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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The Nativity Story
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes
Synopsis: A drama that focuses on the period in Mary and Joseph's life where they journeyed to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
Review: It’s hard to tell this story and make it seem authentic and realistic but they achieved it. It’s done in a way that’s sensitive to the religious content.
The Night Before
Genres: Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogan, and Anthony Mackie
Synopsis: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
Review: This movie can be summed up in two words, Seth Rogan. It’s got the same feeling as all his other buddy films. It’s goofy and a little odd. If you like Rogan's movies you’ll enjoy it.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Genres: Animation, Fantasy
Starring: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, and Catherine O’Hara
Synopsis: Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but his attempts to bring Christmas to his home causes confusion.
Review: Another Tim Burton movie that’s so bizarre you’ll either love it or hate it. It’s half Halloween and half Christmas. It’s become an annual tradition for many but might be frightening to very young children.
The Night Before The Night Before Christmas
Genres: Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jennifer Beals and Rick Roberts
Synopsis: When Santa sets off on his Christmas duties a day early, he crashes into the Fox family's house, ends up with amnesia, and loses his magic sack of presents. He needs help! But the Fox family are a modern and broken family. Can they help him?
Review: This movie seems to be a watered-down version of other Christmas movies. It’s okay but I didn’t really enjoy it.
No Sleep ‘Til Christmas
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Odette Annable, Dave Annable, Charles Michael Davis, and Sheryl Lee Ralph
Synopsis: During an incident, Lizzie, an engaged woman, runs into Billy, a bartender, with a similar problem. When they learn they can only fall asleep when next to each other, Lizzie realizes it may be more meaningful than she would like to admit.
Review: I would classify this as a rom com that just happens to take place at Christmas. This is one that can be enjoyed year-round. It was truly funny, and sweet, and original. Makes you wonder if it’s better to be peas in a pod or go with opposites attract.
No Time Like Christmas
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Kyla Pratt and Edward Ruttle
Synopsis: A woman and her first love plan a Christmas Eve show in hope of saving the local theater.
Review: This movie has pros and cons. The story is different than the typical Christmas romance, the girl is adorable, and the scenery is gorgeous. The cons are the average acting (or overacting) skills often seen and the way the story seems to slow then skip ahead. I believe the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a sweet movie with a little Christmas magic.
Genres: Drama, Religion
Starring: David Wall
Synopsis: A priest arrives in a tiny fishing village the week before Christmas to shut down a dying parish...and becomes entangled in the lives of the town's eccentric characters while learning the power of forgiveness and redemption.
Review: This movie is perplexing. It’s slow and a little boring at times yet never to a point where you’re desperate to turn it off. It’s not so much about the church as it is the people and their relationships. Their happy ending is one that many wouldn’t consider happy from a religious standpoint. I wish I could say more but I’d ruin it with spoilers. It’s worth watching once but only if you have extra time.
Norm Of The North
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Rob Schneider and Heather Graham
Synopsis: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.
Review: It’s not bad for an animated film but unlike many newer animated movies this one doesn’t have much for adults. I think kids will really like it.
Northern Lights Of Christmas
Genre: Drama, Romance
Starring: Ashley Williams and Corey Sevier
Synopsis: Zoey has been working hard to own her own plane, but everything changes when she inherits a reindeer farm. Now buried in taking care of the farm and of the Christmas responsibilities, Zoey thinks life has delivered her a strange blow.
Review: Predictable and expected are the best synonyms to describe this movie. It’s missing that special something that makes me love Hallmark movies. It felt very slow and a little boring. It does have tons of snow to love.
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Brooke D’Orsay and Trevor Donovan
Synopsis: The closing of a beloved toy store brings a city girl back to her small-town roots.
Review: Nostalgic Christmas is a good name for this movie. It doesn’t just reflect the nostalgia of the town and main characters; it features so many Christmas and family moments that made me nostalgic. I had a feeling how it would end from the beginning but it didn’t matter. I was glued to it from the beginning seeing D’Orsay’s character with her dad. This is a sweet and light-hearted movie.
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Genie Francis and Ted McGinley
Synopsis: After a tragic plane crash, a local journalist discovers a note that she believes was written by one of the passengers. She seeks the note's intended receiver, but the journey is more revealing of her own past.
Review: During the first half of the movie I was bored and couldn’t understand why it’s considered a Christmas movie. Then, as the story slowly unfolded, using flashbacks to fill in the blanks, I couldn’t stop watching. Peyton’s search for the intended receiver of the note and how it affects her life became so moving. It isn’t really a Christmas movie, rather it’s a movie that ends at Christmas.
Nothing Like The Holidays
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodriguez, Elizabeth Peña, Debra Messing,
Synopsis: A Puerto Rican family living in the area of Humboldt Park in west Chicago face what may be their last Christmas together.
Review: There’s lots of drama and love in this family. The son returning from Iraq is a particularly interesting storyline. The characters are all realistic and relatable. It is a drama but there’s enough light moments to balance it.
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Sam Elliott, John Corbett, Sarah Paulson, and Karen Allen
Synopsis: A community works together to help a couple bring an early Christmas to their sick 8-year-old daughter.
Review: I honestly didn’t expect to like this movie based on the description. It seemed like it would be so bleak and dark. The superb cast, along with a great story, changed my mind. I loved it. It was so well done. You felt the emotions, and it is a drama, but not in a negative way. I won’t spoil it but I recommend giving it a try.
The Nutcracker And The Four Realms
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Mackenzie Foy, Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Macfadyen
Synopsis: A girl ventures into a magical land of imaginative characters as she searches for the key to the jeweled egg that was once her deceased mother’s.
Review: A delightful adaptation of the Nutcracker. It’s an original take on the story with some twists so you won’t know what to expect. My only issue with it is all the yucky mice and scary clowns. Well, scary to me at least.
The Nutcracker Sweet
Genres: Adventure, Animated, Fantasy
Starring: Alicia Silverstone and Ed Asner
Synopsis: It is Christmas Eve and the Silberhaus children are excited for the festivities to begin. Their godfather Drosselmayer arrives and presents them with an early Christmas gift, a Nutcracker. Marie witnesses a great battle between a vast army of toy soldiers led by the Nutcracker against a terrible platoon of mice commanded by the Mouse King.
Review: I believe this would be a good introduction to the story of The Nutcracker. The mice are less frightening than in many other versions. The basic classic story is there with a few light hearted moments. It’s more for children than adults but you may enjoy it as a family.
Nutcracker The Motion Picture (1986)
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical
Starring: Hugh Bigney
Synopsis: The colorful holiday classic is finally brought to the big screen, designed by famed children's story author and artist Maurice Sendak, and written for the first time to be as close as possible to the original story. A lavish, exciting and heart-warming celebration of dance, of music, and of life. Based upon the Pacific Northwest Ballet's original production.
Review: If you enjoy ballet and the Nutcracker, you’ll enjoy this. I found it to be a little dark and despite its G rating a little scary for young children. For me the ballet loses something when it’s not live but this is a nice alternative.
The Nuttiest Nutcracker
Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Jim Belushi, Phyllis Diller, and Cheech Marin
Synopsis: Transported to a magical land, a girl and a nutcracker must save Christmas.
Review: I think younger children will like it. It’s not the worst but the animation is poor, the characters are quite silly, and it’s too far from the original ballet and music. It’s as if you’re watching a new story.