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This Christmas Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… way better than just about any Tyler Perry film … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Writer-director Preston A. Whitmore II throws enough soap opera for an entire TV season into a story that nearly -- but not quite -- sinks from the weight of all these implausible events. Animated acting and the sheer chaos of this squabbling family give the film a comic buoyancy.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Enjoyable enough. Though like some holiday fare, it doesn't quite stay with you.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Everyone in this madly good-looking clan has got soapy problems as befits an aspirational, say-amen holiday movie.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What's surprising is how well Whitmore, the director, manages to direct traffic. He's got one crisis cooling, another problem exploding, a third dilemma gathering steam and people exchanging significant looks about secrets still not introduced. It's sort of a screwball-comedy effect, but with a heart.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Family holiday dramedy has some iffy content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this holiday-themed dramedy includes some mild jokes about sex and drinking, as well as some questionable behavior. The movie's focus is on the bonds among adult siblings and their long-suffering, sometimes narrow-minded mother. Sexual content includes kissing, staying overnight with a new boyfriend, flirting, and cheating. On the violence side, thugs beat up a man who owes them money, and guns are used threateningly in a few scenes. Language includes "s--t," "damn," and "hell." One character smokes several times; characters also drink in bars and during family conflicts.

  • Families can talk about how movies tend to portray family holiday gatherings. Do you think the frequent tension and conflict (even when played for laughs) is realistic? What are holiday celebrations like in your family? Why do you think the characters in the movie so often resort to lying and keeping secrets? Does it help solve any of their problems?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Family tensions related to ongoing competition and resentments; cheating husband; people scheme to gain access to family property; minor and major lies, arguments, and disloyalties; eventual reconciliations.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Mild, comic, and insinuated. Quentin is chased by two thugs and jumps off a fire escape. At a bar, Claude pulls out a gun to threaten a bully, causing a panic; he's later arrested by military police. Thugs catch up with Q and punch him, hard, repeatedly. Lisa and Kelli fight in the rain (pushing and hitting). Woman drives her cheating husband's car off a waterway. Joe threatens thugs with a gun; they back off. Wife hits cheating husband with a belt (he slips on an oil-covered floor; the scene seems comic, but it's tense, too).

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lisa wears just bra and panties, hoping to seduce her husband. Occasional cleavage displays. Some romantic kissing between couples. Kelli has a vibrator, which her mother acknowledges. Mel and boyfriend hide in closet to kiss and initiate sex (nothing explicit). At a bar, Q and Claude discuss "hotties." After flirting at a bar, Kelli goes home with Gerald and sneaks home the next morning. Talk of protection, jokes revolving around the word "ho." Some secret relationships and cheating. Husband shown in hotel room with lover (nothing explicit; she kisses him). Malcolm emerges from shower with towel. Vaguely sexy/comic dancing under end credits.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes occasional uses of "s--t," "damn," "hell," "ass," "bitch slap," and "son of a bitch."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: No kid-oriented fare, but lots of products, both named and pictured: Nikon camera, Rolls Royce, Cadillac Escalade, BMW, Canada Dry ginger ale, Rolling Rock beer, Harley Davidson, Jeep Cherokee, Staples Center.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Quentin smokes cigarettes in several scenes; various characters drink (wine, beer, liquor) in several scenes, both at bars and at home. A couple of comic conversations about drinking.