Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kurt Russell, Judah Lewis, Darby Camp, Lamorne Morris, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Oliver Hudson
Written by: Matt Lieberman, based on a story by Matt Lieberman, David Guggenheim
Directed by: Clay Kaytis
MPAA Rating: PG for mild action/violence and brief language
Running Time: 104
Date: 11/22/2018

The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Santa Claus Is Stuck in Town

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This Netflix original film probably wouldn't be terribly interesting except for the canny, cool casting of cult star Kurt Russell as a sturdy, leather coat-wearing Santa Claus. And, with his help, The Christmas Chronicles actually lands as a broadly enjoyable, heartwarming tale that could hold up to perennial viewings. With their firefighter father having died the year before, and their mother (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) called in to work on Christmas Eve, teen Teddy (Judah Lewis) and his younger sister Kate (Darby Camp) decide to stay up and catch Santa on video. They wind up accidentally sabotaging Santa's sleigh and crash-landing it in Chicago. Then, they must find the reindeer, Santa's magic hat, etc., in order to save Christmas and get back home. It's silly, but cheerful, and Russell sets the tone, even performing an Elvis-like rendition of "Santa Claus Is Back in Town" while stuck in jail.

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