A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You can't shake hands with a clenched fist. Cheaters never prosper. Aggression may win a battle but not a war.
Positive Role Models
Matthew doesn't snitch on a bully named Finn even though Finn has beaten up his brother and stolen Matthew's sled. Matthew's dad doesn't get mad when the boys toss their sleeping brother around. Matthew leaves a nice note for the bully when he realizes the bully has a tough home life. Dad apologizes to his children when he makes mistakes. A boy lies about his accomplishments to attract a new friend, then admits he's lied. Brothers stand up for each other.
Violence & Scariness
A boy lies on the ground with a bloody nose. Another is punched and his teeth are bloody. A bully repeatedly takes cookies and other things from kids who are afraid of him. He breaks a boy's glasses and vandalizes a prized pirate ship. A pet chicken is mistakenly roasted for dinner.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A girl kisses a boy chastely. Two brothers covet the same pretty girl next door.
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"Shut it," "duckbrains." "Farding" is the dog's name.
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Products & Purchases
"New Coke" is mentioned.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Christmas Project is an earnest and well-intentioned story focusing on a 12-year-old boy and brothers who deal with a bully, a pretty girl, and doing the right thing at Christmas time. Boys throw punches and play pranks on each other. A boy lies on the ground with a bloody nose. Another is punched and his teeth are bloody. A bully repeatedly takes cookies and other things from kids who are afraid of him. He breaks a boy's glasses and vandalizes a prized pirate ship. A pet chicken is mistakenly roasted for dinner. Understanding parents teach their children to be generous and kind, even to bullies. 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 may feel a bit generic in its opening moments but patience will pay off as it models humor, smarts, generosity, and patience as qualities kids want to embody. The story is told with warmth and through language and situations that tweens will appreciate and understand. The acting and writing of Good Luck, Charlie and other high-quality TV fare come to mind in this sweet family story. Those familiar with the classic A Christmas Story will also find echoes of that film's unsentimental view of childhood here.
A weak plot line threads throughout regarding which boy will be the first to snatch "the Christmas catalogue" (as if there were only one!) from the mailbox and thereby somehow get the best gift. That makes no sense on its own, but less so since the time frame is only days before Christmas. Still, that's a minor quibble. Overall there's much for kids and their families to enjoy in The Christmas Project.
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.