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 Ultimate Christmas Present (2000)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Starring: Spencer Breslin and Halle Hirsh
Synopsis: A girl steals a weather machine from Santa Claus to make a snow day. The machine breaks, and causes an out-of-control snowstorm.
Review: This is a good family film but children will probably enjoy it more. There are funny moments but I liked the theme of family togetherness.
The Ultimate Gift (2006)
Genres: Drama, Family, Religion, Romance
Starring: Drew Fuller, James Garner, Abigail Breslin, and Bill Cobbs
Synopsis: A deceased billionaire leaves his spoiled adult grandson a series of odd tasks to perform in order to receive "the ultimate gift," with the resentful grandson having no idea what that might be.
Review: I don’t consider this to be a Christmas movie as Christmas is a small part of it but I know many do so I’m including this review. As a movie, it’s got a great message. Jason learns the value of people rather than the price of things. Seeing his journey is special.
Unaccompanied Minors (2006)
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Starring: Wilmer Valderrama, Rob Corddry, and Jessica Walter
Synopsis: A group of unaccompanied minors bond while snowed in at the midwestern Hoover International Airport during the holiday season and ultimately create a makeshift holiday themselves.
Review: Yet another movie filled with rebellious children and their entertaining antics. I think it will be liked better by children than adults. I found it to be a little too silly for me.
Uncle Nick (2015)
Starring: Brian Posehn, Missi Pyle, and Paget Brewster
Synopsis: At his brother's traditional Christmas Eve party, lecherous, drunken slacker Nick works hard to make the celebration a raucous disaster.
Review: This may not be rated but it is explicit and should not be watched by anyone but adults. I found this movie to not only be distasteful but boring and just plain gross. I felt it was not only a waste of time but I wish I could go back and not watch it. If you like gross, in your face, depravity, this may be for you. Everyone else, save your time.
Undercover Christmas (2003)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Jami Gertz, Shawn Christian, and Tyne Daly
Synopsis: An FBI agent is assigned as the protective custodian of a straight-talking cocktail waitress after she agrees to testify against her tax cheat boyfriend.
Review: This is one I really enjoy. It’s campy and fun but also deep and meaningful. I really cared about the characters and wanted them to all be happy.
Unlikely Angel (1996)
Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy, Religion
Starring: Dolly Parton and Roddy McDowell
Synopsis: Dolly Parton portrays a country music performer who meets an untimely demise. She cannot enter heaven until she performs a good deed back on Earth, to get a workaholic widower and his children back together again for Christmas.
Review: Parton portrays a colorful character in this charming and moving story. The message of love and loss is relatable to many. It is a predictable story but enjoyable nonetheless.
Unlocking Christmas (2020)
Starring: Taylor Cole and Steve Lund
Synopsis: A mysterious key and a cryptic holiday riddle set Kate and Kevin on a romantic Christmas adventure.
Review: This movie was awesome. You have the two people who are both grappling with difficult things from their past and where to go from here. But the most amazing part was all the puzzles they had to figure out and all the Christmas fun they had. Even better, the fun was about reaching out and helping others. Tons of Christmas spirit. The characters had depth and it was easy to become involved in their lives.
An Unremarkable Christmas (2020)
Genres: Comedy, Family
Starring: Antonio Sanint
Synopsis: An accountant and aspiring magician invites his boss to spend Christmas with his family – unaware that he’s one of Colombia’s most-wanted criminals.
Review: First, this is in Spanish with subtitles. Subtitles don’t bother me but if you have trouble with them, skip this. Second, it’s a prequel to an existing show on Netflix. I haven’t seen the show so I’m basing my opinion on the movie as a stand-alone. I was surprised at how entertained I was given the level of stupidity in this story. It’s beyond a farce. The daughter’s boyfriend has a mohawk and is constantly getting stoned, the son’s “girlfriend” is a girl pretending to be a nun that he’s in love with. The son and daughter are exaggerated versions of teen brats. The mother-in-law shows up with her conman gigolo boyfriend. That doesn’t even start to address the cops and criminals. You get the idea. There’s so much going on that it kept my interest. Not enough to watch twice, though.
USS Christmas (2020)
Starring: Trevor Donovan, Jen Lilley, and Barbara Niven
Synopsis: A newspaper reporter stumbles upon a mystery while taking a Christmastime cruise.
Review: A sweet love story with people afraid of love being pulled together while slowly uncovering another love story. I eagerly anticipated every new clue towards finding Sam and Dorothy just as I waited for Maddie and Billy to let their hearts override their fears. Sweet romance just doesn’t have a lot of Christmas.
Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas (2009)
Genres: Animation, Religion
Starring: Paul Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, and Lisa Vischer
Synopsis: The Veggies discover the true joy of giving to others at Christmas time and throughout the year.
Review: The story tells a lot about the origin of St. Nicholas but the main focus is learning that the true meaning of Christmas is giving, not getting. It teaches that the religious aspect and not the commercial one is important. Like all VeggieTales, the Bible and Christianity are the focus. It’s educational and entertaining.
Veggie Tales: The Star Of Christmas (2002)
Genres: Animation, Religion
Starring: Dan Anderson, Matthew Hodge, Tim Hodge
Synopsis: Two jingle writers plan a stage production they believe will teach London to love but it’s for the same night at the church’s nativity play. In the end, they learn the true meaning of Christmas.
Review: It’s a wonderful movie for children but would be good for families to watch together. It does teach values through Christianity so if you prefer to avoid Religious material this isn’t for you. The veggies are entertaining but relatable. This was my first viewing of anything VeggieTales and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The messages are very positive for children.
A Very Brady Christmas (1988)
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
Starring: Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, and Ann B. Davis
Synopsis: The entire Brady family manages to overcome personal obstacles to spend a happy holiday together.
Review: A typical Brady story. It’s about dealing with struggles but in a very G-rated way. It’s also about family and togetherness. If you like The Brady Bunch you’ll probably like this.
A Very British Christmas (2019)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Rachel Shenton and Mark Killeen
Synopsis: Opera singer Jessica's flight to her concert in Vienna gets delayed and she is stuck in a remote area of England. The only place to stay is a bed-and-breakfast in an enchanting village run by a handsome widower named Andrew.
Review: What an enchanting romance. The characters are magical yet relatable. The scenery is beautiful. The little girl is so adorable and quite funny. It’s more about relationships and the town than Christmas but there’s enough Christmas to give the feeling.
A Very Charming Christmas Town (2020)
Starring: Natalie Hall, Jon Prescott, and Kelley Jakle
Synopsis: Travel and lifestyle blogger Aubrey Lang visits the small town of Slovang for a Christmas vlog.
Review: There’s a lot of corny and expected plot moments. There’s also something special about the Danish traditions the town has which are different from other movies. The characters are very likable and fun. The worst part is the amount of chocolate and pastries in the movie. I was craving kringle and chocolate the whole time. LOL
A Very Country Christmas (2017)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Greyston Holt, Bea Santos, Greg Vaughn, and Deana Carter
Synopsis: Jeanette is a busy single parent, trying to make the best life for her and her daughter. With no time to follow current celebrity gossip, Jeanette is unaware of when a Country superstar returns to their small town to escape the intrusive paparazzi and the chaos of fame. A chance meeting between the two have them both letting their guards down and opening their hearts to the possibility of romance.
Review: A sweet and lovely story. The daughter is so adorable and adds to the emotions of the scenes. You get your happy ending but it’s a beautiful story. There’s some good country music as well.
A Very Country Christmas Homecoming (2020)
Genres: Family, Romance
Starring: Bea Santos, Greyston Holt, and Deana Carter
Synopsis: Complications arise for a country music superstar and his new wife when her former father-in-law throws a wrench into all of their holiday planning.
Review: This movie is missing some of the magic of the first movie. It has some deeper topics, like handling a son’s death and paparazzi, but they’re only skimmed over. It has Christmas but it’s mostly fluff. I think the movie would’ve been better served by choosing either the Cake and paparazzi storyline or the grandfather returning one and really exploring it fully.
A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)
Genres: Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Kal Penn and John Cho
Synopsis: Six years after their Guantanamo Bay adventure, stoner buds Harold Lee and Kumar Patel cause a holiday fracas by inadvertently burning down Harold's father-in-law's prize Christmas tree.
Review: I haven’t seen their other movies but it’s pretty easy to figure out they are just as crazy. Their antics and adventures have a Griswold feel but upped to add everything inappropriate you could think of. It’s funny but definitely only for adults.
A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
Genres: Comedy, Musical
Starring: Michael Cera, George Clooney, Miley Cyrus, David Johansen, Rashida Jones, Bill Murray, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, and Paul Shaffer
Synopsis: When a blizzard shuts down the production of Bill Murray’s live holiday broadcast, he makes the best of the situation by singing and celebrating with friends.
Review: This would have been even better as a variety special. It’s mostly singing and dancing. Very entertaining and festive singing and dancing by very talented people. The attempt to add a plot to it is just strange. Ignore that part and just celebrate the music and the talent.
A Very Nutty Christmas (2018)
Genres: Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Barry Watson, and Melissa Jaret Winokur
Synopsis: Kate, a workaholic baker, has given up on Christmas, especially this year, when her boyfriend dumps her and she's got to fill an order of 12,000 cookies before Christmas. However, the gift of a magic nutcracker who turns into a real man makes the once cynical Kate understand the magic and beauty of Christmas--and of love.
Review: A nutcracker coming to life sounds weird but somehow it worked. The whole movie I was waiting for the end expecting sadness but I loved it. I’ll definitely watch again.
A Very Vintage Christmas (2019)
Genres: Drama, Romance
Starring: Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Jesse Hutch, and Patricia Richardson
Synopsis: An antique shop owner finds a hidden box containing an eclectic collection of mementos. She decides to make it her mission to deliver it to her rightful owner.
Review: If I had to describe this movie in one word, I’d say sentimental. It’s not just the romance of the vintage store. It’s the two love stories, the mission to find the couple, and all the feelings it all evokes. It’s a new plot I haven’t seen before which is refreshing. A lovely tale.
A Veteran’s Christmas (2018)
Genres: Drama, Family, Romance
Starring: Eloise Mumford and Sean Faris
Synopsis: Captain Grace Garland, a decorated US veteran, returns home after two tours of Search and Rescue in Afghanistan. After being separated from her beloved K9 partner, Grace must rediscover the magic of Christmas. When Grace finds herself stranded in the town of River's Crossing a couple weeks before Christmas, the local judge Joe Peterson, offers her a place to stay on his property and takes it upon himself to show Grace everything she has been missing; Christmas, family, community, and love.
Review: A sweet story about coming home from war when you have no one to come home to. Charming characters with a beautiful setting and lovely Christmas traditions.