A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In a strange way, the mother of a family learns to believe in Christmas again.
Positive Role Models
In spite of a string of bad luck, Jack remains optimistic and is still a believer in the Christmas spirit. His wife, Ginny, must learn to believe in the Christmas spirit again for it to return to her family.
Violence & Scariness
A man is shot and killed during a bank robbery. Two children are kidnapped in an ensuing car chase that culminates in the vehicle careening off a bridge and into a river.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Coca-Cola cans, Alpha-Bits cereal boxes, and boxes of various Amway products are shown throughout the movie.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that One Magic Christmas, while ultimately a story of the importance of believing in the Christmas spirit, has many scenes that could be difficult for younger and more sensitive viewers. During a bank robbery, a father is shot and killed, and, in a later scene, the mother sits down her two children to explain to them that their father has passed away and will not be coming home. Also, these two children are kidnapped by the bank robber, who takes them on an extended car chase culminating in the vehicle spinning out of control, falling off a bridge, and causing the kids to nearly drown. These intense scenes are intended to make a mother who has lost all faith and love for Christmas believe again. Although it's doubtful that "believe in Christmas again, and nobody gets hurt!" was the intended message of the movie, this is the overall takeaway. Families looking for a cheerier holiday experience should look elsewhere. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Families looking for lighthearted holiday fare should definitely look elsewhere. With a story somewhat similar to It's a Wonderful Life, ONE MAGIC CHRISTMAS makes the low points even lower, as Mary Steenburgen's character must endure the shooting death of her husband by a bank robber, her children being kidnapped and nearly killed by the bank robber, and then telling her kids that their father has died. This is all because she didn't give the future bank robber any money in an earlier scene at a gas station when he tried to sell his beat-up car to the mechanic.
Although this movie does its best to show the many difficulties families and individuals who are struggling financially face during the holidays, the dark moments are too dark, and the ending is a bit too neat and tidy, even by Hollywood standards.
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.