It’s time for the annual Hallmark Christmas Movie Rankings and roundups. These are just the 2021 movies for prior years thoughts here are some links: 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017,2018, 2019, 2020 plus the whole pre 2015 summary. I’ve listed them in order of which one I liked best, with a description and my thoughts. As always I will be updating the post throughout December as I watch more movies and new films premiere, but we are starting with the 19 I’ve already watched.
My Christmas Family Tree When Vanessa receives the results from her Family Tree DNA test, she discovers a family she didn’t know existed and travels to their home for Christmas I enjoyed all the actors, it was a great cast, also it had a little bit of everything that I love in a Christmas movie: Christmas spirit, family reencounters, romance and excellent gift giving
Next Stop, Christmas Angie is determined to spend Christmas alone but her usual commuter ride turns into a Christmas train that drops her off in her home town in 2011. I’m a sucker for time travel christmas stories, very much in the Christmas carol vein, and this one is beautifully made
Christmas at Castle Hart Brooke Bennett goes to Ireland for Christmas to search for her Irish roots. While there, she meets charming Aiden Hart, Earl of Glaslough. Mistaken for an elite event planner, she’s hired to host his castle’s epic Christmas party. Lacey Chabert has become the Hallmark Queen of the destination movies, and I’m here for it. Her movies always have a bit more high end production values, and a castle in Scotland is never a bad setting!
Sugar Plum twist: Professional ballerina Natalia returns home to Richmond at Christmas and works with a ballet student who has a flare for Latin dance. I loved this. Ballet means Salsa plus latin characters in a Hallmark Movie? Sign me up!
’Tis the Season to be Merry- Looking for a fresh angle to her book on relationships, Merry heads to snow covered Vermont. She finds a new perspective and Christmas cheer with charismatic aid worker Adam. You had me at Rachel Leigh Cook
The Nine Kittens of Christmas Cat lovers Zachary and Marilee are thrown back together at Christmas when they’re tasked with finding homes for a litter of adorable kittens I have mixed feelings about sequels, because most of the time it lacks the conflict of the original. However i loved this one because it took a great Christmas movie, and put it out there that it is not all Happily ever after once the movie is done. Having them reencounter years later was a great way for a sequel
The Santa Stakeout Tanya is a police detective who is reluctantly partnered with fellow detective Ryan to solve a recent string of heists taking place during high-profile holiday parties around town. They go undercover as newlyweds Tasha and Rupert, moving into the vacant house next to Mr. Miller, the jovial chair of the community’s Christmas committee…and the prime suspect in the case. As Tanya and Ryan partake in the neighborhood’s holiday happenings to keep up appearances and crack the case, they get swept up in Christmas. Before they know it, their cover story as a couple in love starts to become reality It had great comedic timing, funny characters and a somewhat believable office romance, I am here for this movie
A very Merry Bridesmaid Leah’s 30th birthday is on Christmas Eve, the same day as her brother’s wedding. Her childhood crush is back in town for the wedding and he is determined to make sure her birthday does not go by the wayside This was a great one! First of all bonus points for new actors that are fabulous!! apart from that I loved the premise of the whole movie and it felt real and predictably nice in all the right ways.
Boyfriends of Christmas Past Leading up to Christmas, marketing executive, Lauren, is visited by the ghosts of four ex boyfriends. She must learn to open her heart or risk losing her best friend, Nate I really had no expectations of this movie, and it was a delight! I really enjoyed the cast, Again kudos to new people! Also how refreshing that a successful business woman can find love without having to quit her career or move – well done hallmark!
Christmas CEO A small toy company CEO gets a once in a lifetime offer to merge with a mega toy company but will need her estranged ex-business partner’s signature to seal the deal. What he helps her rediscover will change both of their lives. Why cant career women in Hallmark movies find work balance without quitting their jobs? taking that away it was a pretty good movie!
Gingerbread Miracle Two old friends from high school work together over Christmas to sell his uncle’s Mexican bakery, famous for its magical gingerbread cookies that grant wishes. Cooking and Christmas is a great combination. Also love the cast and major props for the Latin characters and traditions!
Christmas in Tahoe To save her family hotel’s Christmas show, talent booker Claire must ask for help from her ex-boyfriend Ryan, the lead guitarist of a now-famous band that fired her as their manager years ago I love music in a Christmas movie, an this one hit this requirement in spades (the single from it, Mittens from Train is great and already on my Christmas playlist), but given how everyone was musical wasn’t it a waste to do a whole variety show and not have Laura Osnes sing?!?
An unexpected Christmas A writer convinces his ex-girlfriend to pose as a couple for Christmas I liked this movie so much more than I expected. The Chemistry between them was great and it just made this fake relationship trope really shine through. I delight
A Dickens of a Holiday To make the 100th anniversary of her hometown’s Victorian festival a success, Cassie invites action movie star and former high school classmate Jake to play Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” I will of course love a Christmas movie that takes place in a theater! Also I loved the cast
Christmas for Keeps At Christmastime, a close-knit group of childhood friends return home after 10 years to take part in the celebration of life of their beloved high school teacher I really enjoyed that it was an ensemble piece!
Sister Swap: A Hometown Holiday Jennifer and Meg Swift are sisters who couldn’t be closer despite living hours apart. Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon. Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery. This Christmas is the family’s first since the passing of Uncle Dave who owned the town’s beloved theater, The Madison, where many memories were made over the years. When Jennifer and Simon return home for the holiday, they become wistful for one more Christmas at The Madison, despite that it’s for sale and in need of repairs. Meanwhile, Meg is helping Jennifer’s restaurant staff in Salt Lake prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants with the winner earning money for the charity of its choice. With the sisters switching cities leading up to the holiday, they find a new sense of purpose and discover what they both truly need in life and in love.
Sister Swap: Christmas in the City In these interconnected movies, Jennifer and Meg Swift are sisters who couldn’t be closer despite living hours apart. Jennifer is in Salt Lake City, running a successful restaurant she started with her late husband and raising her teenaged son Simon. Meg stayed in their hometown of Hazelwood, helping their parents run the local bakery. This Christmas is the family’s first since the passing of Uncle Dave who owned the town’s beloved theater, The Madison, where many memories were made over the years. When Jennifer and Simon return home for the holiday, they become wistful for one more Christmas at The Madison, despite that it’s for sale and in need of repairs. Meanwhile, Meg is helping Jennifer’s restaurant staff in Salt Lake prepare for a Christmas competition among local restaurants with the winner earning money for the charity of its choice. With the sisters switching cities leading up to the holiday, they find a new sense of purpose and discover what they both truly need in life and in love
Although they are two movies I think you need to talk about them together. They are great, i think my issue was that I thought they were going to be my favorite of the season and they were just ok. Good, but not as up there as I thought. I liked A hometown Holiday more because it was the first take, the second seemed a bit repetitive but i enjoyed both anyways.
A Kiss Before Christmas When nice-guy Ethan casually wishes his life had taken a different course, he wakes up the next day to find nothing is the same – he’s not married to his wife Joyce, he doesn’t have two teenaged kids and he’s CEO of his company. If he wants to reclaim his original life and the family he loves, he must convince Joyce he’s telling the truth and win her over…and he only has until Christmas Day A Wonderful Desperate Housewives reunion, and it works really well because they have such good chemistry. A sort of Sliding doors trope, but I kind of love how open it was to the fact that one can always improve even in the bad choice.
Time for them to Come Home for Christmas During the holidays, a woman with amnesia catches a ride with her handsome nurse to investigate the only clue to her identity: a newspaper clipping for a Christmas Festival with a cryptic invitation This was a tear jerker and so sweet.
The Christmas Promise Nicole learns to deal with grief, with the help of her grandfather and a carpenter she hires to renovate the home that was once meant for her and her fiancé. Another tearjerker as most of the ones in the Movies and Mystery channel are, but very sweet and wonderfully cast
Christmas Together With You During the Christmas season, Megan and her father-figure Frank head out on a road trip to find his long-lost love. Along the way, Megan finds the love of her own life. This movie is adorably heartfelt. A little lesson on how Random acts of Gratitude are rewarded. Also, how it is never too late to say how you feel – look at hallmark coming with the life lessons
Christmas Contest Exes Lara and Ben compete in a Christmas contest to win money for the charity of their choosing. The city watches them battle and choose what is more important, victory or love Candance Cameron Bure is the queen of the Hallmark Christmas movie, and her movies usually rank right up at the top of the list. This year not so much. ITs a super sweet movie, she just has better, and there were better movies this year
Nantucket Noel During the Seaside Noel celebrations Christina learns of a developer who is planning to tear down the wharf that is home to her toy store. Tensions rise as she falls for the developer’s son This is a really sweet Christmas story with a great cast (Good Witch!) but the best part of the movi eis the location, there are some gorgeous shots of Nantucket at Christmas and its just beautiful
A royals Queens Christmas A prince finds his way to Queens during Christmas when a local woman enlists his help with a children’s Christmas show. Mayor points deducted as we have already seen a commoner falls for royal with the exact same actress (Megan Park) in the Once Upon a Prince movie.However, points were added because its still cute and the music was great!
Coyote Creek Christmas While throwing a “Christmas Around the World” party at her family’s inn, an event planner discovers Christmas magic with a charming father-son duo whose presence brings about tension and joy I think Ryan Paevey is one of the hottest Hallmark leading men, so his movies will always rank high in my book 😉
Open By Christmas When Nicky finds an unopened Christmas card from a high school secret admirer, she and her best friend Simone search to find and thank the anonymous author. I liked the twists, I just predicted them to early in the game
Eight Gifts of Hannukah An anonymous suitor sends optometrist Sara a gift for each night of Hanukkah. On her journey to find her secret admirer, she learns her one true love might be someone she never expected Lots of bonus points for the Holiday diversity – reduced bonus points for it just not being that good a movie!
A Christmas Treasure After opening a 100-year-old time capsule and meeting a charming chef, Lou questions whether or not she should move to New York after Christmas and further her writing career Jordin Sparks singing is worth the price of admission
You, Me & the Christmas Trees Olivia is Connecticut’s resident expert on evergreens who, just days before the holiday, agrees to help Jack, a fourth generation Christmas tree farmer in Avon. A mysterious illness has befallen their firs, causing them to die out and threatening his family’s 100-year business. As Olivia tries to get to the root of the problem and extends her stay in town, she and Jack spend more time together and feelings begin to develop A cute story, I just didnt really get into it as much
5 More Minutes Inspired by Scotty McCreery’s song, “Five More Minutes,” a woman’s Christmas wish is answered in unexpected ways when her late grandfather’s journal turns up and reveals an untold romance I say the twist coming a mile away I just don’t understand why they didn’t. That ruined the beautiful story.
Making Spirits Bright The son & daughter of rival holiday decorating families help mend their fathers’ decades-old feud, finding romance along the way as they compete in the town’s holiday decorating contest Awesome cast, very predictable story. However seeing pretty decorations is always fun