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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Die Hard (1988)

Rated: R

Genres: Adventure, Drama

Starring: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, and Bonnie Bedelia 

Synopsis: John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Review:  While the debate over whether or not this is a Christmas movie will never end, I’ll give you my opinion of it. Christmas is barely mentioned and barely plays a role in it. That being said, if you like action movies, and can get past it being made in 1988, you’ll really like it. If you’re looking for a Christmas movie, this probably isn’t what you want. 

Scoring: 3

 

A Different Kind Of Christmas (1996)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Shelley Long and Barry Bostwick

Synopsis: When you're the city attorney you don't need the kinds of problems that her father was giving her. After her mother died, her father began doing his "Santa Schtick," as she called it, much more intensely... which meant that he turned his home into a kind of year-round Santa Claus castle where children of all ages could come to see the wonderful presents and no child ever left without a gift. But what's wrong with this kind of philanthropic generosity was that it totally embarrassed her when, as city attorney, it fell to her to make him stop his 'commercial' enterprise in an area zoned for private homes. But there's more to it than that and the outcome is not quite what you'd expect.

Review: I didn’t care for the negatives in the father-daughter relationship but I love the feeling of keeping the Christmas spirit year-round and of giving to others.

Scoring: 3

 

A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Vanessa Williams, Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, John Taylor, and Kathy Griffin
Synopsis: Ebony Scrooge is one of the world's most successful pop singers. Yet her cold hearted soul and nasty attitude makes her lack a lot of holiday cheer and makes her band and manager, anything but happy. While in New York, Ebony is visited by her former singing partner, Marli Jacob, who claims that she will be visited by three spirits: Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Future who will hopefully turn Ebony's life around.
Review:  A new spin on The Christmas Carol. It’s fresh and entertaining. We still see the Scrooge learn the errors of her ways and change but this time it’s based around the entertainment industry. Enjoyable. 
Scoring: 3

A Dog For Christmas (2015)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Dean Cain and Richard Karn

Synopsis: The entire family stays at Dave and Sandy's home for the holidays. Kassandra wants a puppy for Christmas, but Mom and Dad aren't ready for that. Will Santa grant Kassandra's only wish for Christmas?

Review: Other than the parents putting out the gifts from Santa, which would be bad for young believers, this is a fun family film. A lot of it will go over young heads but the children have enough adventures for entertainment. Adults will love seeing the stress and work that goes into Christmas because it’s so relatable but done in a fun way. 

Scoring: 3

A Dog Named Christmas (2009)
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Bruce Greenwood
Synopsis: A developmentally challenged young man with a penchant for caring for animals in need sets out to convince his family, and their whole rural community, to participate in a local shelter's inaugural "Adopt a Dog for Christmas Program."
Review:  A charming story of determination and love. Todd’s determination, passion, and innocence make this movie worth watching. 
Scoring: 3

The Dog Who Saved Christmas (2009)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Mario Lopez, Dean Cain, Gary Valentine, Elisa Donovan, Mindy Sterling, and Adrienne Barbeau

Synopsis: The Bannister family's new addition, Zeus, the yellow Labrador, appears to be less than the dependable guard dog the family needs. However, when two burglars set out to break into the Bannister's home while they're away for Christmas, Zeus seizes the chance to be a hero, proving every dog - even this one - has his day.

Review:  If you liked Home Alone and/or you like dogs, you may enjoy this movie because that’s what it is. A watered-down Home Alone with a dog instead of a child. I found it to be overly silly but children may enjoy it. 

Scoring: 1

 

The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Mario Lopez, Dean Cain, Paris Hilton, Gary Valentine, Elisa Donovan, Casper Van Dien, David O’Donnell, Mindy Sterling, and Adrienne Barbeau

Synopsis: The Bannister family - including former K-9 police hero Zeus - is back, and this time they're spending their holidays at a beautiful Rocky Mountain resort. But toss in an unexpected visit from cocky Uncle Randy and his foxy poodle Bella and a familiar pair of bumbling jewel thieves, and this holiday may be headed downhill fast! Can Zeus solve the crime, save Bella and hit the slopes, all in time for Christmas Day?

Review:  A sequel to The Dog Who Saved Christmas, this is only a smidge better than the first. Unless you really like dogs, you probably won’t like it. Like the first movie, children may enjoy it more. 

Scoring: 1

 

The Dog Who Saved The Holidays (2012)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Joey Lawrence, Mario Lopez, Dean Cain, Gary Valentine, Elisa Donovan, Shelley Long, and Michael Gross

Synopsis: The Bannisters are back with a new family addition - a mischievous pup named Eve. Watch as everyone's favorite dog, Zeus, learns to love his new sister and take down some bumbling thieves.

Review:  Part three of the series is as bad as the first two. I’m not sure why they’re making sequels. I hate repeating myself but this movie may only appeal to children and dog lovers, if them. 

Scoring: 1

 

A Doggone Christmas (2016)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Zachary Cirino, Jaret Sacrey, and Dominique Swain

Synopsis: A dog with telepathic abilities escapes a government lockdown and runs straight into the loving arms of two young brothers.  But the Washington brass won’t give up their secret weapon that easily.  These spunky two boys must channel the spirit of Christmas to save their gifted canine friend.

Review: This movie may appeal to children.  But probably only children.  The story is silly, the acting is bad, the direction is poor.  It’s definitely a B movie.  But a talking dog and children may appeal to the young ones.

Scoring: 1

A Dogwalker’s Christmas Tale (2015)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Jonathan Bennett, Lexi Giovagnoli, Dina Meyer, and Patrick Muldoon
Synopsis: When spoiled, 21-year-old college student Luce Lockhart is forced to take a job over the holidays walking a rich developer's dog, she is thrilled to discover they are going to build a salon and spa over the quaint local dog park nearby. But when Luce meets Dean, an irritating yet handsome dogwalker actively trying to stop them, Luce is forced to question what the park means to her newfound friends, and whether she can put aside her selfish ways to help save the park before Christmas.
Review:  While the pace was a little slow for me, I found the fight for the dog park engaging. If you like dogs they’re an adorable bonus. 
Scoring: 3
Dolly Parton’s Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love (2016)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Dolly Parton, Gerald McRaney, Rick Schroeder, and Jennifer Nettles
Synopsis: An unexpected blizzard threatens the Parton family, while at the same time Dolly's father (and his kids) make sacrifices to raise enough money to finally buy his wife the wedding ring he could never afford to give her. Meanwhile, an important person in little Dolly's life begins to see that her amazing voice and musical gift might just be made for something bigger than rural Tennessee.
Review:  Such a moving movie. Knowing it’s based on a true story makes it that much more extraordinary.  A family surviving with so little but garnering so much strength from their love as a family is inspiring.  Their trials and triumphs are touching.
Scoring: 4

Dolly Parton’s Coat Of Many Colors (2015)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Jennifer Nettles, Ricky Schroder, Gerald McRaney, and Dolly Parton

Synopsis: Based on the true story of Dolly Parton's remarkable upbringing, this movie special takes us inside the tight-knit Parton family as they struggle to overcome devastating tragedy and discover the healing power of love, faith and a raggedy patchwork coat that helped make Dolly who she is today.

Review:  Such a precious story about family, acceptance, and love. Because it's a true story I see a little Dolly Parton. It’s also fascinating to see the way of life people experienced at that time and I love the message that faith will see you through.

Scoring: 4

 

Double Holiday (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family. Romance

Starring: Carly Pope and Kristoffer Polaha

Synopsis: Rebecca endures working with her colleague, and rival, Chris to plan the office Christmas party in the hopes of getting a promotion. While spending so much time together, will they take their eyes off the prize and see each other anew?

Review: Chris joins Rebecca’s family to learn about and celebrate Hanukkah while he teaches her about Christmas.  In the end, the central message is that no matter how you celebrate, family is at the core.  It’s a sweet love story with lots of holiday traditions.

Scoring: 3

Dr. Seuss's How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jim Carrey, Taylor Momsen, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, and Molly Shannon
Synopsis: In this live-action adaptation of the beloved children's tale by Dr. Seuss, the reclusive green Grinch decides to ruin Christmas for the cheery citizens of Whoville. Reluctantly joined by his hapless dog, Max, the Grinch comes down from his mountaintop home and sneaks into town to swipe everything holiday-related from the Whos. However, the bitter grump finds a hitch in his plans when he encounters the endearing Cindy Lou Who.
Review:  Like most of us, I grew up watching the Grinch special each year. The live-action version doesn’t disappoint. It expands on the story of the Grinch and makes him more likable and relatable. All the Seuss touches in costumes, makeup, and sets are fun to see. The young Grinch made me smile.
Scoring: 5
A Dream of Christmas (2016)
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Nikki Deloach, Andrew Walker, and Cindy Williams
Synopsis: An ambitious married woman gets more than she bargained for when her wish to be single again is granted. She awakens to discover she’s got everything she’s ever wanted, except her husband. She resolves to find him a second time. 
Review:  Another be careful what you wish for movie where the main character gets to see what life would be like had she made a different choice.  Reminds us to focus on what we have and not what we don’t. It also reminds us how our decisions impact others. This is a sweet movie and I enjoyed it. 
Scoring: 4