Christmas Eve

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Christmas Eve Movie Poster Image
Holiday tale has big cast, worthy messages, flawed script.
  • PG
  • 2015
  • 95 minutes

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Everybody has the ability to change -- they just need to be able to take a step back and reflect upon who they really are and how they got this way. Unfortunately, people are often too busy to notice these things, and it might take an unusual event to jolt them out of their daily routine. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters all learn valuable lessons during the course of the film. Some learn to appreciate things in their lives, others learn to be more grateful and accepting, and a few become more aware of their past mistakes and vow to correct them.


The film's events are put in motion by a car accident that looks pretty serious but in the end doesn't lead to any significant injuries. In a later scene, a woman fires a gun in the air to make a point, while a man comes close to falling from a tall building. Two men get into a brief scuffle until they're separated by friends. 


Flirting, a romantic kiss. 


One scene includes some suggestive dialog based on the phrase "private d--k," referring to a detective. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Christmas Eve is an ensemble holiday dramedy with several well-known actors (including Patrick StewartJon HederCheryl Hines, and Gary Cole) that's set in New York during a single memorable night when a blackout strands six groups of people in elevators overnight. There's almost no swearing (some jokes related to the term "private d--k," referring to a detective), violence, or sex (some flirting and a kiss), but some of the themes (layoffs and firings, for instance) may not resonate with younger viewers.

User Reviews

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Teen, 13 years old Written byMovie_mania_teen November 8, 2016

Why is swearing only 1/5?!?!?!?

This was a pretty decent movie plot wise, but based on the review, I doubt that common sense media actually watched the movie!! There is SO MUCH SWEARING!! S--t... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's CHRISTMAS EVE in New York, and everyone is in a rush to get where they have to go -- until an unexpected blackout strands six groups of people in elevators. Some are strangers, some are old friends, and over the course of the night, they all have the chance to learn a few important things about each other and themselves. The large ensemble cast includes some big names, including Patrick StewartJon HederCheryl Hines, and Gary Cole.

Is it any good?

Ensemble holiday films have become fairly common, but it's a tough formula to nail, and Christmas Eve is one for which the struggle is real. The setup offers some promise: six groups of people, stuck together overnight with nothing to do but learn more about each other and, in the process, perhaps something about themselves. Viewers also gradually come to realize that certain characters in each group are connected to someone in another elevator.

The problem is that we don't always come to care about these people. It's just the acting that's to blame; Cole stands out as a doctor with a badly injured patient, and Heder does well as a just-laid-off office drone. But the script is thin. Stewart's solo scenes as a dictatorial boss don't give him much room to grow, while members of a classical music ensemble (who already know plenty about each other) seem to make personal vows that feel forced. And a few other characters don't have the necessary rapport to make their segments compelling. When done well (see: Love Actually), ensemble holiday movies can become staples. Christmas Eve likely won't. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the characters in Christmas Eve change over the course of the movie. Which stories did you find most believable? Which were the most touching?

  • How does Christmas Eve compare to other ensemble films that center on holidays, like Love Actually and New Year's Eve? How are they similar, and how are they different? 

  • Which holiday movies are your favorites? Why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedies and the holidays

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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