Christmas is a holiday for the whole family. It’s a time to get together with your family members, revel in each others’ company, and try to get your nephew to pay attention to anything other than his Nintendo Switch. Yes, it can be challenging to find Christmas-related activities to keep the whole family occupied. Of course, singing Christmas carols is always a crowd favorite. And it wouldn’t be Christmas without eating cookies until you feel sick. However, once the kids have all gone to bed and the adults have had too much egg nog, turn on one of these 5 R-rated Christmas movies and give yourself some time to digest that Christmas casserole.
There were a whole lot of options to choose from when it came to distilling down a list of the best 5 R-rated Christmas movies. In fact, Christmas movies have been around for more than a century. The first-ever time that Santa Klaus ever appeared on the big screen was in an 1898 British silent film titled Santa Klaus. Only a few years after that, the first-ever film adaption of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol was created with the 1901 film Scrooge, or Marley’s Ghost.
From there, the list of Christmas films has grown extensively. And, today, there are Christmas movies that range from kid-friendly to downright raunchy. In this article, we’re going to focus on the latter. These are the 5 best R-rated Christmas movies to watch once the kids go to bed.
1. Bad Santa
It would simply be impossible to write an article about R-rated Christmas movies without mentioning this 2003 Terry Zwigoff-directed black comedy. This film plays on a well-known trope: the alcoholic shopping mall Santa Klaus. It stars Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, a sex-addicted alcoholic who gets a job as Santa Klaus every Christmas Eve so that he can rob the shopping mall. However, things take a strange turn when Willie is followed by a naive, overweight young boy who believes that Willie is the real Santa Klaus.
While Bad Santa didn’t receive a ton of critical praise, it definitely made some waves in the press. I guess a lot of people were pissed off that Miramax Films would trash the good name of Santa Klaus. Personally, though, I think this film is amazing and the perfect film to watch after some Christmas cocktails. Bill Bob Thornton’s character is constantly wasted off of Old Grand-Dad rye whiskey. Lauren Graham plays a kind-hearted bachelorette with a Santa fetish. And Bernie Mac appears as a deadpan villain capable of smoking a full cigarette in a single drag. The whole movie is hilariously weird and dark and completely worth a watch.
2. The Nice Guys
Often lauded as possibly the best buddy cop film of all time, The Nice Guys should also be considered a great addition to the Christmas genre. This 2016 Shane Black-directed film stars Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling and features some great performances from Angourie Rice, Margaret Qualley, and Matt Bomer. Overall, this film is full of twists and turns, hilarious moments, and some great performances from some of our generation’s best actors.
Ryan Gosling stars as Holland March, a scummy private investigator who extorts money from old ladies with no intention of ever solving the mysteries they pay him to investigate. Russell Crowe appears as Jackson Healy, a mild-tempered enforcer who intimidates and beats people up for a living. When the two of them find that they have a common goal, locating a girl named Amelia, they join forces and embark on an amusing adventure through Los Angeles. While this movie doesn’t center on the Christmas holiday, it does take place around the end of December and there are Christmas trees and other decorations throughout the entire movie.
3. The Night Before
Once you learn that The Night Before is a Christmas movie starring Seth Rogen, you pretty much know exactly what you’re going to get. Still, this 2015 flick is still definitely worth a watch sometime this holiday season. Rogen stars in this film alongside Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as three friends that reunite every Christmas Eve to search for the most epic Christmas party in New York City.
As you can imagine, this film gets pretty raunchy and is completely hilarious throughout its 101-minute duration. At one point, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character is given a smorgasbord of illegal drugs by a pregnant woman. Another time, supporting actor Michael Shannon’s character is revealed to be an angel and sprouts wings. This film mixes elements of comedy, fantasy, and adventure and is unique and funny the whole way through.
4. Silent Night
Now, I’m not going to claim that Silent Night is one of the best Christmas movies of all time. However, if you’re looking for an apocalyptic comedy horror with a not-so-subtle message about the dangers of climate change, then Silent Night is the movie you should be watching this Christmas. As ridiculous as that may sound, this film is actually very suspenseful, funny, and relatable. In fact, much of the comedy in this film stems from the awkwardness of trying to converse with people that we only see once a year, which is something most of us can relate to.
This 2021 film stars Keira Knightley, Lily-Rose Depp, and Matthew Goode and is set at a posh English estate. Everything is going as planned until they discover that a toxic cloud is sweeping toward the planet Earth and is going to kill them all. As the group tries to carry out their Christmas festivities despite their impending doom, their true personalities, fears, and regrets come to light. In all honesty, this isn’t the best Christmas movie out there. However, if you’re someone who enjoys movies that make you wonder what the hell the director was thinking, you’ll probably enjoy Silent Night.
5. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
The second Shane Black-directed film to make this list, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a neo-noir black comedy crime drama that takes place during the holiday season. The 2005 film stars Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, and Michelle Monaghan. The film begins with Downey Jr.’s character winning a screen test in New York City by showing remorse for a botched burglary that he’d actually committed. Mistaking genuine remorse for method acting, the director sends him to another screen test in Los Angeles. The movie gets even more ridiculous from there.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is full of surprises and hilariously complex characters. This film is just one more testament to Shane Black’s ability to craft a fantastic storyline and cast the right actors to execute it. Like some of the other movies on this list, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang isn’t all about Christmas; however, it does take place during the holiday season and there are plenty of festive decorations used in the set.