Each movie listed includes: 

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

 

Click on the pictures to pin them on Pinterest for later.

 

 

Christmas A La Mode

Rated: PG

Genre: Romance

Starring: Katie Leclerc and Ryan Cooper

Synopsis: A woman needs a miracle in order to save her family’s farm and her father’s legacy.

Review: This is not really about Christmas but it does play a background role, like the mother’s Santa collection.  A lot of the movie is very heavy but the characters were interesting and I wanted them to save their farm.  I just wish the journey to get there was also interesting.

Scoring: 2

Christmas Angel (2009)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Bruce Davison, K.C. Clyde, and Kari Hawker-Diaz
Synopsis: Ashley feels alone as she searches fruitlessly for a job around Christmas. Her neighbor Nick offers her a job as his assistant on one condition, she can’t reveal that he is some sort of Secret Santa who helps people in need.
Review: This is one of my favorites. I love how the theme of giving of yourself and focusing on the needs of others is woven throughout the story. Another cinematic example of how family is who you surround yourself with. The beauty of this film is its simplicity. It’s truly moving.
Scoring: 5
Christmas Angel (2012)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Teri Polo, Kevin Sorbo, Della Reese, and Tamara Mowry-Housely
Synopsis: Wishes are coming true in Olivia’s class and she wishes for a dad of her own. She thinks a mysterious woman is an angel granting the wishes but learns she is a normal person who knows how the wishes come true.
Review: This is another movie that focuses on giving of yourselves to others in heart and in deed. It’s a very sweet movie. The relationship between Della Reese and the young girl next door is special.
Scoring: 4

Christmas Around The Corner

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Alexandra Breckenridge and Jamie Spilchuk

Synopsis: A venture capitalist from New York travels to a small town for Christmas. Upon arrival, she discovers that the town’s bookstore is in a dire state of disrepair and immediately takes it upon herself to revitalize the store.

Review: An original plot that’s well executed by talented actors. It’s not exciting. You won’t be sitting on the edge of your chair. However, it’s still charming and fun to watch. I expected the ending but had no idea how they’d get there. The character of Alicia was especially endearing.

Scoring: 4

 

A Christmas Arrangement

Rated: TV-14

Genre: Romance

Starring: Nicky Whelan, Miles Fisher, and Daphne Zuniga

Synopsis: When Poppy Benson, a struggling flower shop owner, joins the local holiday floral show in an effort to win a cash prize and keep her store afloat, she starts to fall for handsome Garrett Hurley, her direct competitor in the show.

Review: It’s a little corny and it took me a while to get into it but I actually cared how it ended and what happened to the characters. While Christmas is merely a backdrop, the Christmas spirit is quietly everywhere.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas At Cartwright’s
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Alicia Witt, Gabriel Hogan, and Wallace Shawn
Synopsis: A single mom gets a holiday job as a department store Santa to help boost her finances, and then an angel enters her life and brings about some positive changes, including the spark of a new romance.
Review: The most difficult part of watching this movie was believing Alicia Witt as Santa Claus. If you can get past this you’ll see a sweet Santa who is amazing with children. The little girl is amazing and there’s a cute story with an angel and some Christmas magic.  
Scoring: 3

Christmas At Graceland

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Musical, Romance

Starring: Wes Brown and Kellie Pickler

Synopsis: A Chicago-based business executive travels to Memphis to secure one of the city's oldest family-owned banks. While in Memphis, Laurel reunites with an old flame Clay, a local music promoter with loftier aspirations.

Review: I love all the new twists on the traditional plot. I didn’t spend the whole movie expecting the end. The backdrop of Graceland and Memphis along with the music was icing on the cake. Laurel is the type of character you wish you were friends with. She's a pure and kind person. It’s a sweet movie I’ll be watching many more times.

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas At Grand Valley

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Brennan Elliott, Dan Lauria, and Danica McKellar

Synopsis: Burned out from the Chicago gallery world, artist Kelly returns home to Grand Valley just in time for Christmas. Leo, businessman and all-star dad to his children, struggles to balance his time this holiday season. When he is assigned to review a hotel in Grand Valley for its value, he sees this as the perfect opportunity for a Christmas family vacation. It isn't long until Kelly and Leo's worlds collide.

Review: This was such a pleasant movie. No, there aren’t tons of surprises but it’s not a cookie cutter plot. The children and Dan Lauria add a warmth to it. It's wonderful to see people discover themselves. Definitely worth seeing.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas At Holly Lodge
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Alison Sweeney, Jordan Bridges, and Sheryl Lee Ralph
Synopsis: Sophie runs Holly Lodge, a beautiful inn surrounded by snowy mountains, evergreen trees galore, and scenic views. There's a steady stream of regular patrons who visit the lodge every Christmas, but Sophie's behind on her mortgage payments, and a development company has taken an interest in the land. They send Evan to study the property, but before he makes his true intentions known to Sophie, the two start falling for each other.
Review: A delightful story of friendship and love. I enjoyed watching it. It’s full of Christmas traditions. The array of characters and their interactions make it extra special. The lodge is a special place and the people who go there every year for Christmas have become family. It's the type of place every Christmas lover would embrace.
Scoring: 3

Christmas At Maxwell’s

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Religion

Starring: Andrew May and Jack Hourigan

Synopsis: Andrew Austin seems to have everything. When his wife falls extremely ill, they go to their cabin for a last Christmas. Away from the demands of the city, their world opens up to a moment in time they will never experience again as their small lakeside community quickly brings them its own wonderments.

Review:  This is a heavily dramatic and religious movie that won’t appeal to many. The theme of redemption and prayer at Christmas is beautiful but the movie is poorly shot. If you want a deep and religious film you should give it a shot. If not, I’d skip it. 

Scoring: 2

 

Christmas At Pemberly Manor

Rated: G

Genre: Romance

Starring: Jessica Lowndes and Michael Rady

Synopsis: Loosely based on Pride and Prejudice, event planner Elizabeth Bennet is initially at odds with Mr. Darcy, the owner of Pemberley Manor, which she intends to be the venue of her next event, but soon finds herself irresistibly attracted to him.

Review:  Don’t let comparing this movie to Pride and Prejudice take away from the story. It’s original and special all on its own. It’s in a beautiful setting with enjoyable characters. It evokes a feeling of Christmas in a subtle way. This is one I’ll watch again. 

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas At The Palace

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Merritt Patterson and Andrew Cooper

Synopsis: Katie, a former professional ice skater, is hired by the king of San Senova, Alexander, to help his daughter in a Christmas ice skating performance. As Katie spends time in the castle and with the king, she and Alex begin to develop feelings for each other and ultimately fall in love. But will the tradition-loving people of San Senova allow their king to make a foreigner their queen?

Review:  Delightfully expected yet as lovely as every other fairy tale. It’s sweet and as charming as the prince.  I was not surprised as the story unfolded but I was too caught in the magic to mind.  One I’ll watch again. 

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Belle 

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Haylie Duff, Nicholas Gonzalez, Mark Famiglietti, and C. Thomas Howell

Synopsis: With her California hometown in the rear-view mirror, Belle heads north on business to facilitate the estate sale of a mansion. While the job is a dream, the client, Hunter Lowell, is not. But, as the two spend more time together, his icy demeanor begins to melt. Although their relationship is budding, Belle's long-time suitor, Tony, arrives, sending mixed signals to Hunter while adding chaos to the holiday season.

Review:  A modern day take on Beauty and the Beast. Belle is still a book lover who cherishes the library and the Beast, aka Hunter, is angry and snapping at Belle and being encouraged by a staff member to foster the relationship.   There's even the goofy father and Tony as Gaston.  The story is good but it doesn’t keep a consistent pace.  There were too many points where it was slow.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Emilie Ullerup and Josh Kelly

Synopsis: Samantha, a freelance photographer, returns to Cape Cod for the first time since the death of her mother years earlier. Having never been to the Cape during winter, she finds that it is a whole new experience compared to her many summers spent there. 

Review:  Although there are many parts of the plot that are familiar, they’re presented in a new and fresh way. I loved seeing Christy through Samantha’s lens. It’s sweet and lovely. I especially like the way they deal with loss and love in an honest but gentle way. 

Scoring: 4

 

The Christmas Blessing
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Rebecca Gayheart, Rob Lowe, and Angus T. Jones
Synopsis: In this sequel to The Christmas Shoes, a young doctor encounters romance and deals with his past when he returns to his hometown during the holidays.
Review: If you like super emotional movies, you’ll like this. I’m not a fan. I don’t mind the emotional if there’s a happy ending. I won’t give any spoilers but this is one I won’t watch again.
Scoring: 1
Christmas Bounty
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Starring: Francia Racia, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Will Greenberg, April Telek
Synopsis: A former bounty hunter turns into an elementary schoolteacher. Determined to have a normal life and keep her bounty hunter past a secret, she reluctantly returns home for Christmas to help save the family business by catching the one bounty that got away. But when her fiancé follows her home for the holiday, she struggles to hide her wild family business and a bounty hunter ex-boyfriend she thought she'd left behind.
Review: The movie is a little silly but I couldn’t help but like the family and their adventures. They do promote stereotypes of people from New Jersey and New York, however, the over the top personalities is part of makes this film so much fun. It’s definitely an “only in the movies” plot.
Scoring: 3

The Christmas Box

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion

Starring: Richard Thomas, Maureen O’Hara, and Annette O’Toole

Synopsis: A ski-shop owner reluctantly moves himself, his wife, and his daughter in to an estate as live-in help for an elderly widow. While struggling to balance his career and family life, he has recurring dreams about an angel.

Review:  This is filled with drama and sentiment. It’s not a love or fluff story. The relationships are each special and Richard’s changes in priorities with Mary’s help make it worth seeing. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Break-In

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Denise Richards, Danny Glover, and Cameron Seely

Synopsis: Izzy is an energetic 9-year-old. Overscheduled and running late, Izzy's parents can't pick her up on-time the last day of school before Christmas break. A blizzard complicates the matter, but not as much as a pair of bad guys who are freezing in an ice cream truck. The school's janitor is kidnapped by the intruders, and it's up to Izzy to save the day.

Review: While I think children will enjoy this slapstick comedy the most, I believe most adults may enjoy it as well.  It’s a good family film.  It doesn’t get too scary but it’s got many funny moments.  Glover gives an outstanding performance, as always.

Scoring: 3

The Christmas Bunny
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion
Starring: Sophie Boleyn and Florence Henderson
Synopsis: The Christmas Bunny is the story of a Michigan family, facing tough economic times, who take in a withdrawn foster child, Julia. Convinced she's unlovable, Julia dreams of becoming "real," like the Velveteen Rabbit in her treasured storybook video. When a real-life rabbit is injured by her foster brother in an accident, Julia meets the Bunny Lady, a local recluse who cares for people's cast-away pets, and both their lives are changed by the encounter.
Review: This movie is truly endearing. Seeing Julia, trapped in her shell from losing her mom and being in foster care, come out of her shell as Betsy teaches her about rabbits is moving. Watching parents who are struggling but maintain their faith is uplifting. You may need tissues for this one but it’s so worth it.
Scoring: 4
The Christmas Calendar
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Laura Bell Bundy and Brendon Zub
Synopsis: When Emily, a struggling baker in a small town, receives a handmade Christmas Calendar from a secret admirer, the local residents become obsessed with finding out the identity of the sender.
Review: The townspeople are eccentric which kept me entertained. Very interesting movie that really kept my attention. I loved guessing who the sender was. The addition of her struggles to keep the bakery while she has new competition kept me rooting for her. Light-hearted fun.
Scoring: 4

Christmas Camp

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Lily Anne Harrison and Bobby Campo

Synopsis: To get a big promotion, Hayley, an advertising executive who specializes in social media and all things hip, must land a toy company that is all about traditional Christmas as an account.

Review: This is a truly special and unique story.  Hayley is portrayed as having lost the meaning of Christmas and has to attend Christmas Camp but we see that she truly has the heart of Christmas.  As I watched the different characters, all of which are so likable, participate in Christmas activities I couldn't help but feel the Christmas spirit.  Christmas is presented as a way of feeling, loving, and giving, as opposed to simply traditions.  I can't wait to see it again.

Scoring: 5

The Christmas Candle

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Hans Matheson

Synopsis: A pastor who has suffered a personal loss accepts a position in a town that believes in a Christmas miracle candle, which he strives to abolish.

Review:  I found this to be an uplifting story of faith and hope. It was well done with wonderful casting and settings. I will say that it has a strong religious tone that may make some people not like it. I believe it’s a wonderful feel-good story for the Christmas season. 

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Caper

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Shannen Doherty and Ty Olsson

Synopsis: After her latest job goes awry, a thief heads to her hometown in Connecticut to lay low over the Christmas holiday. Can the spirit of the holiday, combined with a stint babysitting her niece and nephew, rid her of her wicked ways?

Review:  I enjoyed this movie. As with so many, the children have some of the best scenes. Watching Cate try to manage boring suburbia and deal with her dilemma keeps the movie’s pace going and keeps your interest. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Christmas Card
Rated: G
Genres: Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Ed Asner, John Newton, Alice Evans
Synopsis: A US soldier, Cody, visits the town from where an inspirational Christmas card was sent to him by Faith as part of a church group. On leave, Cody goes to Faith’s town. He happens to save her dad Luke from a serious car run-over. The Spellmans invite Cody home for dinner, then to stay through Christmas to help in the family logging firm. Vietnam vet Luke wants Cody as son-in-law, but although charmed, Faith still seems committed to rarely present fiancé Paul, a wine broker.
Review: This is by far one of my all-time favorites. It’s a beautiful story of love and family. We watch Faith grapple with her commitment to Paul and her feelings for Cody. We see the unity of Faith’s family and community and how important being there for others is to them. The Spellman family and the lovely place they live is idyllic.
Scoring: 5

A Christmas Carol (2000)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Ross Kemp 

Synopsis: A loan shark sees his past, present, and future after the spirit of his former partner visits him on Christmas Eve. 

Review:  It’s not a bad version but there are many I like better. It’s a modern day version of the story. Scrooge reliving Christmas Eve is a little like “Groundhog Day”. For me, it moves a little too slowly and I never quite got invested in it but I like how the end wrapped it up by showing us his happy life. 

 Scoring: 2

 

A Christmas Carol (Disney’s-2009)

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, and Robin Wright

Synopsis: An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Review: I think what surprised me the most about this movie was how scary some of it was.  Being a Disney film, I expected it to be for children.  I wouldn’t let younger children watch it before you preview it.  The animation effects are amazing and are truly interesting to see.  I’m not an expert on the Dicken’s book but this movie seemed to hold fairly true to the story.  If you like A Christmas Carol, you’ll enjoy this.

Scoring: 3

Christmas Catch

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Emily Alatalo and Lauren Holly

Synopsis: Detective Mackenzie Bennett is hot on the trail of Carson, a suspected diamond thief, and goes undercover to catch him in the act. While undercover, Mack not only falls for Carson, but begins to suspect that he's been framed. Are feelings clouding Mack's judgment or are they focusing on the wrong suspect?

Review:  Despite having all the qualities of a B-movie, this also has a fun love story and a surprise ending. It was really slow at first but all the moments that made it seem cheesy added up to what made a wonderful ending. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Child

Rated: PG

Genre: Drama

Starring: William R. Moses 

Synopsis: A life-sized nativity leads a man to learn about his past and lost family.

Review:  I like the story, especially the ending, very much. That being said, there are points in the story where it slows and I start to lose interest but it’s worth hanging in there for. We get to see a man journey to find and understand his past in order to secure his future.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Choir
Rated: NR
Genre: Drama
Starring: Jason Gedrick and Rhea Pearlman
Synopsis: Before Christmas, accountant and workaholic Peter Brockman is dumped by his fiancée, Jill. At a lounge, Peter meets the "volunteer" pianist/singer Bob, who works solely for tips. Bob invites Peter to his home for dinner which is a homeless shelter. Peter organizes a choir of the homeless men to give them a little extra pocket money.
Review: The fact that this is based on a true story heightens the emotional factor. There are multiple layers to the story. First there's Peter's transformation as he opens his eyes to others and changes his priorities. Second is Sister Agatha and her mission to help as many as she can while knowing she can't save everyone. Third is the stories and experiences of the men at the shelter. Finally, the combination of all those elements create a lovely mixture. It’s a magnificent look at the power of giving back and second chances.
Scoring: 4

The Christmas Chronicles

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Kurt Russell, Oliver Hudson, and Kimberly Williams-Paisley

Synopsis: The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Review:  I’m not sure how to explain it. Slapstick seems like an understatement. It borders on ridiculous at times.  I really didn't like it at all the first time I watched it so I decided to give it a second chance.  It was still a little odd but I was able to appreciate the family and the children more.  Santa was still too quirky, ordinary and, well, human rather than magical.  A lot of people I know loved it.  Give it a shot and see how you feel.

Scoring: 1

 

 

The Christmas Clause
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Lea Thompson
Synopsis: A stressed out lawyer and mother of three gets her yuletide wish when she wishes to see what her life would be like if she had chosen to pursue her career in law rather than marrying and becoming a working mother.
Review: While the basic plot isn’t new, I still enjoyed this version of it. A woman magically gets to see what would have happened if she took a different path. The ending isn't a surprise but it's presented in a light way that makes it an easy and relaxing watch.
Scoring: 3
Christmas Comes Home To Canaan
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Billy Ray Cyrus, Gina Holden, and Emily Tennant
Synopsis: In the sequel to Christmas in Canaan, Bobber needs extensive orthopedic surgery and physical therapy to recover from being hit by a car. Rodney has become a famous writer and offers to fly Daniel and Bobber to San Francisco and to pay for the surgery. Once in San Francisco, Daniel meets and falls for Briony, a physical rehabilitation specialist working with Bobber. When therapy progresses slowly, Bobber invites Briony to come home to Canaan to spend Christmas with the Burtons and continue his treatment. Briony is a natural at caring for a thriving family, but Sarah, Daniel's daughter distances herself not wanting to dishonor her late mother's memory, and a disastrous Christmas visit drives Daniel and Briony apart. In the soul searching that follows, Daniel finds the strength to open his heart again and invite love back into his life.
Review: The movie was very slow just as the first one was. It’s a moving story but you have to hang in there for those special moments. The underlying message isn't as strong or as emotional as the first movie but it's a good follow-up to tell us how the family progresses.
Scoring: 2

Christmas Comes To Willow Creek

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: John Schneider, Tom Wopat, and Kim Delaney

Synopsis: Feuding brothers and teen son truck toys to Alaska. 

Review:  At first, I didn’t think this movie would be much. Between the age of it and it starring the two stars of “Dukes of Hazzard” I started out expecting to be bored. Turns out it’s an amazing movie. The story is phenomenal and it even has a little Christmas magic. The way the story unfolds allows you to get lost in it. 

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Connection
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Brooke Burns and Tom Everett Scott
Synopsis: Flight attendant Sydney is tasked with looking after Leah, an eight-year-old unaccompanied minor flying back to Chicago after visiting family. Sydney is charmed by the little girl and makes an instant connection with her. After Leah is safely delivered to her father, Jonathan, Sydney finds a package Leah left behind. Sydney delivers the gift back to Leah and gets invited to join in some fun, family Christmas festivities. When Sydney misses her connection, she is stuck for a few days. Grounded from her jet-setting ways, Sydney bumps into Leah and Jonathan who invite her spend the holidays with them - showing Sydney the value of a staying put long enough to fall in love.
Review: A lovely story about finding yourself and love. The relationships of the characters show depth and Sydney's search for answers adds a beautiful layer to the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a little expected but it's so entertaining I didn’t mind.
Scoring: 4
Christmas Consultant
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: David Hasselhoff and Caroline Rhea
Synopsis: A sought-after holiday consultant is hired by a workaholic mother to get her family through the holidays.
Review: A funny group of characters and situations, lots of Christmas traditions, and a moving, unexpected, but happy ending had me really enjoying this movie.
Scoring: 4

The Christmas Contract

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Danneel Ackles, Hilarie Burton, Bruce Boxleitner, Cheryl Ladd, Jason London, and Jordan Ladd

Synopsis: A recently-single woman dreads the thought of going back to her home town in Louisiana for Christmas when she finds out her ex-boyfriend will be there with his new girlfriend.

Review:  This movie started out quite blah. It was awkward and a little boring. I’m glad I stuck with it. As it went on, I started to like it more and more and I got sucked into the story. Very charming. I’d like to see it again next year. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas Cookies
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Jill Wagner and Wes Brown
Synopsis: A corporate agent is sent to a small town to buy a cookie company and shut down its factory. When she starts falling in love with the factory’s owner, the town’s Christmas spirit overtakes her.
Review: Like the name suggests, the movie is as sweet as the cookies. Every character is kind and you want everyone to be happy. Seeing the role the community plays in the bakery and each other's lives makes it charming. It’s a fun ride to the happy ending.
Scoring: 4
The Christmas Cottage
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Merritt Patterson, Steve Lund, and Brittney Wilson
Synopsis: As maid of honor for her best friend Ava, cynical interior designer Lacey is tasked with decorating a honeymoon cottage for the newlyweds. Although it’s a simple enough task, she didn’t plan on being snowed in with the bride-to-be’s sexy brother.
Review: No surprises here. At times it feels too predictable and it affects the movie. But still, we get the lighthearted romance and Christmas spirit we love.
Scoring: 3

Christmas Crash

Rated: NR

Genres: Adventure, Drama

Starring: Michael Madden and Brendan Penny

Synopsis: An unhappily married couple reconnect after surviving a plane crash.

Review:  The only thing the movie truly offers is beautiful scenery. Other than that, it is predictable and not in a good way. There’s arguing and a crash. Surprise. The movie seems so slow it's almost difficult to sit through.

Scoring: 1

 

A Christmas Cruise

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Vivica A. Fox, Jessica Morris, Kristoff St. John,

Synopsis: When her best friend invites her along on a holiday-themed sail, an aspiring novelist unexpectedly finds the love of her life onboard.

Review:  There’s something sweet about the way this love story enfolds. It’s not the best Christmas movie I’ve seen but it’s worth checking out. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas Crush AKA Holiday High School Reunion 

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance

Starring: Rachel Boston, Jonathan Bennett, Marilu Henner, and Harry Hamlin

Synopsis: When a woman learns of her high school reunion a week before Christmas, she's ecstatic to finally have her chance to win back the one "that got away".

Review:  I found this to be very uncomfortable to watch. It’s got awkward situations and it seems to take forever to get to the point. The cast is good and there are redeeming scenes. It’s worth a try. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Cupcakes

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Cindy Busby and Erin Karpluk

Synopsis: Two sisters enter a TV baking contest in a last-ditch effort to save the family bakery.

Review: This movie is so disappointing.  The characters are either bad or good, no in-between.  It feels fictional rather than real and relatable.  The baking contest host and judges are like caricatures of people.  There was real potential here with this story.  Too bad it wasn’t realized.

Scoring: 2

Christmas Cupid
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Christina Milian, Ashley Benson, Chad Michael Murray, Jackée Harry, and Burgess Jenkins
Synopsis: Sloane is a beautiful, stylish woman on the fast track to success in her public relations firm when a starlet client, Caitlin, dies. Caitlin immediately becomes Sloane's own personal "Jacob Marley" (the Christmas Carol ghost) ushering in the spirits of Christmas past, present, and future - all in the guises of Sloane's former boyfriends. Sloane finds out first hand that her unethical ways and workaholic habits need to change and that reuniting with one of the past lovers whom she jilted may be the answer for a happy-ever-after life.
Review: This movie is just plain fun and a little silly. Having an actress, who is a ghost, with a drink in her hands at all times is funny but it makes it enjoyable. It has the typical getting your priorities straight storyline but that didn't diminish its humor or my enjoyment.
Scoring: 3

Christmas Cupid’s Arrow

Rated: PG

Genres: Romance

Starring: Elisabeth Harnois, Jonathan Togo, and Chad Michael Collins

Synopsis: Holly, a single college professor, signs up for an online dating service, but begins to grow suspicious when the guy's beautifully-written texts don't match his actions.

Review:  This movie starts out slow. I really wasn’t interested. I’m glad I hung in there. It’s a modern take on Cyrano de Bergerac. Worth watching. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Christmas Cure
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Brooke Nevin, Steve Byers, and Patrick Duffy
Synopsis: A doctor returns home for Christmas to find that her father has decided to retire from his own practice. After reuniting with her high school sweetheart, she wonders if she should stay and take over her father's practice.
Review: I loved this story. It had so many moving moments. An ideal family, the one that got away, patients, and more, contribute to making this a feel-good movie. I wish every town had a doctor like this.
Scoring: 4
A Christmas Detour
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene, Sarah Strange, Barbara Niven, and Marcus Rosner
Synopsis: Two travelers become linked when a snowstorm grounds their flight in Buffalo. Paige desperately needs to find a way to New York City to meet her fiancé’s parents. It’s up to Dylan, a fellow passenger and a guy she can’t stand, to get her there.
Review: Not only do we get to see Paige evolve as a person as she falls for Dylan, we get to see the couple they are traveling with rekindle their relationship. Wonderful characters that are fun to watch. Their interactions and adventures kept me thoroughly entertained.
Scoring: 5
Christmas Do-Over
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jay Mohr, Daphne Zuniga, David Millbern, and Adrienne Barbeau
Synopsis: Kevin tries to be involved with his son and ex-wife's family for Christmas. During dinner, he thought his Christmas *day* couldn't have gone worse; his son suddenly wishes it was Christmas every day. After that, it was a regular Groundhog's Day. Kevin learns new dance moves and can actually sing. Don't let the caroling fool you.
Review: Yes, this is another take on Groundhog Day but with a Christmas twist. All of Kevin's antics, and there are many, kept me laughing. Jay Mohr is genuinely funny and keeps the movie interesting. It’s fun watching his character go through all the stages of accepting his fate.
Scoring: 3
Christmas Encore
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Maggie Lawson and Brennan Elliott
Synopsis: A struggling actress earns the lead part in the production of 'A Christmas Carol', and falls in love with the director. But the cast and crew need a Christmas miracle to save the show when the theater loses its lease.
Review: This is yet another movie that just happens to be during the Christmas season but it’s not a main part of it other than the play being 'A Christmas Carol'. I wanted everything to work out but being invested in it took effort. The movie has to work too hard to make up for a story and dialogue that's lacking. The fact that it moves so slowly makes it even harder. It’s just okay.
Scoring: 2

Christmas Everlasting

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Tatyana Ali and Dennis Haysbert

Synopsis: Lucy has spent years working hard at her law firm and will be made partner after the New Year. However, when Alice, her older sister with special needs, unexpectedly passes away, Lucy returns back to Nilson's Bay, Wis., to attend the funeral and handle her estate. Once back in Nilson's Bay, Lucy meets her old high school sweetheart Peter, and Alice's former attorney, who informs her of the terms of Alice's eccentric will that  states in order for Lucy to inherit the family home, she must live there for 30 days through the holidays.

Review:  As a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, it has all the expected emotions and drama. There were a few questions that I had because if they explained it the explanation was so brief, I missed it. Besides that, it was a lovely story. It was emotional without being dark. Ali was wonderful.  One worth watching again.

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas Every Day

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Robert Hayes and Bess Armstrong

Synopsis: Billy Jackson, a miserable 16-year-old, hates Christmas. From his little sister to Joey Mancuso (a local bully), he is not very fond of Greenwood Falls. Until he learns the true meaning of Christmas, Billy must relive this holiday over and over.

Review:  This is a watered down and not so well-done version of Groundhog Day. I didn’t hate it but I didn’t enjoy it. There's only so much sullen and unhappy teen I can watch.  I think this may appeal more to tweens. 

Scoring: 2

 

Christmas Festival Of Ice
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Taylor Cole, Damon Runyan, and Wendy Crewson
Synopsis: Emma finished law school and her mother expects her to practice with her. But Emma finds out her beloved Christmas festival ice-sculpting contest, has been canceled and she springs into action. Determined to keep it going, she enlists sponsors and artists. Emma convinces Nick, the town's ace artisan, to be her teammate. As Emma and Nick work together, she realizes there's more to life than legal briefs. Transformed by Emma's can-do spirit, Nick is invigorated, too. They just might have a shot at winning this very special Christmas contest - and a lot more.
Review: Emma doesn’t want to disappoint her mom but she wants to follow her dreams. An age-old tale most people can relate to. We get to see Emma straddle both worlds in this darling story. There are also the various ice projects to watch as they develop into beautiful sculptures.
Scoring: 3

Christmas For A Dollar

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Brian Krause

Synopsis: America is in the midst of the Depression, and the Kamp family is struggling to get by, especially after Mrs. Kamp's untimely death. Now little Ruthie, with her mother gone and her father overwhelmed by doctor bills resulting from her brother’s polio, expects another Christmas without presents or festivities. But when her father brings home one dollar in change and lets the children use it to buy special gifts for each other, the Kamps come to find that money isn't what fills Christmas with joy, love, and miracles.

Review:  This isn’t a typical Christmas feel-good movie but it brings the emotions. We get a glimpse of the struggles people faced in depression era America. It strips away today’s commercialism and shows the true meaning of Christmas.

Scoring: 3

 

A Christmas For The Books

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

StarringChelsea Kane and Drew Seeley

SynopsisA romance expert conceals her recent breakup and asks a morning show producer to pretend they are a couple before she is exposed as a fraud. When he agrees, she never expects to find herself falling for him. 

Review:  While there’s plenty of expected moments there are also some surprises. It’s a little sappy and everyone behaves a little better than real life. However, there’s still lots of Christmas magic and love. Charming. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Getaway
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Bridget Regan, Travis Van Winkle, and Teryl Rothery
Synopsis: A travel writer takes a Christmas vacation, but finds herself double-booked with a widower, his mother, and his daughter at the holiday site.
Review: I love that each character is kind and sweet. The main characters are hurt and flawed but with the help of his mother, daughter, and Christmas traditions they begin to heal and open their hearts.
Scoring: 5

The Christmas Gift (1986)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: John Denver and Jane Kaczmarek

Synopsis: A man and his daughter visit a town of Santa Claus believers.

Review: If you can get past the film being from 1986, and looking like it, you may enjoy it.  The acting is good, the scenery is beautiful, and it has lots of Christmas traditions.  I personally found it very slow.  By halfway through I was still sort of bored and waiting for it to be over.  It had everything needed for a great movie but was just missing some magic.  It’s nice seeing the town come together.  It’s the type of small town I’d love to live in.

Scoring: 2

The Christmas Gift (2015)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg and Rick Fox

Synopsis: A reporter searches for a stranger who unknowingly changed her life with an anonymous Christmas gift.

Review:  With its more serious subject matter, the story still has enough light moments to balance them and has a feel-good plot. It’s a great story about how the

smallest acts of kindness can have a ripple effect. The underlying meaning and story are worth it. The characters' lives intertwine in interesting ways. It’s got some slow moments but the overall emotion of it left me feeling good about people.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas Grace

Rated: TV-Y7

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Ryan-Iver Klann

Synopsis: Rival toy store owners compete over several Christmas seasons, and God's grace goes to work in their lives.

Review: I truly liked this movie.  The main messages are having faith in God that things will work out, doing the right thing, and giving to others.  Even if you don’t care for movies that have a strong religious message you may still enjoy it. The main characters are interesting people and the story moved right along.

Scoring: 3

Christmas Harmony

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical

Starring: Kelley Jakle, Adam Mayfield, and Sally Struthers

Synopsis: Kelley Jakle stars as young woman who returns to her small hometown to rediscover music, family bonds, and the magic of the Christmas season.

Review:  It’s a little dumb at points but that doesn’t matter. I found myself getting frustrated with the main characters for what they did which means I cared.  The story has too many pauses but the love stories make it worth the watch. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Christmas Heart
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: Teri Polo, Paul Essiembre, and Tess Harper
Synopsis: When a teenage boy desperately needs a heart transplant on Christmas Eve, his family and neighbors' forty-year tradition of lining their quaint street with Christmas luminaries is put on hold. When his parents, Ann and Mike, pray for a donor on a stormy night, the neighbors suddenly realize their luminaries could have a deeper purpose.
Review: Remarkably moving movie. I admit I got chills and needed a tissue. The town and their support are what we should all strive for. I felt so invested in the outcome. I love it. But be prepared, this is a very heavy subject matter and they take it seriously and do it justice.
Scoring: 4
Christmas Homecoming
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Julie Benz and Michael Shanks
Synopsis: A widow of a war hero takes in an injured soldier who has just returned from Afghanistan. Together they help each other heal and find true love.
Review: A very sweet love story. Christmas provides the backdrop as we watch Amanda and Jim move beyond their past pain and fall in love. It’s another reminder of the sacrifices made by service members and their families.
Scoring: 3
The Christmas Hope
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Madeline Stowe, James Remar, and Ian Ziering
Synopsis: When lives intertwine during Christmas, hope is the only unifying gift. After suffering a personal tragedy, a social worker throws herself into finding homes for children in need.
Review: A moving and lovely story. It truly examines what makes a family. Seeing the couple heal as the girl heals kept me emotionally invested in them. It also shines a light on all the children in our foster system and how much they can add to a family. I needed the tissues for this one.
Scoring: 3
Christmas In Angel Falls
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion, Romance
Starring: Rachel Boston, Paul Greene, and Beau Bridges
Synopsis: Gabby is a guardian angel who breaks the rules by interfering too much in people’s lives. Gabby is sent to Angel Falls to revive the town's forgotten Christmas spirit.  While she works to bring back Christmas spirit to the town, with Jack’s help, she falls in love. The rule is angels can’t be in relationships with humans.
Review: Gabby’s spirit is contagious and makes watching joyful. She’s a reminder that we should all spread Christmas spirit freely.
Scoring: 4
Christmas in Boston
Rated: G
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Marla Sokoloff, Patrick J. Adams, Lindy Booth, and Jonathan Cherry
Synopsis: Gina and Seth have been pen pals for 13 years and now will have the chance to meet. Both used their best friends' pictures to send to each other and now will let their friends meet.
Review: Beneath all the funny antics is a very sweet love story. I got a little impatient waiting for them to reveal who they really were but I still enjoyed it.
Scoring: 3
Christmas In Canaan
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Billy Ray Cyrus and Emily Tennant
Synopsis: DJ and Rodney don't like each other from the start. Rodney thinks DJ is an ignorant white farm boy, and DJ thinks Rodney acts too smart for his own good. After a school bus scuffle between the two, DJ's father and Rodney's grandmother come up with a clever solution that brings the boys closer than either of them would like. Living in Canaan, Texas in the 1960s does not make it easy for a black boy and a white boy to forge a friendship. It is only amid the magic of an unforgettable Christmas that DJ and Rodney discover a land of milk and honey where hope and love make all the difference.
Review: A stirring look at racial relations and friendship. We get to see it from different perspectives. The relationships are the best part of the movie. The pace is very slow but there are special moments that are worth waiting for.
Scoring: 2

Christmas in Compton

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Keith David, Eric Roberts and Sheryl Lee Ralph

Synopsis: Big Earl, the owner of a Christmas tree lot in Compton, California runs into some trouble when his son Derrick crosses the line to prove to his father that he is a success.

Review: There are parts of the plot that are quite far-fetched but I like the overall message of the value of community.  It’s not the highest quality film I’ve seen and it felt a little long.  I did enjoy it, though.  As with many movies, the little girl was a highlight.

Scoring: 3

Christmas In Connecticut (1945)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan, Sydney Greenstreet, And Reginald Gardiner
Synopsis: A food writer who has lied about being the perfect housewife must try to cover her deception when her boss and a returning war hero invite themselves to her home for a traditional family Christmas.
Review: Movies like this one are classics for a reason. I enjoy watching the characters maneuver around difficult and awkward situations with humor. Light-hearted and a love story make for a charming combination.
Scoring: 5

Christmas In Connecticut (1992)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Dylan Cannon, Kris Kristofferson, and Tony Curtis

Synopsis: Elizabeth is the star of a successful cooking show and author of several cookbooks. Alexander, her manager, sees a heroic forest ranger named Jefferson on the television news, saying he has lost his cabin in a fire and wishes he could get a home-cooked Christmas dinner. Alexander arranges for Elizabeth to do a special live show on Christmas, where she will cook a Christmas dinner for Jefferson. In reality, Elizabeth can't cook and trying to keep Jefferson and the viewing public from finding out may be a little difficult, especially on a live show.

Review:  As with many remakes, the original is so much better. The original is more of a love story with humor and this is slapstick. It’s funny and silly but it doesn't take itself seriously and is still entertaining.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas In Conway
Rated: PG
Genres: Dramas, Romance
Starring: Mary Louise Parker, Andy Garcia, Mandy Moore, and Cheri Oteri
Synopsis: A man builds a Ferris wheel in his backyard for his ailing wife as a reminder of the night he proposed, but a neighborhood grinch is on a mission to see the plans don’t get off the ground.
Review: I found this movie extremely depressing and lacking in Christmas. The only good point is the ferris wheel getting done. The whole rest of the movie is difficult to enjoy, even on an emotional drama level. If you are looking for a heavy and sad subject matter, you may enjoy it.
Scoring: 1
Christmas In Evergreen
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Ashley Williams, Teddy Sears, Holly Robinson Peete, and Barbara Niven
Synopsis: Allie plans to leave her small town to movie in with her boyfriend after a long-distance relationship. Ryan, a widower, and his daughter Zoe are planning a Christmas cruise. Winter weather prevents all three from making their flights. While together in Evergreen and with the help of a magical snow globe, love ensues.
Review: It’s near impossible to not feel the joy of this movie. We get to watch as magic, or fate, works to guide everyone. Only the magic snow globe knows for sure. Delightful story in a quaint small town where Christmas is celebrated fully, both the traditions and the spirit.
Scoring: 4

Christmas In Evergreen: Letters To Santa

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Jill Wagner, Mark Deklin, Holly Robinson Peete, Ashley Williams and Barbara Niven

Synopsis: Lisa's trip home to Evergreen for the holidays finds her shepherding an effort to save the town's beloved general store, fulfilling the wishes of a Christmas past and finding a romance full of Christmas magic.

Review:  I actually liked this better than the first Evergreen movie. There’s something special about this movie. It’s got love, friendship, family, healing, and magic. I loved everything about it. 

Scoring: 4

 

Christmas In Homestead
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Taylor Cole, Michael Rady, and Brooklyn Rae Silzer
Synopsis: One of the most famous actresses in the world heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed movie. She is thrown for a loop when a romance brews between her and local inn keeper and single dad, Matt. As she gets a taste of small-town life, she discovers the true meaning of Christmas. 
Review:  The small town and its residents are charming. The story is okay but it seems to drag. As with many movies, it’s the child who steals the scenes and kept me interested. 
Scoring: 2

Christmas in Louisiana

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Jana Kramer, Barry Bostwick, Dee Wallace, Moira Kelly, and Brian McNamara

Synopsis: A woman returns home to celebrate the anniversary of the town’s Sugarcane Christmas Festival.

Review: The movie is fairly upbeat and filled with Christmas.  I just had trouble buying into the premise.  Senior year a boy breaks up with a girl in front of the whole town, she holds a grudge for 15 years, then all is forgiven in a day and they’re celebrating the festival together.  It took away from what the movie could’ve been.  Even with that, the movie is still wonderful.  Old love, new love, and rediscovered love all together wrapped in Christmas. 

Scoring: 3

Christmas In Love

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Brooke D’Orsay and Daniel Lissing 

Synopsis: Ellie works at a local bakery but her love is crafting. Nick, the new CEO, arrives filled with modernization ideas destined to lay off many employees. When Nick finally tells the employees his future ideas for the company, Ellie must decide if she should trust him, but more importantly, whether to take a leap of faith in making her own dreams come true.

Review:  I know this includes a small town and a bakery as so many Christmas movies seem to but this one is different. It’s layered and moves at a steady pace. It’s full of Christmas tradition and small town charm. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas In Mississippi 

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Jana Kramer, Wes Brown, Faith Ford, Barry Bostwick, Richard Karn, and Gary Grubbs

Synopsis: Photographer Holly returns to her hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi for Christmas. The town is resurrecting their traditional holiday light show for the first time since a terrible hurricane struck five years earlier. Holly volunteers to pitch in, but soon has second thoughts when she discovers the festival is run by her high school sweetheart, Mike. With the help of her match-making mom, Caroline and Mr. Kriss, the kind man who will play Santa in the town's celebration, Holly begins to fall in love with her hometown, and Mike, all over again.

Review:  I found the storyline about the hurricane to be distracting and overkill. Other than that, I really liked it. Kramer and a Brown had strong chemistry, the story slowly unfolds, and it weaves in Christmas magic. 

 Scoring: 3

 

A Christmas In New York

Rated: TV-14

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Jamie Ray Newman

Synopsis: Several guests come to terms with love and its countless complications over the course of one night in an upscale Manhattan hotel.

Review: The stories were interesting and diverse but poorly done. This was a true missed storytelling opportunity. The majority of the movie is depressing and moves like molasses. Very hard to sit through. 

Scoring: 1

Christmas In Palm Springs
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Dina Meyer, Patrick Muldoon, Ian Ziering, and Bill Cobbs
Synopsis: Jessica has a big presentation in Palm Springs. There are a couple of problems though: her two kids who will do anything to get mom and dad back together again - even if they have to hack mom's phone or pose as a secretary to make sure dad's in Palm Springs too. And father Joe who'll do anything to charm his way back into Jessica's life.
Review:  Fairly typical “kids getting parents back together” story. However, I enjoyed the children’s antics and the parents are so likable you want them to get back together. 
Scoring: 3
 
Christmas In Paradise
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Charlotte Ross and Colin Ferguson
Synopsis: Two families disembark on a cruise to San Juan in celebration of Christmas. Dana takes her two sons on the cruise to help cope with the loss of their father. Dan takes his two daughters on the cruise to forget their absentee mother.
Review: Seeing Dan, Dana, and the children move through these troubled waters and support each other is sweet. They heal together. Despite the theme it’s a light and easy watch that’s very charming.  The woven in local traditions add a special touch.

Scoring: 3

A Christmas In Royal Fashion

Rated: PG

Genre: Romance

Starring: Cindy Busby

Synopsis: A handsome prince hopes to convince an American fashion company to bring more business to his kingdom. He hosts a Christmas fashion show, where he meets an intriguing young assistant. 

Review:  You’ve got the prince who falls for the commoner, mistaken identity, and a sweet child in the hospital. It’s the perfect recipe for romance. Yes, it’s not full of surprises but it’s got likable characters and is an easy watch. 

Scoring: 3

 

A Christmas In Tennessee

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Rachel Boston, Andrew Walker, and Caroline Rhea

Synopsis: A baker unites the people of her small mountain town to resist a real estate developer’s plan to build a ski resort. 

Review:  Boston and Walker, pros at TV Christmas movies, do their magic again. A sweet love story that’s not totally predictable and fun to watch. I especially liked the Christmas magic.  I won’t give any spoilers but there are a couple of magical visitors. 

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas In The Air
Rated: G
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Catherine Bell and Eric Close
Synopsis: Lydia, a successful professional organizer, is constantly trying to grow her business, but her ambition takes a back seat to love when she meets Robert, a frazzled widower with two young children
Review:  Lydia is very organized and Robert is very creative. I enjoyed seeing how Robert, with Lydia’s help, grew closer to his children while he inspires her. A sweet movie about family, creativity, and embracing your strengths. 
Scoring: 4
Christmas In The City
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Ashley Williams, Ashanti, and Jon Prescott
Synopsis: With the threat of having to close her father's candy store, Wendy and her six-year-old daughter Grace travel to the big city in hopes of making extra holiday cash to save their family store. Wendy gets a job in the toy department of Wolman's, a store that even has child care for her daughter. When the store brings in a corporate fixer who begins making drastic changes, Wendy steps in to try to bring the true meaning of Christmas back. 
Review:  Wendy is a strong, vulnerable, and hopeful character. Watching her journey with her father’s store, Wolman’s store, and her daughter, allow us to see her evaluate what’s truly important. A feel-good movie. Wendy’s joy is contagious. 
Scoring: 4

Christmas In The Heartland

Rated: TV-MA

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Sierra McCormick, Shelley Long, Christian Kane, Brighton Sharbino, and Bo Derek

Synopsis: Teenagers Kara and Jessie strike up an unlikely friendship while sitting next to each other on a plane that's bound for the heartland. Forced to spend the holidays in the same small town with relatives that they've never met, the girls devise a plan to switch places for Christmas. Jessie soon finds herself living lavishly with Kara's wealthy grandparents, while Kara starts to bond with Jessie's fun, quirky grandmother and the most genuine, modest family that she's ever known.

Review: While it’s a take on The Parent Trap meets The Prince And The Pauper, it doesn’t do either justice. I liked the beginning and seeing the girls evolve but the ending ruined it. In this day and age, it’s hard to buy a story where neither family knew what the girls looked like, their family never called to speak to them, and so on. It makes it even harder to buy into the premise.

Scoring: 1

 

Christmas In The Smokies

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance

Starring: Sarah Lancaster and Jill Wagner

Synopsis: Clinging to the only life she's ever known, a headstrong woman (along with her loving parents) finds herself on the verge of losing her family's berry farm in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, to an impending retail expansion. Over one eventful holiday season, she tries every avenue possible to save the farm. But, when the local town leaders notify her that they will have to seize the property after the holidays, her last hope to unite the town, is to throw a Christmas concert on the farm, headlined by her former love, a ne'er-do-well country music superstar. As the day of the concert approaches, they all must learn the value of family, faith and community-before time runs out.

Review:  A sweet, if not predictable, movie. I saw the ending from the beginning but I didn’t mind. There is a religious tone so if you don’t like that I wouldn’t watch. If you want a typical and charming love/family story at Christmas, you’ll enjoy it.

Scoring: 3

 

Christmas In Vermont 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Starring: Abagail Hawk, Chevy Chase, David O’Donnell, Howard Hesseman, and Morgan Fairchild
Synopsis: Riley is a rising star at a noted holding company. She is sent to Chestnut, Vermont to evaluate the assets of one of their companies, an outerwear clothing manufacturer. Everyone thinks she's there to save the company when she's really there to liquidate it.  As she embraces the small town,  she works to save the company.
Review:  I thought this was a more original story and it was truly engaging. I felt emotionally invested in what happened to the company and the town. The characters were a diverse group of personalities which added to the interest.  Endearing. 
Scoring: 4
 

Christmas in Wonderland

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Chris Kattan, Tim Curry, and Patrick Swayze

Synopsis: Three children and their father move from Los Angeles to Edmonton, Alberta. When they go shopping at West Edmonton Mall, they find counterfeit cash, inadvertently help catch crooks, and make a discovery about Santa.

Review: This movie is really meant for children. It’s overly silly and outrageous. For adults, if you love slapstick, you may like it. The craziness should have

children in stitches. I do like the overall message of family being the most important part of Christmas.

Scoring: 2

Christmas Incorporated 
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Shenae Grimes-Beech and Steve Lund
Synopsis: Riley Vance is hired as personal assistant to William Young, who recently inherited his father's company. He's under pressure to close the flagship toy factory of the firm, but Riley convinces him to visit the town and evaluate the plant and people. To save the town, she must rekindle his long-dormant Christmas spirit.
Review:  This movie has the same formula of small town, someone who loves Christmas, and a Scrooge. Add in a mistaken identity, a boss and assistant with different plans, a nosy reporter, and reliving childhood memories and you have a mixture that will hold your interest and attention.  It's a fun time watching them get to the resolution. 
Scoring: 3

Christmas Inheritance 

Rated: NR

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Eliza Taylor, Jake Lacy, and Andie McDowell

Synopsis: Before ambitious heiress Ellen Langford can inherit her father's gift business, she must deliver a special Christmas card to her dad's former partner in Snow Falls, the hometown she never knew. When a snowstorm strands her at the town inn, she's forced to work for her keep, and in the process, finds romance and discovers the true gift of Christmas.

Review:  A predictable movie but still nice. We get to see a wealthy woman as she rediscovers the value rather than the price of things. In order to enjoy it you have to be able to ignore major plot holes.  It’s okay but I probably wouldn’t watch twice. 

Scoring: 2

 

Christmas Is Here Again

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Musical

Starring: Jay Leno, Ed Asner, Kathy Bates, Brad Garrett, Andy Griffith, Shirley Jones, and Norm Macdonald

Synopsis: An elf and three animals help an orphan find Santa’s toy sack. 

Review:  This movie has a Wizard of Oz type of plot with animation similar to many of the modern children’s shows and a cast of who’s who. I still didn’t enjoy it. It’s not that I thought it was bad, it was just grating. I think children and some adults will love it. It merges the religious and secular Christmases.

Scoring: 2