Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

KPBS Midday Edition

Yes, 'Die Hard' is a Christmas movie

Bruce Willis is the classic Christmas action film "Die Hard" (1988).
20th Century Fox
Bruce Willis in the classic Christmas action film "Die Hard" (1988).

Holiday film fare tends toward the sentimental. And many viewers seek out that kind of emotional charge this time of year. But some prefer the charge of, say, a well-placed block of C-4.

"Die Hard" takes place at Christmastime. The holiday plays a key role in the plot. There are Christmas decorations, a Christmas tree and Christmas music. According to Cinema Junkie and KPBS arts reporter Beth Accomando, these elements qualify "Die Hard" as a Christmas movie. But, she said, many other action movies qualify, too.

Compiling a list of the top 12 (for the 12 Days of Christmas) has been a yearly bonding project between Beth and her son, Tony. They have a tradition of watching the top two movies on their list every Christmas. The list changes every year, as they tweak their criteria and add new releases.


Beth joined Midday Edition Thursday to talk (and sing) about what makes a solid holiday action movie, and what films made her and her son's list this year.

Beth and Tony's 2022 top 12 Christmas action movies

1. "Die Hard"

2. "Lethal Weapon"

3. "The Long Kiss Goodnight"

4. "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

5. "Violent Night"

6. "Fat Man"

7. "Riders of Justice"

8. "Dark Angel" (aka "I Come in Peace")

9. "Gremlins"

10. "Rocky IV"

11. "Filth"

12. "A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas"