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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Last Vermont Christmas (2018)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Justin Bruening and Erin Cahill
Synopsis: The Marvin sisters gather for what may be their last Christmas at their childhood home.
Review: This story has lots of relatable family and personal issues as well as a sweet story. It also moves very slowly. It felt like I was watching it forever. I didn’t mind but I prefer something that keeps me so interested I don’t notice the time.
The Least Of These: A Christmas Story (2018)
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: Tayla Lynn, Emma Faith, and Michael Nicolosi
Synopsis: A charming Christmas tale of hope, forgiveness and faith that centers around a single mom, her seven-year-old daughter and a Salvation Army Santa Claus.
Review: This movie is simple yet so beautifully moving. The faith of this little girl, shared with her by her mother, is inspiring. The characters all have a compassion and kindness that we need more of. The community helping each other creates an emotional reaction. I was emotionally invested from the very beginning.
The Legend of Frosty The Snowman (2005)
Genres: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Larry Miller and Burt Reynolds
Synopsis: Frosty the Snowman goes where he is needed most and shares his magic with the town of Evergreen when they needed it most.
Review: This is another sequel that seemed to be done solely for the sake of having a sequel. The story is poor but the rest of it is just as bad. It takes away from the legend of Frosty rather than adding to it. I’d skip this one and stick to the original.
The Legend of The Christmas Witch (2018)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Paola Cortellesi
Synopsis: During the day Paola is an ordinary primary school teacher, but at night, she turns into The Christmas Witch, a magical creature who brings gifts to the good kids.
Review: I recommend parents preview this before showing their children. There is some language and discussing how to French kiss that may not be appropriate for younger children. That being said, I really liked it. It’s the best version of the Italian La Befana I’ve seen. It was funny but not silly. It is in Italian but dubbed over in English so you don’t have to read subtitles. I found it very entertaining. It’s a good introduction to the Italian culture and how they celebrate Christmas.
Let It Snow (2019)
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Joan Cusack
Synopsis: In a small town on Christmas Eve, a snowstorm brings together a group of young people.
Review: This may be a film for millennials and teens. Each story is superficial and they never get too involved. It seemed like they tried to duplicate Love Actually but missed on the story, the emotions, and Christmas. The actors were good but the story just felt forced. I’d skip this one.
Life-Size 2 (2018)
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: Tyra Banks and Francia Raisa
Synopsis: Grace is a hot mess in the middle of a quarter-life crisis, realizing that she is in over her head as a toy company's CEO. To make it worse, her wild-child ways are causing the company's stock to plummet.
Review: First off, I ask you to notice the rating and not show it to young children. Secondly, when it began, I thought it might be one of the stupidest movies ever. Luckily, as it went on the story got better. It has a message of female empowerment. For me it’s still a one-time watch.
Like Father, Like Santa AKA The Christmas Takeover (1998)
Genres: Family, Fantasy
Starring: Harry Hamlin
Synopsis: A ruthless toy tycoon, out to crush all of his competitors, travels to the North Pole to put an end to his biggest rival.
Review: A bit corny, as some older made for TV movies are, but an interesting concept. I think children won’t mind the corniness and adults may enjoy it a little bit.
London Mitchell’s Christmas (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Aaron D. Spears
Synopsis: When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, it forces him to rethink his outlook on life.
Review: This was really boring. They don’t develop London’s character, or any character. They show him as a really horrible human and when he gets the diagnosis it’s hard to care. You feel for his ex-wife and kids more than him. Even when diagnosed he still cares more about himself. The problems aren’t worked through so much as miraculously resolved.
Love Actually (2003)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Emma Thompson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, and Keira Knightley
Synopsis: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.
Review: While this movie takes place at Christmas rather than being about Christmas, the messages are all about Christmas spirit. You may need a tissue for this one. It goes back and forth between tender, funny, moving, and heartwarming. This is a classic Christmas must-see.
Love The Coopers (2015)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms, Marisa Tomei, Alan Arkin, Amanda Seyfried, Anthony Markie, And Steve Martin
Synopsis: The intertwined stories of four generations of Coopers unfold right before the annual family reunion on Christmas Eve.
Review: For all but the end there’s no fun in dysfunctional. It’s a realistic portrayal of individual and family flaws and strengths. It’s very dark and a little depressing but I’m glad I stuck with it. The ending is all the more meaningful because of the darkness.
Love’s Christmas Journey (2011)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Natalie Hall, JoBeth Williams, Sean Austin, and Ernest Borgnine
Synopsis: While mourning the loss of her husband and daughter, recently widowed Ellie visits her brother Aaron and his children for Christmas. Ellie does her best to enjoy the holidays, making new friends with Mrs. Thompson, a local shop keeper, and handsome admirer Deputy Strode. When Aaron travels out of town to purchase land, Ellie agrees to watch his children, but the season's festivities are threatened when Aaron goes missing.
Review: The main part of the movie is a good story but there’s so much extra stuff that feels like filler and slows the pace. The slow parts are worth sitting through for the few good parts but maybe just once.