Offbeat Christmas flicks

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

One of the best nontraditional Christmas movies is 1988’s blockbuster action-thriller “Die Hard,” starring Bruce Willis as the tough-as-nails New York policeman John McClane who flies to L.A. to spend Christmas with his estranged wife and ends up saving the world from terrorists.

Tim Burton takes on the commercialism of Christmas in his 1992 “Batman Returns.” Christopher Walken is at his evil best as Max Shreck, “Gotham’s own Santa Claus,” a wealthy industrialist who is up to no good during the yuletide season.

Martin McDonagh’s darkly comedic 2008 noir “In Bruges” finds hit men Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson being sent to Belgium before Christmas by their manically charming boss ( Ralph Fiennes) after Farrell accidently kills a child.