Parents' Guide to

The Man Who Invented Christmas

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Heartfelt take on idea for Charles Dickens holiday classic.

Movie PG 2017 104 minutes
The Man Who Invented Christmas Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 10+

Absolutely fantastic

If you're looking for a story of redemption, look no further. Also a lesson in determination and hard work. I'm a professional musician, writer, husband and father. This is a great testament to the creative process. As brilliant as Charles Dickens himself. Bravo!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

Struggle with a Creative Process to Build a Heartwarming Tale

Even the greatest of authors was once under the gun, striving to create while meeting a deadline

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8):
Kids say (7):

This is an entertaining, well-acted biographical drama about what could have inspired A Christmas Carol and how the classic novella changed the spirit of the season. Stevens effectively portrays Dickens, who memorably captured the holiday's ethos of altruism and generosity. Young and ambitious, this version of Dickens needs a critical and commercial hit, and, after drawing on the examples of real-life Scrooges -- as well as his own sweet and disabled nephew -- the English author knows his Christmas tale has real potential. Stevens gives a stand-out performance, as do Justin Edwards as Dickens' loyal best friend and agent, Plummer as the real and imagined Scrooge, and Jonathan Pryce as Dickens' kind but spendthrift father, John.

There's a heartfelt Wizard of Oz-type quality to The Man Who Invented Christmas, as audiences discover which real-life figures in Dickens' life ended up depicted on the page. When Dickens' sister, brother-in-law, and nephew visit, it's clear that the sweet, sickly, disabled boy is Tiny Tim. The boy's father even lifts him up exactly as Bob Cratchit does Tiny Tim in every illustration and film adaptation of A Christmas Carol. It's Plummer, of course, who has the most to say and lobbies to remain unredeemed in the end. It's a good thing Dickens decides to listen to his early readers -- like his young maid, Tara, a natural storyteller who begs him to give Scrooge and Tiny Tim a happy, hopeful ending. Thanks to Scrooge's turn of heart, Dickens saves his career and, if we're to believe the film, Christmas itself.

Movie Details

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