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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El Camino Christmas

Rated: TV-MA

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Dax Shephard and Tim Allen

Synopsis: Eric comes to El Camino looking for his unknown dad. He's harassed, hit and jailed by a drunk local cop, who later shoots at a liquor mart with Eric +4 inside. The sheriff and deputy then shoot up the place, answering each other's fire.

Review:  To be perfectly honest, this movie did not appeal to me and I forced myself to watch it.  I’m so glad I did.  It started out slowly and seemed a little weird but I hung in there and it got more and more interesting and I cared more and more about the characters.  I know it’s rated MA but it’s not that explicit, it’s just not for kids.

Scoring: 4

Elf
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy 
Starring: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Bob Newhart, Zooey Deschanel,  Ed Asner, Amy Sedaris, and Peter Dinklage
Synopsis: Buddy was a baby in an orphanage who stowed away in Santa's sack and ended up at the North Pole. Later, as an adult human who happened to be raised by elves, Santa allows him to go to New York City to find his birth father, Walter Hobbs. Hobbs, on Santa's naughty list for being a heartless jerk, had no idea that Buddy was even born. Buddy, meanwhile, experiences the delights of New York City (and human culture) as only an elf can. When Walter's relationship with Buddy interferes with his job, he is forced to reevaluate his priorities.
Review:  Watching the wide-eyed innocence of Buddy experiencing New York is so much fun. I watched it with childlike wonder rooting for Buddy to have the human family he wants so much. Don’t be surprised if you adopt such expressions as, “son of a Nutcracker!”
Scoring: 4
Eloise at Christmastime 
Rated: NR
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Julie Andrews, Sophia Vassilieva, Rick Roberts, Christine Baranski, and Jeffrey Tambor
Synopsis: A 6-year-old girl tries to reunite a young woman with a former boyfriend before she marries another.
Review:  While quite precocious and very nosy, Eloise is good-natured and has a generous heart. The hotel has a cast of varied and fascinating characters that add to Eloise’s story. Watching her adventures is fun for the whole family. 
Scoring: 4
Enchanted Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Family, Romance 
Starring: Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega
Synopsis: Laura must return home to Utah, and her father, to oversee the renovation of a derelict hotel, where she used to dance, which must be restored in time for a Christmas Eve benefit dance performance. She is surprised to learn her old love, Ricardo, is the star of the benefit. When his dance partner walks out on the show for an audition, Laura has to step in for her, reawakening her love of the dance, not to mention her old feelings for Ricardo. A potent combination that has her head spinning.
Review:  It’s not a bad movie but it’s a little flat. It’s just missing something. It’s a typical love story and it’s not difficult to sit through. Knowing the leads are married in real life takes away some of the magic for me. 
Scoring: 3
Engaging Father Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, Wendy Malik, and Jim Thornburn
Synopsis: Miranda is flying back to Vermont from her home in Seattle to reconnect with her family over the holidays and to see Ian, a local handyman she fell in love with on her last trip to the Green Mountain State. But when changing planes in Boston, Miranda runs into old boyfriend Josh who chases her to Vermont, where Miranda learns of an old family secret that could destroy her family. Can Miranda keep her family, and her love for Ian, together and intact, or will she forever lose her chance at a beautiful winter wedding?
Review:  There aren’t a lot of surprises in this movie. It has the same feel and pace as the first movie, Finding Father Christmas. That being said, it’s a sweet family tale. Wendy Malik’s character adds true warmth. 
Scoring: 3

Entertaining Christmas

Rated: G

Genres: Romance

Starring: Jodie Sweetin and Brendan Fehr

Synopsis: The daughter of a lifestyle mogul is poised to become the new face of the brand. The only trouble is, she can’t cook, sew, or do any of the other things for which her mother is known. 

Review:  The movie is well done and acted but I spent the majority of the movie uncomfortably waiting for Sweetin’s character to fail. The ending was happy, as Hallmark always gives us, but the middle was awkward. I liked the message that perfection isn’t what matters at Christmas. 

Scoring: 3

An En Vogue Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Musical

Starring: Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Rhona Bennett, David Alan Grier, and Genelle Williams

Synopsis: The Opera House is closing, and in order to save it the owner's daughter gets the group En Vouge to reunite and do a Christmas performance at the place that gave them their start.

Review:  If you’re a fan of En Vogue you’ll love this reunion and their singing. Otherwise you may just enjoy the friendship of the three ladies. There are a few moments where it feels like an ad for them but they make up for it. 

Scoring: 3

 

Ernest Saves Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Jim Varney

Synopsis: An obnoxious and bumbling but well-meaning man attempts to help Santa Claus find a successor. Failure would mean that there would be no Christmas.

Review:  Like all Jim Varney films, especially the Ernest ones, this is true slapstick comedy. It’s silly and simple but if you like Jim Varney you’ll love it. If you’re looking for deep and meaningful it’s not for you. 

Scoring: 3

 

Eve’s Christmas

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Elisa Donovan and Cheryl Ladd

Synopsis: A wealthy and successful career woman gets a second chance in life when a magical wish transports her back in time eight years to when she walked away from her fiance to lead a business life in New York.

Review:  Donovan does a good job at keeping the movie light but sincere. It’s an honest look at choices we make. I really like this movie. It’s an annual must see. 

Scoring: 4

 

 

An Evergreen Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Musical, Romance

Starring: Robert Loggia, Naomi Judd, Greer Grammer, and Tyler Ritter

Synopsis: Evie Lee is forced to leave her glamorous Hollywood life when her father passes unexpectedly. She finds her family’s Tennessee Christmas tree farm floundering. She has to choose between her career and her family legacy. 

Review:  There’s no real Christmas spirit here. It’s poorly done and stereotypes people. It’s also very slow. 

Scoring: 1

 

Every Day Is Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama

Starring: Toni Braxton

Synopsis: Inspired by the Charles Dickens classic "A Christmas Carol," shrewd money manager Alexis Taylor gets the holiday visit of a lifetime. A self-proclaimed workaholic who "humbugs" love, Alexis ends up embracing the spirit of Christmas when her past, present, and future collide, forcing her to risk the one thing money can't buy: her heart.

Review:  This is a fresh take on the Christmas Carol story. After so many versions it’s hard to see something new but they did it.The only weak point was Braxton. Fortunately, the story and other actors more than made up for her. 

Scoring: 3

 

Every Other Holiday

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance

Starring: Schuyler Fisk and Dee Wallace

Synopsis: Recently separated parents Tracie and Rick spend every other holiday with their young daughters Harper and Ava. But this Christmas, the girls have only one thing on their wish lists - to spend Christmas with both Mom and Dad at Tracie's family farmhouse.

Review:  There are some very awkward and hard to watch moments. Tracie’s mother, while coming from a good place, is just mean. There is a religious element to this that some may not like. I did like how the characters had problems so many people have. The ending resolution was glossed over but it ended in a way that made the movie worth it. 

Scoring: 3