A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Family is priority. Nobody is ever prepared to lose loved ones, but life goes on. Parents want to make the holidays special for their kids. Friends can last a lifetime. Sometimes success comes in unexpected ways.
Positive Role Models
Ralphie and Sandy are attentive parents. Mrs. Parker is too, though she picks on her daughter-in-law. Kids bully each other, and so do some adults. Friends are there for each other, even after years apart. A person who was a bully as a child admits he learned a positive lesson when he was put in his place. People love each other despite imperfections.
Most characters are White Midwesterners.
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Violence & Scariness
People grieve the loss of loved ones. Kids bully each other. People fall down and have sledding accidents that include falling from heights and ramming head-on into cars and lampposts. Kids break limbs and have to be taken to the hospital with injuries. Two kids are set up by other kids to have a snowmobile accident.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple kisses. A boy looks at an underwear catalog.
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"Hell," "damn," "dammit," "ass," "dumbass," "son of a bitch," "suckers," "suck," "nuts," "turds," "piss," "snot," "jeez."
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Products & Purchases
Lots of brands glimpsed, notably Smith Corona, White Sox, Blatz, Old Milwaukee, Scrabble, and Easy-Bake.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Men spend a lot of time drinking in a bar, and one wakes up very late the next day. A young boy is allowed to help behind the bar. Adults drink wine and cocktails.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Christmas Story Christmas is a sequel to the beloved 1983 film and features many of the same characters and actors (including star Peter Billingsley). It has lots of positive messages about family and friendship, as well as many scenes involving adults drinking, kids clamoring for toys for Christmas, and both kids and adults bullying each other. Characters fall down and have sledding accidents that include falling from heights, ramming head-on into cars and lampposts, breaking limbs, and being taken to the hospital with injuries. People grieve the loss of loved ones. A boy looks at an underwear catalog, and a child is allowed to help behind a bar. Language includes "hell," "damn," "ass," "dumbass," "son of a bitch," "suckers," "suck," "nuts," "turds," "piss," "snot," and "jeez." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film knows its audience, which will likely be comprised of the beloved 1983 original's nostalgic fans. A Christmas Story Christmas caters to them with flashbacks, updated storylines and characters, and an ending that comes full circle back to the original. The film's highlights are some very smart commentary on family, love, and loss, particularly around the death of a beloved character. "Nothing can prepare us for one of life's most painful and inescapable events," Ralph tells us in voice-over. Another gem: "Attics are museums of indifference." The reflections make you believe Ralph could be a great writer, as he dreams. He also still has a comically wild imagination, like when he envisions an Old West-style snowball showdown or a Norman Rockwell-esque family magazine spread. A scene where family members go to great lengths to avoid opening the door to carolers is very funny.
You don't have to have seen the earlier films to appreciate or enjoy this one. Set in 1974 (the original took place in the 1940s), this is a time when kids play with axes, they're told to solve their problems on their own, mothers-in-law mercilessly tease their son's wives, and men avoid their families at downtown bars. Some of this humor can be funny even while feeling anachronistic, but other scenes evoke more cringes than cackles, like when we're meant to laugh at people getting seriously injured or when kids who are bullied turn into bullies themselves. Through it all, Ralphie remains a sympathetic character, an everyman hero who triumphs at the important things: family, friendship, and fathering.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.