Santa's In Town Early This Year

The Christmas Chronicles
2018 | PG | 1 Hr. 44 Min. | Family | Netflix

Director: Clay Kaytis

Writer: David Guggenheim

Kurt Russell
Darby Camp
Judah Lewis

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

 As I write this it the end of crazy shopping on Black Friday that has turned to put our feet up eating leftover turkey as well as firing up Netflix kind of night. The Christmas Chronicles might be splitting audiences right down the middle this family affair was set in motion. We have been looking forward to Kurt Russell's spin on Santa ever since the trailer hit social media. 

The first few minutes of Chronicles is meeting the family through Home Videos of Christmas past leading up to current day. This does a good job of painting the perfect picture of a Happy Family when something goes wrong and has broken them. Mom played by the beautiful Kimberly Williams-Paisley is trying to hold the house together after her husband was taken from them way too soon leading to her working too much and the kids growing apart as they all seem to be going separate ways. Cue in Santa...

This time around Kurt Russell don's the Red suit and guides the sly, and Russell is the glue that holds it together. In fact, Russell makes for a very fine Santa Claus, but even he can’t elevate a fairly dull script that even the youngest viewers will see all the plot twists coming. Yet Russell instantly brings a level of energy and professionalism sorely lacking from the film. His comic timing, twinkly eyes, and impressively styled beard (yes it is glorious) are almost enough to inspire hope that the movie will turn itself around. 

Despite the silly storyline and strange looking elves, the movie still plays out well to a younger audience, in fact, my 9-year-old loved it as for my 13-year-old see stuck around and finished the movie with us still claiming, in the end, it was kind of boring. As for my wife well she checked out rather early and went back to scrolling Facebook on her phone. Director Clay Kaytis’ (Angry Birds) The Christmas Chronicles isn’t going to make audiences believe in the power of Christmas, let alone stoke the spirit of the holiday season, but boy does he exhaust himself trying.

In the end, we felt it was pretty cool how they crashed in our backyard of Chicago even tho at times it did not look the windy city at all it still was a cool backdrop. The film has a few interesting points to make as to the way on how Christmas has changed over the years, as Santa keeps every hand-written letter that children send him, but now accepts video messages, as well and Russell’s performance is a gift, rather than a lump of coal in your stocking.

Honestly, this is worth your time and effort to check out, it's not a Hallmark Movie nor is it something you will want to watch every year but it still brings a touch of magic to your living room and that should be enough. Please let me know in the comments if I'm right or wrong but never the less Russell needs a better script for the sequel. 

3 Samari Ninja Santa's out of 5


  1. Playing Santa is usually a pretty thankless role.

  2. We just finished watching! I liked it. My oldest son said he's already watched four times, with his 6 and 4 year old daughters. I don't need to watch it that often, but I would watch again. And would be on board for a sequel. Russell is great, as always. Guy was born with charisma.

  3. We fired this up Thanksgiving night with the family, wife & parents. I thought maybe I wasn't quite in the Christmas spirit yet (understand it usually takes a couple weeks for me) so maybe it is just the movie not being great. It was kind of fun but I agree Russell is the best thing about it.


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