slater’s Dark Knight to George Clooney’s rubber nipples - shudders - Batman has gone through some changes man. In the early-90s Michael Keaton was still the man behind the bat, reprising the role just in time to save Christmas. At least that’s how I remember it.
10. Nice - Edward Scissorhands (1990)
What’s not to love? It’s the timeless tale of two star-crossed lovers, one just happens to have scissors where his hands should be. Now that’s love.
9. Nice - This Christmas (2007)
Listening to The Temptations version of Silent Night and Mariah Carey each year is great, don’t get me wrong, but this movie gave us the greatest gift of all, Chris Brown’s rendition of “This Christmas.”
Joy to the damn world.
8. Naughty - Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Too dark for kids? Not in a Disney universe that killed Mufasa and Bambi’s mother without a care in the damn world. The film follows Jack Skellington, King of the Pumpkins, who leaves his own world in order to save the world from the consumerism that’s consumed Christmas.
Just kidding. He kidnaps Santa Claus and takes shit over. We stan a king.
7. Naughty - Bad Santa (2003)
What do you get when you mix Bernie Mac, a murderous elf and a drunken, suicidal Santa played by Billy Bob Thornton? Greatness damnit. You get holiday greatness. There’s also a lesson to be learned about punching the shit out of bullies. Yep.
6. Naughty - Elf (2003)
Put Will Ferrell’s jersey in the rafters, he’s earned it. An elf wanders into New York City and chaos ensues, only he could walk into a Hollywood studio and pitch some shit like that - then make a blockbuster smash. *beats chest* Thank you.
5. Nice - Friday After Next (2002)
I’m not going to lie, most of us just wanted Smokey (Chris Tucker) back. Instead, Ice Cube delivered a heartwarming yet cautionary sequel about the power of family and why even Santa can get his ass kicked. This is one for the family.
4. Nice - Home Alone (1990)
This is for every kid that every tried to recreate a rig their own trap around the house...and got slapped in the process. It’s the classic story of an upper-crust family (Seriously, what did their father do for a living?) that somehow manages to pack every bag and family member except little Kevin. And miraculously CPS was never called. A true Christmas miracle.
3. Nice - It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s hard not to like a film when it’s been playing every single Christmas for over 70 years. How’s that for longevity? Every year I tune in and watch George struggle to find purpose in his life and forget the lesson by New Year. As a bonus, every time you watch it, an angel gets their wings.
2. Nice - How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
This film has been remade so many times we just flipped a coin and gave it to Jim Carrey. Easily.
1. Naughty - Die Hard (1988)
It’s the tale of an American hero, forced to save Christmas with nothing more than a walkie talkie and a little help from Carl Winslow. Starring Bruce “Make Christmas Bleed Again” Willis. It’s the R-rated film that Christmas deserves.