Angels Sing

Movie review by
Grace Montgomery, Common Sense Media
Angels Sing Movie Poster Image
Sappy, star-studded holiday flick is clean family fun.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Besides the main positive message of holiday spirit and cheer, Nick teaches Michael about family: "What ties a family together? It's not the blood, it's not the same last name -- it's the memories."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nick becomes a positive role model for Michael as he shows him the true meaning of Christmas.

Violence & Scariness

Two characters die, including a main character, though both deaths aren't actually shown on-screen. Another main character is injured in a car accident.

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Damn" is used once in a Christmas song.

Consumerism

Although Michael tries to argue that Christmas has become an example of excess consumerism, his family and new neighbors show him the real meaning of Christmas.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character shows up to Thanksgiving with a bottle of tequila in hand, but no mention is made of it and no one is shown drinking it.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Angels Sing is a family-friendly holiday film about finding your Christmas spirit. The music-centric film features a star-studded cast, including Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett. Although there is a little scary stuff with two characters dying in accidents, everything is behind the scenes and no graphic violence is shown. And, with no sex, little bad language (one "damn" in a song), and only one vague reference to alcohol, the film is OK for tweens and up.

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What's the story?

Michael Walker (Harry Connick Jr.) lost his Christmas spirit after a family tragedy that occurred when he was a young boy. Despite the efforts of his son, David (Chandler Canterbury); his wife, Susan (Connie Britton); and his mom (Fionnula Flanagan) and dad (Kris Kristofferson), Michael refuses to celebrate the holiday. Musical neighbors (including Lyle Lovett) and the generous gift of the mysterious Nick (Willie Nelson) aren't enough to combat Michael's grinchiness until another family tragedy forces him to examine his own feelings about the true meaning of Christmas and family.

Is it any good?

ANGELS SING feels like your basic made-for-TV Christmas movie, only given an upgrade with an all-star cast; it's formulaic and a little hokey, but somehow you don't really mind. Although it's sappy, the emotional connections are believable and the characters are likable. And kids and parents alike will enjoy the music, which plays a central role in the film. From the silly made-up lyrics in Kris Kristofferson's "12 Days of Christmas" to the wistful duets with Lyle Lovett, all the music is a far cry from the usual Christmas fare.

The clichéd plot keeps it from competing with the holiday classics, but Angels Sing is definitely a movie you could watch again next Christmas, if only to hear the different takes on Christmas carols.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of Christmas lights and decorations in the film. Why do you think they're so important? How do Christmas lights represent the spirit of Christmas?

  • Do you like the music in the movie? What's your favorite holiday song?

  • What's your favorite holiday movie? Why is it your favorite?

Movie details

For kids who love the holidays

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