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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Fallen Angel

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Gary Sinise, Joely Richardson, and Rick Roberts

Synopsis: When his father dies, Terry returns to the house where he grew up, planning to stay only long enough to clean and settle the estate. Yet something indescribable keeps him there longer than expected. Soon, he is reunited with memories and people from his past and his life is changed forever.

Review:  A meaningful emotional journey as a man comes to peace with his father and himself. It’s hard to describe without spoilers but this is one I’d have a tissue on hand for. Truly lovely. 

Scoring: 4

 

Falling For Christmas AKA Snow Capped Christmas
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Leah Rene, Niall Matter, Lisa Welchel, and Lochlyn Munro
Synopsis: An injured figure skater is sent to the mountains to recover from an injury. Once there, she meets an ex-hockey player and his young daughter and begins to realize that something is missing from her life.
Review:  I enjoyed this. While it’s another movie about getting priorities straight and it’s not so much about Christmas as it uses Christmas for a backdrop, I didn’t mind. It examines the role people play in our lives and how what we allow changes us. 
Scoring: 3
Family For Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert and Tyron Leitso
Synopsis: After a conversation with a man playing Santa Claus during her office Christmas party, a woman wakes up to find herself married to her college sweetheart with two kids and questions her life choices.
Review:  We all have at least one point in life where we wonder what would have happened if I had made a different choice. Hanna gets the chance to see that and we get to experience it with her. The question is which life will she choose. Seeing her fumble as she tries to figure out the little things her children usually have provides us with some funny moments.  A delightful movie. 
Scoring: 4

The Family Holiday

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family

Starring: Dave Coulier and Christina Pickles

Synopsis: A romantic family comedy about what happens when a thirty-something lovable pool hustler who owes money to the mob stands to receive a ten-million-dollar inheritance if he can prove he's forsaken his street days and settled down with a family.

Review:  Very silly but I had a good time watching it. The premise is weird but the kids are funny and it’s an easy film to sit back, relax, and smile. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Family Man

Rated:  PG-13

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Nicholas Cage, Téa Leoni, and Don Cheadle

Synopsis: A fast-lane investment broker, offered the opportunity to see how the other half lives, wakes up to find that his sports car and girlfriend have become a mini-van and wife.

Review:  This has been compared to Its A Wonderful Life for the modern age. I see it more as a see the path not taken. Jack gets to see what his life would be like had he made different choices. We all wonder, what if, at some points and this movie explores that. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Family Stone
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, Craig T. Nelson, and Elizabeth Reaser. 
Synopsis: Everett brings Meredith home to meet his bohemian family at Christmas. While trying to win the approval of her boyfriend’s parents and the rest of his family, she only succeeds in highlighting her uptight personality, making Everett doubt his intentions. 
Review:  This movie is as good as its star-studded cast. It has humor, sadness, love, and so much more. With all the family members you get to see interesting dynamics with an underlying message of self-acceptance. 
Scoring: 4
Farewell Mr. Kringle  
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Christine Taylor, Vivica A. Fox, Christopher Wiehl, and William Morgan Sheppard
Synopsis: A magazine journalist, who no longer celebrates Christmas, visits the quaint town of Mistletoe to blog about an inspirational - albeit questionably delusional - man who parades around pretending to be the real Santa Claus.
Review:  I enjoyed this movie. While finding out why Mr. Kringle pretends to be Santa, we learn a sad, yet heartwarming, story. The journey kept me entertained. 
Scoring: 4
 
Finding Christmas  
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Tricia Helfer, J.T. Hodges, and Mark Lutz
Synopsis: Sean, a New York adman, swaps his swanky loft for an aspiring musician's North Carolina cottage after a proposal gone wrong leads him to find a holiday escape. Sparks fly when he meets single mother Ryan. On the other end of the swap, singer Owen is charmed by Sean's sassy assistant, Mia. As these singles open up their homes, they also unexpectedly open up their hearts for the romantic possibilities in store this Christmas.
Review:  A sweet movie if somewhat predictable. It’s basically the same premise

as The Holiday. A New York ad man and a NC handyman switch homes. As you’d expect, the city boy falls for country girl while the country boy falls for city girl. Despite that it’s relaxing and has some interesting characters.

Scoring: 3
Finding Father Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Erin Krakow, Niall Matter, Wendy Malik, and Jim Thornburn
Synopsis: Raised by her mother, but orphaned at a young age at Christmas, Miranda finds a clue that will take her to the truth about her father. Along the way, she finds romance and rekindles her Christmas spirit.
Review:  Unfortunately, this movie just missed the mark. I wanted to be more emotionally invested in Miranda’s mystery but I wasn’t. I did enjoy the townspeople as well as the relationship between Miranda and Ian.
Scoring: 3
Finding John Christmas 
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Valerie Bertinelli, William Russ, David Cubitt, and Peter Falk
Synopsis: Max, the Christmas angel, returns in a new story as he attempts to reunite a fallen hero with his family and bring dreams back into the life of a nurse struggling to save her E.R. from being closed.
Review:  Seeing the intersection of Kathleen and Noah with Max, the angel, is a charming story. It’s emotional and a little more dramatic than a typical Hallmark movie but you’ll be glad you watched. 
Scoring: 4
Finding Mrs. Claus 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring:  Mira Sorvino, Will Sasso, Laura Vandervoort, Andrew W. Walker
Synopsis: When Mrs. Claus feels neglected by her less than attentive husband, she goes to Las Vegas to help a little girl with her Christmas wish. But when Santa finds out and follows her to Sin City to make amends, he puts Christmas at risk when things don't go quite as he planned.
Review:  I think the idea of the movie is good but the execution is lacking. It borders on the ridiculous. The ending is sweet but getting to it isn’t that much fun. 
Scoring: 1
Finding Santa 
Rated: G
Genres: Romance
Starring: Jodie Sweetin, Eric Winter, Jay Brazeau, and Karen Holness
Synopsis: Grace is thrilled to be taking over the town's Christmas parade, but when the man playing St. Nick breaks his arm, she needs to find a replacement, even if the replacement is unwilling.
Review:  Fascinating look at the relationships between parents and children and their expectations all through a plot of Christmas and romance. 
Scoring: 3
 
Fir Crazy AKA Oh Christmas Tree!
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Sarah Lancaster and Eric Johnson
Synopsis: A reluctant Christmas tree seller, Elise, finds renewed holiday spirit and new romance with a repeat customer, but a mean executive threatens to shut down her family’s business. 
Review:  Watching Elise reevaluate her life, with the help of Darren, is a sweet story. The characters are genuine and I enjoyed watching their journey even though it seemed a little slow at times. 
Scoring: 3
A Firehouse Christmas
Rated: NR
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Anna Hutchison, Marcus Rosner
Synopsis: Firefighter Jenny has fallen in love with Tom. However his ex-wife Mary (a bestselling author) demands a reconciliation if he wants to see his daughter at Christmas.
Review:  I felt badly for Tom being manipulated by his ex but then I also felt badly for her being pressured by her father. The movie kept me wondering how they’d get to the mandatory happy ending. Enjoyable movie. 
Scoring: 3
The Flight Before Christmas 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Mayim Bialik, Ryan McPartlin, and Brian Doyle-Murray
Synopsis: After getting dumped by her boyfriend right before Christmas, a woman decides to fly home to Connecticut for the holidays. But due to bad weather, her flight is diverted to Montana and she ends up sharing the last available hotel room with a man she met on the plane.
Review:  Despite being a standard plot, the movie plays out as an original due to casting and dialogue. This unusual pairing of Bialik and McPartlin are a big part of why this is so fun. I really enjoyed their adventure in this small town. 
Scoring: 3
 

For The Love of Christmas

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Jazsmin Lewis and Trae Ireland

Synopsis: The movie follows Bryson, a devoted husband with a strong desire to have children, and Sunday, a once loving wife, who at some point has lost touch with peace, love and the gift of giving. But when a homeless family appears on their doorstep, bearing nothing but the true meaning of love, Sunday's heart is reacquainted with the vows that once held their marriage together.

Review: At first, I found the movie to be quite slow and boring.  I am glad I stuck with it.  Sunday first seemed to heartless and selfish and Bryson appeared to only care about his wants.  Eventually we learn why Sunday feels the way she does and we see them come together.  By about halfway through I was completely invested in the characters and the story.  I won’t ruin it but there is a happy ending.

Scoring: 3

Four Christmases
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Mary Steenburgen, Robert Duvall, Kristin Chenoweth, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, Jon Favreau, Dwight Yokum, Tim McGraw, and Katy Nixon 
Synopsis: Brad and Kate have been together three years, in love, having fun, doing all sorts of things together with no intention of marriage or children. Christmas morning, they're on their way to Fiji, having told their two sets of divorced parents that they're off to do charity work. Through a fluke, they have no choice but to visit each of their four idiosyncratic parents. As the day progresses, Brad and Kate remember growing up, each learns more about the other, and Kate realizes that her life may not be as good as it could be. Do they know each other well enough to weather the storms families bring?
Review:  This movie has so many funny moments, until it doesn’t, then it ends on a funny note. Every family member is their own unique brand of kooky.  Just when you think you know what to expect, they throw you a new one.  Definitely worth watching for all the surprising moments. 
Scoring: 3
Four Christmases And A Wedding 
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Arielle Kebbel, Corey Sevier, Markie Post, and Judge Reinhold
Synopsis: When event planner Chloe is hired to plan the local Christmas Festival, she is beyond thrilled to embrace the challenge. Professionally, everything is going great, but much to the dismay of her mother, Chloe confesses she has given up on ever finding Mr. Right. That all changes the night of the opening of the festival when she meets Evan. The two begin a whirlwind romance, but as Christmas Day nears, Chloe learns that Evan is being transferred overseas for work. What follows is three more Christmases where Chloe and Evan cross paths at the annual festival, but each year something - or someone - stands in the way of true love. Will a touch of Santa's magic on their fourth Christmas Eve finally bring them together?
Review:  I always begin a Christmas movie expecting a happy ending. This one was unpredictable and had me questioning how they’d get there. Seeing the changes each year was quite interesting and fun.  Delightful. 
Scoring: 3
Fred Claus
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamotti, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, Rachel Weisz, Miranda Richardson, Kathy Bates, and Ludacris
Synopsis: Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole to help Santa and the elves prepare for Christmas in exchange for cash.
Review:  I don’t like the premise that Christmas can be canceled and/or Santa fired in any movie as it questions the true magic of it all.  However, seeing elves as relatable to us, and Santa’s bitter brother who’s trying to do better,  makes for lots of fun. 
Scoring: 3

Frozen

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and Robert Pine

Synopsis: When the newly-crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.

Review: I don’t agree that this movie is a Christmas movie. It is more of a winter movie. It does have great music, a charming story, and fun characters like the rock trolls and Olaf. This is one children’s movie that many adults will like.

Scoring: 4

A Frozen Christmas 

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: Nathaniel Rose

Synopsis: A Frozen Christmas is the perfect way to get the family in the Holiday spirit with the most beloved animated Christmas characters, including Santa Claus, the Snowman, Elves, Santa's Reindeer, and more. Gather around and listen as Santa and his young elf pals narrate time honored Christmas story classics such as, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Little Girls' Christmas and more.

Review:  It’s nice listening to the stories but the animation doesn’t show the stories. It’s like listening to a book while watching a screen saver. Nice for kids but adults should avoid unless you want to listen while doing something else. 

Scoring: 2