Thanksgiving is over, the last of the leftovers have been consumed, Black Friday has come and gone, and it’s just about time to start cueing up the Christmas movies. And, y’know, there’s something to be said for spinning the annual favorites — your Christmas Vacations, your Christmas Storys, your Wonderful Lifes, your Die Hards. But if you’re in the mood for something a little off-the-beaten-path (and don’t mind streaming somewhere other than Netflix), here are a few less predictable Christmas flicks.
Perpetually underrated director Doug Liman made this stop on his way from the low-budget Swingers to the franchise launching Bourne Identity, helming a gleefully energetic action/comedy with three interlocking stories. It was unfairly dismissed at the time as a Pulp Fiction rip-off, and while screenwriter John August undoubtedly mainlined a bit of Tarantino somewhere along the way, he and Liman’s picture has a comic ingenuity and spirit all its own. And while its Christmas setting is mostly casual background (such as the “Mary Christmas” rave where its stories intersect), it does offer up a shirtless Timothy Olyphant in a Santa hat, if you go for that sorta thing. (via Amazon Instant Video)