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)
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.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
Genres: Adventure, Drama
Starring: Bruce Willis and Bonnie Bedelia
Synopsis: John McClane attempts to avert disaster as rogue military operatives seize control of Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.
Review: Like the first movie, many will argue, strongly, whether this is a Christmas movie or not. They mention it takes place at Christmastime but there’s no real Christmas here. If you like adventure films, you’ll enjoy it. If you want a happy movie full of Christmas, this isn’t for you.
A Different Kind Of Christmas (1996)
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.
Discarding Santa (2018)
Starring: Denise Morris
Synopsis: In 2010, the city of Leitchfield, Kentucky decided to outlaw any and all references to Santa Claus for Christmas, in an attempt to de-commercialize the holiday. The events that happened leading up to Christmas are still under investigation. The evidence, discovered in 2017, has been pieced together with news footage, security footage, police footage and City Counsel footage.
Review: This is supposed to look like a documentary. Instead, it’s odd, ever shifting angles, and bad camera shots. The acting is bad and the writing is horrible. The idea, being done as a movie rather than a fake documentary, is interesting. It’s a shame they ruined it.
Disney Channel’s Epic Holiday Showdown (2020)
Genres: Fantasy, Musical
Synopsis: The holidays are in peril as Ebenezer Scrooge casts an evil curse on the season. Disney Channel stars are tasked with saving the holidays by taking on a series of challenges.
Review: A cute series of fun challenges children should love. There’s even a nod to the classic I Love Lucy chocolate conveyer belt scene. There’s music and dancing. I like how they include Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
Disney Holiday Magic Quest (2020)
Starring: Raven-Symoné, Milo Manheim, Meg Donnelly, Kylee Russell, Ariel Martin, and Pearce Joza
Synopsis: Disney Villains have stolen the holiday magic from the Magic Kingdom Park.
Review: As someone who has been to the park more times than I can count, I loved just seeing a glimpse of the park. This adventure is for children or for those who are a kid at heart. It’s tons of fun. I’m jealous I didn’t get to do it.
A Dog For Christmas (2015)
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.
The Dog Who Saved Christmas (2009)
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.
The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010)
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.
The Dog Who Saved The Holidays (2012)
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.
A Doggone Christmas (2016)
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.
Dolly Parton’s Coat Of Many Colors (2015)
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.
Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square (2020)
Genres: Family, Musical
Starring: Dolly Parton, Christine Baranski, Mary Donnelly Haskell, Jenifer Lewis, Vivian Nixon, and Treat Williams
Synopsis: An embittered "Scrooge" of a woman plans to sell her small town, regardless of the consequences to the people who live there.
Review: This movie is deeply poignant. The story, the acting, and the music all lend to a film that is Broadway worthy. I did tear up toward the end but I was completely absorbed in the story. I don’t want to give any specifics that might spoil it but I loved the little girl bartender. A must see!
Double Holiday (2019)
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.
Dr. Seuss’ Grinch The Musical (2020)
Genres: Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Matthew Morrison and Booboo Stewart
Synopsis: A live-action TV adaptation of the Broadway stage musical based on the Dr. Seuss classic "How The Grinch Stole Christmas."
Review: If you like Broadway musicals, this is for you. If you’re just a fan of the Grinch, you may not like this. The costumes and makeup are clearly made to be seen from a distance. Up close the Grinch looks like the Jolly Green Giant. The music is good and it’s fanciful but I prefer the cartoon and Ron Howard movie by far.
Dreamworks Holiday Classics (2011)
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cedric The Entertainer, Cameron Diaz, America Ferrara, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Carl Reiner, Andy Richter, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig
Synopsis: Featuring Shrek and Donkey, Hiccup and Toothless, and the wacky animals from Madagascar this is a compilation of Merry Madagascar, Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury, Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular, and The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper.
Review: I’ll review them separately. Merry Madagascar: I liked the movie Madagascar but I do not like this special. It’s as if the writers sat in a room and asked how they could make every character annoying and make the story blah at the same time. Kids may still like the zany antics but not me. Dragons: I saw the first movie years ago and don’t remember much. I liked this story okay but it’s more about dragons being born while celebrating Snoggletog and not about Christmas. Donkey’s Caroling: If you liked Shrek, or just like fairy tale characters, you’ll enjoy this. It’s just a lot of fun. I especially liked when they walked behind nuns to blend in.
DreamWorks Home: For The Holidays (2017)
Genres: Animation, Fantasy
Starring: Kelly Clarkson
Synopsis: Oh experiences his very first Christmas. Tip and Oh decide to bring some holiday magic to Boovsland.
Review: In my opinion, this is for children only. It was so ridiculous that silly doesn’t begin to cover it. I found it so annoying I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I wouldn’t have children watch just because of the horrible grammar and use of English.