A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Be the miracle your neighbor needs. The earnest doubts of one can inspire the faith of others.
Positive Role Models
Although David has given up his pulpit after being devastated by the death of his wife and child, he dedicates himself to helping the poor and downtrodden in London. His shaky faith leaves him reluctant to preach, but still certain that his good works can help people. The residents of the village of Gladbury harbor superstitious beliefs that David rejects, but they welcome him to their homes anyway.
Violence & Scariness
During a rain storm, a toppled horse and carriage carry an unwed mother about to give birth. Friends rush to save her. A man with heart trouble dies after trying to put out a fire. Another lies gravely ill but recovers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man and woman kiss. An unwed mother abandoned by the father is united with her child's grandparents.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Max Lucado's The Christmas Candle tells a story with heart about a 19th-century English reverend who, due to the death of his wife and child, has lost his belief in the possibility of miracles. The analogy between religious faith and magical beliefs is made here, as a village grapples with its centuries-old tradition of believing in the miraculous powers of an angel-touched magical candle. A young unwed mother is abandoned by the man who made her pregnant. A man with heart trouble dies after trying to put out a fire. Another lies gravely ill but recovers. 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 movie offers a well-told story that will hit home for anyone who has ever experienced a crisis of faith, either religious or secular. Performances by Hans Matheson, Sylvester McCoy, Lesley Manville, Samantha Barks, and even the gifted singer Susan Boyle in a small but sweet role, are all charming and engaging. Prepare for hokey special effects. During the big miracle, an angel shimmers with crude light as dots of superimposed illumination hover like fake snowflakes in the air. But otherwise the settings and direction give the period piece a vitality and believability that anchors a story about magic in its own comforting reality. The Christmas Candle does a good job at appreciating the beauty of spiritual rituals but also offers the view that good deeds performed by humans are even better.
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.