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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So This Is Christmas (2013)

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 (2017)
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 (2001)

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  (2016)
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 (2000)

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 (2015)

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 (2017)

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

Stagecoach Santa (2010)

Rated: NR

Genres: Family, Religion

Synopsis: John's struggle to provide is bolstered by the childlike faith of his son who considers the meaning of Christmas. After a stagecoach rider visits Christmas eve, John must believe that troubles are temporary, and miracles can happen.

Review: The main message of this movie is religious faith.  It does do a good job of combining an acceptance of both the religious and secular parts of Christmas.  It emphasizes family and being grateful for what you have.  It has good lessons for children and would spark conversations with families.  While it’s clearly low budget, I believe the acting is good and the simplicity of the story makes it okay.

Scoring: 2

Staging Christmas (2019)

Rated: G

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Soleil Moon Frye, George Stults, Jaleel White

Synopsis: Lori is intrigued when a wealthy widower names Everett asks her to stage his home for the holidays to cheer up his daughter, Maddie. 

Review: This was a nice movie. It was a little flat but still enjoyable. All the Christmas decorating is fun. Lori and Maddie have more chemistry in their relationship than Lori and Everett. 

Scoring: 2

The Star (2017)

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Comedy, Religion

Starring: Anthony Anderson, Aidy Bryant, Mariah Carey, Kristin Chenoweth, Kelly Clarkson, Patricia Heaton, Gabriel Iglesias, Keegan-Michael Key, Kris Kristofferson, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan, Tyler Perry, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gina Rodriguez, Oprah Winfrey, and Steve Yeun

Synopsis: A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.

Review: I loved this!  There’s enough humor to entertain while maintaining the appropriate reverence for the story.  Tracy Morgan never failed to make me laugh.  This would be a great family film.  It would also be a good way to introduce the birth of Jesus to young children in a way they can relate to more than most movies.  Even just adults will enjoy the humor.  I laughed but I was also very moved at the end.

Scoring: 5

Star Dust (2010)

Rated: NR

Genres: Animation, Fantasy

Synopsis: Kobold, a grumpy elf with no toy-making talent, tries to redeem himself by embarking on a trip to find the magical star dust that powers Santa’s sleigh to save Christmas.

Review: The animation is fairly low quality but it’s a nice story.  Different people and beings work together and learn the true meaning of Christmas.  Meant more for children but still fun to watch.

Scoring: 2

A Star for Christmas (2012)
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 (2003)

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

 

A Stone Cold Christmas (2018)

Rated: PG

Genres: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Demetria McKinney

Synopsis: A holiday encounter with a forsaken boyfriend forces money-grubbing Mia Stone to re-examine her past, present and future.

Review: A new look at the character of Scrooge.  It’s not a literal past, present and future journey.  It’s a look at a woman who gets a view of how she influences people.  We do have the prerequisite change at the end.  It’s still an enjoyable movie and I was thoroughly entertained.

Scoring: 3

The Story Of Santa Claus (1996)

Rated: G

Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Musical

Starring: Ed Asner, Tim Curry, and Betty White

Synopsis: The special presents an origin story for Santa Claus, who is depicted as a man named Nicholas Claus who wishes to give every child in the world a gift for Christmas. The elves of the North Pole become obligated to grant his wish, facing great obstacles.

Review: If you like stories about the origin of Santa, you’ll like this. I think it must be confusing for children with so many movies with different origin stories. Overall, they present the characters as good and giving which is a great message for kids. Adults may or may not enjoy it. 

Scoring: 3

A Storybook Christmas (2019)

Rated: PG

Genres: Family, Romance

Starring: Ali Liebert and Jake Epstein

Synopsis: If event planner Celeste is going to save her business and give her niece a happy Christmas season, she is going to need help. 

Review: A very sweet movie. Seeing Celeste try to honor her sister and the bonds between them and Finley was lovely. Taylor fit right in like am the perfect puzzle piece. The movie isn’t super deep but has just enough. 

Scoring: 3

Summertime Christmas (2010)

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 (2004)
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

The Swan Princess Christmas (2012)

Rated: PG

Genres: Animation, Fantasy, Musical, Religion

Starring: Jennifer Miller

Synopsis: Princess Odette, Prince Derek and their trusted woodland friends return for their first Christmas celebration! But, with the villainous Rothbart striving to destroy Christmas itself, will they be able to stop him and save the day?

Review: Let me preface this by saying the story isn’t religious but plenty of the music is and there’s lots of wonderful Christmas music.  It’s a fun story with lots of silly and lighthearted moments.  I also like that the female saves the male when it’s typically the opposite.  This is a great one for families.

Scoring: 3

A Sweet Christmas Romance (2019)

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 (2019)

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 (2017)
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 (2017)
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