Parents' Guide to

Christmas Ranch

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Teen learns about responsibility in holiday horse tale.

Movie NR 2016 82 minutes
Christmas Ranch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 4+

Christmas Ranch disappointing

Just over all a very poor movie. I guess the premise of the movie was OK. Acting was very poor as well as the quality of the movie. I found myself very bored and actually stopped at three or four times and had to go back and make myself finish it.
age 5+


I so wanted to like this movie. Christmas Ranch on Christmas Day and all. It seemed like it was written and directed by a 10 and 11 year old respectively. The acting wasn’t much better. Hope the horse was excellent.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (4):
Kids say: Not yet rated

The filmmakers would probably categorize this movie as a family drama, but it feels a lot like a fantasy. Liz manages to put together a huge countryside "Christmas market" in one day, with enough donated goods to earn more than $10,000 from a crowd of buyers manifested, again in only one day, from rural who-knows-where without benefit of any advertising. That haul, it's explained, will pay several months of the farm's unpaid mortgage. Also fantastic is a belief that training an untested pony will miraculously produce a jumping champion that will earn enough in prizes to pay the mortgage into the foreseeable future and permanently save the farm. Equally implausible is the claim that Liz turns off and leaves her cell phone for weeks (!) in a bag somewhere just so she doesn't have to talk to her parents. Few teenagers will part with their phones when Caller ID makes it easy to avoid unwanted callers. That's a lot to swallow.

Not that Christmas Ranch is hard to watch. It beats Rodeo Girl, with nearly the same plot and message, and probably dozens of other mediocre but likable movies focusing on troubled youths sent to rural settings where caring for other living things help them mature, behave responsibly, and find happiness.

Movie Details

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