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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A Cinderella Christmas (2016)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Emma Rigby, Peter Porte, and Mindy Cohn
Synopsis: Angie works hard to run her uncle's events business while her cousin Candace takes the credit. When Angie takes a night off to have fun at the Christmasquerade Ball, the mask and gown allow her to let loose, and she quickly catches the eye of Nicholas, a wealthy local bachelor. But then Angie has to go before revealing her identity, leaving Nicholas searching for his mystery woman in this modern take on the classic fairytale.
Review:  

As corny as this watered-down version of Cinderella is, I still liked it. We know the Cinderella story so we know how it’s going to go but that doesn’t take away from the experience.

Scoring: 3

A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance 

Starring: Laura Marano, Greg Sulkin, and Barclay Hope

Synopsis: Despite her vain stepmother and mean stepsisters, an aspiring singer works as an elf at a Christmas tree lot and finds her own holiday miracle. 

Review: This is a little over the top in its portrayal of the stepmother and sisters. At times it borders on ridiculous. But the music is fairly good and it’s a new Cinderella adaptation. I think the best audience for this is tweens. 

Scoring: 2

Clara’s Ultimate Christmas (2018)

Rated: NR

Genre: Family

Starring: Kearstin Moore

Synopsis: A tech savvy ten year old video blogger's "Ultimate Christmas" unravels into chaos when her dad leaves to NY two days before Christmas and her dog, Luke, runs away leaving her in utter despair.

Review: This was really cute for a low budget indie film.  The kids were really good.  The main downsides were how horrible the mom’s acting and monotone voice were and how they celebrated without the father.  I think this would be a good film for families.

Scoring: 2

Coins for Christmas (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Essence Atkins and Stephen Bishop

Synopsis: A desperate single mother takes a job working for a retired football player.

Review: This movie is a gem.  The children being so selfless and aware of the mom’s sacrifices is a good lesson for everyone.  All the characters learn and grow as people.  I was completely sucked into this story.  This is a great movie for families to watch.  The only thing I would say is it starts with talking about Santa not being real so young children shouldn’t watch.  I wish there had been a resolution to the romance but maybe there will be a sequel.

Scoring: 4

Come Dance With Me (2012)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Andrew McCarthy and Michelle Nolden
Synopsis: Jack is an executive in a financial brokerage firm trying to impress the firm's president, Drew Clayton, in hopes of a promotion. However, Jack is dating Drew's daughter, Demi. Although Demi's mother Clarisse doesn't necessarily approve of Jack and would prefer her daughter to date a man within their social circle, Jack still plans on proposing. Trying to create the perfect proposal, Jack signs up for dance lessons in preparation for his proposal to Demi at her father's lavish annual Christmas Dance. But when sparks start to fly between Jack and his dance instructor, Christine, Jack will have to make some important decisions before it is too late.
Review:  This felt too expected to me. I kept waiting for some big moment but there wasn’t one. Even the dancing is monotonous.  It’s not bad, it’s just so-so. 
Scoring: 2
Comfort and Joy (2003)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Nancy McKeon, Steven Eckholdt, and Dixie Carter
Synopsis: The life of Jane Berry was all materialist, until one Christmas Eve, she is involved in a car accident that changes her life forever. She wakes up to discover she is the mother of two, a wife and that her only job is in the house, besides her frequent volunteer work.
Review:  Another one of my favorites. While the premise is a familiar one, seeing a wealthy woman adjust to a family lacking in money but with an over abundance of love, generosity, spirit of giving, and Christmas joy, makes for a wonderful time. 
Scoring: 4
 

Coming Home For Christmas (2013)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Ben Hollingsworth, Carly McKillip, Britt McKillip, and Amy Jo Johnson

Synopsis: After their parents separate, two estranged sisters who haven't been on speaking terms reunite in hopes that having a family Christmas all together for the first time in years will bring their Mom and Dad close again. They plan to do this in their old family home... the only problem is someone else lives there now.

Review: The beginning moved so quickly through time I felt it wasn’t letting us get to feel for the characters. About halfway through I starting understanding them better. I liked the sisters joining forces, with help, for their parents. The side story of Mike and his store added another layer. 

Scoring: 3

Coming Home For Christmas (2017)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Danica McKellar and Neal Bledsoe
Synopsis: Lizzie Richfield is at a crossroads when she lands a job as house manager for the Ashford Estate in the Virginia countryside. While preparing the place for sale, Lizzie plans one final Christmas Eve gala for the Marley family, though they seem to be a family in name only.  As Lizzie is inserted into the home and the lives of the Marley family, she finds herself drawn to one brother - even as another pursues her. Can she navigate her suddenly complicated love life while helping mend family feuds and maybe teaching all the true spirit of Christmas?
Review:  A sweet and charming movie, as all Danica McKellar’s tend to be. We see a family heal from the past and come together again with the help of the Christmas spirit. There are so many different types of characters and the ways they interact with each other, including the necessary misunderstandings, keeps the story moving and keeps the viewer interested.
Scoring: 3
A Cookie Cutter Christmas (2014)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Erin Krakow, David Haydn-Jones, and Miranda Frigon 
Synopsis: Two schoolteachers take their rivalry to a new level, while they scramble to win a holiday baking contest and the affections of a handsome single father.
Review:  While there are some sweet moments in this movie, mostly those with the children, I found the conflict between the two teachers and their behavior towards each other very uncomfortable to watch. 
Scoring: 3

Cooking Up Christmas (2020)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Meagan Holder and Lamman Rucker

Synopsis: An Atlanta-based chef gets fired just weeks before Christmas and reluctantly takes a job with a pro baseball player who is a single dad of three and needs a live-in-chef to get him through the holidays with the kids.

Review: I love how Chloe is a match for Donovan and teaches him to step back and listen to the people around him. The kids are all amazing and have a nice variety of personalities. I was engrossed in the story the whole time. Great movie. 

Scoring: 3

Coopers’ Christmas (2008)

Rated: TV-14

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, and Mike Beaver

Synopsis: Using a secondhand camcorder, a family member documents his dysfunctional clan’s holiday.

Review: Wow.  Another horrific movie.  It’s shown from the point of view of what the camcorder records so it’s shaky and moves around a lot.  The story is dumb, the characters are poor and exaggerated stereotypes, and it’s just plain stupid.  It was a punishment to sit through.

Scoring: 1

A Country Christmas (2013)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Joey Lauren Adams

Synopsis: When Santa Claus loses his magical powers and becomes stranded in their barn, two children from a small farming community help him save Christmas before it's too late.

Review:  This is a sweet story.  The children even take on the mayor.  When they find out their mother’s cancer is back, they face doubts about Christmas magic.  I won’t ruin the ending but you can guess.  This would be a good family movie.

Scoring: 3

Country Christmas Album (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Musical, Romance

Starring: Hannah Barefoot and Evan Gamble

Synopsis: A country music starlet and an ex-teen heartthrob fall in love while recording an album. 

Review:  I believe the two main faults here are (1) they didn’t take the time to let us know and care about the characters at the beginning, and (2) there was too much time spent on music and not enough on the people. It just felt disjointed. That being said, music lovers and musicians may forgive them their faults. 

Scoring: 2

 

 

A Country Christmas Story (2013)

Rated:  PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Musical

Starring: Dolly Parton, Megyn Price, Brian McKnight, and Mary Kay Place

Synopsis: A teenage chorister from a small Appalachian town dreams of becoming a country music star.

Review:  While Grace’s determination and love for music is a beautiful story, her mother’s bitterness and anger are handled in a way that takes away from the story rather than adding to it. I enjoyed most of it but rooting for Grace was the best part.

Scoring: 3

 

A Crafty Christmas Romance (2020) aka Crafting Christmas

Rated: PG

Genre: Romance

Starring: Nicola Posener and Brad Johnson

Synopsis: A craft store owner finds a 70-year-old letter to Santa and a valuable coin in an old book.

Review: This is a wonderful story. Sadly, the poor casting diminishes the power of it. It could’ve been one of the best. The story has some lovely, albeit subtle, twists and turns.  It’s enjoyable to watch once but I probably won’t watch again. 

Scoring: 2

Cranberry Christmas (2020)

Rated: G

Genre: Romance

Starring: Benjamin Ayres and Nikki Deloach

Synopsis: A separated couple feign marital bliss on television to help their town’s Christmas special.

Review: I think just hearing the word cranberry evokes a feeling of the holidays. This movie with its family and community Christmas traditions just adds even more of that feeling. Even a couple struggling to maintain their marriage doesn’t take away from it. I especially liked their proposal story. 

Scoring: 3

Crashing Through The Snow (2021)

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family

Starring: Amy Acker, Warren Christie, Brook Nevin

Synopsis: Maggie and Sam are crashing Christmas.  When he proposes that they team up against his sister’s perfect Christmas, neither of them are prepared for the blended family challenges that lie ahead.

Review: I loved this movie.  It has just enough drama to be interesting, just enough comedy to keep it lighthearted, just enough romance to move you, and tons of fun and Christmas.  The casting is perfect and the story is well written.  This is one I could watch over and over again.  The one thing I will say is that while it has a G rating, it’s not for young children.  The topics of divorce, remarriage, dating, etc. may be too mature for them and you should use your judgement with what you know your children will be able to understand.

Scoring: 4

Crazy For Christmas (2005)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Andrea Roth and Howard Hesseman
Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, Shannon McManus, a struggling single mother,  is stuck driving around a wealthy and eccentric client who is giving away large sums of money with the secret hope of reuniting with his long lost daughter.
Review:  At first, I wasn’t clear on what the purpose of this movie was and where it was going. As it continued, I realized what was happening and the roles of each character in the story. The ending is quite dear. 
Scoring: 3

Cross Country Christmas (2020)

Rated: G

Genre: Romance

Starring: Rachael Leigh Cook and Greyston Holt

Synopsis: When a snowstorm disrupts holiday travel, a mand and a woman must work together to find a way home.

Review: It’s a journey with an unexpected cast of character met along the way. They manage to keep it fun while having enough emotion and drama to make it meaningful and the main characters important. The Santa bobble head was a fun touch. Cook and Holt are a delightful pairing.

Scoring: 3

Crown For Christmas (2015)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Danica McKellar and Rupert Penry-Jones
Synopsis: Allie Evans is a maid who just lost her job at a hotel.  She is then hired by a man named Fergus to be the governess for his boss in the European country of Winshire. Upon arrival, Allie discovers that Fergus' boss is King Maximillian and meets his daughter Theodora who had been terrorizing other authority figures since the death of her mother.
Review:  Another modern day fairy tale. While the happy ending is expected, getting there is an enjoyable time. It’s fun watching Allie’s fumbles as she adjusts to the royal protocols and as she has adventures with Theodora. It’s not terribly surprising but McKellar makes it special.
Scoring: 4

Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (2009)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Frank Welker

Synopsis: George and The Man In The Yellow Hat are having a merry time counting down to Christmas. But neither can decide what to give each other. Will they find the answers before Christmas morning?

Review: I haven’t seen any video or movie with Curious George for so long I can’t remember but I have read the books.  I found it to be absolutely charming.  The theme of happiness coming from giving is a wonderful reminder for all of us.  Curious George gets into his usual well-intentioned trouble.  Children will really like it and adults should, too.

Scoring: 3