Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Good Luck Charlie, It's Christmas! Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Funny, feel-good tale makes the holiday merry for families.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 20 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie is definitely intended more for entertainment than for education, but there are some notable moments between a teen and her mother when they learn to see things from each other's point of view and come to appreciate each other more for it.

Positive Messages

The Duncan family finds security and love in one another, and their quest to be together takes the emphasis off the commercial side of the holiday. Teddy and Amy make the best of a challenging situation and use the experience to improve their relationship, and they discover there's joy to be found in helping others, even at your own expense. At different times, the story celebrates forgiveness, kindness, generosity, and compassion. Family bickering is plentiful but is offset by comedy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Bob and Amy love their kids and strive to do what's best for them, even when it's not what the kids feel is right. Both Amy and Teddy show a willingness to change for the sake of their relationship, and it makes each appreciate the other more.

Violence & Scariness

A boy's video games feature gunfire exchanges. Perilous situations like careening down a hill in a car without brakes and being held hostage are more comical than fearful, as is a competitive paintball game. There's some play fighting between a mom and a teen, but it's clearly intended to be funny rather than harmful.

Sexy Stuff

A teen comments on the "smokin' hot" girls he meets poolside.


The movie is based on the popular Disney series Good Luck Charlie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this holiday special from the Good Luck Charlie crew is an entertaining watch for just about anyone, but it's best appreciated by fans of the show who are already familiar with the characters' idiosyncrasies. The story steers the focus away from the commercial aspects of Christmas and toward the emotional fulfillment that comes with spending quality time with loved ones. Expect some true-to-life bickering among family members as the stresses of the holidays mount, but it's all tempered by unlikely scenarios, a hefty dose of humor, and a round of happy outcomes. This laugh-out-loud movie is a jolly addition to the holiday TV season and definitely worth considering for your family.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydr dew December 1, 2011

a great show

we just finished watching this hilarious christmas movie it was just so mutch fun to spend christmas with the duncan family who are alot like own family the onl... Continue reading
Adult Written bychristian-witness June 29, 2012


A boy's video games feature gunfire exchanges. Perilous situations like careening down a hill in a car without brakes and being held hostage are more comic... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old February 16, 2021

Funny movie!

You know this is a great family movie. Its a nice movie and I love how the movie pairs the family, Amy and Teddy, Bob, Pj and Gabe and finally Charlie and the g... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old April 24, 2018

Good and funny

Every night I look on Netflix trying to figure out what show I should watch next. I was just searching adn I found this. I decided Id watch it. Recently I was d... Continue reading

What's the story?

It's days before Christmas, and the Duncan family is prepping for a trip to sunny Palm Springs to spend the holiday with Amy's (Leigh-Allyn Baker) parents. Emotions and anxiety run high as Amy tries to come to terms with the breaking of traditions, Bob (Eric Allan Kramer) declares war on a troublesome bargain item meant to simplify traveling with young Charlie (Mia Talerico), and Teddy (Bridgit Mendler) pleads her case for an unchaperoned cross-country trip over spring break. In an attempt to prove her independence, Teddy offers up her seat on the plane to score a free ticket for the later trip, and Amy reluctantly follows suit to make sure she's all right. The move sets in motion a series of mishaps that seems bound to keep the family apart at Christmas, but Amy and Teddy manage to creep westward by bus, car, and the kindness of strangers to reunite with their loved ones. Meanwhile, Bob, Charlie, and the boys try to keep the peace with the in-laws until the girls show up, but even that might require a Christmas miracle.

Is it any good?

Good Luck Charlie fans have reason to celebrate this holiday special, which hones in on the most appealing aspects of the popular sitcom and glams them up for the festivities. Amy's frazzled nerves, Bob's fumbling efforts to hold things together, and the kids' determination to chart their own courses are the catalyst for the movie's plentiful funny moments ... and that's not even counting the impish toddler who throws their lives into turmoil at every turn. In other words, there's no shortage of laughs in this merry movie that will appeal to parents almost as much as it does their kids.

Happily, there's also a heartier side to the story, one that reflects what parents (if not their offspring) hold dear through the holidays. This is a kid-targeted movie that spends two anticipatory hours building up to Christmas but makes no references to gifts, stockings, or even Santa. Instead, the focus is on the family, and rather than fighting crowds for the must-have toys of the year, these family members are racing the clock just to spend time with their loved ones. Feel-good messages nestled within the movie's shiny packaging -- plus a few Christmas surprises -- make this one to add to your family's watch list. If nothing else, it's a great way to shed the stress of the season by getting some laughs at a different family's dysfunction.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about communication. How do you handle situations in which you don't see eye to eye with someone else? How does a difference of opinion cause stress between people? Is honesty always the best policy? How is this issue explored in the movie?

  • Tweens: What did you think of Teddy's request to travel cross-country without her parents? What freedoms do you enjoy now that you're older that you didn't when you were a kid? What responsibilities accompany this independence? What are the consequences if you don't fulfill your obligations?

  • What are your favorite parts of the holidays? How do your family's traditions reflect your ethnic heritage or faith? How does your family express the spirit of giving?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holiday fare

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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