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 (2017)
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.
Elliot The Littlest Reindeer (2019)
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Morena Baccarin, Josh Hutcherson, John Cleese, Martin Short, Jeff Dunham, and Samantha Bee
Synopsis: When Blitzen suddenly retires, a miniature horse determined to join Santa’s reindeer team faces fierce competition in the North Pole tryouts.
Review: An animated tale with just enough adult references to keep parents entertained. Kids may wonder why there’s selfish reindeer or bad elves but hopefully the end explains enough. It’s funny but if you’re not an animation fan you make find it a little too juvenile.
Emmett Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Frank Oz and Jim Henson
Synopsis: A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.
Review: Even though they’re Muppets, the characters are so real and the music is beautiful. The message of the mother and son sacrificing for each other is so sweet. It’s almost a reverse Magi story as the son has to ruin mom’s washtub to win money for her and she must pawn his toolbox for a new costume to win for him. Both are used to earn them money. The mother and son’s love for each other and their being grateful when they have so little is something, we need more of. It’s a tender story of how they’re stronger together. I won’t ruin the ending but this is great for families to watch together.
An En Vogue Christmas (2014)
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.
Entertaining Christmas (2018)
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.
Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
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.
Eve’s Christmas (2004)
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.
An Evergreen Christmas (2014)
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.
Every Day Is Christmas (2018)
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.
Every Other Holiday (2018)
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.