Updated: Apr 1, 2019
The Christmas Chronicles
Streaming on Netflix starring Kurt Russell
While I’m not necessarily The Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge, I’ll admit I’m not the biggest fan of Christmas, Christmas movies, and I strongly dislike Christmas music. However, there are a few things I rather enjoy. Elf, The Grinch (starring Jim Carrey), and Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” are a few of them! This new Netflix original movie has been pretty much forced onto everyone’s radar and “suggested movies” section so I figured it was time to give in and check it out.
The movie starts with a classic montage of a Christmas home videos made by the Pierce family leading up to Christmas Eve 2018, where we find out the family is now grieving the death of the father. It’s clear the family is having a hard time getting along without him. Mom is working all the time, brother and sister are constantly fighting, and the older brother is committing crimes with his friends as a way to act out. Like most Christmas movies, the acting is cringeworthy— other than Kurt Russell as Santa (which is also pretty cheesy at times) but it’s important to ignore it for a while because even though the acting doesn’t get much better, at least the movie does! The two kids stay up late to catch Santa, sneak onto this movie’s cool modern version of Santa’s sleigh and ruin Christmas (accidentally of course)! After some fun green screen stuff, Santa’s sleigh crashes in Chicago and they have to go on a scavenger hunt adventure in order to save Christmas! Plus, there’s a cheesy song and dance number full of Christmas magic that will have even your gram-gram jingle bell rocking!
It’s pretty much what you would expect from a TV-PG rated Christmas adventure movie. If you need something to help hype you up for Christmas as well as make you feel a little emotional about the importance of family, then this is a good one to watch. I think what I appreciate the most about this one is that it points out that the holidays aren’t easy for everyone. While many people are full of cheer, others might be grieving the loss of a loved one or going through other hardships. It’s important to keep this in mind so that you can treat everyone with respect and empathy even if they seem like a grinch!
Grading report: 7/10
There are definitely worse Christmas movies than this one. Most of the effects and action scenes are surprisingly well done! Plus, Kurt Russell as a hip Santa, lecturing everyone about Christmas spirit (or the lack thereof) never gets old, right?