Christmas with the Kranks

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Christmas with the Kranks Movie Poster Image
Unoriginal, unfunny slapstick holiday fare.
  • PG
  • 2004
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 19 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 28 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Latin American stereotypes played for laughs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models.

Violence

Extended comic violence, illness.

Sex

Mild sexual references.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, characters drink in response to stress.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie has some mild sexual references (Nora thinks Luther wants to have sex and starts taking off her sweater and gulps down some wine, saying, "But it isn't Saturday!"). Characters drink wine and beer on social occasions and some reach for alcohol to deal with stress. There is a lot of comic violence and mayhem, with many falls, bashes on the head, and electrocutions that are intended to be funny. A character receives bad news about the recurrence of cancer.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byC S December 7, 2018

Some things parents will want to know

Contrary to the main review, there is in fact a some language. Main characters say “Damn, jerk, idiot, and hell.”

Also, in one scene the wife character mistak... Continue reading
Adult Written byLRunk December 20, 2019

Teacher Review

In my school district, we are allowed to show PG movies to our 5th graders. I always use this site to ensure that the movies are school appropriate. While the g... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old December 10, 2020

Features Tim Allen who voiced Buzz Lightyear in Toy story and Dan Akyroyd who's in Ghostbusters!

Ok slapstick Christmas comedy. It's funny and includes mild language and some comedic laughter for a laugh. Good family festive film for a rainy Sunday aft... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLovestvandcats December 5, 2020

5 stars for a family Christmas film

I was absolutely shocked at the commonsense 1 star review. Ok its not exactly a cinematic masterpiece but it is a side-splittingly funny, warm-hearted Christmas... Continue reading

What's the story?

The Kranks always do Christmas in a big way. But with their daughter Blair (Julie Gonzalo) departing for Peru, the prospect of a Christmas at home doesn't seem too appealing. So Luther (Tim Allen) and Nora (Jamie Lee Curtis) decide to skip Christmas and take a luxury cruise. When their friends and neighbors pressure them to conform, the Kranks refuse to put their enormous Frosty up on the roof, shoot down tree-selling Boy Scouts, and ice the walk to deter carolers. But when Blair decides to come home Christmas with her new boyfriend and wants everything to be just like it always is, everyone scrambles to make things perfect for Blair.

Is it any good?

The characters are unpleasant, the jokes are unfunny, and the sentiment is hypocritical -- so this movie is about as unappetizing as last year's figgy pudding. There are useless digressions about a robber and a mystery man who seems to know everyone. The fact that Blair has a boyfriend who is a foreigner is supposed to be funny. One of the Kranks' neighbors develops a very serious health problem, a particularly manipulative and awkward plot device obviously inserted to get our sympathy and give Luther a growth experience.

But what makes this film genuinely toxic is its attempt to leverage all of its audiences' feelings about the best of Christmas while having no sense at all of what makes those feelings matter. Nora's only contact with her clergyman is contrived so that he sees her in her skimpy bathing suit. The film's phony attempt to make fun of the craziness, commercialism, and conformity of the holiday season is in fact just one more example, so fundamentally fake and superficial it makes tinsel look like sterling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what is important about Christmas or other holidays and which traditions have the most meaning to them. They could also talk about peer pressure and how to know when to listen to the community and when to stick with your own judgment about what is right.

Movie details

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