Each movie listed includes: 

(1) Title (2) Rating (3) Genres (4) Starring (5) Synopsis (6) My Personal Review (7) Scoring 1-5

 

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Abominable Christmas

Rated: NR

Genres: Animated, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Ariel Winter, Drake Bell, Emilio Estevez, Jane Lynch, Matthew Lillard, and Ray Liotta

Synopsis: Despite repeated warnings about humans from their father, the Abominable Snowman, two Abominable Snowkids find themselves in a sleepy Colorado mountain town after being chased out of their hideaway by a scientist determined to capture them.

Review:  I really enjoyed this movie.  It is one of those that appeals to children as well as adults.  The story keeps moving, the characters and plot are interesting, and it has a great message about family being the most important part of Christmas.

Scoring: 3

An Accidental Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Cynthia Gibb and David Millbern

Synopsis: Parents are tricked into spending Christmas together by their children. The children spend the vacation trying to get the parents back together. 

Review:  While it’s not unusual to have a story about children trying to get their parents back together, this is done with a different feel. It’s a fairly accurate look at what many couples and families go through. Despite the theme it’s still not very deep or dark. It’s an easy watch. 

Scoring: 3

 

 

Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Drama, Musical

Starring: Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, Kevin Nealon, Jon Lovitz, and Tyra Banks

Synopsis: Davey Stone, an alcoholic with a criminal record, is sentenced to community service under the supervision of an elderly referee. Davey is then faced with trying to reform and abandon his bad habits.

Review: This is mainly focused on Hanukkah, as indicated by the title. It’s definitely not a movie for young children. Tweens may love the potty humor. I found it to be okay but for me it’s just a one and done.

Scoring: 2

All About Christmas Eve

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Haylie Duff, Chris Carmack, Connie Sellecca, and Patrick Muldoon

Synopsis: Evelyn’s future depends on whether or not she makes a flight to Los Angeles. She lives out both futures in parallel. In one she plans a huge Christmas event, and in the other she becomes an artist.

Review:  This is the Christmas version of Sliding Doors. It’s interesting to see how different and yet similar the paths are that Evelyn takes in each future and how she handles them. I found myself not sure of which path I was rooting for. It kept me interested and paying attention. Either way, I was rooting for her to find her happy ending.

Scoring: 4

 

All I Want For Christmas (1991)
Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Ethan Embry, Thora Birch, Kevin Nealon, Andrea Martin, Lauren Bacall, and Leslie Nielson
Synopsis: A brother and sister attempt to bring their divorced parents back together for Christmas.
Review:  This movie seems to be geared more towards children. I was bored and forced myself to sit through it. It’s a lesser version of The Parent Trap. 
Scoring: 1
All I Want For Christmas (2007)
Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Gail O’Grady, Greg Germann, Robert Mailhouse, and Robert Pine
Synopsis: Anxious to help his struggling, widowed mom Sara, 10 year old Jessie enters a national video contest. But Jessie's winning entry, "All I Want for Christmas is a Husband for my Mom," has unforeseen consequences as Sara is vaulted into the national spotlight and dazzled into accepting a proposal from a wealthy man she may not love.

Review: Like most Christmas movies, we know how this movie will end. This movie, however, offers a few twists and turns. The characters are mostly relatable and I appreciate how it includes the role of community in the family and vice versa.  Charming in its simplicity.

 Scoring: 3

 

All I Want For Christmas (2013)
Rated: PG

Genre: Comedy, Family

Starring: Melissa Sagemiller, Brad Rowe, and Tom Arnold

Synopsis: An attractive young woman unexpectedly meets Santa's helper who grants her an extraordinary Christmas wish with a pin that allows her to hear the thoughts of others.

Review: Very cheesy movie but a good message. It feels like it is quite slow and goes back and forth between silly and serious. It was okay but I wouldn’t watch it again.

Scoring:

 

All I Want For Christmas Is You

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family

Starring: Mariah Carey, Henry Winkler, and Lacey Chabert

Synopsis: The film centers on young Mariah, a little girl who dreams of getting a dog for Christmas year after year. This Christmas her dream is fueled after seeing a puppy named Princess at the local pet store. To see if she's ready for the responsibility, Mariah is tasked with dog-sitting her uncle's crazy canine Jack, who upends the family's holiday preparations with his various shenanigans.

 Review:  It’s a cute animated film for children and Mariah fans. I found Mariah’s presence distracting in what was otherwise a typically adorable story.

Scoring: 3

 

All She Wants for Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Monica Keena, Steve Bacic, Ali Liebert, and Nelson Wong
Synopsis: Noelle has finished her MBA and is working one last season at the ornament company in her hometown. She quickly finds out they are preparing to close the company and it’s up to her to find a solution. Meanwhile, the new stock boy, Justin, that she’s fallen for, turns out to be one of the people making the decision regarding the store and is working undercover.
Review:   I love this movie. It has heart and humor and such wonderful characters. It’s great seeing a woman who is so strong and smart. A yearly must-see for me.
Scoring: 5 
Almost Christmas 
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Omar Epps, Danny Glover, Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, J.B. Smoove, John Michael Higgins, Nicole Ari Parker, and Gladys Knight
Synopsis: Walter Meyer is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life almost a year ago. For the holidays, he invites his now grown children and their families to his house (where they all grew up) for a traditional celebration. Walter soon realizes that if his bickering children and the rest of the family can spend five days together under the same roof, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.
Review:  This family is hysterical. At the same time, they hold a mirror up to every family. We see the issues that separate us and bring us together all while keeping us laughing. 
Scoring: 4 

Always and Forever Christmas

Rated: G

Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Lexi Lawson and Mark Ghanimé

Synopsis: When a marketing executive learns that she's inherited her grandfather's year-round Christmas store, she makes a trip back home to support the store during its final Christmas season before she sells it to a hip athletic leisurewear company.

Review: This is a very sweet and light-hearted movie.  It mixes in a few fun characters, an amazing small town, lots of Christmas tradition, and some subtle Christmas magic.  It doesn’t have a lot of surprises and is a little sappy at times but it’s really enjoyable.  I wasn’t completely happy with the ending but I’ll watch again.

Scoring: 3

An American Girl Story: Maryellen 1955

Rated: TV-Y

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Mary McCormack

Synopsis: Maryellen discovers that the best gift is thinking of others first and is determined to make the holiday special for those who need it most.

Review: Full disclosure, I’ve never seen anything American Girl before. I did like this film. It’s very wholesome and full of positive messages about giving and treating the disabled with dignity. This would be a wonderful movie for families to watch together and talk about.

Scoring: 3

Angel In The Family

Rated: G

Genre: Drama

Starring: Meredith Baxter, Ronny Cox, Natasha Greyson Wagner, and Tess Harper

Synopsis: An ailing widowed father and his two estranged daughters experience a miracle when their late matriarch returns to spend Christmas with them.

Review:  This movie could’ve been done better as it needs more light moments, but it’s a fantasy many people have. What if I could have my loved one back long enough to resolve issues and say things left unsaid. It’s done delicately as the family back story slowly reveals itself. 

Scoring: 3 

 

Angel of Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Jennifer Finnigan, Jonathan Scarfe, Holly Robinson Peete,  and Tahmoh Penikett
Synopsis: While researching the angel that was handmade and passed down to her for a newspaper story, the angel seems to be guiding her. She meets Brady, falls in love, and they discover they have a very interesting connection. 
Review:  I love the magic of the angel and the idea that she guides them. We get to share their experience as they learn the history of the family angel. The movie is endearing and has a terrific ending.
Scoring: 3

The Angel Of Pennsylvania Avenue

Rated: PG

Genre: Drama

Starring: Diana Scarwid and Robert Urich  

Synopsis: When an unemployed Detroit man is arrested for a crime he didn't commit, his three children are determined to get him out of jail in time for Christmas and they decide to enlist the help of "the most powerful man in the world" - President Hoover. En route to the White House, they meet an array of colorful characters.

Review:  I liked the historical aspects of the movie but it had too many points where it was very slow. The kids have some interesting adventures on their way to the White House that may appeal to younger viewers. For me it was just okay.

Scoring: 2

 

Angela’s Christmas

Rated: TV-G

Genres: Animation, Family, Religion

Starring: Anya O’Connor

Synopsis: Set in Ireland in the 1910s, 'Angela's Christmas' is a funny, heart-warming and poignant story about the power of family and the innocent desire of a child to ensure everyone is safe, warm and loved at Christmas time. A trip to church with her family on Christmas Eve gives young Angela an extraordinary idea.

Review: What a sweet story.  I won’t give any spoilers so it makes being specific difficult. Just know I felt the magic and beauty of the story.

Scoring: 4

Angels and Ornaments
Rated: G

Genres: Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig, Sergio Di Zio, and Graham Abbey
Synopsis: Corrine, an aspiring singer, works at her friend Dave’s music store. With the help of sheet music written by her grandfather, who died during WWII, and an ornament he gave her grandmother, Corrine figures out a secret about a new coworker.
Review:   It’s a very sweet story, if a little slow at times. The main characters have an innocence that makes me want to root for their happy ending. 

Scoring:

 

Angels In The Snow
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion
Starring: Kristy Swanson, Chris Potter, Colin Lawrence, and Catherine Lough Haggquist
Synopsis: When nothing short of a miracle can hold a deteriorating family together, a Christmas getaway sets the stage for a miracle to occur in the form of a stranded family. A heartwarming family story of love, loss and rediscovery.
Review:  Make sure to have your tissues ready for this one. A family that has lost their way is shown the way back by another family. It’s very poignant.  The ending will be a surprising one.

Scoring:

 

Angels Sing

Rated: PG

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Harry Connick, Jr., Connie Britton, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, and Fionnula Flanagan

Synopsis: As a child, Michael Walker wished every day could be Christmas. That is, until a tragic accident crushed his holiday spirit. Thirty years later, Michael still can't muster any joy for the holidays, despite encouragement from his playful wife and well-intentioned parents. But when his young son faces a tragedy, Michael needs to make amends with his past. A mysterious man named Nick gives Michael a gift and instills in him the courage to find the joy that he lost.

Review:  There are times where the movie drags and Michael’s anti-Christmas stance starts to get old but as the movie goes and you learn more of the story you begin to feel the heart of it and the spirit of Christmas.

 Scoring: 3 

 

Angry Angel 
Rated: TV-14
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Brenda Song, Andy Favreau, and Jason Biggs
Synopsis: Allison Pyke is a young angel who's trying to get her ticket into heaven. Complications arise when two important men in her life unexpectedly show up to form a love triangle.

Review: I really didn’t like this movie. There wasn’t any part of it I enjoyed. Allison doesn’t seem to have a single redeeming quality. Teens and young adults may like it. I think it’s geared towards them.

Scoring:

 

Annie Claus is Coming To Town
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Maria Thayer, Sam Page, Vivica A. Fox, and Ryan Bittle
Synopsis: Santa's daughter Annie takes her first trip away from the North Pole during the Christmas season hoping to find adventure and love in sunny California. While Santa watches, Annie arrives in L.A. and becomes friends with the owner of Candy Cane Inn, Lucy, and her daughter, Mia. She also quickly lands a job at Wonderland Toys. Wonderland Toys owner, Ted is struggling to stay in business selling old-fashioned toys in a digital world. Annie soon realizes that she wants Ted's business to thrive because she has feelings for this Christmas traditionalist.

Review: Annie’s optimistic attitude is as contagious as is her love of Christmas. There are little Christmas touches everywhere you turn. The movie moves at a gentle but constant pace. It’s endearing.

Scoring:

 

Anything But Christmas 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Sergio Di Zio, Elaine Hendrix, Christopher Lloyd, and Gabrielle Rose
Synopsis: Grace loves to make Christmas special for herself and her son, especially after her husband passed serving his country. Unfortunately her live-in boyfriend John hates all things Christmas. As the story evolves we learn why. 
Review:  The movie is a little cheesy and a little slow but still a good watch. Learning about how past hurts still live on until we deal with them and how to make today better is a good message. It also shows us that family are the people we chose to have in our lives. 
Scoring: 3 

Arthur Christmas

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie, Laura Lainey, Eva Longoria, Mark Wooten, and Joan Cusack

Synopsis: Santa's clumsy son Arthur sets out on a mission with St. Nick's father to give out a present they misplaced to a young girl in less than 2 hours.

Review:  This delightful comedy shows us a behind the scenes look at how Santa and the North Pole work. It also shows us a dysfunctional family with relatable characters. Lots of fun. 

Scoring: 3