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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Holidate (2020)

Rated: TV-MA

Genres: Comedy, Romance

Starring: Emma Roberts, Kristin Chenowith, Frances Fisher and Luke Bracey

Synopsis: Sloane and Jackson hate being single on holidays where they face constant judgment from their meddling families. So, when these two strangers meet, they pledge to be each other's "holidate" for every festive occasion in the year ahead.

Review: Yes, like most movies with romance you know they’ll end up together.  What is great about this movie isn’t the ending, it’s the middle.  All of their “holidates” are so funny.  I actually laughed out loud.  I could watch this over and over again.  It’s not really about Christmas.  It just starts and ends at Christmas.  I loved it.

Scoring: 4

Holidaze (2013)
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Jennie Garth and Cameron Mathison
Synopsis: Melody, high-powered corporate workaholic for a retail conglomerate, is  sent to her sleepy hometown to convince the reluctant townspeople to allow them to build a new discount store. Now, forced to reconnect with her family and her childhood sweetheart Carter, her task is not so simple, as all are vehemently opposed to everything Melody's company stands for. Desperate to get out of town and back to her real life, Melody takes a spill and wakes up in an alternate universe where she never left home and is married to Carter.  Once determined to leave her small-town life behind, Melody must make sense of her new life and decide if you truly can go home again.
Review:  Fairly typical for the what if I went left instead of right story. The bonus is the added storyline of Melody having to decide between her job and her town.  While the overall theme isn't original,  the way the movie is written makes it feel like its own story rather than just another of the same.  The connection and chemistry between Garth and Mathison make this worth watching.
Scoring: 3.5

Holly & Ivy (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Janel Parrish, Jeremy Jordan, and Marisol Nichols

Synopsis: A contractor helps a woman renovate a house so she can adopt a sick neighbor’s two children.

Review: What a charming movie. The only real negative is that the most special parts of it were given away in the commercials. I did appreciate how they handled the mother’s situation with sensitivity and it didn’t take away from the movie. The ending was amazing. It’s a drama but done in a lighthearted enough way that you aren’t sad. 

Scoring: 4.5

Holly Day (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Starring: Robinne Lee, Latarsha Rose, Ashley A. Willams

Synopsis: Holly runs from the ghosts of her past, but this holiday they come back to find her.

Review: This movie has a new take on the Dickens classic.  It had humor, drama, and was thoroughly entertaining.  Holly is a scrooge character that is so outrageous that rather than disliking her, you laugh, and feel a little sorry for her.  I actually laughed out loud a few times.  Once the ghosts come the mood switches to extreme drama quickly.  I do wish the movie had picked the comedy or drama feeling but it’s worth watching.

Scoring: 3

A Holly Dolly Christmas (2020)

Rated: G

Genres: Documentary, Musical

Starring: Dolly Parton

Synopsis: Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton presents personal Christmas stories and performs hums and light-hearted holiday classics.

Review: If you like Dolly Parton you will love this.  It features everything special about her including beautiful music and treasured stories.  It’s really lovely.

Scoring: 4

The Holly Hotel (2022)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance

Synopsis: It follows Kathy, a food critic in New York City. Her parents ask her to come home for Christmas, and there she meets a handsome police officer, which now complicates her situation.

Review:  It’s clearly an indie film but don’t let that stop you. Even the fact that the ghosts were in on uniting the couple made it more charming. This movie was so sweet and it has tons of Christmas.  It’s nice to see a different type of movie.

Scoring: 3.5

Holly Star (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy

Starring: Catlyn Carlson 

Synopsis: A broke puppeteer returns home for the holidays and gets caught up in a treasure hunt with her paintball-obsessed best friend, her tango-dancing grandmother, and a childhood sweetheart.

Review: If you’re looking for a feel-good romp, this isn’t for you. This is a grown-up, sometimes odd, sort of screwball comedy. It was a little slow for me and some of the humor felt like it ended with a period instead of an exclamation point. 

Scoring: 2

Holly’s Holiday (2012)
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Claire Coffee and Ryan McPartlin
Synopsis: NYC ad exec Holly Maddux dreams of the perfect life, the perfect job, and of course, the perfect man to sweep her off her feet. When she wakes up one day to find the "perfect man" awaiting her, who is nothing more than a mannequin come to life, she must decide if "perfect" is the perfect fit for her.
Review:  The premise seems silly but it’s actually interesting to see Holly find the flaws with her ideal man and find perfection in her flawed one.  
Scoring: 3.5

A Hollywood Christmas (2022)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Jessika Van, Josh Swickward, and Anissa Borrego

Synopsis: A successful Christmas movie director begins living her own Christmas movie when a handsome network exec shows up threatening to halt production on her latest film.

Review: This felt somehow unrealistic yet magical. It had a variety of characters and emotions. It was fun to watch. This is a movie for Christmas movie lovers. 

Scoring: 3.5

Hope At Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Ryan Paevey and Scottie Thompson 

Synopsis: Sydney Ragsdale, recently divorced, decides to spend Christmas in a house she inherited with her young daughter. As Sydney begins to spend more time at the local bookstore, she meets a teacher, Mac, who also fills in for the town Santa. Mac tries to make Christmas wishes come true, and this year Sydney is at the top of his 'nice' list. As a new opportunity with the bookstore unfolds, Mac helps Sydney open herself up to life, love, and believing in the spirit of Christmas again.

Review:  A truly charming movie. I got swept up in the emotions of it. It has some very moving moments but still manages to be lighthearted. 

Scoring: 4


Hope For Christmas (2018)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Religion

Synopsis: Trying to win over a skeptical congregation, recovered war veteran turned Pastor, gears up for his first Christmas sermon.  However, his plans take an unexpected turn when Pastor Greg cashes in on a free shopping spree the day of his much-anticipated sermon.  In a frenzy to get back on time, he unwittingly gets stuck in an elevator with his cohorts and a pregnant woman.

Review: This is clearly a low budget film with amateur actors.  Despite that there are moments that are moving and moments that are funny.  I wish they had stretched it out and gotten more detailed with some of the stories.  My favorite part was the beautiful voice of the girl singing.

Scoring: 2.5

The Horses of McBride (2012)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Aidan Quinn, MacKenzie Porter, Kari Matchett, and Edward Ruttle

Synopsis: When Nicki discovers two horses stranded deep in the Rocky Mountain snow, she is determined to find a way to set them free.

Review: I’ll admit this got off to a slow and fairly boring start for me.  I only kept watching in order to write this.  It did get good but I feel it could’ve amped up the emotion a little more.  I enjoyed watching the family invest themselves so fully in the horses and the community joining in.  It’s the best of humanity.  This was based on a true story.

Scoring: 3

Hot Chocolate Holiday (2021)

Rated: PG

Genres: Romance

Starring: Aubrey Reynolds and Jonny Swenson

Synopsis: Colette runs a coffee shop that is known for her secret and famous hot chocolate.  Marcus, a new dessert shop owner, starts to draw in Colette’s customers, and she is determined to expose him.

Review: I liked how the grandmother tied the two leads together. It was a sweet story. I knew there would be a happy ending, but I wasn’t sure how that would happen and that’s rare. It’s uplifting and beautiful. 


The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker (2014)

Rated: G

Genre: Musical

Starring: Debbie Allen, Raven-Symone, and Tichina Arnold

Synopsis: Debbie Allen delivers reimagined version of the holiday classic The Nutcracker, giving it a modern spin filled with original music and dance routines.

Review: It was VERY different from the original Nutcracker.  If you’re looking for the original, you will be disappointed.  It started with lots of characters, singing, and dancing.  As it went on there was music and dancing from many cultures.  I think this would be a good show to watch as a family.

Scoring: 3

Hot Mess Holiday (2021)

Rated: TV-14

Genres: Comedy

Starring: Melanie Chandra, Surina Jindal, Tituss Burgess, and Kal Penn

Synopsis: A finance executive is dumped by her cheating fiancé during the Diwali holidays.  Now her best friend is determined to help her have a wild holiday.

Review: Even though it was unrealistic at times, it was quite funny. The characters and situations are over the top but that’s what makes it fun. All Penn popping up added an extra layer. It was mostly about Diwali and not so much Christmas. 

Scoring: 3

The Housewives of the North Pole (2021)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Kyle Richards, Betsy Brandt, Kyle Selig, Jearnest Corchado, Carlos Ponce, and Alec Mapa

Synopsis: Follows the Christmas Queens of North Pole and the Best Holiday House decoration competition.

Review: I was thoroughly entertained by this movie. I was worried that with the title and casting of Richards that it would be too satirical. It wasn’t at all. It was sweet, funny, and filled with relatable characters and situations. I even jumped a little with the frap throw. 

Scoring: 3

How Murray Saved Christmas (2014)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy

Starring: Jason Alexander, Sean Hayes, Dennis Haysbert, John Ratzenberger, and Jerry Stiller

Synopsis: a surly deli owner Murray Weiner, who is forced to step into Santa's shoes for one Christmas and bumbles his way into doing a great job.

Review: I thought it was very funny and original.  Seeing Murray filling in for Santa and all the holiday figures was really entertaining.  Plenty of references for adults to be amused.  In fact, I think it's best for adults.  That in mind, there are some things like making Santa’s workshop as a sweatshop saying they have to work so hard because they’re cheaper than the Chinese or the elves singing that Santa is a jerk that may make you want to not show this to really young ones. 

Scoring: 3

How Sarah Got Her Wings (2015)
Rated: NR
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Lindsey Gort and Derek Theler
Synopsis: Good Samaritan Sarah Fitzpatrick has a fatal accident just before Christmas, and finds herself in the lobby before the gates of Heaven. Certain that she will be let in, she is shocked to find that her name is not on the reservation list. However, she is granted the chance to return to Earth as an "angel in training" with the requirement to help a soul in need. Sarah has the 12 days before Christmas to secure her place on the list leaving her in the race for her after-life.
Review:  I found this movie sweet, and a little odd, but slow. It was okay but not one I’d rush back to rewatch. 
Scoring: 2.5

How The Toys Saved Christmas (1996)

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Mary Tyler Moore and Tony Randall

Synopsis: When Santa's helper Granny Rose falls ill and must take off a Christmas Eve, she recruits Mr. Grimm to help deliver all the toys. What no one but the toys knows is that Mr. Grimm plans to auction off the toys to the highest bidder! The toys decide to deliver themselves, and the story follows them as they struggle to avoid the heartless Mr. Grimm and to find their true homes.

Review:  Based off the Italian folktale of La Befana, who helps Santa deliver toys. It’s different than many of the traditional Christmas classics. The toys working together sets a good tone. It’s a sweet story that children and adults will love. 

Scoring: 3


How the Wrong Brothers Saved Christmas (2016)

Rated: R

Genre: Comedy

Synopsis: Two friends teach a terrorist the meaning of Christmas.

Review: Horrible isn’t a strong enough word.  We did better acting when I was in high school.  We had better costumes and wigs as well.  This is so far beyond amateur it’s painful to watch.  Stupid plot, bad acting, bad everything.

Scoring: 1

A Husband For Christmas (2016)
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Vivica A. Fox, Eric Roberts, Dominique Swain, Jackée Harris
Synopsis: Two co-workers agree to a loveless marriage of convenience, but as they become acquainted, an unrealized chemistry grows between them.
Review:  This is a Christmas version of Green Card. It managed to have a few surprising twists that kept me engaged. It’s a little slow but the evolving relationship is sweet. 
Scoring: 3