10 Christmas action movies to stream this holiday season

Posted: 15 December 2021 12:42 pm
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Like your holidays with a side of fictional bloodshed? You're in the right place.

When you think Christmas movies you tend to picture beautiful winter landscapes, family-friendly storylines and cheesy rom-coms. More often than not, holiday movies are feel-good and heartfelt. If you're into action, you drew the short stick – at least as far as festive titles go.

Yet, dig a little and you can put together a decent marathon. From the epic Die Hard to lesser known films like Fatman or movies that barely touch on the holiday (they count!), we've gathered 10 of the best Christmas action movies currently available to stream.

Expect gratuitous violence, explosive shoot-outs and cool one-liners. Yippee-ki-yay!

1. Die Hard


Year: 1988
Cast: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson, Alan Rickman

Die Hard is a Christmas staple (whether you think it's a Christmas movie or not). So you've probably seen it more than once. But if you're somehow not familiar with NYPD officer John McClane, you need to fix that ASAP.

The plot centres on McClane, portrayed by Bruce Willis, who is stuck in a Los Angeles skyscraper during a terrorist takeover on Christmas Eve. He proceeds to heroically fight the bad guys led by German radical Hans Gruber, memorably played by Alan Rickman.

The movie is a sight for action-starved eyes. The sequel, Die Hard 2, is set on Christmas Eve as well, this time at an airport.

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2. Reindeer Games


Year: 2000
Cast: Ben Affleck, Gary Sinise, Charlize Theron, Dennis Farina, James Frain

When Rudy gets out of prison, he assumes his dead cellmate's identity to hang out with a girl he met through pen pal letters.

His plan initially works. However, the girl's brother then forces him to assist with a robbery, and Rudy has to use all his wits to make it out of the scheme alive. Fun fact: The gang robs a casino wearing Santa Claus suits.

While the plot is... a lot, Reindeer Games is an excellent choice to stream around the holidays. Buckle up for a wild ride as the twists keep coming.

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  • Watch Reindeer Games on Stan

3. Iron Man 3


Year: 2013
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall

Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe had the holiday treat that is Hawkeye it delivered a small dose of Christmas spirit via Iron Man 3.

Set after the events of The Avengers, the movie sees Tony Stark struggling with anxiety attacks and insomnia. When a new enemy wreaks havoc to his world, he has only his ingenuity to rely on to come back on top.

The movie could take place basically any time of the year, but it's set around Christmas. Plus, it follows Tony's struggles to become a better version of himself, a sentiment that perfectly embodies what the holiday is all about.

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4. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York


Year: 1992
Cast: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O'Hara

This movie is technically a family comedy. Yet the sheer violence of the confrontation between Kevin and the bandits qualifies it for a spot on the list.

After young Kevin McCallister mistakenly boards the wrong plane, he finds himself in New York, while the rest of his family flies to Florida. Alone in the city, he cons his way into a swanky hotel and enjoys everything New York has to offer. When he runs into the 2 robbers from the first Home Alone, Kevin needs to seriously step up his game.

Home Alone 2 is bloody, hilarious and heartfelt. That's pretty much all you need to know.

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5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang


Year: 2005
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen

A quirky black comedy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is set in Los Angeles. It might not feature snow, but it has festive lights, decorations and deadpan holiday cheer.

The story follows a crook who is mistaken for an actor and sent to Hollywood. Once there, he stumbles into a criminal conspiracy while shadowing a private detective.

The movie is violent and clever, with top-notch performances and a witty script. It's also convoluted. You won't mind one bit.

  • Watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang on Netflix
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6. Batman Returns


Year: 1992
Cast: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Gotham at Christmastime? Yes, please!

Directed by Tim Burton and a sequel to the 1989 film Batman, the movie sees the caped crusader face the Penguin, who teams up with a wicked businessman to wreak havoc in the city. Meanwhile, Catwoman makes a memorable appearance and sparks fly between her and Gotham's vigilante protector.

The characters may not be particularly cheerful, but the gritty city is brimming with Christmas spirit. While Batman Returns is worth watching for the visuals alone, it's also an iconic superhero movie. Genre fan or not, there's plenty here to love.

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  • Watch Batman Returns on Stan

7. Fatman


Year: 2020
Cast: Mel Gibson, Walton Goggins, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Chance Hurstfield

A dark action comedy, Fatman centres on Santa Claus, who is forced into a partnership with the US military to save his business. At the same time, he has to confront a skilled assassin hired by a kid keen on revenge.

Weird? Sure! But if you found that description intriguing, there's a good chance Fatman will be right up your alley. The movie offers a ludicrous twist on the classic Santa legend, dry humour, blood and bullets. It's well-worth a watch.

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8. The Last Boy Scout


Year: 1991
Cast: Bruce Willis, Damon Wayans, Chelsea Field, Noble Willingham

The Last Boy Scout is a buddy cop action-comedy which greatly benefits from the banter between the 2 leads, Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans. Granted, this movie has minimum ties to Christmas, only featuring a couple of remarks about "Satan Claus". Still, when you run out of festive action flicks, it will do just fine.

The story revolves around a private investigator protecting a pole dancer. When she's murdered, he teams up with her boyfriend to go after the killers. The Last Boy Scout packs both violence and laughs. Fun!

  • Watch The Last Boy Scout on Netflix
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9. Behind Enemy Lines


Year: 2001
Cast: Owen Wilson, Gene Hackman, Gabriel Macht, Charles Malik Whitfield

Do you prefer war films? Turns out, you can find one set around Christmas.

Behind Enemy Lines stars Owen Wilson as an American naval flight officer who is shot down in enemy territory on Christmas Day and struggles to survive. While he makes a devastating discovery, his commanding officer plans a daring rescue mission.

With striking visuals and heart-thumping sequences, the movie will keep you glued to the screen.

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10. Rocky IV


Year: 1985
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers

During an exhibition match, Rocky's friend Apollo Creed is beaten to death by a Russian newcomer. Despite his plan to retire, Rocky wants to avenge Creed, so he flies to Russia to train for a Christmas Day fight. He's going to be in for a gruesome match.

Rocky IV delivers gruelling training montages culminating in an epic fight. It's over-the-top at times, but that doesn't make it any less entertaining. Quite the opposite.

  • Watch Rocky IV on Stan

Didn't love our picks? Check out the latest releases on every service here. Or, we have a great list of Christmas movies for every mood.

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