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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Radio Christmas (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Keshia Knight Pulliam and Michael Xavier

Synopsis: When her Philadelphia radio station is closed for repairs during the holidays, DJ Kara Porter is forced to broadcast from the small town of Bethlehem.

Review:  This movie is very sappy.  In the beginning it made it harder to watch but as it went on the sappiness was worth it.  I love the community togetherness under the theme no deed too small.  Everything we do is meaningful.  The search for secret Santa added another layer to the story.  Truly the Christmas spirit.

Scoring: 3

Random Acts of Christmas (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Erin Cahill, Kevin McGarry, Jaclyn Smith, and Patrick Duffy

Synopsis: While uncovering who is behind the random acts of Christmas popping up around her city, an investigative journalist meets a competing reporter who captures her heart.

Review: This is a cute romance.  I like the Secret Santa and all the Christmas spirit.  It's enjoyable.  Cahill and McGarry make a good duo.  The only downside is I felt like every time they'd be doing something that feels like Christmas, it would veer to the journalism.  As the movie went on the two worked together better.

Scoring:3

The Real St. Nick (2012)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance 

Starring: Torrey DeVitto and Callard Harris

Synopsis: A pretty psychiatrist is saved from an accident by a man who, after hitting his head on a rock, believes he is Santa Claus. As she nurses him back to health at her institute, he brings the spirit of Christmas to the hospital.

Review:  Despite the glaring “this would never happen in real life” moments, I liked it. Dr. Bryant is kind and Nick reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas. I even loved the ending. 

Scoring: 3

 

Recipe For A Perfect Christmas (2005)
Rated: PG 
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance 
Starring: Christine Baranski, Carly Pope, and Bobby Cannavale
Synopsis: A newly appointed food critic finds her life turned upside down when her uninhibited mother arrives unannounced at Christmas. Desperate to offload her, she enlists the help of a young chef, with surprising results.
Review:  Baranski will keep you entertained as will her mother-daughter relationship. It’s reflects the way we change roles with our parents over the years. You’ll root for Cannavale. Fun movie with heart. 
Scoring: 4

Rediscovering Christmas (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance

Starring: Jessica Lowndes, B.J. Britt, and Jessica Walter

Synopsis: A talented department store window designer helps her sister design the décor for the annual Snowflake Festival Christmas Eve dance and clashes with the stubborn grandson of the founders of the festival.

Review: The movie doesn’t have a lot of surprises but it feels like Christmas.  There’s more winter than Christmas but the spirit of giving and community is throughout.  I enjoyed the relationship between Mia, her sister, and their father. Watching Mia and Adam’s romance slowly develop was enjoyable.  Charming movie.

Scoring: 3

The Ref (1994)

Rated: R

Genres: Comedy, Family 

Starring: Dennis Leary, Judy Davis, and Christine Baranski

Synopsis: A cat burglar is forced to take a bickering, dysfunctional family hostage on Christmas Eve.

Review:  One of the funniest movies I’ve seen. The characters, dialogue, and Christmas traditions are quite unique. Between the couple fighting over everything, the St. Lucia wreaths, and the kids enjoying tying up and gagging their grandmother, I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Scoring: 5

 

Remember The Night (1940)

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance

Starring: Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray

Synopsis: A shoplifter and her prosecutor fall in love, creating tensions for his career and family.

Review: I loved this movie.  These older movies tend to be hidden gems with the addition of experiencing the opening of a time capsule.  The story has a few twists and turns to keep it interesting even though you know the romance is coming.  Stanwyck is fabulous as usual. 

Scoring: 5

Rent An Elf (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Kim Shaw and Sean Patrick Thomas

Synopsis: Ava owns Rent-An-Elf, a business in which she sets up Christmas for busy families. This year she’s hired by newly single Liam and falls for him and his adorable son Nathan. But just as Ava thinks she’s found her match, Liam’s ex-wife returns. 

Review:  I liked all the Christmas in this movie. I had the ending figured out but they managed a few twists and turns along the way. It was fun to watch and I want to be a Rent-An-Elf. 

Scoring: 3

Return To Christmas Creek (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Tori Anderson, Steven Weber, Stephen Huszar, and Kari Matchett

Synopsis: As Christmas approaches, Amelia, a career-focused Chicago app developer lacking in holiday spirit, returns to her small hometown of Christmas Creek to rediscover the meaning of Christmas. There, she reunites with her childhood best friend Mike and her estranged uncle Harry, whose mysterious rift with Amelia's father divided her family during the holiday season when she was a child. On Christmas Eve, disappointed by her family's continued fighting, Amelia prepares to return to Chicago but just as she's about to leave, she feels a burst of inspiration that just might turn things around and help her finally restore family peace and embrace romance as love prepares to take flight for Christmas.

Review:  It’s a charming movie but the events unfold so slowly it’s hard to remain interested as they do. If you can hang in there it’s a sweet story. 

Scoring: 3

Reunited At Christmas (2018)

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Nikki Deloach and Mike Defaiola

Synopsis: Frazzled and struggling with writer's block, novelist Samantha, along with her boyfriend, heads home to her late grandmother's home to spend Christmas. While at home with family, her grandmother's wise words reveal the true meaning of Christmas with Samantha at a time when she most needs encouragement.

Review:  This movie was refreshingly different. It deals with the issue of divorce and how it affects the children as adults. It’s very relatable and current and yet has the same sweetness as Hallmark’s other Christmas movies. 

Scoring: 3

Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish (1998)
Rated: G
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy 
Starring: David Gallagher, Eugene Levy, Martin Mull, Marla Maples, Michelle Trachtenberg, and Leslie Ann Warren
Synopsis: After getting blamed for spoiling Christmas, the richest kid in the world wishes he'd never been born. Unfortunately, a wishing machine, invented by professor Keenbean, picked up the wish and made it come true. Now Richie finds himself in a parallel world where his only hope is to find professor Keenbean and the wishing machine so he can wish things back to normal.
Review:  I found the movie silly, slow, and borderline boring, watch.  It’s like a children’s version of Its A Wonderful Life minus the angels and any real depth. Richie does go on adventures and there are other children helping him. I think this movie is meant for children. 
Scoring: 1

Rick Steves’ European Christmas (2005)

Rated: PG-13

Genres: Documentary, Religion

Starring: Rick Steves

Synopsis: Join Rick Steves for a colorful, musical celebration of Christmas across Europe. From England to Wales, France, Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy, you'll see the bright Christmas markets, hear local choirs, share holiday traditions with families...and even play in the snow.

Review: I really enjoyed learning about different traditions and the families that let us be a fly on the wall for their holidays.  There’s a lot of religious tradition included.  As much as I enjoy this type of information, I still felt it was a little slow.  Still, it’s a great introduction to different cultures and how and why they celebrate Christmas.

Scoring: 2

Rise Of The Guardians (2012)

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy 

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher, Chris Pine, and Jude Law

Synopsis: When an evil spirit known as Pitch lays down the gauntlet to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs, and imaginations of children all over the world.

Review:  While not about Christmas it does include Santa and Jack Frost. Seeing the mythical figures we grew up with unite for a purpose was original and fun. I enjoyed it but I think children will like it even more.

Scoring: 3