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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George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (1993)
Genres: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Macaulay Culkin and Kevin Kline
Synopsis: On Christmas Eve, a little girl named Marie falls asleep after a party at her home and dreams herself (or does she?) into a fantastic world where toys become larger than life. Her beloved Nutcracker comes to life and defends her from the Mouse King, then is turned into a Prince after Marie saves his life.
Review: This is the best version of The Nutcracker I’ve seen. Culkin was a little awkward but that should be expected since he isn’t part of the ballet company. Other than that everything was wonderful. It is a little long so younger children may lose interest.
Get Santa (2014)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, and Warwick Davis
Synopsis: A father and son team up to save Christmas once they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police.
Review: A nice family movie showing the bond between father and son. A charming cast and a little silly but in a good way.
Getting To The Nutcracker (2014)
Genres: Documentary, Family
Starring: Marat Daukayev School Of Ballet, LA
Synopsis: This documentary takes you inside the major effort involved in gathering the resources, assembling the volunteers, casting the dancers, rehearsing and staging the performances of this classic ballet. Los Angeles-based Marat Daukayev School of Ballet, led by the former Kirov star, takes you behind the curtain from auditions, the rigorous hours of rehearsals, the joy of landing a principal role to the pain of losing one. The dancers (boys and girls ages 3-18) are profiled; passionate people who, with their families, make incredible sacrifices of time and money just so that they may dance.
Review: This is an interesting look at not only how the ballet is done but also the personal lives of the performers, in this case children, including the sacrifices they make and the time they spend. I especially liked that they addressed both male and female dancers. They talked openly about the stereotyping and issues that come with it, including from family members. It's a well-rounded look at child dancers.
Ghosting: The Spirit Of Christmas (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Starring: Aisha Dee, Kimiko Glenn, Kendrick Sampson, and Missi Pyle
Synopsis: Jess goes on the greatest first date of her life, but inadvertently “ghosts” Ben when she tragically dies in a car accident on the way home.
Review: This may be more of a millennial movie. I found it to be a little silly and lacking substance. A ghost, who can only be seen by her best friend and the guy she went on a date with, is trying to figure out how to cross over. Somehow, she’s magically able to sleep with the guy. I won’t spoil the ending but she seemed quite self-absorbed, even in death. Everything works out, of course, but I won’t spoil it.
A Gingerbread Romance (2018)
Starring: Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Duane Henry
Synopsis: An architect begins to find herself longing for a place to call her own as she works alongside a baker to win a gingerbread house contest.
Review: A little too sweet and predictable, however, this movie is an easy one to watch. For a gingerbread competition they spend more time with other holiday traditions than with the house.
Girlfriends Of Christmas Past (2016)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Tammin Sursok
Synopsis: When three hilarious, strong-willed women join forces to seek the ultimate revenge on their cheating ex at his upcoming holiday retreat, lovestruck event planner Livvy meets Carter, the charming colleague organizing it all, leaving Livvy to question if she can leave off their revenge scheme long enough to finally forgive her ex and let a real holiday romance blossom.
Review: Bad is the only word to describe it. I kept waiting for it to get good or at all interesting but the women’s bitterness ruins it.
A Godwink Christmas (2018)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Kathie Lee Gifford, Paul Campbell, and Kimberley Sustad
Synopsis: Paula, a St. Louis antique appraiser, reluctantly accepts a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, Daniel, a career-focused attorney. When her Aunt Jane senses she has mixed emotions over the engagement, she invites Paula to her Nantucket home. Upon her arrival, Paula plans a trip to the nearby island of Martha's Vineyard where she meets Gery, a charming inn owner. When Jane invites her back to Nantucket for Christmas, Paula accepts, unaware that Jane has devised a plan to bring her and Gery together.
Review: A charming romantic film. I like the part about God winking. It’s a little slow, much the like carousel in the movie. The fact that it’s based on a true story makes it more special. It left me with a hopeful feeling.
A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Cindy Busby and Kathie Lee Gifford
Synopsis: A chance meeting at a weekend wedding celebration brings together Alice and Jack, two singles from very different family backgrounds.
Review: I was a little thrown at first. Gifford was in this movie as well as the first but playing different characters in different cities. This movie had the same Godwink feel but it was also just a good movie about the love and importance of family as well as a romance. I felt the illness was an unneeded wrench that seemed to make the story veer off path. Then I saw the end and understood and I nearly cried. No, I won’t spoil it.
Golden Winter (2012)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Shannon Elizabeth and Haylie Duff
Synopsis: A boy befriends a litter of homeless Golden Retrievers. Together, they help stop a bank robbery just in time for Christmas.
Review: Yes. It’s just like all the other “dogs save the day” silly Christmas movies. Children should love the talking dogs and the adventures. Adults will probably only want to see it if they’re watching it as a family.
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates
Synopsis: A boy inadvertently breaks three important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.
Review: Gremlins is another movie people debate about counting as a Christmas movie. It takes place at Christmas but that’s it. It has some scares and some laughs but it drives me a little crazy. It’s only three rules. How hard is that? Haha
The Grinch (2018)
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Pharrell Williams, Kenan Thompson, and Angela Lansbury
Synopsis: A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
Review: After seeing the special and the Jim Carrey movie so many times I began watching this wondering if there was any way to make the story new and interesting. They succeeded. It has all the warmth and humor you expect from the story. The Grinch wasn’t quite as mean and scary as in other versions but I still loved it. I’ve always wondered why Max stayed with the Grinch and this showed their relationship more. The only downside to me was the characters looking too human. Whooville came across as a magical place.
Grounded For Christmas (2019)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Julianna Guill, Corey Sevier, and Cheryl Ladd
Synopsis: When a winter storm hits Cleveland and grounds flights, the nearby hotels quickly fill up with stranded travelers. Nina, a pilot, reluctantly agrees to let her arrogant but charming fellow pilot, Brady, stay at her nearby parents’ home.
Review: Nina and Brady have just enough awkwardness to make them falling for each other a fun dance. You know there will be a happy ending but there’s a lot of Christmas, bumps, and adventures in between.
The Grump Who Stole Christmas (2018)
Genres: Animation, Fantasy
Starring: Maria Petrano and Jacob Whiteshed
Synopsis: Larry the Reindeer thinks he can fill Santa’s shoes but he is about to get more than he bargained for. When a wicked Grump, accompanied by his robot sidekick Clank, casts a spell that allows Larry to switch places with Santa, the future of Christmas rests in one simple minded reindeer’s hooves.
Review: If you can look past things like penguins being at the North Pole, it seeming like Santa isn’t really in charge and speaks slowly as if he isn’t very bright, an elf that looks slightly evil, or an insect that’s bigger than penguins, you’ll be okay. You have to just get lost in the story. The acting is average but there’s a variety of characters. It seems more meant for children but it’s one adults can probably handle.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (2014)
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Starring: Aubrey Plaza and Jay Brazeau
Synopsis: Grumpy Cat is a lonely cat living in a mall pet shop. Because she never gets chosen by customers, she develops a sour outlook on life...until one day during the holidays, a very special 12-year-old girl named Chyrstal enters the pet store and falls in love with her after realizing she is the only person who can hear this unique cat talk. As the two develop a close friendship during the holiday rush, Grumpy reluctantly thwarts the kidnapping of an exotic dog she dislikes, and on Christmas Eve rescues Chyrstal after the mall closes. Through her adventures, will Grumpy learn the true meaning of Christmas? Or will it be, in her words, the "Worst. Christmas. Ever?"
Review: I think this should be renamed worst movie ever. Having to sit through this was so hard. The whole thing was bad. I can't even give it a review other than please don't waste your time.