Holiday Movie Reviews

By: Eliana Satkin and Maeve O’Brien

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Elf: 5/5 stars 🎅🏼 🎅🏼 🎅🏼 🎅🏼 🎅🏼

Elf is a story about an orphaned baby, named Buddy (Will Ferrell), who landed in the North Pole via Santa’s toy sack. Being raised amongst elves, Buddy knew he was different. After realizing he has a father who lives in New York City, Buddy makes the journey to meet him. When he discovers that his father has landed on the naughty list, Buddy’s overarching goal is to get him on the nice list. Throughout Buddy’s time in New York City, he has a difficult time fitting into the city’s society, as all he had ever known was life in the North Pole. In the process of trying to form a relationship with his father, Buddy makes many friends throughout the duration of the movie. 

Buddy’s adventures in New York City help define this movie as a humorous holiday classic. Will Ferrell, who played Buddy, delivers a touching, yet comedic performance.

“I enjoy Elf the most because I like Will Ferrell movies and the overall setting of the film,” senior Derek Dela Cruz said. a

This movie is both comedic and heartwarming. It touches everyone who watches it. This movie recognizes the importance of giving compliments, smiling, taking risks, and most importantly spreading holiday spirit. With that being said, we give Elf a 5/5 star rating. 

Elf is available to stream on Hulu and rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Google Play starting at $3.99.

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Rudolph: 5/5 stars 🦌 🦌 🦌 🦌 🦌

Rudolph is a classic Christmas movie that families around the world enjoy during the holidays. It was made in 1964 and has held popularity over the years. This movie is centered around the idea of misfit characters in search of a home that will accept them. Rudolph (Billy Richards), having a bright red nose, struggled to make friends and fit in with the rest of the reindeers. He finds comfort in characters like Hermey (Paul Soles), an elf who has dreams of being a dentist. Rudolph, Hermey, and Yukon Cornelius (Larry Mann),  an arctic prospector, travel away from their home in the North Pole. They meet an abominable snowman and eventually run into the land of misfit toys. Although he struggled with his insecurities in the beginning of the movie, he returns in hopes of helping Santa deliver his presents despite the foggy skies. His red, shiny nose saves the day, and his insecurity turns out to be a gift! 

This movie portrayed a very important and powerful message to its general young audience. Seeing as it is a known holiday movie, families will be able to enjoy this great showing together, and many children can hopefully learn to accept their differences. It was a humorous, sweet, and enjoyable movie to watch, with pieces of holiday music incorporated into many scenes. The animation from 1964 defines this movie as a classic, but we do wish that it was a bit higher quality. It is only 47 minutes, so it may have been even better if the movie was longer. 

“I did not like the animations, but I did enjoy how Rudolph was included at the end of the movie,” sophomore Olivia Cadoas said. “I didn’t like how the other reindeers would make fun of his nose because it always made me feel bad for him.”  

All together, Rudolph, brings the true ideals of Christmas together, while staying authentic to the original storybook tale. We have given Rudolph a 5 star rating, and Rudolph can be found on CBS, NBC, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube. 

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Home Alone: 4/5 stars 🎄 🎄 🎄 🎄

Home Alone follows the adventures of eight year old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) after being forgotten by his family as they left for their holiday vacation. At dinner, the night before their trip, Kevin and his brother get into a fight, and Kevin is sent to sleep on the third floor, all alone. The next morning, due to his family rushing to the airport and the lack of power in the house, Kevin is forgotten and left behind. This leaves Kevin home by himself with no power. Being alone, his young wishes come true; Kevin is able to jump on the bed, eat junk food, and watch movies he would not have otherwise been allowed to. He soon realizes that a pair of thieves, known as Harry and Marv, are attempting to rob his home, so Kevin fabricates an excellent plan to destroy their scheme. Through booby traps and hidden obstacles, the robbers are caught and arrested. 

This movie is the perfect description of an exciting holiday classic. With a very entertaining plot, the movie is well directed, making it simple for all viewers to follow. Fans of the movie continually describe their most loved part of the movie having to do with Kevin’s interactions with the robbers. 

“My favorite thing about the film is easily when Harry and Marv are outsmarted by Kevin’s traps time and time again,” senior Derek Dela Cruz said. 

Home Alone is a silly and amusing film earning it a 4 star rating. Its uniqueness makes it a memorable holiday movie. 

“[It] is a timeless classic compared to other holiday movies,” Dela Cruz said. “The premise and characters are more recognizable and memorable than your average holiday film.”

Home Alone can be streamed through Disney+ subscription and rented or purchased on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and YouTube starting at $3.99.

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Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town: 4/5 stars ❄️ ❄️ ❄️ ❄️

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is another example of a classic Christmas movie. It was made in 1970, as a stop motion film. This movie displays the true ideals of Christmas along with how they came to be. The story takes place in a town ruled by a grouchy man, the Burgermeister, called Sombertown. Kris Kringle, an abandoned baby, is discovered by an elf family, the Kringles. The Kringles have hopes of being the ‘‘first toymakers to the king”, and Kris is determined to deliver toys to Sombertown. There is an issue that arises because the Burgermeister does not like toys. He does not allow for them in the town, and Kris gets himself into a lot of trouble during his deliveries. It is through this struggle that the Christmas traditions were developed, for example, going down the chimney because the Burgermeister insisted that everyone keep their doors locked from Kris. 

This movie is touching, fun, captivating, and heartwarming. Kris Kringle touches the souls of everyone, including the Winter Warlock, by giving him a toy to play with. It is a perfect movie to watch with small children, or a group of adults. This movie is timeless. There is even an aspect of love, as he falls in love with a school teacher, who will later become Mrs. Claus. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, deserves a 4 star rating due to the message that it portrays. This wonderful, old fashioned movie can be found on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and ABC. 

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Fred Claus: 5/5 stars 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁

Living in the shadow of his younger brother Nicholas (Paul Giamatti), Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn), grows a deep hatred and jealousy towards Nick. Nick, being a selfless and pure human being, becomes a saint, while Fred struggles to stay out of trouble in Chicago. He ends up getting arrested due to an illegal attempt to raise money which causes him to ask his younger brother for bail money. Of course, Nick caves in and agrees to give Fred the money, but on the condition that Fred must be willing to visit the North Pole during the holiday season. Fred visits the workshop and the North Pole, but sadly Nick suffers a debilitating back injury. This injury leads to a backup with the progress of not only the elves, but the entire system, and the North Pole is shut down by one of the executives observing Nicholas. 

Fred leaves the North Pole and flies home, but once he gets back to Chicago, he opens up a gift that Nick sent him and it is a replica of a birdhouse from their childhood that Nick destroyed. Fred faces a wave of guilt and realization, as he begins to understand that Nick has not ruined his life by any means and that he truly is a caring individual. Fred flies back to the North Pole using the money that was raised and proceeds to take over for Santa, aka Nick, this year. He delivers gifts to every single child, naughty or nice because he truly believes that everyone deserves a present on Christmas. 

Fred Claus is comedic, inspiring, entertaining, and surprising. We witness his growth as an individual, and his desire to mend his relationship with his brother. This movie will have you on your toes as you become immersed in the message behind this story. Fred Claus would be perfect to watch with family, friends, or maybe even a pair of fighting siblings! It is a great example of what the holidays are all about, which is why we have given it a 5 star rating. This movie can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, Youtube, for $2.99, and Sling TV. 

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Christmas with the Kranks: 3/5 stars ☃️ ☃️ ☃️

Devastated that their daughter will not be home for Christmas, Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora Krank (Jamie Lee Curtis), decide to “cancel” their at-home Christmas celebrations to enjoy their dream vacation on a cruise to the Caribbeans. Christmas with the Kranks is the story of the  Kranks who live in a neighborhood where holiday festivities are a priority. When their Christmas-loving neighbors and friends hear of their alternate plans to not celebrate, the Kranks are bombarded with overwhelming criticism. One of their neighbors, who is the street’s self-proclaimed leader, organizes and plans to force the Kranks to celebrate. Despite their headstrong neighbors, the Kranks’ plans for vacation remain. 

Then, on Christmas Eve morning, when they receive a call from their daughter informing her parents that she will be coming home for Christmas, Luther and Nora cancel their trip and get back into Christmas celebrations. They scramble to buy food, find a tree, and decorate before their beloved daughter returns. 

Christmas with the Kranks is an entertaining, yet somewhat cheesy holiday movie. While the plot is energetic and fresh, many describe the jokes and interactions between characters as relatively overused, earning the movie a 3 star rating. 

“The movie is a lighthearted classic,” freshman Paige Grossi said. “The competition among the neighbors has got to be the funniest part.” 

In the end, the Kranks discover that wanting to skip Christmas was not such a great idea after all. Christmas with the Kranks can be streamed through Hulu and Sling TV subscriptions and is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Vudu starting at $2.99.

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