1. Movies

A dozen Christmas movies you can watch this weekend

Lifetime Barry Watson and Melissa Joan Hart star in A Very Nutty Christmas on Lifetime.
Published Nov. 26, 2018

Nothing new is coming to a multiplex near you in these post-Thanksgiving doldrums. You're welcome to check out any of the fine films that premiered last week (okay, maybe not Robin Hood), or curl up on the couch and enjoy the cheesetastic feast of holiday movies coming your way.

The Christmas Chronicles (now streaming): After two nosy kids crash Santa's sleigh, they have to help him save Christmas. Did we mention a sassy Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are Mr. and Mrs. Claus?

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (Friday): If you missed the best cheesy Christmas movie of 2017, Netflix's perfectly absurd A Christmas Prince, you still have time to watch it before the sequel drops Friday. Not-so-spoiler alert, absurdly bad journalist Amber (iZombie's Rose McIver) and Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) are now getting hitched. Will they outdo Harry and Meghan?

Angela's Christmas (Friday): The animated tale follows a little Irish girl who causes a bit of a commotion when she attends church and hatches a plan to help baby Jesus stay warm.

A Very Nutty Christmas (8 p.m. Friday): Melissa Joan Hart plays baker Kate Holiday (!!!), who gets dumped but then Christmas magic brings a nutcracker to life in her living room. And they fall in love.

A Twist of Christmas (8 p.m. Saturday): Single mom Abby (Vanessa Lachey) and single dad Ryan (Brendon Zub) mix up their gifts at a department store. And they fall in love.

The Christmas Pact (8 p.m. Sunday): Kyla Pratt and Jarod Joseph play two best friends who made a pact when they were 8 years old to make a Christmas wish together. And they fall in love. Afterward, catch a rerun of 2012's A Star For Christmas, about a cupcake shop owner (Briana Evigan) whose new customer is secretly a Hollywood star (Corey Sevier). And you guessed it, they fall in love.

Hallmark is the place to make a list and check it twice — oh, wait, they made a list for you and it's available as a printout or an app! Go to Here's a snapshot of this weekend.

Mingle All the Way (8 p.m. Saturday): The creator (Jen Lilley) of a networking app for busy professionals to find a companion for holiday social commitments gets matched with a guy she's had disastrous run-ins with before (Brant Daugherty). Afterward, catch a rerun of Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe, about a girl named Darcy who returns home to plan a Christmas charity event with her old rival.

A Majestic Christmas (8 p.m. Sunday): An architect Nell (Jerrika Hinton) goes back to her hometown to turn the historic Majestic Playhouse into a modern multiplex for the theater's new owner (Christian Vincent). Afterward, catch a rerun of Finding Santa, where Jodie Sweetin goes on a quest to find a new Santa after the usual one for a holiday parade is injured.

Down the road, catch more of the women of Full House with Lori Loughlin in Homegrown Christmas (8 p.m. Dec. 8) and When Calls the Heart Christmas (8 p.m. Dec. 25), Jodie Sweetin in Entertaining Christmas (8 p.m. Dec. 15) and Candace Cameron Bure in A Shoe Addict's Christmas (already premiered, but rerunning every few days).

Life-Size 2: A Christmas Eve (9 p.m. Sunday): Tyra Banks returns as Eve, the doll-turned-life-size, out to right the life of toy company CEO Grace Manning (Francia Raisa).

No Sleep 'Til Christmas (9 p.m.) Dec. 10: Two stressed-out insomniacs (real-life couple Dave Annable and Odette Annable) find they can only sleep when next to each other. Surely her fiance will understand.

Green Book: The rare Hollywood crowd-pleaser that triumphs on all counts and also provides accessible social history.

A Private War: Rosamund Pike stars as real-life war correspondent Marie Colvin.

Widows: Sharp as ever, Viola Davis leads an ensemble cast of women in an unlikely heist.


All dates subject to change.

Dec. 7: Mary Queen of Scots; Anna and the Apocalypse

Dec. 12: Once Upon a Deadpool

Dec. 14: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse; Mortal Engines; The Mule; The Favourite

Dec. 19: Mary Poppins Returns

Dec. 21: Aquaman; Bumblebee; Welcome to Marwen; Second Act; Ben Is Back

Dec. 25: Holmes & Watson; Vice; If Beale Street Could Talk

Jan. 4: Escape Room; Eli

Jan. 11: A Dog's Way Home; The Upside; On the Basis of Sex


  1. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, shown here in the 1978 film "Grease," will make a Dec. 14 appearance in Tampa for a film sing-along and meet and greet with fans. AP
    The actors, who both have ties to the Tampa Bay area, will also do a question and answer session and meet some fans.
  2. Screenwriter Andy Warrener shows off a copy of his film "The Black String" available at a local Walmart. Andy Warrener
    Andy Warrener went from Civil War reenactor to screenwriter. ‘The Black String’ has two local screenings next week.
  3. Tampa Theatre in downtown Tampa. EVE EDELHEIT  |  Times (2012)
    The expansion ‘fundamentally changes our business model,’ said the not-for-profit theater’s CEO.
  4. From left: Zoey Deutch, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson in "Zombieland 2: Double Tap." JESSICA MIGLIO  |  Sony Pictures
    Plus, the ‘Jay & Silent Bob Reboot,’ Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival and Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Western Stars.’
  5. Will Smith and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in "Gemini Man." BEN ROTHSTEIN  |  Paramount Pictures
    ‘Jexi’ and ‘Mister America’ also open, plus you can also catch a trio of documentary screenings.
  6. In "Joker," Joaquin Phoenix plays an Arthur Fleck who has nothing to smile, let alone chuckle, about. Niko Tavernise
    And the portrait of madness is both bleak and glib. | Review
  7. Graham Kropp, 9 and his father Steve Kropp, both of Seminole, shop for Star Wars items at the Clearwater Target, 2747 Gulf To Bay Blvd, Friday, October 4, 2019 in the Disney Store section. Friday was the release of this year's Force Friday Star Wars products. Target sales associate Kat McCauley, right, offers them some Star Wars themed cup cakes.  SCOTT KEELER  |   Times
    The “shop-in-shop” location is one of only 25 in the country and two in the state of Florida.
  8. In "Straight Up," Todd (director-actor James Sweeney) wants to try being straight with Rory (Katie Findlay). Not because Todd thinks being gay is bad. He just thinks he is bad at being gay. Courtesy of the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Wondering what to watch at the 30th annual festival? Let these reviews help.
  9. Set in the Philippines in the mid 1990s, "Billie & Emma" (2018) follows how smart, popular and pregnant Emma (Gabby Padilla, right) falls in love with Billie (Zar Donato), the new girl at her Catholic school. Courtesy of the Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    “Queer film, especially, is a really perfect time capsule," says an official of the festival starting Friday.
  10. Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck in "Joker." Niko Tavernise
    The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival opens, plus the Carrollwood Cultural Center pays homage to popular flicks through song.