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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The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas (2000)
Genres: Animation, Fantasy
Starring: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Jenna Elfman, David Hyde Pierce, Tom Bosley, Howie Mandel, Marlon Wayans, and Trisha Yearwood
Synopsis: A teddy bear who goes unpurchased for Christmas makes friends in a second-hand store.
Review: I found this to be absolutely delightful. There’s an underlying message that we are all valuable and the things that make us different make us more special, not less. The characters have human issues that are very relatable. This is one I believe children will love and adults will enjoy watching with them.
A Taste of Christmas (2020)
Starring: Anni Krueger, Gills Marini, and Nia Vardalos
Synopsis: When Natalie learns her cousin Francesca must cancel the Christmas Eve opening of her new Italian restaurant, Natalie's heart goes out to all of the guests who were planning on attending.
Review: For all the talk of Christmas and decorations everywhere, it really feels more like a movie about a restaurant than it is about Christmas. It has got its charm and some humor but still falls a little short. They don’t delve enough into any one story and the characters are superficial and expected. My favorite part was the teens. It's still worth watching once.
Terrific Trucks Save Christmas (2016)
Starring: Jayne Eastwood
Synopsis: The trucks are just digging holes but then Christmas is being attacked, now it's up to them to save Christmas.
Review: This is borderline mind numbing. I think children that like trucks will really enjoy it. It’s also got just enough silliness for them. For adults, save yourself and skip it.
This Christmas (2007)
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 Christmas (2017)
Starring: Chris Mulkey
Synopsis: Friends come together to do the right thing after everything becomes chaotic.
Review: First off, this isn't rated but it should be an R. Yet another awful film. The premise was okay but they didn’t even begin to do it justice. The beginning had no backstory on the overwhelming number of characters. Because of this it was hard to care. The characters were unlikable and a mash up of people. They went from scene to scene with no transition or apparent reason making the story, or lack thereof, too much work for something that wasn’t good.
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 (2005)
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 (2010)
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.
Throwback Holiday (2018)
Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Jennifer Freeman
Synopsis: Jacqueline is living an unfulfilled life in a doomed marriage. After a chance encounter with a former classmate, she rethinks her life's choices and wishes she could go back to high school for a do-over. Like a Christmas miracle, Jacqueline awakens to find herself as a high school senior again with the ability to change everything.
Review: While it takes place during the season, there’s very little Christmas in this movie. I think everyone has wondered, what if I could go back and do it again knowing what I know now. While the changes she makes are predictable, it’s still fun to watch. It’s not as good as Eve’s Christmas but it’s different enough.
Time For Me To Come Home For Christmas (2018)
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.
Time for Us to Come Home For Christmas (2020)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Lacey Chabert and Stephen Huszar
Synopsis: Five guests are mysteriously invited to an inn to celebrate Christmas. With the help of the owner Ben, Sarah discovers that an event from the past may connect them and change their lives forever.
Review: In a world of Christmas movies that have the same feel, and I’m not saying that’s bad, the beauty shines. I didn’t even suspect the answer until at least half way through. I love the way the guests’ storied intertwine. The movie managed to keep my full attention watching for every detail. There’s so many types of relationships, loss, healing, and love. It’s amazing. I’m hoping for a sequel if they can recapture the magic of this one.
Time for You to Come Home for Christmas (2019)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Lucas Bryant and Alison Sweeney
Synopsis: When Katherine returns home after her husband passes away, she meets a veteran who is on his own holiday journey. As Christmas nears, they learn of a bond that may be the miracle they need.
Review: This movie had so many unexpected moments. It was emotional, yes, I needed a tissue at one point. But there’s so much Christmas and so much joy. It all works so well. This one is definitely worth watching.
A Timeless Christmas (2020)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Romance
Starring: Erin Cahill and Ryan Paevey
Synopsis: A man travels from 1903 to 2020, where he meets a tour guide at his historic mansion and gets to experience a 21st century Christmas.
Review: I will say in advance that I love science fiction so the time travel part really spoke to me. Beyond that, I knew that it being a Hallmark movie everyone would have a happy ending but I was still on the edge of my seat. I wondered if he’d go back, if going back was possible, if he’d take her with him, if he’d stay with her, or if it was something I wasn’t even considering. I won’t give it away but I will say their kiss was magical. I loved this movie.
To Grandmother’s House We Go (1992)
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 Close For Christmas (2020)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Chad Michael Murray and Jessica Lowndes
Synopsis: A woman reluctantly spends Christmas with the man responsible for ending her last relationship.
Review: The combination of Hayley, who is afraid to move or make changes, and Paul, who is afraid to stay in one place, makes for an interesting dynamic. It has a lot of obvious moments and an expected ending but there’s lot of Christmas and funny moments in between. Murray gives the perfect performance for this character.
Too Cool For Christmas AKA A Very Cool Christmas (2004)
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.