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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Christmas 9 To 5 (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Tiya Sircar, George Wendt, and Joe Dinicol
Synopsis: Jennifer is a tough crime beat reporter who gets the assignment of her life: to find the true meaning of Christmas.
Review: This movie has a unique and refreshing plot. As Jennifer goes undercover at a department store, she learns about people and tradition. The relationships are one of the best parts of the movie. They’re so special. I really enjoyed this, especially Wendt as the wise elevator operator.
Christmas A La Mode (2019)
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.
Christmas All Over Again (2016)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Sean Ryan Fox and Joey Lawrence
Synopsis: A mischievous, swag-obsessed boy must overcome his inner Scrooge, or remain caught in a cycle where every day is a Christmas without presents.
Review: Unlike so many other movies patterned after “Groundhog Day”, this one admits to it in the beginning. It’s a children’s version that adults will enjoy. Children will especially like that instead of waking up each day with an alarm, Eddie wakes up to his dog farting in his face. As it goes on, we realize Eddie’s behavior is more about hurting and loss than selfishness. Good family film.
Christmas Apparition (2016)
Starring: Katie O. Jones
Synopsis: As Emma works to create a beautiful Christmas for the children she is looking after, the warm glow of the Christmas tree and the sparkling of the ornaments are in stark contrast with the hostility of the children in their freezing house.
Review: This movie felt like it was desperately trying to build suspense for a climactic ending but then just fizzled like air being let out of a balloon. There are too many questions left unanswered, like why Emma won’t go home, why does William stay silent then speak. It’s like being given a puzzle with half the pieces. It’s slow and boring. With a better ending sitting through the movie may have been worth it.
Christmas Around The Corner (2018)
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.
A Christmas Arrangement (2018)
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.
Christmas at Dollywood (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Dolly Parton, Danica McKellar, and Niall Matter
Synopsis: A Broadway producer travels to Tennessee in an effort to save her Holiday extravaganza.
Review: It does have a little bit of a Dollywood advertisement aspect to it but the characters and their relationships are the majority of it. There’s just enough Dolly Parton and Dollywood to make it look like an amazing time. McKellar and Matter make a good duo. It’s a sweet and charming movie even if it’s a little slow at times. It gives a little bit of the culture and spirit of southeast Tennessee. I did enjoy it. Especially all the Christmas.
Christmas At Graceland (2018)
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.
Christmas At Graceland: Home For The Holidays (2019)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Adrian Grenier, Kaitlin Doubleday, and Priscilla Presley
Synopsis: World-traveler Harper returns to Memphis for the holidays and nannies for wealthy widower Owen while awaiting news about a job overseas.
Review: This movie is really special. Pretty much every scene has some Christmas imagery. Everyone is flawed but with soft perfection. The families are wonderful. I knew how it would end but I was so entertained I wasn’t really thinking about it. The best thing is when a movie seems to be really short and you can’t believe it’s already over. It also has lots of Graceland and Elvis.
Christmas At Grand Valley (2018)
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.
Christmas At Maxwell’s (2006)
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.
Christmas At Pemberley Manor (2018)
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.
Christmas at the Chateau (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Kinsey Leigh Redmond and Justen Jones
Synopsis: How will 3 sisters save the Shakespeare Chateau, historic mansion and beloved family home, from a corrupt bank that threatens to foreclose on Christmas Day? Especially when one of them falls in love with one of the bankers.
Review: I loved this movie. Between the sisters and their attachment to each other and the chateau, the texting relationship, and the relationship in real life, there’s so much to it. I even teared up a few times at the end. For a low budget movie, the main actors are amazing and it’s done very well.
Christmas At The Palace (2018)
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.
Christmas At The Plaza (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Elizabeth Henstridge, Ryan Paevey, Julia Duffy, and Bruce Davison
Synopsis: When historian Jessica is hired to create the Plaza’a Christmas display, she finds more than facts while teaming up with handsome decorator Nick to bring the display to life.
Review: There’s lots of beautiful Christmas imagery and some family traditions to bring the Christmas spirit. However, the movie is less about Christmas and more about people and the importance of our legacies and preserving the past and present for the future. It’s a lovely, leisurely, experience.
Christmas At The Royal Hotel (2018)
Starring: Harry Oram
Synopsis: In 1941, Hong Kong was the Casablanca of the East, a city full of war refugees, profiteers and spies. With the sudden attack by Japanese troops, a Canadian soldier's Christmas promise is broken during the Battle of Hong Kong.
Review: This movie had so much potential. The problem wasn’t that it’s clearly a low budget indie film. There were truly gripping scenes that were wrought with emotion. It was also interesting to see a WWII movie in Asia rather than Europe. Unfortunately, it was also filled with too many seemingly irrelevant side stories and bad acting. It felt like the movie was three times as long as it was. The good scenes aren’t worth sitting through the rest.
Christmas Belle (2013)
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.
Christmas Belles (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Raven Goodwin, DomiNque Perry and Omar Gooding
Synopsis: Despite being successful in their careers, two 30-something BFFs never stop hearing that they both need a man before it's too late. When a handsome pastor arrives just in time to kick off the Christmas season, both ladies try to make a move-but as their hilarious attempts to one up each other keep growing, it will be up to their family to remind them what the holiday season is truly about.
Review: This is sometimes silly and sometimes serious. The relationship between the two friends is really special. Scenes like everyone at church eating the pie with marijuana could’ve been longer for more comedy. Still, it’s fun and moving.
Christmas Bells Are Ringing (2018)
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.
The Christmas Box (1995)
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.
Christmas Break-In (2018)
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.
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