A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tradition, friendship, and love are the best gifts. It's not easy to get over old hurts, but it might be easier if you're with someone you trust.
Positive Role Models
Ellie is called a "party heiress." Her father, the CEO of a gift company, believes she needs to learn more about small-town values. A small-town man can't recover from the hurt caused when his big-city wife left him for another man.
Violence & Scariness
A woman tries to vault over a Christmas display. She succeeds but falls into a Christmas tree. A vacuum cleaner explodes, leaving dust on everything.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss.
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Products & Purchases
Main characters own a gift company that has traditional roots, but they make their millions selling stuff to people.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Two men drink at a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Christmas Inheritance is a generic Christmas title emphasizing the importance of human connections, traditions, friendship, and love. Supposed city values are compared negatively with supposed small-town values. The death of loved ones is discussed. A man's wife left him for another man. A woman starts to fall for the man she hated at first sight. Two young lovebirds kiss. 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 is a generic Christmas movie following a tired old storyline that must be written in the "Christmas Movie Plots" book available to moviemakers with no ideas of their own. Christmas Inheritance starts with a baseless premise: that Ellie, heiress to the Home & Hearth gift empire, needs a lesson in, well, exactly what is unclear. When she's introduced at a charitable gala sponsored by her father's company, she bounces in via cartwheels she learned in her gymnast days, and the entrance dazzles the guests. One is so delighted he challenges her to vault over a Christmas display in exchange for a quadrupling of his donation. Although she clears the "hurdle," and seemingly gets the big donation for their worthy charity, her landing knocks down a Christmas tree. Her father is gravely concerned, thinking this act was an indication that Ellie is somehow ill-equipped to take over as CEO of the company when he retires. Huh? We might agree with his view if the movie's early moments had instead showed Ellie mistreating employees, stealing from the company's coffers, doing drugs, or acting snooty to guests or waiters. Yes, she is unfamiliar with bus travel and expects room service, having grown up wealthy, but otherwise she seems nice enough. Her biggest transgression is that she is bouncy.
The filmmakers do nothing to set up a need for Ellie to improve her character, except that her father tells her she must. Dad wants her to "learn" from the good townspeople of Snow Falls, the northern enclave where he and Zeke started the company. This is confusing. Home & Hearth deals in retail, not caring for the homeless. What does she learn? That people there are nice? Snow Falls residents tell her that tradition, friendship, and love are the best gifts. Nothing the movie shows us about Ellie indicates that this is news to her. And what exactly is Zeke's role now? Did he leave the company? If not, why is he still in Snow Falls while Dad is running the company from the New York City HQ? What is the point of the Christmas letters? Dad says they annually describe everything important he and Zeke have done over decades to make the company better, yet when the letters are read aloud, they don't contain anything substantial about running the company at all. In the movie's favor, Eliza Taylor and Jake Lacey make a nice couple, although given Jake's small-town roots and Ellie's big-city vibe, happily ever after doesn't seem assured.
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.