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Every year, it's the same. From Christmas Eve to New Year's Day, every festive film known to man is screened on our TV sets.

It's therefore understandable when you've seen Miracle on 34th Street for the gazillionth time, that you just want to scream and/or gouge your eyeballs out rather than watch it again.

So, we've compiled a list of the movies you should be watching this Yuletide. These are the action sports and outdoor adventure films that will make (as opposed to break) your day.

We promise, there's no singing in any of them.


Frozen may have been the most successful animated film of all time, but what are you doing watching cartoons anyway? Switch your eyeballs over to history's most legendary snowboarding film, The Art of Flight.

There is no singing or dancing snowmen or cryokinetic powers. But that's a good thing. It says a lot that the director of Frozen issued an apology for inflicting 'Let It Go' upon the world.

Instead you've got helicopters, avalanches, Alaska and Travis Rice sending it to the moon, for pete's sake.

Which should I watch? Art of Flight. The cold never bothered Travis Rice anyway.


Now, this is a tough one. The Great Escape is one of the greatest films of all time, and Steve McQueen is a legend among men.

But let's be honest, how many times has your dad made you watch it? Twelve times? 100? It tends to lose its suspense after that.

The Motorcycle Diaries, meanwhile, follows a 23-year-old Che Guevara as he sets off on an adventure around South America on a motorbike, while learning about the true poverty afflicting his continent. It received a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival. How many times have you watched it? Once, if that.

Which should I watch? The Motorcycle Diaries, but we'll allow you to whistle along to the theme of The Great Escape while you watch it.


You're probably thinking what does John Hughes' Christmas classic have to do with a real life story of a wandering hermit?

The answer: nothing. Well, apart from the fact that Kevin McCallister is abandoned in his own house at Christmas, and Christopher abandons himself in the Alaskan wilderness. Spurious connection, we know.

So, which should you watch? Well if you want to spend an hour-and-a-half watching a kid being stalked by two burglars and a creepy old man, then pick Home Alone.

However, if you want to watch something truly inspiring tale of a man learning to survive in the wilderness with nothing but himself and a rucksack, go for Into The Wild.

Which should I watch? Into The Wild, ya filthy animal!


Forget Bill Nighy prancing around in leather pants and every single woman under the sun going soppy when the dude pulls out those signs on Keira Knightley's doorstep.

If you're looking for a true love story, look no further than Horgasm. There is no greater amorous tale than that of a man and his... snowboard. Torstein Horgmo has all the love you will ever need, in the form of seriously stylish snowboarding.

Which should I watch? Horgasm, because sick snowboarders actually are all around...


Now, we don't want to point out the crudely obvious here, but there's a definite similarity between the '90s kids classic, Hook, and hiking disaster movie, 127 Hours. Apologies, terrible joke.

Which would you rather watch? Dustin Hoffman stealing someone else's children alongside some very weird acting from Julia Roberts dressed up as a fairy, or an epic true story about a hiker who has to overcome the impossible to save his own life? Toughie.

Which should I watch? It's gotta be 127 Hours, though credit has to be given to Robin Williams in that skateboarding scene


Both of these films are truly great - and are guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye of even the coldest human beings.

If you haven't yet seen The Crash Reel, it documents the life of pro snowboarder Kevin Pearce, who suffered a terrible crash in 2010 while training for the Winter Olympics that left him with life-altering brain damage.

It's A Wonderful Life - while brilliant - is in essence a big American schmoozefest about a dude who really doesn't like working in a bank.

If you want real life drama, the shocking reality of competitive snowboarding along with a heartwarming message about family and community, The Crash Reel has it by the bucket load.

Which should I watch? The Crash Reel, for sure. We ride for Kevin!


God, I hate Elf. Controversial, I know, but there's nothing more annoying than a fully-grown man pretending to be a lost elf. Just sayin'.

North of the Sun, meanwhile has everything you could possibly want about creatures hailing from the Arctic Circle. Surfing with icebergs, snowboarding on untouched cliffs, living for months in a shack made from driftwood and trash, a real adventure story. Not a Santa (or oversized elf) in sight.

Which should I watch? C'mon now..... North of the Sun.


It wouldn't be Christmas without Bing Crosby - what with all that snow, crooning and dancing with ladies with tiny waists.

But for orcas, there's no such thing as a white Christmas - as the documentary Blackfish goes to show. It shines a light on animal captivity in SeaWorld, the famed aquarium amusement park in America, and the cruelty these animals suffer causing them to lash out on their trainers.

It's a truly shocking look into why animals should not be kept in captivity. If White Christmas is a core warmer, Blackfish is definitely a core shaker.

Which should I watch? Blackfish. White Christmas isn't going to get you campaigning for the rights of cetaceans now, is it?


The oceans are not just full of man-eating beasts. But if it were up to Steven Spielberg, they would be. Jaws has afflicted generations with a crippling fear of sharks.

Epic surf film The Endless Summer, meanwhile, probably won't be showing on ITV this Christmas - but it's presents a very different look at the oceans. They're a place for exploration and adventure, where you can chase waves all year long.

Which should I watch? You won't regret to signing up for 95 minutes of Bruce Brown's commentary in The Endless Summer


Why are these two connected? Well, you've got to be a bit of a muppet to attempt to summit the Siula Grande in Peru.

Touching The Void is a truly incredible tale of two climbers' attempt to scale a treacherous Chilean peak when disaster strikes. The Muppet Christmas Carol is an adaptation of the Dickens novel featuring puppets and talking cabbages.

The choice is yours.

Which should I watch? If you're a bit of a Scrooge and can't bear Christmas cheer, Touching The Void is for you.