Movie Review: The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the Christmas movie starring Kurt Russell and Darby Camp.

Synopsis: Celebrating their first Christmas after their father died and alone on Christmas Eve because their mother has to work, siblings Kate and Teddy decide to try to hide in a closet and attempt to videotape Santa as he delivers gifts. Their plan works and, in an attempt to get additional footage, Kate and Teddy wind up stowing away on Santa's sleigh and, in doing so, ultimately cause Santa to crash in Chicago.
With the sleigh in shambles, the reindeer loose and Santa's sack of toys lost somewhere in the city, the siblings must try to help save Christmas and get home before their mother does.


I had considered watching this movie on more than one previous occasion. But, from the description, it sounded like dozens of other holiday films I've seen and, because of that, I usually wound up watching something else instead. However, since yesterday was Christmas and I had already watched A Christmas Story three times that day, I decided to give this film a shot. As it turns out, it was pretty good.

As I suspected would be the case, some parts of this film were very similar to other movies, including things like rescuing reindeer, finding Santa's bag of toys and even rescuing Santa (Russell) from jail. Even the whole brother and sister being depressed over a lost parent seemed a little too familiar. That being said, there were still quite a few things about this movie that I thought made it unique and enjoyable to watch.

One of the big ones had to be Russell's non-traditional take on Santa Claus. He wasn't plump or even jolly and, on more than one occasion, made a point of reminding us the various portrayals in advertisements, etc. were a false representation. This made him interesting to watch because, unlike dozens of other Santa Claus interpretations, it wasn't always easy to figure out what he was going to end up doing. In fact, for a while, I wasn't completely sure he wasn't just going to abandon Kate (Camp) and Teddy (Lewis) in Chicago.

I also found I liked how this movie made sure to keep things fun. Yes, there were times when it got a little ridiculous, such as Santa's jailhouse rock concert. But, there are way too many family Christmas movies that are just too serious and, as a result, just aren't as magical as they should be. The filmmakers seemed to remember that when making this movie.

My only real complaint about the film is I didn't like the elves, largely because they reminded me a bit too much of the creatures from Gremlins and were pretty fake looking. I'm not convinced the movie wouldn't have been better off copying other movies by using child actors instead. Fortunately, the overall movie made up for that.

Roku Express | Easy High Definition (HD) Streaming Media Player

Want to start streaming? then start here. Our best-priced player, Roku Express delivers a smooth HD streaming experience on your big-screen TV. Our next generation player is now...

View on Amazon

Final Opinion

It wasn't perfect. But, overall, I have to say this was a fun family Christmas film that I did wind up enjoying much more than I thought I would. I would highly recommend taking the time to watch it.

My Grade: A

More By This Writer

Love Poems for My Wife

When Steve first met Cynthia back in 2000, he knew she was the woman for him and proposed to her just three months after their first date.Married to her since 2003, he has often...

View on Amazon

Angels Don't Always Have Wings

Steve never thought of himself as an overly religious person and had rarely set foot inside of a church. However, after agreeing to attend a service following a visit to a churc...

View on Amazon

Updated: 12/26/2018, StevenHelmer
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
DerdriuMarriner on 03/03/2022

StevenHelmer, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
The library system here does not list The Christmas Chronicles among its Blu-ray and DVD collections. So, at this point, it looks like I won't be seeing this film in the immediate future.

What child actors would be good candidates for non-Gremlin-like elves?

dustytoes on 12/27/2018

Well, I love Kurt Russell so I enjoyed this movie - especially the end.

You might also like

Movie Review: The Open House (2018)

A review of the 2018 thriller starring Dylan Minnette and Piercey Dalton.

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

A review of the 2018 science fiction film starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dall...

Movie Review: Dismissed (2017)

A review of the 2017 thriller starring Dylan Sprouse and Randall Park.

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...