We all know the holly jolly classics of yuletide movie canon: Rudolph, the Grinch, and even more recent additions like Elf.


But in recent years some less obviously contenders have been gunning for the title of “Christmas movie,” and the debate over what does and does not qualify has been getting as heated as a yule log. Time to examine some of the most controversial would-be Winter classics.





The king of the Christmas conundrums and the one has inspired the most passionate debate, John McClane’s shoeless showdown, while not exactly festive, does technically take place on Christmas Eve.


The running, gunning, and general grit may drive away Christmas purists, but each December the Die Hard diehards say “Yippee Ki Yay, Kris Kringle!”


Still not convinced? Maybe the re-cut Christmas-themed Die Hard trailer will have you singing a different carol. Check it out by clicking “Trailer” here.


The Nightmare Before Christmas



Ghouls, ghosts, and goblins galore don’t exactly scream December 25th, but how can a movie with Santa, elves, reindeer, and a sleigh NOT be a Christmas movie?


Torn between two seemingly opposite holidays, Jack Skellington and company prove that you don’t have to pick just one; blending our favorite festivities can produce a magical movie greater than the sum of its parts.





An ensemble romcom that just so happens to take place around the holidays? The all-time most romantic (at least by the numbers) Christmas movie?


Love Actually actually defies classification, perfect to get you in the post-Thanksgiving holiday spirit or as a sickly-sweet treat year-round. The cult classic’s best (and worst) storylines is a whole different debate…





Hang a left at Bad Santa, drive on past A Nightmare Before Christmas, and if you hit Krampus you may have gone too far (at least for some Christmas movie fans).


The terrifying tale of the kruel and kreepy Kristmas demon may not be traditional holiday fare, but for horror fans and those seeking something different it’s the perfect spice in the cider of feel-good family films.





The caped crusader may not be the mysterious do-gooder we’re accustomed to seeing this time of year, but in between battling The Penguin and Catwoman, Batman does manage to squeeze some festive fisticuffs into this comic book classic.


It may not end with a turkey dinner or a rousing round of carols, but Batman Returns is just Christmas-y enough to get even the most Scrooge-like fan in the spirit.







When setting traps and concealing identities is your job, knowing who to trust can get more than a little complicated. A simple extraction goes every which way but right in the CIA thriller Body of Lies.



Sell out or cash out? A jaded country star takes the third option, going for a quick walk that turns into a prolonged absence. What he finds along the way is Pure Country.



Convincing yourself that you’ve turned over a new leaf is hard enough; getting your old crew to let you walk away may require some extreme measures. No one said escaping A History of Violence would be easy.




Whether about peace, love, or philosophy, the subjects of these documentaries all have something to tell us.



More than 13 million American children are bullied each year, and 5 of them are finally having their stories told. Shunned, assaulted, institutionalized, and deceased, the kids profiled in Bully are the faces of an epidemic



Before the legalization of interracial marriage, Mildred and Richard Loving took their relationship from the jailhouse to the courthouse to the highest authority in the land for the chance to be together. The Loving Story is their story.



There’s no other city like New York City, and there’s no NYC tour guide quite like Timothy “Speed” Levitch. Armed with an encyclopedic knowledge of his hometown and countless existential musings, Speed makes sure The Cruise is an unforgettable ride.


Don’t know what to watch for movie night? We’ve got mysteries, histories, award-winners and more in our full free collection here.




4K, HD




4K UHD is the next big thing in movies, offering cutting-edge, hyper-realistic levels of clarity, color, and sound that surpass every previous home-viewing experience (for the full details on what makes 4K UHD so amazing, check out this post).


4K technology is relatively new, so your current devices may not be capable of 4K UHD playback, but that doesn’t mean your movie collection can’t keep up with the times.



Starting now, when you purchase a movie on Vudu you’ll have the option to purchase the 4K UHD version even if your device isn’t 4K UHD compatible.


The 4K UHD purchase includes all other formats of the film, so you can watch the standard or HDX version of your movie now and have the 4K UHD version ready when you decide to upgrade to a newer device.


Re-buying movies for better quality is a drag, so this holiday give your future self the present of top-quality movies that are ready to go.






Hellish hotels, scary symbiotes, and spooky sorcerers. Who says December can’t be devious?



A priest, a singer, a salesman, and a drifter all walk into a hotel… and none of them is exactly who they say they are. It’s no joke; it’s Bad Times at the El Royale, the twisty and twisted noir thriller from the maker of The Cabin in the Woods.





One part alien invader, one part Tom Hardy as a hard-boiled reporter. Shake well and stand back as Venom, two anti-heroes in one, goes on a crime-fighting, crime-committing, chaos-creating spree that Spider-Man will be glad he doesn’t have to clean up.



Speaking of chaos, there’s going to be a whole lot of it if Lewis Barnavelt and his wacky warlock uncle can’t figure out what’s going on with The House With a Clock in Its Walls.


Director Eli Roth and composer Nathan Barr were especially inspired to bring the classic children’s tale to life, which they’ll tell you more about in the video above.



This mommy blogger’s got more than mashed peas and crepe paper crafts on the brain.


There’s a missing person case to solve, and as the clues add up and the details unravel, solving it may be more than just A Simple Favor.


Missed out on some major movies this year? Want to stock up entertainment for holiday guests? Vudu’s End of Year Sale is the best and brightest time to stock up on star-studded movies, bundles, and TV seasons.








Just in time for the holidays, The Predator has arrived: big, bad, and ready to rent in up to 4K + UHD. Enjoying the explosive action and cutting edge effects of the series’ high-tech upgrade is its own reward, but since its the season of giving and all, we thought we might throw in a little something extra.


Through some high-stakes science fiction subterfuge, we’ve gotten our hands on 5 real-life props used in the making of The Predator, each with a certificate of authenticity.


Every day from today 12/18 through 12/22, we’ll be randomly selecting one The Predator renter to take home one of these ultra-rare pieces of movie magic.


With a separate drawing each day, the odds have never been better for nabbing a grand prize, and all you have to do to enter is rent and enjoy the latest pulse-pounding, human hunting entry in one of the sci-fi’s all-time greatest franchises.


One of these authentic, movie-making Predator props could be yours:

– Quinn McKenna’s Tactical Backpack 12/18

– Will Traeger’s Tactical Backpack 12/19

– Quinn McKenna’s G-Shock Watch 12/20

– Baxley’s Watch 12/21

– Agent Church’s Watch 12/22



Rent, watch, and with a little luck you may just claim a one-of-a-kind trophy to prove your Predator superfandom. Full rules and details here.