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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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

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

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

Home Alone (1990)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, and John Heard

Synopsis: An eight-year-old troublemaker must protect his house from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

Review:  Home Alone is a classic. Definitely geared towards children but also enjoyable for adults. Kevin’s creativity and antics are very funny. I wish I had half the creativity of Kevin.  Once the attempted  burglary begins each new scene is a jaw-dropping surprise.

Scoring: 4

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, and John Heard

Synopsis: One year after Kevin was left home alone and had to defeat a pair of bumbling burglars, he accidentally finds himself in New York City, and the same criminals are not far behind.

Review:  If you can get past the idea that parents would lose the same child twice and you liked the first movie, you’ll probably like this one. They use New York well and it’s not too repetitive of the first movie. This probably is enjoyed more by younger children. 

Scoring: 2

 

Home Alone 3 (1997)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Alex D. Linz

Synopsis: Alex Pruitt, a young boy of nine living in Chicago, fends off thieves who seek a top-secret chip in his toy car to support a North Korean terrorist organization's next deed.

Review:  While they did a good job of reinventing the original story, they didn’t capture the magic of the original. Children, and some adults, will still enjoy it but if you loved the original this may not be enough. 

Scoring: 3

 

Home Alone 4 (2002)

Rated: NR

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: French Stewart and Missi Pyle

Synopsis: Amidst his parents' impending divorce, Kevin McCallister must foil his old nemesis Marv and his wife Vera's plot to kidnap a Crown Prince despite opposition from his dad Peter, Peter's fiancee Natalie, and Natalie's butler Mr. Prescott.

Review:  This attempt to return to the McAllister family is just sad. The parents are separated and dad has a girlfriend. Part of what makes the original special is the family. There’s nothing I enjoyed about this. One to skip. 

Scoring: 1

 

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)

Rated: NR

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

Starring: Ed Asner, Debbie Mazar, and Malcom McDowell

Synopsis: Finn Baxter sets up booby traps to catch the ghost of his new home's former occupant, only to discover he must protect the house and his sister from three bumbling art thieves.

Review:  At least it doesn’t try to reuse the McCallister family like Home Alone 4 did and it has some entertainment value but it fails miserably at capturing the magic of the original. 

Scoring: 2

 

Home By Christmas (2006)
Rated: TV-14
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Linda Hamilton 
Synopsis: After a well-to-do woman divorces her cheating husband, she ends up homeless through a series of mishaps.
Review:  An inspirational movie. Not just the grace with which Julie handles losing everything but the strength and determination she has to rebuild her life. The friends she counts on are special relationships. It sounds like it would be a dark and heavy drama but it isn't.  They approach homelessness with appropriate respect and seriousness but keep it focused more on the rebuilding and the positive.  A must-see movie. 
Scoring: 4

Home For Christmas (1990)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Mickey Rooney

Synopsis: An old thief befriends a young child.

Review: Overall, it’s a good movie.  I knew the ending from the beginning but there were still a few surprises.  You have to get past the fact that it was a made for TV movie from 1990 and that affects the quality of the filming, costumes, music, etc.  It’s still a good story and the children are adorable.  It’s a wonderful lesson of love, family, forgiveness, and the spirit of Christmas.

Scoring: 2

Home For Christmas (2014)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Starring: April Pearson

Synopsis: Beth Prince has always loved fairy tales and now she feels like she's finally on the verge of her own happily ever after; a dream job in a charming independent cinema by the seaside and a gorgeous boyfriend. There's just one problem - no man has ever told her they love her. Desperate to hear those crucial three little words for the first time Beth takes matters into her own hands - and wishes she hasn't.

Review: The beginning was really slow and it took me a while to get into it. By halfway through I was hooked. It’s like a realistic romcom. Other than her mother’s constant phone messages about flying to Australia for Christmas and the moment of hearing It’s A Wonderful Life, there’s no real Christmas. I don’t know why it’s a Christmas movie but it’s a cute movie. 

Scoring: 2

Home For Christmas Day (2017)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Catherine Bell and Victor Webster
Synopsis: When a young woman falls in love and develops a long-distance relationship with a soldier in active duty, her protective mother tries her best to steer her daughter away from heartache. Little do they know they are about to learn important lessons of the heart and that taking chances can make this Christmas one they will cherish forever.
Review:  Beautiful lessons about learning to let go of past pain to truly live and love today. While Christmas is more of a backdrop, the heart of Christmas spirit is subtly woven throughout. We get to see the fear soldiers’ families face and the pain when they experience loss. It’s an endearing story. 
Scoring: 3
 

Home For The Holidays (2005)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Sean Young and Perry King

Synopsis: A loving aunt struggles to adopt her young relatives after their parents die in a car accident.

Review:  I liked it. It is a drama dealing with loss but it’s not done in a heavy-handed way. The characters are so likable and it’s easy to care for them and feel emotionally invested. The sheer determination of Martha and the love of the community are astounding.  You may want tissues for this one. 

Scoring: 3

 

The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family

Starring: Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas

Synopsis: Olivia, John-Boy, and the rest of the Waltons spend Christmas Eve 1933 anxiously awaiting the safe return of dad. 

Review: This is the movie that led to the Waltons television show. It shows the struggles of the depression, especially with those living in the country. It also emphasizes family and what it means during difficult times. This movie would be a good way to introduce those topics for a family discussion. It also reminds us to be grateful for all we have. 

Scoring: 3

A Homecoming For The Holidays (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Laura Osnes and Stephen Huszar

Synopsis: Country singer Charlotte is home for the holidays and brother’s fellow ex-soldier Matt is in town. Writing her new album, Charlotte works with Matt to build a house for a friend in town.

Review: This is a very sweet yet superficial story. The plot has soldiers being away from their family, veterans transitioning home, a woman making her music dreams come true, a father wanting to retire and leave his business to his son, a family in need, high school students being mentored, and more. There’s just so many stories they don’t really dig in to any one of them emotionally. It’s still nice to watch but it’s not super deep. 

Scoring: 3

Homegrown Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Lori Loughlin and Victor Webster

Synopsis: When forced to work together to organize a Christmas dance for the local high school, former sweethearts find themselves rediscovering what made them fall in love all those years ago. 

Review: While the plot unravels as expected with no real surprises and the beginning is very slow, it’s still got charm and loving relationships. The biggest downfall is it doesn’t get really interesting until the end. 

Scoring: 2

Homeless For The Holidays (2009)

Rated: G

Genre: Drama

Starring: Matt Moore

Synopsis: A smug executive enjoys the perfect life - until he loses his job, and finds himself working at a burger joint. Now he's falling behind on his bills, and if something doesn't change soon, his family could lose everything by Christmas.

Review:  A good movie has a complicated plot, beautiful sets, and talented actors. This movie has none of these.

Scoring: 1

 

Hometown Christmas (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Religion, Romance

Starring: Beverley Mitchell, Stephen Colletti, and Melissa Gilbert

Synopsis: A woman must work alongside her old boyfriend to resurrect their town’s live nativity

Review:  This is a feel-good Christmas movie. Everyone is happy and playful even as they keep meeting obstacles. It’s a sit back and relax film. 

Scoring: 3

 

Hometown Holiday (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Romance

Starring: Kevin McGarry, Stephen Huszar, and Sarah Troyer 

Synopsis: Krista is starting this New Year with a new business and a resolution to be more selective with who she dates. When Krista meets Ryan Rourke, an entertainment lawyer from LA, the two really hit it off. Ryan is in her hometown to sign a local rancher turned viral signing sensation as his new client. Now with Krista also in Rust Creek, maybe there is more of a reason to stick around. Both are holding onto things from their past and are forced to make some decisions if they truly want to be together.

Review: While there are moving and well-written scenes, a lot are just slow. If you’re willing to sit through the slow parts you may enjoy it. The love story is not the best relationship in the movie but I wondered how they’d resolve it.

Scoring: 2

 

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

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

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