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Nothing Like the Holidays Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...a good cast doesn't make [it] enjoyable. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    This year's warm and fuzzy Christmas movie. It's a generally winning diversion, thanks mostly to its likeable ensemble cast.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Like fruitcake, movies like this are ubiquitous at this time of the year but rarely are they devoured with great relish or enthusiasm.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The situations tend toward contrivance, but the atmosphere is easygoing and the actors seem relaxed even when everyone at the family table is yelling.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The troubles are broad, the plot twists giant, and the performances cheery in this carol to ethnic pride in Chicago's traditionally Latino Humboldt Park.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The performers breathe real life into the characters, starting with Elizabeth Pena and Alfred Molina.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    It's what we need at the holidays, and it's the modest goal of a modest little picture like this--to capture something heartfelt and real.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Nothing Like the Holidays reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 13 & under

Familiar but funny holiday story with a Latino flavor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like most contemporary holiday movies, this film features a large, loud, "dysfunctional" family dealing with lots of issues. One son has just come back from Iraq and could have post-traumatic stress, another has a Jewish wife who doesn't get along with his mother, and the parents are on the verge of divorce, to name just a few of the family's problems. While young kids may not be interested, 'tis the season for family movies, so be aware that there's drinking, sexual innuendo, and several passionate kisses, as well as some use of anguage like "s--t" and "a--hole." There's also a subplot involving a reformed gang member's beef with the guy who killed his brother, as well as a few other Latino stereotypes. But overall, it's a mostly positive portrayal of a Hispanic family's Christmas traditions.

  • Families can talk about holiday traditions. How does the Rodriguez family's Christmas celebration differ from those portrayed in other holiday movies?

  • How is it different than your own holiday customs?

  • What Latino stereotypes does the film explore? Do you think it reinforces or dispels them? What scenes in the movie are similar to those in other Christmas films?

  • Do audiences expect certain things from holiday movies? If so, what -- and why?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Portrays a Puerto Rican family's Christmas Eve celebration and traditions. The children deal with being Latino, marrying non-Latinos, and returning to their old neighborhood. The differences between Latino culture and "white" culture are explored. There are strong female characters but also several Latino stereotypes, including a former gang member. Overall, the movie has positive messages about Latino families.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A character punches another character; a guy holds a gun up to someone but doesn't shoot; a man almost dies in a car accident.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Several characters passionately kiss and talk about sex and adultery. For example, the Rodriguez siblings talk about where they lost their virginity. A married couple is shown in bed the morning after making love (the man is shirtless). A woman looks at her birth control and tries to determine whether she's fertile or not. Several jokes and innuendo about "getting any" and men's "big tools," etc.

  • language false3

    Language: Language used fairly regularly includes "s--t," "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "goddamn," and more.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Brands featured or mentioned include Cadillac, BlackBerry, Gateway computers, and Kia.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The Rodriguez clan drinks at dinner/parties and goes to a local bar, where a couple of characters get drunk. The men of the family smoke cigars together, and the sister smokes cigarettes. The siblings reminisce about smoking "blunts" in their attic when they were teenagers.