For some, the best part of Christmas season is flipping through channels and stumbling upon a Christmas classic like It’s A Wonderful Life or Home Alone. But maybe Christmas movies aren’t your style. Perhaps your friends made you watch Love Actually one too many times.
That’s okay. We’re here to help. TIME has gathered together a list of movies that take place during the holidays but don’t peddle cheesy Christmas morals. So the next time your family calls you a Scrooge for vetoing the Charlie Brown Christmas Special when you’re home for the holidays, you can suggest one of these films as a compromise. Happy holidays!
Write to Eliana Dockterman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eyes Wide Shut
Ah, Christmas in Gotham, where ornaments (and sometimes even Christmas trees) are used as weapons in the war against bad guys like the Penguin and Catwoman. With Michael Keaton as a frontrunner in this year’s Oscar race for his performance as a washed-up actor who once played the superhero Birdman, it might be the right time to revisit Keaton’s origins as Batman.
The Thin Man
For those still looking for the perfect Christmas gift for their loved ones, steer clear of fuzzy creatures called Mogwai. (Hint: That’s Cantonese for monsters.) Gremlins delights in skewering the tropes of Christmas time as the Mogwai-turned-Gremlins wreak havoc. One character even tells a story of how her dad got stuck in a chimney and died after dressing up as Santa.
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Can a revenge comedy be filled with Christmas cheer? When the men getting punished are two Scrooge-like bigots, then yes it can! This Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd movie also features one of the best Christmas movie images ever: Aykroyd stuffing an entire salmon down the front of his dirty Santa suit.
The Harry Potter Films
Yes, there’s only about one Christmas scene per Harry Potter movie, but there’s something delightfully charming about watching British children celebrate Christmas in a snow-covered castle. And don’t forget that in the first movie Harry Potter receives the best Christmas present in the history of Christmas presents: the invisibility cloak.