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New Christmas movies showing this holiday season

by Stewart Cole

Halloween decorations are slowly disappearing from front porches—skeletons and witches are returning to the garage—and scary movies are starting to lose their appeal as we move into Turkey Lurkey Time. So it’s time to deck the halls, put Mariah Carey on your Bluetooth speaker and pick a Christmas movie to stream. Put out the candy canes and gingerbread, sit back and let the magic of Christmas sweep you off your feet with these holiday movies.

‘A Christmas Frequency’ | November 1 | Hulu

Christmas Frequency — following in the lovelorn footsteps of many Hallmark Christmas movies — it’s still a holiday rom-com. It follows a young radio show producer who sets up her recently divorced boss on a live blind date to save their struggling show, Breakfast with Brooke. There’s just one problem: she accidentally falls in love with one of the suitors.

With some exaggerated facial expressions and somewhat cringeworthy dialogues, the trailer suggests that this upcoming holiday film will feature a simple affair with little conflicts and an atmosphere with pink hues or should we say green and red hues? Denise Richards stars alongside Ansley Gordon, Jonathan Stoddard and Casey Waller in the film from Nicely Entertainment with director Lindsay Hartley at the helm.

Shooting through the snow | November 17 | Disney+

This Christmas movie follows a tried and true formula: The Christmas grump finds his holiday spirit. However, it boasts a more substantial subject. Ludacris stars as Eddie Garick — a kind-hearted man who has turned his back on the holidays after a traumatic childhood experience. Whether he’s calling artists “wounded ducks” or judging Lil Rey Howery’s Santa Claus (who arrives upside down through the chimney, head dangling in the fireplace), he consistently fails to impress. He doesn’t believe that this man who claims to be Santa Claus is really Ol’ Saint Nick. But the magical adventure of a lifetime may change his mind and restore his faith in Christmas.

‘Better. Christmas. Always!’ | November 16 | Netflix

With a pretty talented cast including Heather Graham, Brandy Norwood and Jason Biggs, Better. Christmas. Always! has a promising set and space. A twist of fate brings Charlotte Saunders (Graham) to the home of her college friend Jackie (Norwood) days before Christmas. Upon her arrival, Charlotte sets out to prove that Jackie’s life isn’t as perfect as it appears in her crafty holiday newsletter. Could Jackie’s life be so perfect? Is Jackie hiding her true unhappiness under layers of feigned affection and enthusiasm? Or, is Charlotte just looking for something to justify her personal frustrations in life? With a trailer that hints at saccharine sensibilities and a heavy dose of physical humor, we’re in for a few laughs and maybe a heartwarming sigh or two.

‘The Naughty Nine’ | November 23 | Disney+

Premiering on Disney Channel on November 22nd and the streamer on Thanksgiving Day, The Naughty Nine follows a mischievous fifth grader who, after receiving no presents on Christmas Day, assembles a group of eight other members of the “naughty list” who set out to rob the North Pole. I think so Ocean’s 11 but Christmas themed and a little more family friendly. Can they pull off this elaborate heist? Will they learn that there is a better use for their talents outside of evil? The film stars Danny Glover as Santa Claus, Winslow Fegley, Camila Rodriguez, Anthony Joo, Imogen Cohen, Clara Stack, Deric McCabe, Ayden Elijah, Madilyn Kellam and Derek Theler.

‘Genie’ | November 22 | Peacock

Melissa McCarthy as a genie who met Jesus the other day (she thought he was joking about the son of god) and discovers the glory of pepperoni pizza after her final release from the captivity of the jewels… we couldn’t imagine a better actor for to take on this playful character with an infectious chirp and a relaxed wish-granting attitude. She’s been in this box for a long time, so she washes her hair in the toilet, throws on a cheetah thong, and eats “warm” hand sanitizer. However, she also helps our protagonist Bernard (Paapa Kwakye Essiedu) get back on the good side of his family and makes a great friend with him along the way.

‘Family Switch’ | November 30 | Netflix

Enlarge it Freaky Friday condition for a whole family, and you have Family Switch, Starring Jennifer Garner, Ed Helms, Wednesday alumna Emma Myers, Brady Noon and the legend herself Rita Moreno. A mundane event, lasting days before Christmas, throws this family into chaos when mom and daughter, son and dad, and baby and dog, switch places. Can they take each other’s lives and succeed? Can teenagers survive in the corporate world? Can adults return to adolescence with any sense of credibility? Can a baby drink from a dog bowl on the ground and satisfy its thirst? The trailer suggests that this movie will be filled with crazy hijinks, funny trails, and an obvious message about one day walking in someone else’s shoes — and finding some sensitivity to struggles outside of your own. As Moreno says in the trailer, this family “must fix what’s broken.”

‘Candy Cane Lane’ | December 1 | Prime Video

The words “Be careful what you wish for” flash across the screen in glowing red letters at the start of this trailer, so this throws its message (or at least part of it) right in your face. Eddie Murphy stars in this family-friendly Christmas movie as a man who wishes for “the best Christmas ever” and signs a deal with a mischievous elf to set his dreams in motion. But why? He has to win his neighborhood’s home decorating contest. Oh, how we love trivial motivation. Who could have predicted the elaborate and disastrous consequences that would follow when the elf cast a magical spell to bring the 12 days of Christmas to life? Murphy’s Chris must now work with his wife (Trace Ellis Ross) and children to break the spell and save Christmas before time runs out.

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