Is it okay for me to begin this post with a confession? Okay… deep breath… I kind of adore Kurt Russell. It began with Big Trouble In Little China. I wore out the VHS tape watching that movie over and over as pre-teen. The Thing scared the crap out of me in all the right ways, and Overboard made me fall in love with Goldie Hawn. It also made me want to open my own miniature golf park. I’m still working on that.

But when I heard Kurt Russell was going to play Santa in the Netflix original, The Christmas Chronicles, I was a little surprised. But let me just say, he does not disappoint.

The Christmas Chronicles was released on November 22, and on Thanksgiving Day, my friends and I watched it while the turkey did it’s thing in the oven. Turns out we weren’t alone. The movie was streamed 20 million times during its first week.

“Even in his successful career, [Kurt Russell] has never had that many people see one of his movies in the first week ever,” Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told Business Insider. If you compared the movie’s release to a more traditional theatrical rollout, then the Netflix viewing numbers would translate into a first week gross of $200 million. “Even movies that go on to $1 billion don’t typically do that in the first week,” Sarandos said.

That’s pretty amazing!

While there is a musical number that I found a little regrettable, let’s look at the facts. I watched it with my college age son, my pal friend, and her two kids ages 11 and under. All five of us watched this movie together, and we all, even the family dachshund, loved it. They laughed, they got nervous, dog barked and they got excited. My son wants me to get him one of The Christmas Chronicles‘ elves for Christmas . ( He wants to decorate his college dorm. Thinks it will attract a girlfriend smitten by the sensitive type guy). Not a stuffed one, but a real one because they were so adorable.

If you’ve ever watched a magic egg video, or an episode of Annoying Orange, you know how flat out bad child-centered programing is right now. Sometimes it feels impossible to find a film that the whole family can enjoy. To give this some weight, I took my friend’s son to see the Captain Underpants Movie a while back, and honestly, if I had two hours left to live, I’d spend them in that theater, because it felt like an eternity. The fact that this movie appeals to the whole family, while also getting everyone in the holiday spirit, is what makes The Christmas Chronicles such a gem.

Christmas is right around the corner, and I cannot recommend this movie enough. It’s got that heartstring pull. It has the funny. And it has the charm. You will love it, and your children will love it, and if you are a Kurt Russell fan, like me, there’s even a little surprise at the end. But I won’t spoil it for you. You’ll have to find out for yourself. And if your family cannot muster up to view a holiday flick like this one well, crab the Uber driver, or the pizza delivery guy or better yet let your phone do the picking.  Do not go at it alone. Some holiday movies are meant to be shared in the company of people in the holiday spirit. 

But by all means. Add this movie to your holiday bucket list.

Non-Holiday Cheer Movie Picks

Now if you and your friends crave a good heart felt movie without the whole holiday cheer. Look no further and turn your attention to some recent classics, say 80’s, 90’s and 00’s time pieces. Armageddon is a sciene fiction movie starring Bruce Willis. It is about an oil driller who is hired by NASA to lead two teams on an emergency space mission to destroy a big asteroid. And which is about to crash on Earth and destroy all creatures. Rocky III is another must see with an all time cast of legendary actor Sylvester Stallone (Rocky Balboa). After his championship fame fades, he faces the loss of his trainer and father played by actor  Burgess Meredith.

For a wider selection of heartfelt movies that will really melt your heart. Come prepare with a box of tissue paper because we have reviewed the movies that will make your pals ugly cry.

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