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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Saint Maybe

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family, Religion

Starring: Blythe Danner, Edward Herrmann, and Mary-Louise Parker

Synopsis: A lonely teen troubled by a past family tragedy is suspicious of his sister-in-law, believing she is being unfaithful. His confrontation with his brother sets off a series of tragic events.

Review:  The best part of this is the relationships. The worst part is how it moves like molasses for a large portion of it. If you can push through the slow parts, you’ll enjoy knowing the family. 

Scoring: 2

Saint Street

Rated: NR

Genre: Drama 

Starring: Mark Webb

Synopsis: Percy has found himself caught up in the riches of the world and is neglecting his most prized possession. In a tragic event, Percy faces humble circumstances after losing his family, job, and home. It is on Saint Street where Percy sees the light and changes his ways.

Review:  While amateurish and poorly acted, this is a decent movie. The message is worth the negatives of the movie. That being said, I probably wouldn’t watch again. 

Scoring: 2

Santa Baby 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Jenny McCarthy, Ivan Sergei, and George Wendt 
Synopsis: Mary Class is a highly successful business executive - who just happens to be the daughter of Santa Claus. But when her father falls ill, Mary returns to the North Pole and the life she left behind to take over for her dad and implement her innovative ideas for running Christmas.
Review:  If you can get past the idea that Santa, supposedly immortal, has heart issues and needs recovery time, you’ll love it. The elves are funny and you want Mary to bridge the traditional with the modern and succeed. 
Scoring: 4
Santa Baby 2: Christmas Maybe
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Jenny McCarthy, Dean McDermott, and Paul Sorvino
Synopsis: Santa's in the midst of a "late-life" crisis--he's tired of the responsibilities of the job and he's ready to let his business-minded daughter, Mary, take over. Mary feels torn between the family business, running her own high stakes firm in New York City, and balancing a relationship with Luke. The situation gets even more stressful when Teri, a mysterious and ambitious new-comer to the Pole, decides that she wants to be the new Santa. Can Mary get this straightened out in time to save Christmas?
Review:  I liked this a lot less than the first one. It has the same lighthearted vibe but I have a few problems with it. We have a different Luke and a different Santa. I don’t buy Paul Sorvino as Santa. We’ve been shown that elves are senseless yet one elf is bright enough to trick Santa, Mrs. Claus, Mary, and Luke. I enjoyed it but not as much. 
Scoring: 3

Santa Buddies

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy 

Starring: Danny Woodburn, Tom Bosley, Richard Kind, Christopher Lloyd, George Wendt, and Tim Conway 

Synopsis: When Puppy Paws (the fun-loving son of Santa Paws) gets bored, he finds Budderball on Santa's naughty list and figures he's just the dog to show him how to be an ordinary pup. When the magical Christmas Icicle starts to melt however, and the world begins to forget the true meaning of the season, it's up to Puppy Paws and his newfound Buddies to journey back to the North Pole and save Christmas.

Review:  Yet another talking animal movie. I found it to be beyond silly but the dogs are cute. I’d put this in the for kids not adults column. 

Scoring: 2

The Santa Clause
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy 
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, and David Krumholtz
Synopsis: When a man inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.
Review:  I love this movie but I’m still bothered by the fact that the immortal Santa can be killed and replaced. I guess that’s my inner child freaking out. Other than that, it’s a magical North Pole, and interesting transition from man to Santa, loving moments, and lots of fun. 
Scoring: 4
 
The Santa Clause 2
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring:  Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, David Krumholtz, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollack, Jay Thomas, Art LaFleur, Peter Boyle, and Molly Shannon
Synopsis: Scott Calvin has been Santa Claus for the past eight years, and his loyal elves consider him the best Santa ever. But Santa's got problems (he's even mysteriously losing weight) and things quickly go south when he finds out that his son, Charlie, has landed on this year's "naughty" list. Desperate to help his son, Scott heads back home, leaving a substitute Claus to watch over things at the Pole. But when the substitute institutes some strange redefinitions of naughty and nice, putting Christmas at risk, it's up to Scott to return with a new bag of magic to try to save Christmas.
Review:  Similar fun and magic to the first movie but the plastic Claus scenes were a little much. 
Scoring: 3
 
The Santa Clause 3
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, Eric Lloyd, Spencer Breslin, Elizabeth Mitchell, Aisha Tyler, Kevin Pollack, Jay Thomas, Martin Short, Ann Margaret, Alan Arkin, Art LaFleur, and Peter Boyle
Synopsis: Santa's got problems: it's a few days before Christmas and production lags, Mrs. Claus is about to give birth to their first child and wants family time, and Jack Frost (tired of second billing) is on probation under his supervision. He tries to support his wife by bringing her parents to the North Pole (to preserve his secret, they must think it's Canada). He also brings his ex-wife Laura, her husband Neil, and their daughter Lucy. Inside the toy factory, Jack makes mischief and hatches a plan to become Santa. With Santa juggling that many snow globes, something is bound to go wrong. But if things get too difficult, he can always exercise his option to invoke the Escape Clause. Will he?
Review:  Truly one of a kind look at Santa. It still has the emotion and humor of the first two but adding the family to the North Pole is lots of fun. 
Scoring: 4
 

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy 

Starring: Pia Zadora 

Synopsis: The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

Review:  If you like poorly made circa 1960s/1970s sci-fi, you may enjoy this but you’ll probably be the only one. It’s so absurd. The story, acting, effects, and costumes are ridiculous. This can’t even count as “it’s so bad it’s good”. It’s just bad. 

Scoring: 1

Santa Claus The Movie
Rated: PG
Genres: Drama, Fantasy 
Starring: Dudley Moore and John Lithgow
Synopsis: This is the story of a master toymaker who discovers a magical kingdom of elves in the North Pole and becomes Santa Claus. But when Santa's eager-to-please elf Patch leaves the North Pole for the big streets of New York City, he becomes mixed up with a dastardly toy tycoon's plans to take over Christmas. And so begins Santa's adventure - to rescue his faithful elf and to save Christmas for all the children of the world!
Review:  A classic for me that we watch every year. It shows a magical side of Santa and his elves in a unique way.  This is a realistic looking Santa.
Scoring: 3
 

Santa Claws

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Fantasy

Starring: Ezra James Colbert

 Synopsis: Tommy, who is unable to celebrate Christmas because his mom says Santa isn't real, leaves his kittens out for Santa to take back to the North Pole, but after a major allergic reaction Santa can't fly the sleigh or deliver presents anymore, so the kittens have to deliver the rest of the presents to all the boys and girls before sunrise.

Review: This movie was so hard to sit through. It’s so insipid. Small children may like the cats but that’s it.

Scoring: 1

The Santa Con
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Barry Watson, Melissa Sagemiller, Melissa Joan Hart, Jaleel White, and John Ratzenberger 
Synopsis: Small-time con man Nick is ordered by his parole officer to take a minimum-wage job as a department store Santa during the holidays and he hates it. Near the end of his first shift, he hastily promises a young boy, Billy, that Santa will bring his estranged parents back together by Christmas. When his sister Rosemary hears this, she is livid and can't believe he would break a little boy's heart with an empty promise. After a long night of soul searching - and with the help of an insightful female pastor - Nick decides to make good on his promise to the child, somehow. But after meeting the boy's mother Carol, will Nick ultimately choose to put the happiness of others ahead of his own?
Review:  It’s nice seeing the moral dilemma and the changes this situation brings about in Nick. The true meaning of the Christmas spirit comes to life. 
Scoring: 3
 

Santa Girl

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance

Starring: Barry Bostwick and Jennifer Stone

Synopsis: Fleeing the family business and an arranged marriage, Santa’s daughter chooses a magical adventure of her own: college.

Review: This is blah.  Start with Mrs. Claus is dead, Santa doesn’t eat carbs, and their daughter is a lazy and spoiled brat.  That about sums up the Christmas spirit of the movie.  Of course, everything works out.  I just didn’t really care.  Maybe more of a movie for tweens.

Scoring: 2

The Santa Incident

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family 

Starring: Greg Germann and Ione Skye

Synopsis: After his sleigh is shot down while flying through restricted military airspace, an earthbound Santa is sought for questioning by a pair of overzealous Homeland Security agents. The fate of Christmas is now in the hands of the disbelieving by-the-book duo, unless their faith in Santa can be restored by two children and a trio of elves who have arrived from up North to help out a friend in need.

Review:  I found this to be a little dumb, children may enjoy the children in the movie. That is if they can handle Santa’s sleigh being shot down. This is one you can skip. 

Scoring: 1

 

Santa Jr.

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance 

Starring: Lauren Holly, Judd Nelson, and Nick Stabile

Synopsis: Father Christmas's son tries to follow in his father's footsteps, but gets arrested while delivering presents.

Review:  I’ll admit it’s a little cheesy but I think it’s a nice family film. I enjoyed the adventures and all the characters. The Christmas magic makes it even better. 

Scoring: 3

 

Santa Paws 2

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Cheryl Ladd and Pat Finn

Synopsis: When Mrs. Claus travels to Pineville, the playful Santa Pups stow away on her sled.  Taking mischief to a whole new level, they begin granting joyful wishes to Pineville's boys and girls, but something goes terribly wrong - the Christmas spirit begins to disappear. Now the Santa Pups and Mrs. Claus must race to save Christmas around the world. From the creators of Disney Buddies, this magical, heartwarming tale is brimming with hope, cheer, and Christmas spirit.

Review: While it’s yet another talking animal movie, this one is better than many others, not that that’s saying much. This one is geared towards children.

Scoring: 2

The Santa Suit

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Fantasy 

Starring: Kevin Sorbo and Jodie Dowdall

Synopsis: Hunter Toys CEO Drake Hunter turned his father's company from a cozy quality manufacturer into a ruthless, profitable business. After denying his staff any festive generosity again, the scrooge is suddenly and magically transformed into Kris Krandall. That forces him to work as a Santa in Norm Dobson's toy store, with weird would be-actor Sebastian. Drake reassesses his values and priorities in life. 

Review:  The premise is corny but that’s it. I found this to be touching. A man learns how others see him, how to be there for others, how to empathize, and how to be a good man. I truly enjoyed watching this one. This will be an annual movie for us. 

Scoring: 4

The Santa Switch
Rated: NR
Genres: Family, Fantasy 
Starring: Ethan Erickson, Anne Dudek, and Sean Astin 
Synopsis: As the Christmas season approaches, Dan is facing unemployment, and struggling to pay for the gifts he thinks will impress his two kids, Sally and Joe. Always chasing a new business idea, Dan hasn't had time for family, and his wife Linda is filing divorce papers. Threatened by Linda's handsome and successful young boss, Trevor, Dan knows he must make this Christmas the best one yet to win his family back.  When Dan doesn’t get a mall Santa job, he blames Christmas for his problems. The real Santa visits Dan, decides to take a vacation and leaves Dan in charge with his elf, Eddie, to help guide Dan. With the sudden power to impress Linda and the kids by making every wild Christmas wish come true, Dan soon gets carried away. As the fate of the whole world's Christmas rests in his hands, can Dan focus on what his family really needs without flubbing his greatest gig yet?
Review:  This movie examines the materialism of the holidays vs. the true spirit of Christmas. We watch as Dan learns that his children need love more than things. It’s a little predictable but still mostly enjoyable. 
Scoring: 3
 

Santa Who

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Musical 

Starring: Leslie Nielson, Steven Eckholdt, and Robin Lively

Synopsis: Santa Claus develops amnesia after accidentally falling out of his sleigh and only the innocence of a small child can save him. Meanwhile, Santa has to battle the disbelief of a newsman.

Review:  This movie is a little silly but it’s good for children and those who are a child at heart. It’s got everything you’d expect; a child, a grinch, and a Santa in need of help. 

Scoring: 3

 

Santa With Muscles

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy

Starring: Hulk Hogan

Synopsis: An evil millionaire believes he is Santa Claus after an accident renders him amnesiac.

Review:  If you like Hogan, you may enjoy watching him. Other than that, the movie has nothing to offer. 

Scoring: 1

 

Santa’s Apprentice

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Starring: N/A

Synopsis: Santa doesn't want to retire, but rules are rules and he must train someone to replace him. The lucky winner, to be chosen from among millions of children, must be named Nicholas, be an orphan and have a pure heart. On the other side of the planet, there is a little boy who is a perfect match, but his lack of self-confidence and fear of heights make him a poor contestant. Will Santa agree to step down, and help his apprentice take his place?

Review:  If you want to talk to your children about other children saying there’s no Santa, bullying, orphans, families losing their homes, and why there’s so many Santas because they have to have apprentices, have at it.  I believe the way these topics were addressed, plus all being in one movie, makes it dark, joyless, and devoid of Christmas spirit.  This movie even made Santa seem not so nice at times. 

Scoring: 1

Santa’s Boots

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Romance 

Starring: Megan Hilty, Noah Mills, and Teryl Rothery

Synopsis: Holly returns home for Christmas and is put to work as Santa’s elf at her family’s store, where she meets Nick, and falls in love. When Nick disappears days before Christmas, Holly searches for him with her only clue, his black boot. 

Review:  While the story has many of the classic components of a Christmas romance, the approach to them is something I haven’t seen before. I really enjoyed not knowing exactly how it would end. The cast, the story, and the setting were all wonderful. Keep an eye open for the nod to “Cinderella” at the end. 

Scoring: 4

 

Santa’s Little Helper
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy 
Starring: Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, AnnaLynne McCord, Eric Keenleyside
Synopsis: After getting fired from his job, a slick, fast-talking businessman, Dax, is thrown into an elf competition to become Santa’s next second-in-command. Put through a series of rigorous training exercises to prepare for the contest, Dax and another aspiring elf go head-to-head in the hopes of becoming Santa’s Little Helper.
Review:  While very silly (and you having to believe that Santa’s magic doesn’t tell him who to hire) this is still a fun romp. 
Scoring: 3
 

Saving Christmas (2014)

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Family, Religion

Starring: Kirk Cameron

Synopsis: His annual Christmas party is faltering thanks to his cynical brother-in-law. Kirk attempts to save the day by showing him that Jesus Christ remains a crucial component of the over-commercialized holiday.

Review: I, like most people, struggle with the religious vs. secular celebration of Christmas. This movie does a good job merging the two with in-depth explanations. I learned a lot but was still entertained. If you aren’t Christian, this may not appeal to you but I’d still recommend giving it a try.

Scoring: 3

 

Scoot And Kassie’s Christmas Adventure

Rated: PG

Genre: Family 

Starring: Luke Perry and Taylor Negron

Synopsis: Kassie rescues a retired, wounded police dog and names him Scoot. She and her friends organize a charity concert to raise money for less fortunate kids, and Scoot has to save the day when two crooks make plans to steal the donated money.

Review:  This is a good family film. The children and the dog are really the stars. I think a lot of adults will find it corny but it seems made for children. A cute story with good messages. 

Scoring: 3

 

Scrooge (1935)

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Seymour Hicks

Synopsis: Scrooge, the ultimate Victorian miser, hasn't a good word for Christmas, though his impoverished clerk Cratchit and nephew Fred are full of holiday

spirit. But in the night, Scrooge is visited by spirits of another color.  Straightforward adaptation of Dickens.

Review: As advertised, this is a traditional version of the story.  It is well acted and I was quite surprised at the special effects given when it was made. If you want the true story, not an adaptation, you’ll enjoy this.

Scoring: 3

Scrooged
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Alfre Woodard, Jamie Farr, Robert Goulet, Buddy Hacket, John Houseman, Lee Majors, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Mary Lou Retton 
Synopsis: Francis Xavier Cross is a cynical, mean spirited television executive, he treats his loyal assistant with contempt. He just sacked a member of staff on Christmas Eve for simply disagreeing with him, and he's alienated himself from his brother who still insists on inviting Frank to Christmas dinner despite him refusing to go every year. However, Frank is forced to learn the true meaning of Christmas when he's visited by three ghosts.
Review:  Another annual must see. A touching and funny adaptation of The Christmas Carol. The characters are all interesting on their own. Murray, of course, is hysterical in this role but Carol Kane may be one of the funniest ghosts yet. 
Scoring: 4
 

The Search For Santa Paws

Rated: G

Genres: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring: Reese Alexander and Bill Cobbs

Synopsis: Magic dogs and an elf team up with two children to rescue Santa who has lost his memory.

Review: Like the other talking animal films this is more for children. There are some scenes that younger children may find scary. It’s too silly for adults.

Scoring: 1

A Season For Miracles 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion, Romance 
Starring: Carla Gugino, David Conrad, Laura Dern, Kathy Baker, Patty Duke, Mae Whitman, and Lynn Redgrave
Synopsis: A woman tries to save her sister’s children from foster care by taking them to a small town where she is mistaken for a missing heiress. 
Review:  This is one of my all time favorites. Seeing the vulnerable family becoming stronger with the help of strangers in a community is endearing. Gugino plays the part with the right balance of strength and vulnerability. Whitman also gives an amazing performance. I love everything about it. 
Scoring: 5
Season's Greetings
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance 
Starring: Laura Bell Bundy and Casey Manderson
Synopsis: Darcy Blake has the perfect job - she works for Harrington House, a successful greeting card company, in the editorial department. Writing heart-felt, meaningful copy for cards is very important to Darcy, especially at Christmas, which was important to her as a young girl. She realizes that she is a bit out of step with her fellow millennials but that is fine with Darcy. Everything is about to change when Andrew Harrington arrives at the company to take over from his grandfather and he has a very different view of the holidays.
Review:  I like this movie. The characters at the card company are entertaining and likable. Darcy and Andrew having to compromise between tradition and modernity is a very current topic. That being said, their relationship is sweet. 
Scoring: 3

Seasons Of Love

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance 

Starring: Taraji P. Henson and Gladys Knight

Synopsis: Set in the picturesque backdrop of New York, "Seasons of Love" is a romantic, soulful holiday drama about two people who struggle to find love against the odds, while reconciling with the past and learning the true value of family.

Review:  Christmas is a small part of the movie but I wouldn’t count this as a Christmas movie. It’s more a relationship movie where you're watching people navigate different situations. It fell a little flat for me. 

Scoring: 2

Second Chance Christmas 

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance 

Starring: Katrina Begin, Tilky Jones, and Charlene Tilton 

Synopsis: In this Christmastime romantic comedy, Caroline is unhappy in her marriage and makes her way to file for divorce. On the way, an accident occurs and everything in her love life is about to change, as amnesia is now setting in.

Review:  I know amnesia is often overused but here it is used well. We get to see a couple falling apart fall in love all over again. Enchanting. 

Scoring: 3

Secret of Giving

Rated: PG

Genre: Drama

Starring: Reba McEntire and Thomas Ian Griffith

Synopsis: A young widow, aided by a lone rider, overcomes hardship to restore the faith of a town in time for Christmas.

Review: This movie was lacking something.  I didn’t feel invested in the story or the characters.  It felt like a superficial story lacking depth and layers.  We never really get to know the characters well which takes away from any emotional reaction.  It’s not the worst but I suggest skipping it.

Scoring: 2

Secret Santa (2003)
Rated: NR
Genre: Drama 
Starring: Jennie Garth and Steven Eckholdt 
Synopsis: A newspaper reporter, Rebecca Chandler, does research for a story of a mysterious man who is an elaborate Christmas wish granter. He is involved in a program where the US Postal System forwards Santa letters to a "make-a-wish" tradition program. Why would a man spend so much money, time and energy making Christmas wishes come true?
Review:  This movie is so charming. From the nursing home she stays in to the people of the town to every new discovery it’s a delightful time. When you learn about who the Secret Santa is your heart will melt. 
Scoring: 4
 
Sharing Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Romance 
Starring: Bobby Campo, Ellen Hollman, and Cynthia Gibb
Synopsis: Stephanie Nichols takes over the Christmas Shop, but a property developer has bought the building and is terminating the retail leases. She finds help and love from Michael Kilpatrick, who works for the developer.
Review:  The Christmas Shop is a special place where everyone is a friend and magic is in the air. It’s a delightful surprise when Michael helps her and their relationship develops. 
Scoring: 4
 

A Shoe Addict’s Christmas

Rated: G

Genres: Fantasy, Religion, Romance 

Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Luke Macfarlane, and Jean Smart

Synopsis: Noelle, a holiday hater who toils in a department store in which she is accidentally locked on Christmas Eve. There, she meets a woman who identifies herself as Noelle's guardian angel and introduces her to several "ghosts" of Christmases past, present, and future.

Review:  A fresh new take on the Christmas Carol theme. It’s as good as all of Bure’s movies. I liked how the story unfolded subtly. It’s hard to discuss without spoilers but if you like feel-good movies you’ll love it. 

Scoring: 4

 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered For Christmas
Rated: NR
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Eric Mabius, Kristin Booth, Geoff Gustafson, Crystal Lowe, Rob Estes, April Telek, and Marion Ross
Synopsis: When the beloved quartet of postal detectives discover an urgent letter written to God, they delay their own travel plans to help a little girl who's mother's life hangs in the balance on Christmas Eve. With guidance from a mysterious post office volunteer, Jordan, and Oliver's former Sunday School teacher, the Postables are surprised to discover they've been a part of more than one miracle on this Christmas Eve.
Review:  Even if you aren’t familiar with the series or other movies, you’ll enjoy this. I know some may think it’s sappy but I adore the characters and how they spread love and kindness, and in this case Christmas spirit. 
Scoring: 3
 

Silent Night 

Rated: PG

Genre: Drama 

Starring: Linda Hamilton

Synopsis: Fact-based World War II story set on Christmas Eve, 1944, finds a German Mother and her son seeking refuge in a cabin on the war front. When she is invaded by three American soldiers and then three German soldiers, she successfully convinces the soldiers to put aside their differences for one evening and share a Christmas dinner.

Review:  If you enjoy history this one is for you. It’s a wonderful drama about the magic of Christmas bringing peace and kindness. Hamilton is great. 

Scoring: 5

Silver Bells (2005)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Anne Heche, Tate Donovan, and Margo Martindale
Synopsis: Widower Christopher 'Christy' Byrne makes his preteen son Danny and daughter Bridget help out on the family tree farm. His year's highlight is selling their Christmas trees in New York. When Danny is sixteen, he runs away there to pursue his own dream, photography. Museum employee Catherine O'Mara securely helps him with assignments and study facilities. Christy and friendly cop Rip keep looking for Danny. But when contact is finally made, Christy still hasn't learned his lesson and Danny pays another cruel price.
Review:  This movie is moving and sentimental. It explores the relationships between parents and children as well as others around them. Learning to meet in the middle is a lovely message and the journey there is a special one. 
Scoring: 3
 
Silver Bells (2013)
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion
Starring: Bruce Boxleitner
Synopsis: Sportscaster Bruce Dalt is a man basically full of himself with nothing to curb his competitive and ceaseless go-for-the-gold attitude. A mishap during his son's basketball game lands him in court where he is ordered to do community service. Now he's a reluctant bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Major Melvin Lowell of the Salvation Army, knowing of God's love, guides his actions, hoping he'll come to recognize the charity of Christmas beyond just coins gathered in a collection pot.
Review:  This truly communicates the Christian meaning of Christmas, love, giving, and sacrifice. 
Scoring: 3
 
Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus 
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Crystal Bernard, and Thomas Calabro 
Synopsis: Nick's plan to let fate bring his wife to him must be altered, because he must replace his father as Santa Claus on December 26. Ernst, the right-hand man to several generations of Santas, generates a list of potential mates. Nick dutifully sets off to meet them, but fate may have a candidate after all.
Review:  A delightful journey to belief and faith. Lighthearted and fun. Steve Guttenberg makes a lovable Santa. 
Scoring: 3

Sleigh Bells Ring

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Erin Cahill and David Alpay

Synopsis: A busy single mother begins organizing her city's Christmas parade. While prop hunting, she finds a beautiful sleigh that seems to have a mind of its own, and it begins nudging her back to an old flame.

Review:  What makes this movie special is the subtle nudge to Christmas magic and Santa. Yes we have exes reuniting, an amazing kid, a beautiful town, and the required happy ending. But we also have a fun time on the ride. The movie keeps a gentle pace and is a relaxing watch. 

Scoring: 3

Small Town Christmas 

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Ashley Newbrough and Kristoffer Polaha 

Synopsis: Nell’s last stop on a nationwide book tour takes her to Springdale, the hometown of Emmett, a young man she met when both were young coy editors at a New York publishing company. 

Review:  This movie mixes the usual ingredients; a company wanting to take over a small town, a single parent to a niece whose parents died, and a long lost love. Utterly predictable and utterly delightful. Despite the lack of story originality, they manage to create a town and characters that capture the Christmas magic. 

Scoring: 3

 

Small Town Santa

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy 

Starring: Dean Cain, Christine Lakin, and Sophie Boleyn

Synopsis: On the eve of Christmas, Sheriff Rick Langston has lost his holiday spirit. But when he arrests a home intruder claiming to be Santa Claus, his world gets turned upside-down ! With the help of Lucy, the new girl in town, Santa helps show Rick that even when you feel that all is lost, love is all around you.

Review:  The movie borders on silly but it’s still fun to watch. Lots of Santa magic. I found it enjoyable. 

Scoring: 3

Snow 
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy 
Starring:  Tom Cavanagh, Ashley Williams, and Patrick Fabian
Synopsis: Nick Snowden is a new kind of Santa Claus. He’s handsome, single, and clueless about women. With the holiday only three days away, a reindeer rescue mission will take him on a journey to save Christmas and find his future Mrs. Claus. 
Review:  It’s a different North Pole. There are no elves. Santa lives all alone. If you can get past that you may enjoy it. The movie is a little corny but fun. The little boy is a delight. 
Scoring: 3
Snow 2: Brain Freeze
Rated: NR
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy 
Starring: Tom Cavanagh, Ashley Williams, and Patrick Fabian
Synopsis: It's three days before Christmas, and Nick Snowden forgets about spending early Christmas with his wife, Sandy due to pressure at work. After a fight, Nick walks through a magical mirror and ends up with amnesia. Now it's up to Sandy to recharge his memory and save Christmas once and for all, but Nick's old nemesis Buck Seger returns and uses Santa's amnesia to his advantage.
Review:  Not as much fun as the first but the overall feeling is the same. It’s much cheesier but we see a new aspect of Santa magic. 
Scoring: 3
Snow Bride
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Katrina Law, Jordan Belfi, and Patricia Richardson
Synopsis: A tabloid reporter races to find juicy gossip on a prominent political family. She ends up spending the week before Christmas with the family and falls for one of the sons. 
Review:  Greta gets herself into a bit of a pickle with mistaken identity but uses it to her advantage. Luckily, she’s so kind you still want to root for her. It’s enjoyable seeing the characters work their way in and out of situations but a little slow at times. 
Scoring: 3

Snow Day

Rated: PG

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family 

Starring: Chevy Chase, Chris Elliott, and Jean Smart

Synopsis: When a school in upstate New York is snowed in, a group of students hi-jack a plow to keep the school closed.

Review:  I’d say this is definitely for kids and teens. They’ll get the most out of the children’s hijinks and relationships. For adults it’s a little corny. 

Scoring: 2

A Snow Globe Christmas
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Alicia Witt, Donald Faison, Christina Milian, Art LaFleur, and Trevor Donovan
Synopsis: A cynical TV exec looks at the perfect town inside a Christmas globe and is magically transported to it. When she wakes up in a perfect snow-covered town, married to a local woodsman, she discovers it's not all just a fantasy.
Review:  Considering how great the first movie was, this sequel is extra disappointing. The casting isn’t the best and it’s missing the magic of Snowglobe. In the first movie the main character went back and forth between her real life and the snow globe. In this one she stays in the snow globe, or is it a dream. It’s enjoyable but not a must see. 
Scoring: 3
 

A Snow White Christmas

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance 

Starring: Carolyn Hennesy 

Synopsis: Blanca’s dastardly stepmother tries to cheat her out of her father’s inheritance. When she wakes up with amnesia, she receives the help of seven quirky friends, the Holly Jollies, to help her figure out her life. 

Review:  Based on the synopsis, I had higher expectations for the movie. The plot is so good but some of the characters, like Zane, are so over the top it takes away from the story. If you like fairy tales, as I do, you may still like this take on Snow White. I liked it but I’m just disappointed because it could’ve been so much better. 

Scoring: 3

 

Snowed-Inn Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Romance 

Starring: Bethany Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker

Synopsis: Jenna Hudson and Kevin Jenner are polar opposites working for the same online publication in New York City. With both having nowhere they want to be for Christmas, they volunteer for a special writing assignment. After a snowstorm forces their plane to land in none other than Santa Claus, Indiana, the two are placed in a Christmas Wonderland and the focus of their story shifts to saving the historic town inn run by Carol and Christopher Winters. As the two overcome their differences, they also rediscover the magic of Christmas. But with the inn's fate in jeopardy and the return of someone from Jenna's past, Carol and Christopher lend a helping hand to bring Jenna and Kevin together.

Review:  It's a little expected with few surprises but filled with Christmas which makes it so good. I love the town and all the people. The love story is also fun to watch developing. 

Scoring: 3

Snowglobe 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 
Starring: Christina Milian, Josh Cooke, and Lorraine Bracco 
Synopsis: Angela always wanted the perfect Christmas but for her anywhere is better than home for the holidays. When she receives a snow globe as a gift, it shakes up her life and transports her to a magical world where it’s always Christmas. Now she’ll have to choose between the man of her dreams and the one she never dreamed possible. 
Review:  I love this movie. Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like if you were inside a snow globe. The magic is enjoyable to watch, as is Angela’s relationships with her family. 
Scoring: 4

Snowmance

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance 

Starring: Ashley Newbrough and Jesse Hutch

Synopsis: A true romantic finally gets her chance at the love she’s always dreamed of when a little Christmas magic brings her snowman to life. 

Review:  I realize the premise sounds ridiculous but it actually works. It’s a sweet story about someone always looking for what she doesn’t have rather than what she does. 

Scoring: 3

 

So This Is Christmas 

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Religion, Romance 

Starring: Eric Roberts and Vivica A. Fox

Synopsis: Eighteen-year old Ashley's life is headed in the wrong direction. She's been hanging out with a bad crowd and seeking an escape from the drama at home. Everything begins to change when a handyman working on the family's house encourages her to volunteer for a Christmas play with underprivileged children. Ashley finds purpose by helping people in need and uses that to help heal her troubled family. Together, they discover the impact one person can make through the gift of giving.

Review:  There are plenty of good moments in this film but just not enough in between to hold them together. The religious message is too preachy and the plot too expected. The good moments can make it worth watching for. 

Scoring: 2

A Song For Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance 
Starring: Becca Tobin and Kevin McGarry
Synopsis: Pop superstar Adelaide Kay is left behind when her tour bus leaves without her.  A local family, the Lapps, take her in. They’re close to losing their Christmas tree farm. No one in the family recognizes Adelaide except Dillon, the oldest son--an emerging musician. Adelaide enjoys the break from stardom and begins writing a new song with Dillon that shows her true voice. As Adelaide falls for Dillon, she realizes that their song has a chance at saving the farm.
Review:  A little expected and sappy but the Lapp Family is endearing. Slow at points but waiting to see how the family saves the farm makes it worth it. 
Scoring: 3
 

Sons Of Mistletoe 

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Family 

Starring: Roma Downey, George Newbern, and Doris Roberts

Synopsis: An heiress who was long estranged from her father comes to town to sell off all of his belongings. Too late she learns that she has sold a boys' orphanage run by a gentleman who grew up there.

Review:  I love this movie. The children have such diverse and funny personalities. It’s hard to describe without spoilers but I loved Roberts as the cop and Newbern’s dedication. 

Scoring: 4

The Sound Of Christmas  
Rated: NR
Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance 
Starring: Lindy Booth and Robin Dunne
Synopsis: Lizzie, a young piano teacher, helps Brad's teenage daughter learn music. As she begins to break through to the girl, sparks begin to fly with Brad, but she is shocked to find out that he may want to buy the school's property.
Review:  The idea is nice but the way the movie progresses is quite corny. I liked hoping the school would be saved but it’s a movie I wouldn’t need to see again. 
Scoring: 2
 

Special Delivery

Rated: NR

Genre: Comedy 

Starring: Andy Dick

Synopsis: A baby gets misplaced by a worker at an adoption agency during the Christmas holiday.

Review:  If you’re familiar with Andy Dick you know to expect slapstick comedy. This movie has that but the tender moments will surprise you. It doesn’t take itself too seriously but still delivers a terrific story. 

Scoring: 3

The Spirit Of Christmas 

Rated: NR

Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Romance 

Starring: Thomas Beaudoin and Jen Lilley

Synopsis: Emotionally frigid attorney Kate Jordan reluctantly accepts an end-of-the-year assignment to get a reputedly haunted inn appraised and sold by year's end. By and by she meets Daniel, the resident ghost who, for the past ninety-five years, inexplicably returns to life each December during the twelve days of Christmas. Kate has only one logical recourse for their mutual benefit: break the curse that binds him - but falling for a man almost a century her senior isn't among her plans.

Review:  The premise sounds far fetched so I was surprised that I was so moved by this love story. I wanted Kate and Daniel to work it out so they could be together. I won’t spoil it and say if they did. I found the story to be original and charming.  The more times I watch it, the more I love it. 

Scoring: 5

The Spruces And The Pines

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 

Starring: Jonna Walsh, Nick Ballard, Tom Kemp, Ken Cheeseman

Synopsis: A Romeo and Juliet romance takes place among two feuding New England Christmas Tree lot families. Against their families' wills, Julie Pine and visiting-from-Texas, Rick Spruce, fall in love, but are forced to hide their Yuletide relationship.

Review:  It’s a little corny but I liked it. Once you realize the connection between the story and Romeo and Juliet you start to expect where the story may go. The backdrop of the tree farms is beautiful and the story is lighthearted and fun. 

Scoring: 3

A Star for Christmas 
Rated: PG
Genres: Comedy, Romance 
Starring: Briana Evigan, Travis Van Winkle, Corey Sevier, and Brooke Burns
Synopsis: A recent break up throws a baker’s life into chaos, and her coworkers leave her to cope alone during the holidays. Things start looking up when a handsome but troubled actor comes into the store, and the two quickly fall in love. 
Review:  This movie is very cheesy but with lots of funny moments. It may even fall into the “guilty pleasure” category. I enjoy watching it just because it’s fun. 
Scoring: 4

Stealing Christmas 

Rated: PG

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family 

Starring: Tony Danza, Lea Thompson, and Betty White

Synopsis: After bungling his latest heist, bank robber Jack Clayton flees the big city and winds up in the small town of Evergreen. There he’s mistaken by Sarah Gibson and her daughter, Noelle, as the Santa Claus they’ve hired to promote their local family Christmas tree farm. Jack plays along while casing a local bank. As his affection for Sarah and Noelle grows, can he leave his past behind him?

Review:  This movie is a little slow and a little too predictable but it’s still got that Christmas feeling to it. I even got involved to the point of wondering how everything would sort out with Jack. 

Scoring: 3

 

Summertime Christmas

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Religion

Starring: Josh Roy and Monica Eder

Synopsis: While vacationing separately in small-town USA, Elwood and Nora, two of Santa's elves, receive an urgent transmission, initiating a series of events that will change their lives, and the world, forever. With the help of one good little girl, they set out to rid the town out of an economic depression and turn the wayward children back from naughty to nice. As their relationship blossoms, they discover the limits of their magic, the true meaning of Christmas and the joy of helping others.

Review: The movie is filled with points it is trying to get across; how government affects families, the inclusion of religious Christmas with the secular, accountability for actions, and more. It’s a B-movie with some very average acting and it starts out quite slowly. If you’re okay with the religious content, it has some good family qualities and would create positive discussions. We can all use some Christmas year-round.

Scoring: 2

Surviving Christmas
Rated: PG-13
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Ben Affleck, Christina Applegate, James Gandolphini, Catherine O’Hara, and Jennifer Morrison
Synopsis: Drew Latham is an executive leading an empty, shallow life with only wealth on his side. Facing another lonely Christmas ahead, Drew wants to revisit his old childhood home and possibly relive some old holiday memories. But when he arrives, he finds that the house in which he was raised is no longer the home in which he grew up. Inhabited by another family, Drew offers a nice financial reward that has the family ringing. But is Drew's generous cash offer only the beginning of an annoying visitor who's a little too overeager to celebrate Christmas?
Review:  Funny, moving, and a little awkward. Drew’s kooky, over-the-top, enjoyment of traditions is humorous. An interesting look at a family that could be any of ours. It was fun and I laughed a lot. 
Scoring: 3

A Sweet Christmas Romance

Rated: G

Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance

Starring: Adelaide Kane, Greyston Holt, and Loretta Devine

Synopsis: When a food stylist finds out the owner of her favorite bakery is retiring and sponsoring a baking contest to see who will be her successor, she enters but then is forced to join forces with a rival chef to try and win.

Review: This is such a sweet love story.  It’s not full of surprises but there are just enough details and different relationships to keep it interesting.  They don’t overdo it on the baking.  The emphasis is on the people and their relationships.  This is one I’m definitely watching again.

Scoring: 5

Sweet Mountain Christmas

Rated: G

Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance

Starring: Megan Hilty, Marcus Rosner, and Teryl Rothery

Synopsis: A musician who is set to headline a Christmas concert in NYC makes a pit-stop in Tennessee to see her family.

Review: This is a perfectly average movie.  It’s not good, it’s not bad.  It just falls flat.  I didn’t really care about the characters or what was happening.  There are a few moments; like them dancing, or her with the kids.  If you’re a Megan Hilty fan, give it a try.  Otherwise, I’d skip it.

Scoring: 2

The Sweetest Christmas
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Lacey Chabert and Lea Coco
Synopsis: When struggling pastry chef Kylie makes it to the finals of the American Gingerbread Competition, she hopes the publicity will help her jumpstart her new café. There's just one problem - the oven she's supposed to use breaks down right before the contest. She reaches out to Nick Mazannti, her old boyfriend, who took over his family's pizzeria. Nick allows her to use his industrial pizza oven at night. Romance ensues, even with her ex entering the story. Kylie realizes she must embrace the Christmas Spirit or risk losing both the contest and her new love.
Review:  Sweetest is a good word. The story is delightful, as most Lacey Chabert movies are. I liked seeing the creations. Easy to watch and relax. 
Scoring: 3
Switched For Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Romance 
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Eion Bailey, Mark Deklin, and Natasha Bure
Synopsis: Estranged twin sisters get together for an obligatory pre-Christmas lunch, a year after their mother's death. Both women are unhappy and frustrated with their own lives. Though not close, each is envious of the other's life. What's a twin to do but take advantage of this? And who would be the wiser? They do what any identical twins in need of new outlooks would do: they swap lives until Christmas Day, and by doing so, each woman discovers the true meaning of her life and gains a deeper perspective and appreciation for what she already had.
Review:  A cute and darling as expected for a Bure movie. I thought I’d be confused with Bure playing both characters but they were successful in keeping it clear. Very enjoyable story. 
Scoring: 3