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 (2019)
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.
An Accidental Christmas (2007)
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.
Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
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.
All About Christmas Eve (2012)
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.
All American Christmas Carol (2015)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Taryn Manning, Beverly D'Angelo, Wendi McLendon-Covey. Shiri Appleby, Eric Roberts, and Meatloaf
Synopsis: A white-trash mom is visited by three ghosts intent on showing her a path to a brighter future.
Review: I don’t like them using the term white-trash. She is a woman with three children, all with different fathers. She doesn’t work and if she has a dime, she spends it on herself and neglects her children. The ghosts show her how her behavior impacts others, especially her children. It’s definitely a fresh take on the old tale.
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Genres: Family, Romance
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.
Genre: Comedy, Family
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.
All I Want For Christmas Is You (2017)
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.
All I Want Is Christmas (2012)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Elliott Gould and David DeLuise
Synopsis: A Christmas obsessed Jewish boy on his way to sunny Florida figures out how to get the Christmas of his dreams by trading airline tickets and places with another boy on his way to snowy Christmastown, WA.
Review: I enjoyed how each boy wanted what he didn’t have but then realized the joy of what he did have. It wasn’t hysterical but it was funny and I really enjoyed it. It looks at families and how each person affects others. This would be a good family film.
Alone For Christmas (2013)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: David DeLouise and Kevin Sorbo
Synopsis: When a family visits Grandma's house on Christmas Eve, they leave their dog at home alone. And when burglars try to take the presents from under the tree, the dog must use every trick it knows to stop them.
Review: Yet another boring dog movie. They tried to make a dog version of Home Alone but it didn’t work. The only possible positive thing is children may enjoy the dogs. Of all the talking dog movies I’d save this one for last.
Always and Forever Christmas (2019)
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.
An American Christmas Carol (1979)
Genres: Drama, Fantasy
Starring: Henry Winkler
Synopsis: In an American town, an old bitter miser is given a ghostly chance at redemption on Christmas Eve.
Review: This is an adaptation of the original that takes place in New England during the depression. It’s an interesting look at the story and American history. It’s a little slow but a lot of the Christmas Carol movies are. Overall, it’s worth watching.
An American Girl Holiday: Samantha (2004)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: AnnaSophia Robb, Mia Farrow, Jordan Bridges, and Rebecca Mader
Synopsis: A wealthy child befriends three poor sisters.
Review: This movie isn’t about Christmas. The end includes Christmastime. But it’s educational and teaches about turn of the century society. It also includes good messages, like kindness, giving, and equality. It would be a good family film to start discussions.
An American Girl Story: Maryellen 1955 (2016)
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.