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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Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Deroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Loretta Devine, Chris Brown, and Regina King
Synopsis: A Christmastime drama centered around the Whitfield family's first holiday together in four years.
Review: This was like watching every family say the things they often think and don’t say at family gatherings. There’s some humor to lighten the drama. It’s a nice variety of character backgrounds and personalities and with a cast like this it’s executed well.
This Is Our Christmas
Starring: Aaron O’Connell, Nancy Daly, and Donna Spangler
Synopsis: In a sequel to “Beverly Hills Christmas”, a spoiled Beverly Hills teenager finds the true meaning of the holidays. A father tries to help his daughter overcome the loss of her mother while helping the failing business of a country style bakery.
Review: Wow. Seeing O’Connell was in this movie made me think it might be an improvement on the first. Unfortunately, the bad acting and wishy-washy plot just overwhelmed it. Daly has a sometimes southern, sometimes Glinda totally stoned accent and it’s just too much.
Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Peter O’Toole, Jared Padalecki, Marcia Gay Harden, Aaron Ashmore, Richard Burgi, Chris Elliott, Richard Moll, Jay Brazeau, Charlotte Rae, and Ed Asner
Synopsis: A look at the inspiration behind Thomas Kinkade's painting The Christmas Cottage, and how the artist was motivated to begin his career after discovering his mother was in danger of losing their family home.
Review: I’m aware that this is based on Kinkade’s life and I was looking forward to learning about him. However, despite the star-studded cast, I was quite bored. I found it hard to sit through.
The Three Wise Guys
Starring: Eddie McClintock, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Judd Nelson, Tom Arnold, and Katey Sagal
Synopsis: This Christmas movie is a comedy about the mistress of the owner a casino in Las Vegas and her boyfriend who had stolen a disc containing financial irregularities in the Casino. Murray Crown, the owner of the casino, hires three murderers to find Stella and her boyfriend and retrieve the disc.
Review: Picture the Nativity story meets comedies about the mob. It’s corny and silly but that’s the best part of it. If you want warm and fuzzy Christmas, skip it. If you want a fun time this is for you.
Three Wise Women
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Fionnula Flanagan and Amy Huberman
Synopsis: A woman set to get married on Christmas Eve must make a life-changing decision.
Review: A woman’s guardian angel is trying to help her get back on track. How? By uniting her teenage, middle age, and older selves to guide each other. It seems as far-fetched as it sounds and it can be really silly at points. However, I still enjoyed it. There’s a lot of entertainment and I found myself rooting for her. Imagine being able to guide your younger self to a happier life. It’s definitely a different concept and worth watching.
Time For Me To Come Home For Christmas
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Megan Park, Josh Henderson, Paul McGillion, and Eric Keenleyside
Synopsis: A businesswoman and a country music star who are strangers, are both booked on a flight to Tulsa before the holidays, but it ends up getting canceled due to a snowstorm. They decide to try to get to Tulsa together and share their secrets along the way.
Review: The pace is like a stroll in the park. It’s very relaxing. It’s a sweet story of two people slowly falling for each other. There are special moments, like the boy in the airport. Watch for them.
To Grandmother’s House We Go
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Starring: Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Rhea Pearlman, and Cynthia Geary
Synopsis: When the twins feel like their mom is tired of them, they take off on an exciting adventure to grandmother's house and encounter a pair of villains along the way.
Review: It’s a typical cutesy twin adventure. Children should love it and adults may like it. I found it cute but I was over it after about ten minutes.
Too Cool For Christmas AKA A Very Cool Christmas
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy
Starring: George Hamilton, Brooke Nevin, and Donna Mills
Synopsis: 16-year-old Lindsay decides to give Santa Claus an extreme makeover.
Review: Yes, it’s a little corny but it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I really like watching George Hamilton as Santa as he underwent his makeover. Good for lighthearted fun.
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Dan Ackroyd, and Jamie Lee Curtis
Synopsis: A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.
Review: While it takes place at Christmas this is not a Christmas themed movie. It’s funny once you get past the cruelty of the two men. Murphy and Ackroyd are at their best.
Trapped In Paradise
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Jon Lovitz, and Dana Carvey
Synopsis: Residents of a friendly Pennsylvania town foil three brothers' plan to rob a bank on Christmas Eve.
Review: Lots of silliness and lots of laughs. A little campy but in the best way. Seeing Cage with Carvey and Lovitz is classic.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1945)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Katie McGuire
Synopsis: Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.
Review: This is another one I question why it’s on lists of Christmas movies. I don’t consider it a Christmas movie but I do consider it an excellent movie. It feels like an almost historical view of life for those in the early 1900s. Their joys and their struggles are seen through the eyes of one family.
The Trouble With Mistletoe
Genres: Comedy, Romance
Starring: Rachel Melvin and Thomas Beaudoin
Synopsis: When San Francisco pet shop owner Willa Davis encounters the man who stood her up in high school, she fights both her head and her heart when she starts falling for him all over again ten years later.
Review: This is a movie for adults. If it had a rating it’d probably be R. If you can handle the high school flashbacks it’s an interesting love story.
The Truth About Christmas
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Kali Hawk
Synopsis: Follows Jillian, a successful political consultant, confident in her ability to put a spin on anything whose next big project is the upcoming mayoral campaign for her boyfriend, George. On the way to meet George's family for the first time during the holidays, an unusual confrontation with a toy store Santa results in a drastic change in Jillian where she can't stop herself from wildly spilling the truth. Jillian must find a way to make it stop before her holidays, her job and her relationship are ruined.
Review: Yet another movie about someone magically being unable to lie to learn the true meaning of Christmas. If you don’t mind the repetitive plot, it’s actually enjoyable. It has a few moments that fall short but overall it’s a fun watch.
‘Twas The Night
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Josh Zuckerman and Bryan Cranston
Synopsis: A mischievous 14-year-old boy and his irresponsible uncle almost ruin Christmas when they decide to take Santa's new high-tech sleigh for a joyride.
Review: Being a Disney Channel film you know it’s geared toward younger audiences. I thought it was funny and interesting and would make for good family viewing. If you don’t like children’s programming it may not be for you.
A Twist Of Christmas
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Vanessa Lachey and Brendan Zub
Synopsis: In the frenzy before Christmas, two single parents - busy working mom Abby and her son, and overwhelmed lawyer Ryan and his daughter - accidentally mix up their toys at a crowded department store. As a result, both of their Christmases appear to be ruined. Although the two can't stand each other, the only way to get things back on track is to help each other salvage their holiday plans - not realizing they're falling for each other in the process.
Review: This is a truly charming movie. While the storyline is predictable as it unfolds, the characters are so likable I didn’t mind.
Two Turtle Doves
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Michael Rady and Nikki Deloach
Synopsis: Dr. Sharon Hayes returns home to search for a beloved family heirloom. When she unexpectedly discovers an adorable little girl and her disheartened father, she realizes that Christmas miracles really do happen.
Review: There’s a lot of loss for the characters. We get to see the learn to cope with loss, continue to grieve, and move forward. Yes, it has every Hallmark cliché including a woman returning to her small hometown, the widower, the adorable child, and a small town filled with Christmas traditions. Each of these adds a layer to the story. The main difference between this movie and others is while the ending is happy, it’s not really an ending. It’s begging for a sequel.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Tyler Perry, Chad Michael Murray, Larry The Cable Guy, Alicia Witt, and Kathy Najimy
Synopsis: Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on rural town when she's coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas.
Review: If you’re a fan of the Madea movies you’ll like this one, too. If you haven’t seen a Madea movie, watch it. It’s got plenty of laughs along with Madea’s life lessons with Christmas added.