Balance out the family fun with some with some adults-only Christmas cheer

By Lydia Price
Updated December 23, 2020 09:33 AM
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It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but the pressure to fill the holidays with good, clean family fun can get exhausting.

To reward yourself for enduring weeks of sappy commercials, kid-friendly re-runs, sanctimonious specials and the general rose-colored glasses mentality of the season, curl up with a bottle of wine (or several) and revel in these films that aren’t afraid to take on the holiday spirit from an adult point of view:

Bad Santa, 2003

The Billy Bob Thornton-led dark comedy about a scammer posing as a mall Santa is the perfect refresher when your cynical side is fed up with artificial holiday cheer. A predilection for rude humor is a must. After you’ve enjoyed Willie’s first adventure, you can head to the theater and check out the newly released sequel.

Black Christmas, 1974

Missing Halloween? Relive the gory days with this still-seasonally appropriate slasher flick. The dread-fueling horror classic follows a group of sorority girls who become victims of grisly murders over Christmas break after receiving a series of disturbing phone calls. The original has a special place in our black hearts, but there is a 2006 remake if you need even more Christmas carnage.

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, 2011

Everyone’s favorite stoner besties (John Cho and Kal Penn) attempt to mitigate holiday disaster in their third big screen adventure, in which they are reunited after years of estrangement. It’s filled with all the outrageous, irreverent humor we’ve come to expect from the duo, plus a side of touching friendship moments.

Gremlins, 1984

Gleefully watch as a horde of little monsters wreck havoc on an idyllic small town at Christmas time. Gremlins subverts the holiday clichés you’re tired of watching on repeat every year, and includes possibly the most upsetting “how I learned that Santa isn’t real” story of all time.

The Night Before, 2015

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie star as a trio of lifelong friends seeking an epic final night of debauchery before committing to grown-up holiday traditions. Hilarious cameos by everyone from Miley Cyrus to Ilana Glazer will keep you on your toes during the shenanigans.

Die Hard, 1988

John McLane’s (Bruce Willis) heroism in the face of a terrorist threat takes place on Christmas Eve, and therefore — despite what the naysayers would have you believe — Die Hard is a Christmas movie. And one that requires yearly viewing at that.

Office Christmas Party, 2016

A slew of comic powerhouses including Kate McKinnon, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman join forces to tell the story of a more-naughty-than-nice quest to throw an unforgettable workplace bash in order to impress a potentially job-saving client.

Trading Places, 1983

It’s Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd, and a holiday-time switcheroo that’s definitely worth putting the kids to bed early for.

A Bad Moms Christmas, 2017

Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell reprise their roles as a rebellious trio of moms, with Susan Sarandon, Christine Baranski and Cheryl Hines joining them in the boisterous sequel.