the 2018 holiday movie guide, or what to see on christmas when your dad isn’t into nerd stuff


Once again, the December multiplexes promise to be a (in some cases) literal ocean of superheroes and Transformers this year, but your Dad is. NOT. INTO IT. Moreover, he did not care for the movie you all picked last year, so he’s feeling extra wary of your tricky, secret nerd suggestions. Everyone else enjoyed The Disaster Artist, Dad! Maybe YOU’RE the weird one!


To be fair, my Dad has already definitively picked the movie we’re all going to see: Holmes & Watson, starring Mssrs. Ferrell and C. Reilly. And, like, fine? I’m a supportive partner, so I’ve given my boyfriend an out. (“Tell them your sister’s in town!”). But I’m a Herd through and through, so dammit if I won’t be at that Regal 24 on December 25 alongside the rest of my people.

In last year’s movie guide, I ended up being wrong on many counts. Mainly that your Dad didn’t even want to see Jumanji, but also that Jumanji was pretty gosh darn delightful. But I’m still going to give it a shot this year. It’s too late for me, but perhaps you can be saved from the threat of some Victorian Step Brothers-like shenanigans.

If your Dad similarly isn’t up to Spider-Verse or Mary Poppins with you this year, here are my recommendations. As with last year, I’ve picked three choices: the Best Bet, the Eh… Okay Bet, and, in honor of the 2016 film Why Him?, the Most Likely to Feature Some Kind of Animal Urine Bet. Godspeed.

Cue up “Eye of the Tiger,” please.



Hell yeah! Adam McKay’s follow-up to The Big Short, with this cast? AWESOME.

Your Dad still doesn’t trust you after The Disaster Artist debacle of 2017, but man, I still think we might be able to pull Vice off. Your Dad definitely liked The Big Short, and has admitted to being curious about Vice. Alas, though: in your Dad’s eyes, this just doesn’t count as “a Christmas movie.” And he has strong opinions on the topic. Just listen to him argue with your younger brother about Die Hard.



Welcome to Marwen

I’m worried that I’m being kind of a dick with the “Eh…. Okay” label on this one. That’s one hell of a cast and crew this movie’s got. Your Dad likes Steve Carell and he loves Forrest Gump, so Welcome to Marwen feels like a good deal, right? Your Dad’s a weirdo, though, and he might also think that this “isn’t a Christmas movie.” What does your Dad consider a Christmas movie? I mean, you all saw Concussion together a few years ago. Pick a lane, Dad!

Try reminding your Dad that this tale is based on a true story to see if that ups the potential heartwarming appeal!

Whatever you do, don’t look in the comments section for this trailer. Yikes.



Holmes & Watson

Here’s the thing. I’m no Will Ferrell snob. I’ll sit down and watch Blades of Glory with you right now, if you want. I think Will Ferrell is brilliant. I love John C. Reilly, too! Hell, I convinced the family to see Walk Hard as the 2007 Christmas movie, because the family that sees full frontal male nudity on Christmas together stays together!

[The nerd doth protest too much.]

But I believe that most of us can degree that the trajectory from Talladega Nights to Step Brothers is a downhill one, yeah? If someone doesn’t end up covered in some manner of Victorian bodily fluid in this thing, I’ll eat my old-timey hat.

So, good luck, Team! I hope these suggestions are useful to you. If you’re an avid reader of this blog (I love you, by the way), you’ll know that my Dad took me– a 29-year-old– to see Sesame Street Live! last month. So, despite curating this list, I’m intending to just smile and nod at whichever movie my Dad ends up suggesting. Because, duh. This is about togetherness and free popcorn refills, always. I’m an adult, and I can go see the rest of these movies whenever I want. But it’s really only once a year that I see a movie with my family. So, my secondary gift to everyone will to not be a dick, and to keep an open mind and open heart about (sigh) Holmes & Watson. 

It’s not like Aquaman’s going anywhere, you know?

Happy movie going! May the Force Be With You!





Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

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