National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation1989

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)



Critic Consensus: While Christmas Vacation may not be the most disciplined comedy, it's got enough laughs and good cheer to make for a solid seasonal treat.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Videos

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Photos

Movie Info

This is the third in the "National Lampoon" series about the Griswold family. In this sequel, the Griswolds must deal with a holiday with their in-laws.

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Chevy Chase
as Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo
as Ellen Griswold
Juliette Lewis
as Audrey Griswold
Johnny Galecki
as Rusty Griswold
Diane Ladd
as Nora Griswold
John Randolph
as Clark Griswold Sr.
Mae Questel
as Aunt Bethany
William Hickey
as Uncle Lewis
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as Margo Chester
Nicholas Guest
as Todd Chester
Miriam Flynn
as Catherine
Brian Doyle-Murray
as Frank Shirley
Keith MacKechnie
as Delivery Boy
Natalija Nogulich
as Mrs. Shirley
Tony Epper
as Bozo #1
Hank Hooker
as Bozo #2
Alexander Folk
as Swat Officer
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Critic Reviews for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (11)

If it doesn't make you at least giggle, then you clearly don't understand the true meaning of the festive season.

August 12, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Sure, it's crude, episodic and half the jokes don't work, but 'Christmas Vacation' may be the only modern Christmas comedy which really stands up to repeat viewings.

August 12, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Chase's befuddled Dad remains a genuinely amusing creation, and the sight gags are impeccably timed.

August 12, 2020 | Full Review…

In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Chevy Chase's family Christmas tree is a little full with a lot of sap, much like this movie. But it's a big-hearted fullness and it's a smoothly stirred sap.

December 2, 2014 | Full Review…

Solid family fare with plenty of yocks.

November 27, 2007 | Full Review…

The new film does little more than reintroduce these familiar characters (with new actors playing the children, who would otherwise be college age by now) and let them get on one another's nerves in earnest.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

First California, then Europe, now entry #3, the Griswold family set their sights on Christmas...and the result is a real holiday classic. Rather than hit the road this time, Clark and Co. stay home and play host to family as part of Clark's vision to have a perfect, fun, old-fashioned celebration of the birth of Jesus. Oh, but don't worry, this isn't a religious movie; It does come around and have a nice message to it though. Yeah, the movie is very over-the-top, formulaic, cheesy, predictable, and pandering, but it's still a blast, with too many great quotes to rehash, and some truly memorable screwball set pieces. As far as the cast go, we get the return of Chevy and Beverly, as well as reappearances from Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie and Brian Doyle Murray, who, in the first played the campground clerk, but shows up here as Clark's Scrooge-esque boss. Then there's Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki filling in as Rusty and Audrey, Juila Louis-Dreyfuss as a snotty yuppie neighbor, and my favorites: William Hickey and Mae Questel as Uncle Lewis and Aunt Bethany. As for Clark and Ellen's parents we get E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Diane Ladd, and John Randolph. Pretty great cast if you ask me. The writing from John Hughes is quite hilarious, even if on the nose a lot of the time, and the film really ups the ante as far as bawdy content and Christmas films are concerned..well, until Bad Santa, at least. All in all, this is one of my favorite holiday films, and a deliriously fun comedic romp that everybody should see.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


With a powerhouse cast and a hilariously written script by John Hughes, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is the type of holiday film that never fails to make me laugh my ass off. The plot is simple, following a family through the holidays, where every piece of slapstick in the book occurs. The family is loveable and there are many touching moments throughout this film, even though it may seem like the comedy always takes over. This is one of my favourite films that revolve around Christmas. Chevy Chase is fantastic as always, and just makes the Griswold character funnier than he would have been on paper. The gags are fresh, the cast is awesome, and the direction is very well done, for a comedy that is. I love "Christmas Vacation"!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

This is the weakest of the three but its still a very good Xmas comedy, probably the best ever really which still tells you allot. It hits all the right cozy Christmas notes and cliches but because its part of the Griswold series and has Chase hamming it up it still comes across as a great family comedy. It has a nice animated section at the beginning credits and continues with some great slapstick and dialog throughout, nothing too surprising but it works. The Xmas dinner, the house lights (copied by many now) the squirrel in the tree, cutting down the tree, the snobbish neighbours, 'cousin Eddie' etc...there are still some great moments here but you can see how the franchise is slowly grinding to a halt, this just keeps its head above water :)

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Quotes

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