The Christmas Chronicles (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Christmas Chronicles2018

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)



Critic Consensus: Viewers seeking a fresh holiday viewing option -- or those simply in the mood for Santa Kurt Russell -- should find The Christmas Chronicles well worth a yuletide stream.

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Movie Info

THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES, a holiday adventure from producer Chris Columbus ("Home Alone", "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone") and director Clay Kaytis ("The Angry Birds Movie"), tells the story of sister and brother, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis), whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. After staking out Santa's arrival, they sneak into his sleigh, cause it to crash and nearly derail Christmas. As their wild night unfolds, Kate and Teddy work together with Santa - as you've never seen him before - and his loyal Elves to save Christmas before it's too late.

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Kurt Russell
as Santa Claus
Judah Lewis
as Teddy Pierce
Lamorne Morris
as Officer Jameson
Jesse Gervasi
as 3 Year Old Teddy
David Kohlsmith
as 5 Year Old Teddy
Kaitlyn Airdrie
as 3/5 Year Old Kate
Jack Bona
as 8 / 10 Year Old Teddy
Paskal Vaklev
as Teddy's Friend #1
Abel Tekeste
as Teddy's Friend #2
Lauren Collins
as Woman at Another Table
Solla Park
as Min-Ju
Jonathan Kim
as Korean Student #1
Johnny Koo
as Korean Student #2
Goldie Hawn
as Mrs. Claus
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Critic Reviews for The Christmas Chronicles

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (19)

In the end, the film succumbs to the tropes and emotional contrivances of the family melodrama at its core, ending up as a serviceable yet mostly forgettable addition to the already overstuffed genre of holiday-themed films.

November 5, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The film doesn't know how to get out of its own way and foreground what's working, namely the dynamo of screen presence placed more prominently in the advertising than the feature itself.

November 5, 2019 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The film's no great shakes, but Russell's star power in "The Christmas Chronicles" is a gift anyone should be happy to claim.

December 17, 2018 | Full Review…

[A] thoroughly enjoyable confection.

December 12, 2018 | Full Review…

Hot Santa is a premise that requires a few risks, but this movie falls just short of making the leap. Still the film has a few interesting points to make as to the way the idea of how Christmas has changed over the years.

November 29, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Russell makes for a very fine Santa Claus, but he can't elevate a fairly dull script and a plot so familiar that even the youngest viewers will see all the twists coming.

November 28, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Christmas Chronicles


From Netflix comes the magical holiday adventure The Christmas Chronicles. When Teddy and Kate Pierce try to capture Santa on video they accidentally cause his sleigh to crash, putting Christmas in jeopardy. Kurt Russell leads the cast and gives an excellent performance as Santa Claus. And, newcomer Darby Camp is pretty good too and has tremendous screen presence. However, the writing is a bit uneven; switching from a family comedy to a kid's animated film whenever the elves show up. Also, the animation and creature designs for the elves are really poor; sticking out in the scenes like a sore thumb. Still, there are a lot of fun comedy bits and the Santa Claus mythology is rather interesting. The Christmas Chronicles has its problems, but overall it's an entertaining Christmas film that the whole family can enjoy.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer

Having seen a couple of films over the last decades makes you roll your eyes at the "Just be yourself!" speeches and the portrayed sanctity of Christmas and family values. But Kurt Russell is a great Santa and there are charming parts too. I probably would have loved this movie as a kid. It's also a throwback to the kind-hearted and naive event movies from the 80s, they don't make them like this anymore. It's almost Adventures in Babysitting part 2, just with Santa as sitter.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

In the spirit on Christmas movies of decades past like The Santa Clause or Santa Claus: The Movie, The Christmas Chronicles is not objectively speaking a good movie. Itâ(TM)s cheesy, forcibly heartfelt, and full of tropes. It is, however, exactly what I needed from a Christmas movie. The only real criticism I have of the movie is the CGI, itâ(TM)s pretty bad. The elves look like they belong in some CG tv special, and the flying sequences on the sleigh are never convincing. Having said that, the elves are still fun, and having big action sequences in a Santa movie is a lot of fun, I just wish they were done better. Everything else the movie does it does well. Itâ(TM)s never very funny, at least not for me, but itâ(TM)s charming as hell and Kurt Russell is extremely charismatic as Santa. Itâ(TM)s one of those movies where you can tell the cast was having a blast making it, and this is especially true with Russell, who is clearly enjoying himself so much itâ(TM)s infectious and Santa is absolutely a character that this works for. This is probably my favorite film take on the Santa character. Heâ(TM)s kind, but stern when he needs to be, and has this loving understanding quality of him. He plays like a lovable Uncle who remembers everything you love, but just for the whole world. Heâ(TM)s also a musician and a badass when he needs to be. Surprisingly the kids are great too. I really thought I would find them grating after a while, but damnit all they work and seeing Santa through their eyes works. Itâ(TM)s dopey, itâ(TM)s campy, itâ(TM)s everything you need from a Christmas movie.

Michael Malan
Michael Malan

Super Reviewer

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