Parents' Guide to

Christmas Jars

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Book-based film has mature themes, inspiring messages.

Movie NR 2019 110 minutes
Christmas Jars Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

That being good to others brings you joy.

Love the positive message and the wonderful tradition created here! What joyous moments you can have when dropping a jar to someone in need! It’s truly rewarding and satisfying!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Based on a best-selling novel and real-life movement of anonymous gift-givers, Christmas Jars has at its heart a proven inspirational story of kindness and generosity. Where it works best is when it's telling that story, revealing how selfless acts of humanity can affect people's lives in deep and unexpected ways. The character of Hope, played by Jeni Ross with the right combination of world-weary vulnerability and youthful optimism, offers a perfect vessel for this tale.

But the film also struggles to maintain a coherent tone throughout. We're introduced to Hope as an abandoned baby, then watch her grow up and lose her adoptive mother, all in a 5-minute introductory sequence. This sets a seriously dramatic tone for what's to come, making it confusing when we fast-forward to her life today and are bombarded with a series of awkward characters meant to be funny in Hope's workplace, the editorial room of a Buzzfeed-like news site, and the implausibly-perfect Maxwells, the family that started the Christmas Jars movement. There are some plot points that may offend working journalists. But if they, and other viewers, can look past the inconsistencies, the film's emotional ending delivers its promised holiday message.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate