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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This Christmas 

Rated: PG-13

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

This Is Our Christmas 

Rated: NR

Genres: Family

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. 

Scoring: 1

 

Thomas Kinkade’s The Christmas Cottage

Rated: PG

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. 

Scoring: 1

Three Days
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Religion, Romance
Starring: Kristin Davis, Reed Diamond, and Tim Meadows
Synopsis: Ten years ago, Andrew married his childhood sweetheart, Beth. Now Andrew's a high-powered literary agent, but his relationship with his wife has not fared as well. When Beth is tragically killed just days before Christmas, an angel gives Andrew the chance to relive the last three days his wife was alive. But he can't change fate and Beth will still lose her life. However, Andrew can still discover the gift Beth needs most from him.
Review:  A movie that will have you grabbing for the tissues and hoping for a miracle. Just as enjoyable the second time even when you know the ending. 
Scoring: 3
 
The Three Gifts AKA The Christmas Gift
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Dean Cain, Jean Louisa Kelly, and Mimi Kennedy
Synopsis: Jack Green inherited a Californian horse ranch and an all-natural toy factory in the barn. With his wife, Cherie, he accepts taking in the three 'holy terrors' from his bossy aunt Rita's orphanage during renovations, until the holidays. Resourceful Mike and his buddies, Henry and Ray, prove handfuls, but Jack proves father-potential. The trio even goes on best behavior after overhearing the couple considers adopting, but that also means rivaly, resulting in trouble for everyone.
Review:  This is a darling movie. The relationships between the boys and Jack and Cherie are sweet. It’s a reminder that not all children have a home at Christmas and that love is important to us all. 
Scoring: 4
 

The Three Wise Guys

Rated: NR

Genres: Comedy

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

Three Wise Women

Rated: G

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.

                                                     Scoring: 3

Time For Me To Come Home For Christmas 

Rated: G

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

'Tis The Season For Love
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Starring: Sarah Lancaster and Brendan Penny
Synopsis: A small town girl who moved to New York to pursue her dreams returns home for the holidays, only to realize that maybe her dreams aren't miles away, but right in her hometown.
Review:  I think we’ve all been at a crossroad in life and don’t know which way to go. That makes this movie relatable. I adored the town and their traditions. The characters and the story are enjoyable. 
Scoring: 4

To Grandmother’s House We Go

Rated: NR

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. 

Scoring: 2

Too Cool For Christmas AKA A Very Cool Christmas 

Genres: Comedy, Fantasy

Rated: TV-14

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. 

Scoring: 3

The Town Christmas Forgot
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Lauren Holly and Rock Roberts
Synopsis: On his way to a luxury resort for the Christmas holiday, banker Charles Benson's car breaks down, so his family gets stuck in Nowhere, Colorado, a sleepy town which seems to be dying since its mine closed. Son Nolan befriends the grumpy old former toy shopkeeper, and pushes the charmed grump to become the naturally perfect Santa in the Christmas pageant his mother helped organize despite the disheartened mayor. Charles gets stuck in the mine with the mechanic, whom he befriends, and ends up as the real Christmas benefactor.
Review:  While I am rooting for the townspeople of Nowhere, the rest of the movie is so slow and a little boring. I found it hard to sit through. 
Scoring: 1
A Town Without Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Patricia Heaton, Rick Roberts, Ernie Hudson, and Peter Falk
Synopsis: A television reporter and an aspiring writer join the search for a missing boy who wrote a disturbing letter to Santa Claus. 
Review:  Peter Falk plays a guardian angel who leaves clues to guide M.J. and David to find the missing boy and each other. Very interesting turns as the story progresses. 
Scoring: 4

Trading Places

Rated: R

Genres: Comedy

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

Trapped In Paradise

Rated: PG-13

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. 

Scoring: 3

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (1945)

Rated: PG

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. 

Scoring: 4

 

The Tree That Saved Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Drama, Family
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Corey Sevier, Matthew Kevin Anderson, Jim Thorburn, and Eric Keenleyside
Synopsis: Molly and Lucas were high school sweethearts in Vermont. Molly's family has continued operating their Christmas tree farm. After getting an MBA, Lucas returned to work at the bank while Molly stays in the city and works at a publishing house. Her widowed boss, Walter Dunlap, treats her more as his assistant and caregiver to his two daughters, Victoria and Sofia. Her brother Ryan tells her that the bank is foreclosing on a mortgage for the tree farm property. Molly heads back to Vermont to help her parents save the farm. Molly runs into Lucas where with a lot of work their romance is rekindled and her boss reconnects with his children. 
Review:  Another sweet Chabert movie. It’s moving and charming. The journey to save the farm keeps you loving the family more and more. 
Scoring: 3

The Trouble With Mistletoe 

Rated: NR

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. 

Scoring: 2

 

The Truth About Christmas

Rated: TV-14

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

‘Twas The Night

Rated: G

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. 

Scoring: 3

 

Twice Upon A Christmas 
Rated: G
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: John Dye, Kathy Ireland, and Mary Donnelly-Haskell
Synopsis: Santa's first-born daughter, Rudolfa, is secretly selling pieces of the North Pole.  Eventually she attempts to ruin Christmas and replace Santa's workshop with a brand-new casino. But Santa's lost daughter, Kristin, returns to the North Pole with her two children who are desperate to save Christmas, and rebuild the shattered village.
Review:  As endearing as Once Upon A Christmas, we watch as Kristin struggles to regain her memory. Kristin and the Morgans have become a true family but Kristin won’t marry Bill until she knows who she is. Full of love, humor, and whimsy, this is a fun one. 
Scoring: 4

A Twist Of Christmas

Rated: PG

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. 

Scoring: 4

 

Two Turtle Doves

Rated: G

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.

Scoring: 3

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas 

Rated: PG-13

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. 

Scoring: 3