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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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.
A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019)
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.
Clara’s Ultimate Christmas (2018)
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.
Coins for Christmas (2018)
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.
Coming Home For Christmas (2013)
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.
Cooking Up Christmas (2020)
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.
Coopers’ Christmas (2008)
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.
A Country Christmas (2013)
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.
Country Christmas Album (2018)
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.
A Country Christmas Story (2013)
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.
A Crafty Christmas Romance (2020) aka Crafting Christmas
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.
Cranberry Christmas (2020)
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.
Cross Country Christmas (2020)
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.
Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (2009)
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.