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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Hank Zipper’s Christmas Catastrophe (2022)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Henry Winkler and Nick James
Synopsis: No one loves yuletide like Hank but this year he'll have to deal with a new baby brother AND exploding Xmas trees. Plus his best friends have been arrested and he's lost the love of his life. How will he get out of this one?
Review: I’ve never seen the tv series this is a sequel to. I found it to be boring and silly in a non-entertaining over the top way. If you can handle slapstick that’s kooky give it a try.
Hanukkah on Rye (2022)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Yael Grobglas and Jeremy Jordan
Synopsis: Can a Hanukkah miracle keep fresh couple Molly and Jacob together after they realize that they are actually competing delicatessen owners?
Review: I really loved this movie. They did a good job incorporating Hanukkah as a natural part of their lives. The romance had predictable stages but still felt fresh. It was interesting from the very start and left me feeling happy and ready to watch again.
Happiest Season (2020)
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Dan Levy, Alison Brie, Kristen Stewart, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, and Ana Gasteyer
Synopsis: This holiday, everyone’s secrets are coming out.
Review: I don’t know if it’s the title, it being a Dan Levy movie, or both, but I thought this was a comedy. It had a few humorous moments but it’s really a drama. It’s a microscopic look at the average American family with its loving dysfunction complete with one daughter who disappointed her parents, one who lives in fear of their disappointment, and one who would like them to care enough about her to be disappointed. It’s an enjoyable and relatable movie.
Happy Christmas (2014)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Lena Dunham, Mark Webber, and Joe Swanberg
Synopsis: A hard-partying 20-something moves in with her brother’s family to get over a breakup, turning their everyday lives upside down.
Review: Given the star power, I expected a great movie. Instead I got awkward situation after awkward situation with poor transitioning between scenes. It was well acted but still boring. I think part of the problem was the story didn’t give us time to know and care about the characters. Rather than being about the characters, it was about the scenarios they experienced. Baby Jude was sheer perfection. He made sitting through the rest a better experience.
The Happy Elf (2005)
Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Harry Connick, Jr., Carol Kane, Mickey Rooney, Mae Whitman
Synopsis: Eubie tries to bring Christmas joy to a dreary town called Bluesville.
Review: Is it corny and overly silly? Yes. It’s also utterly charming and the elf’s joy is contagious. Add in music by Harry Connick, Jr. and it’s just delightful. I really enjoyed it. I found myself smiling. Fun for the whole family.
Hashtag Blessed (2022)
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy
Synopsis: Losing her job after a bad breakup, Jesse desperately needs a Christmas miracle if she’s going to make it through this holiday season.
Review: This movie took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I related to Jessi in so many ways. We all get lost in what we don’t have which is magnified by everyone sharing all they have on social media. The message of hope is subtlety woven throughout the movie. I actually had goosebumps at one point. A good reminder that we aren’t alone, and we all have blessings.
Haul Out The Holly (2022)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Melissa Peterman, and Wes Brown
Synopsis: Emily arrives home hoping to visit her parents, only to find that they are going on a trip of their own. While she stays at her house for the holidays, her HOA is determined to get Emily involved in the neighborhood Christmas festivities.
Review: The whole first half of the movie made me feel stressed out. I usually find Hallmark movies to be relaxing. Wes Brown’s character is so overly intense and completely uncaring about people. He only cares about rules. Once they started having fun instead of stressing over it and making Emily miserable, it become more enjoyable.
Headed South for Christmas (2013)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Abby Corrigan
Synopsis: A troubled teen and her single dad spend Christmas with family members they hardly know.
Review: I enjoyed this movie. A girl grappling with her mother dying when she was born which makes her feel responsible and means she’s grown up without her. A single dad trying to maneuver through the rough teen years alone. Add an eccentric aunt and a genius young cousin and you have a complete story. They main plot is the journey of the Mac but all the characters are relatable in their own way. It wasn’t super deep but it was moving.
The Heart Of Christmas (2011)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure and George Newbern
Synopsis: The Locke family are devastated when they learn their 2-year-old son, Dax, has leukemia.
Review: I appreciate that this is based on a true story and that’s the only reason I felt the emotions of it. It was poorly acted except for Bure and Newbern. It’s very dark and sad because of the story but it’s an example of priorities and people supporting each other. It also seemed very slow. I believe people will love it or hate it.
Heart of the Holidays (2020)
Starring: Jayne Eastwood, Vanessa Lengies, and Corey Sevier
Synopsis: A career driven woman reunites with her high school boyfriend after returning home for the holidays.
Review: While the story of Sam and Noah, as well as Sam’s backstory, needed to be more detailed in order to fully appreciate that part of the story, the community involvement part of the story seems to level it out. It’s a nice story that’s full of Christmas spirit and I enjoyed it enough.
A Hip Hop Family Christmas (2021)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Serayah and Jodi Lyn O’Keefe
Synopsis: Follows hip hop’s most famous family, as they address negative press and soften their image in a live Christmas television special.
Review: The movie felt sort of stale and predictable in the beginning. It’s stayed predictable but got more enjoyable as it went on and I got to know the characters. The ending is clear from the beginning but still sweet.
Hip Hop Family Christmas Wedding (2022)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Ne-Yo and Keri Hilson,
Synopsis: Christmas wedding bells are ringing for Jessica and Jayson as their mothers Tina and Nancy are fighting it out for wedding planning supremacy. Blare is running his own music label, and when he meets his formidable, beautiful new boss, Jai.
Review: I didn’t really enjoy the parts of the movie dealing with music. The parts related to the wedding were the best. It’s the relationships, even when they clash like the mothers, that provide the heart and comedy.
Hip Hop Holiday (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Ta’Rhonda Jones
Synopsis: Larger than life hip hop diva, Leesa J, rekindles an old friendship over Christmas and her walk down memory lane forces her to reexamine her life, her habits and the real reason for the dislike for the holiday that she once loved so dearly.
Review: Leesa J. is so dislikable for so much of the movie and they don’t take the time to really let us see why she is the way she is. Also, the changes for her come too late in the story. Her assistant and cousin are there but there isn’t enough attention paid to how they are affected by Leesa’s behavior.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker (2022)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Stephen Boss, Allison Holker, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Joseph Simmons
Synopsis: Features Rev Run as he brings audiences on a hip-hop reimagining of The Nutcracker ballet set in NYC.
Review: This takes the music and story of The Nutcracker and gives it a hip hop twist but still includes some ballet. For hip hop fans and children this would be a good introduction to the music and story. I’m not a fan of hip hop and I still enjoyed most of it.