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Christmas Angel



Faith-based tale is well done but has heavy themes.
  • Review Date: November 4, 2013
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This is meant to entertain and inspire more than educate.

Positive messages

There are positive messages about wanting good things for others, being kind, and the power of kindness and goodwill, but these are rooted in faith-based notions of Christianity.

Positive role models

The adult characters are engaged, present, and caring, and the children are realistic; some are kind and caring, whereas others are insensitive. The lead female character is a strong positive role model for young girls -- she's smart, curious, and caring but not perfect. She also seeks to correct her mistakes in a meaningful way.

Violence & scariness

The film has some heavy themes regarding loss, illness, and death. It also contains light bullying, which includes pushing, taunting, and knocking over schoolbooks. There's a very minor fight between two kids with some pushing and slapping, though one of the kids stages it on purpose to get attention. Additionally, some kids vandalize an abandoned house by breaking the windows.

Sexy stuff

A man kisses a woman abruptly.

Not applicable

The premise of the movie -- that an angel in an abandoned house grants wishes -- creates a fervor in the kids in the film, who ask for, and get, bikes, dogs, and other coveted wish-list items that may encourage this desire in others.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Christmas Angel is a faith-based film that espouses a belief in angels and God's will in the role of everyday lives. It also has some heavy themes about loss, illness, and death. But, overall, it offers strongly positive messages about kindness and compassion, with an emphasis on doing good deeds for others.

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What's the story?

When Olivia (Izabela Vidovic) and friend Lucas (Tyler Humphrey) notice that the legend of an abandoned house might be real -- that by breaking a window and stating your wish, it might actually come true, courtesy of a mysterious angel, Elsie (Della Reese) -- they start asking for all sorts of things, including that Olivia's mom Melinda (Teri Polo) might find a suitable husband for remarriage in Nathan (Kevin Sorbo). Along the way, Olivia learns the power of doing good, the risks of meddling, and when it's best to leave things to God.

Is it any good?


This movie has some heavy themes of loss and death, which makes it best for older kids, but there's also a lot of heart here. CHRISTMAS ANGEL is a faith-based movie that assumes belief in angels, cites some scripture, and freely consults Christian tenets as a guide for behavior, a foundation that can often make for overly sentimental fare that is more concerned with entertaining than educating.

The movie isn't short on sentiment, but, thanks to a good cast -- namely, the fantastic Della Reese as the angel, as well as an unexpectedly talented child actor in Izabela Vidovic -- Christmas Angel makes for a well-done holiday movie with really strong pro-family, pro-goodwill messages that don't feel particularly intrusive or sermonizing. And it does its work with a diverse, intergenerational cast in a New Orleans setting.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about wishes. What sorts of things do you wish for? Do they ever come true? If so, what happened?

  • Have you ever tried to do something good for someone and had it go wrong? What happened? What did you do to try to fix things?

  • No matter your beliefs, the film's idea that doing good deeds for others as a way of building community is a positive one. What good things could you do to help others around you?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 23, 2012
Cast:Della Reese, Izabela Vidovic, Kevin Sorbo, Teri Polo
Director:Brian Herzlinger
Studio:Pure Flix Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models, Holidays
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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