Christmas with the Kranks (Movie)

Title — Christmas with the Kranks
Available on — Netflix, Amazon Video, AMC
Production Country — United States
Release Date — 2004
When Luther Krank and his wife opt to skip Christmas – no tree and no rooftop Frosty – can they handle the fallout from their family and neighbors?

🪶 Story & Synopsis

In the heartwarming holiday film “Christmas with the Kranks,” directed by Joe Roth and based on the novel “Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham, we follow the story of Luther and Nora Krank, played by Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis, as they decide to skip Christmas for the first time when their daughter Blair, portrayed by Julie Gonzalo, is away in Peru with the Peace Corps.

Initially planning to use the money they would have spent on Christmas for a luxurious Caribbean cruise, Luther and Nora face backlash from their neighborhood, known for their extravagant Christmas celebrations. As they try to uphold their decision to skip the holiday festivities, their resolve is tested by the disapproval of their neighbors and the pressure of the upcoming Christmas season.

However, their carefully laid plans are thrown into disarray when Blair surprises them with a phone call on Christmas Eve, announcing her unexpected return home for the holidays with her fiancé, Enrique. Suddenly, Luther and Nora find themselves scrambling to transform their Christmas-less home into a festive wonderland in just 12 hours to welcome their daughter and her partner.

As the clock ticks down and the pressure mounts, the Kranks must navigate through a series of comedic mishaps, neighborhood competitions, and the spirit of Christmas that refuses to be ignored. Will they be able to pull off a last-minute Christmas miracle and create a memorable holiday for their family?

“Christmas with the Kranks” is a heartwarming tale of family, community, and the true meaning of Christmas, filled with laughter, love, and the joy of coming together during the holiday season.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Erik Per Sullivan, Cheech Marin, Jake Busey, M. Emmet Walsh, Kevin Chamberlin, Elizabeth Franz, René Lavan

Actor Role
Tim Allen Luther Krank
Jamie Lee Curtis Nora Krank
Dan Aykroyd Vic Frohmeyer
Erik Per Sullivan Spike Frohmeyer
Cheech Marin Officer Salino
Jake Busey Officer Treen
M. Emmet Walsh Walt Scheel

💬 Reviews and feedback

Are you ready to jingle all the way into a festive movie review? Let’s unwrap the comedic gem that is “Christmas with the Kranks” and see if it’s a holiday treat worth savoring or if it leaves you with a lump of coal.

Now, imagine a Christmas movie as a beautifully decorated tree. Each ornament represents different elements like the plot, characters, humor, and heartfelt messages. As we delve into this review, let’s see if “Christmas with the Kranks” shines brightly like a star topper or if it flickers like faulty fairy lights.

First off, let’s talk about the storyline. “Christmas with the Kranks” follows an average family’s quest to break free from conventional holiday traditions. The film humorously explores the chaos that ensues when they decide to skip Christmas festivities, much to the chagrin of their neighbors. While it may not point directly to the true meaning of Christmas, it raises thought-provoking questions about the essence of celebration amidst all the glitz and glam.

  • Plot and Themes: The movie presents a refreshing take on holiday traditions, questioning the necessity of extravagant decorations and lavish parties. However, some viewers might find certain scenes jarring, such as the robbery incident that disrupted the flow for sensitive audiences. Despite this hiccup, the film manages to deliver a heartwarming message by its conclusion.

When it comes to acting and characters, Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis shine as the Kranks, bringing their comedic prowess to liven up the screen. Their chemistry adds depth to their portrayal of a couple navigating through uncharted holiday territory. The supporting cast also adds flavor to the mix, creating a delightful ensemble that keeps you entertained throughout.

  • Acting and Characters: Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis’s performances inject humor and warmth into their roles as they navigate through unconventional holiday plans. The ensemble cast elevates each scene with their charisma and comedic timing.

Next up is direction – where does this ship sail? Directed by Joe Roth, “Christmas with the Kranks” sets sail on choppy waters at times but manages to steer back on course towards an uplifting finale. Roth captures both light-hearted moments and poignant reflections effectively, guiding viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions during this festive journey.

  • Direction: Joe Roth navigates through comedic highs and emotional beats adeptly, ensuring that viewers embark on an engaging ride filled with laughter and touching moments.

The score sets the tone for any cinematic experience – did this one hit all the right notes? The music in “Christmas with the Kranks” complements each scene well, enhancing both comedic sequences and heartfelt interactions between characters. It adds an extra layer of charm to an already heartwarming narrative.

  • Score: The music in “Christmas with the Kranks” strikes a harmonious balance between comedy and emotion, enriching key moments throughout the film.

Cinematography plays a crucial role in capturing visual magic on screen. How does this movie fare in that department? The cinematography in “Christmas with the Kranks” paints a vibrant picture of holiday cheer, showcasing colorful decorations and cozy settings that immerse viewers in its festive world. Each frame is like a snapshot from a cheery Christmas card come to life.

  • Cinematography: The cinematography captures the essence of Christmas beautifully, enveloping audiences in a visually enchanting world filled with warmth and joy.

Moving on to production design – did they deck out every detail flawlessly? The production design in “Christmas with the Kranks” creates a festive playground brimming with holiday spirit. From elaborate decorations to cozy neighborhood settings, every visual element contributes to building an immersive yuletide atmosphere that invites viewers into its merry universe.

  • Production Design: The attention to detail in production design transforms mundane settings into magical winter wonderlands that transport audiences into a whimsical Christmas adventure.

In terms of special effects – did they sprinkle some movie magic dust or did things fall flat? While “Christmas with
the Kranks” doesn’t rely heavily on flashy special effects,
it sprinkles just enough movie magic dust
to enhance key scenes without overshadowing
the heartwarming narrative at its core.
The subtle touches add whimsy
to certain moments,
making them sparkle like freshly fallen snow.

  • Special Effects: Subtle yet effective special effects add an enchanting touch to select scenes,
    elevating magical moments without overpowering
    its heartwarming storytelling.
    li >
    ul >

    < p > When it comes down t o editing , how smoothly do es th e story unwrap ? Th e editing i n & quot; Chri stmas wi th th e Kran ks & quot ; crafts
    an enjoyabl e pac e , kee ping viewer s enterta ine d w ithout l osi ng sight o f th e hea rtw arm ing mes sage at i ts cor e . Th e seam less tra nsit ions betwe en sc enes maint ain t he mov ie’ s momen tum , en su ring t hat audie nces are engag ed f rom sta rt t o fini sh .

    < ul >
    < li >< strong > Editing : strong > Th e edited pac ing i n & quot ; Ch ri stm as wi th th e Kran ks & quot ; ensur es th at eve ry moment flo ws smoot hly , ma intai nin g audienc es’ intere st thro ugho ut t he fi lm ‘s joyful jo urn ey . li >
    < / ul >

    < p > Now , let ‘s talk ab out pace – wa s thi s mov ie’ s rh yt hm as ti ght as San ta’ s slei gh bel ls ? Throug hout & quo t; Ch ristm as wit h th e Kran ks ,& quo t; th e pace remai ns ste ady , balanc ing qui ck-wit ted com edy w ith touc hes o f em otion al dept h . It car ries vi ewers alo ng on an enjo yabl e rid e tha t never stra ys too fa r fr om its he artfe lt co re .

    < ul >
    < li >< strong > Pace : strong > T he ste ady pa ce i n & quot ; C hristm as w ith t he Kran ks & quot ; del ive rs quic k-wit ted hu mor w ithou t los ing sigh t o f emotio nal nu ance s , keep ing vi ewer s ente rtaine d fro m st art t o fin ish . li >
    < / ul >

    < p > When it com es down t o dialogu e , di d thi s mov ie ‘s conve rsati ons spar kle lik e cris p snowfla kes ? Thro ughou t &quo t; Chr istma s wit h th e Kra nks,&q uot; th oug htful dial ogue c aptu res bot h lighthe arte d hu mor an d touc hin g mom ent s effec tive ly . Eac h lin e is lik e wr appin g prese ntatio ns under neath th e tree : sur prisin gly delig htful an d full o f war mth .

    < ul >
    < li >< strong > Dialog : strong > T ho ughtfu l dialo gue i n & quo t; C hris tm as wit h th e Kra nks& quo t; blend s lighthe arte d hu mor w ith po ignan cy eff ectiv ely ,
    creati ng magica l excha nges tha t add de pth
    an d cha ract erizat ion
    thi s festi ve tale .
    li >
    ul >

    < p class=”binge-watch”> Binge-watching Tips: If you’re looking for cheerful holiday flick without diving deep into serious themes but still want your heart warmed by quirky family dynamics,
    kick back with some hot cocoa
    and indulge
    in “Christ mas wit h
    the K ra nk.” It’s like unwrapping
    a gag gift—surprising yet delightfully entertaining!”;

    So what’s my final rating for “Christmas With
    the Krank”? Drumroll please… 7/10! Despite some bumps along Santa’s sleigh ride,
    this festive flick still delivers enough cheer
    and laughter
    to make your spirits bright.

    Merry viewing!

Pros Cons
Enjoyable storyline Robber scene may be disturbing for sensitive viewers
Good comedic cast Complete lack of humor in certain aspects
Promotes positive themes of love, caring, and community Unoriginal and unfunny slapstick humor
Some funny moments Neighbors’ uproar premise may seem unreasonable
Addresses the question of excessive holiday traditions Some inappropriate sexual innuendos


  • Christmas with the Kranks (2004) - IMDb

    • Awards
      • 3 wins & 4 nominations
    • Director
    • Writers
    • All cast & crew
    • Production, box office & more at IMDbPro

    Did you know

    • TriviaThe film is based on John Grisham’s book “Skipping Christmas.” (The original title is seen in the newspaper article after the tanning salon incident.) The title was changed to avoid confusion with Surviving Christmas (2004). Both movies were holiday comedies released in the same year and both were poorly received by critics.
    • GoofsWhile Luther hangs from the rope outside his house, the firefighter behind Vic is hit in the head with the ladder that they raising.
    • Quotes Nora Krank: You forgot the white chocolate! Luther Krank: They didn’t have any. Nora Krank: Did you talk to Rex? Luther Krank: Who’s Rex? Nora Krank: The butcher. Luther Krank: …as odd as it sounds, I didn’t think to ask the butcher where the chocolate was!
    • Crazy creditsThere are holiday cards with pictures of the characters at the beginning of the end credits
    • SoundtracksThe Christmas SongWritten by Sune Wagner (as Sune Rose Wagner)Published by Juvenile Delinquent MusicAll rights administered by Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.Performed by The RaveonettesCourtesy of Columbia RecordsBy arrangement with Sony Music Licensing

    Tim Allen basically plays the same character that he has been in everything else, but he’s hilarious. Jamie Lee Curtis is also sweet and funny. There are moments when it gets fairly ridiculous, but it’s all part of the fun. Some heartfelt moments wrap this up with a nice bow.

  • Christmas with the Kranks - Wikipedia

    Christmas with the Kranks

    Christmas with the Kranks
    Directed by Joe Roth
    Screenplay by Chris Columbus
    Based on Skipping Christmas

    by John Grisham

    Produced by
    • Michael Barnathan
    • Chris Columbus
    • Mark Radcliffe
    Cinematography Don Burgess
    Edited by Nick Moore
    Music by John Debney


    Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing

    Release date

  • Christmas With the Kranks | Rotten Tomatoes

    A mirthless movie as fresh as last year’s fruit cake, Christmas with the Kranks is a coarse, garish comedy that promotes conformity.Read Critics Reviews

    Christmas With the KranksWhere to WatchChristmas With the Kranks

    Watch Christmas With the Kranks with a subscription on Netflix, rent on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV, or buy on Fandango at Home, Prime Video, Apple TV.

    What to KnowCritics ReviewsAudience ReviewsMy RatingCast & Crew

    Joe RothDirectorTim AllenLuther KrankJamie Lee CurtisNora KrankDan AykroydVic FrohmeyerM. Emmet WalshWalt ScheelElizabeth FranzBev Scheel

  • Watch Christmas with the Kranks | Prime Video -

    Christmas with the Kranks

    A suburban dad battles heavy opposition from the neighbors when he convinces his wife to skip Christmas and go on a cruise.X-RayPG

    Subtitles Cc

    The price before discount is the median price for the last 90 days. Rentals include 30 days to start watching this video and 48 hours to finish once started.


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⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

At the heart of “Christmas with the Kranks” lies a heartwarming tale of the Krank family deciding to skip Christmas for a cruise, only to have their plans disrupted when their daughter unexpectedly decides to come home for the holidays. The film’s ending delves into the true essence of Christmas and community spirit, leaving viewers with a mix of emotions and reflections.

In the final scenes, we witness a remarkable transformation in the neighborhood as they rally around Mr. Krank to create a magical winter wonderland for his daughter’s return. This sudden change in attitude from the once disapproving neighbors raises questions about the true meaning of Christmas and the motivations behind their actions.

One interpretation is that the neighbors realize that Christmas is more than just lavish decorations and material possessions. It’s about unity, love, and spreading joy within the community. By assisting Mr. Krank in decking out his house, they embody the genuine spirit of the holiday season.

On the other hand, guilt might also play a role in the neighbors’ change of heart. Throughout the movie, they pressure the Kranks to conform to their Christmas traditions, making them feel like outcasts for wanting something different. Their sudden support could be an attempt to make amends for their previous judgment and exclusion.

While the ending may leave some viewers puzzled, it serves as a poignant reminder of the significance of compassion and unity during Christmas. It emphasizes that the true essence of the holiday lies in the love and kindness we extend to others, regardless of how we choose to celebrate. Whether through conventional festivities or unconventional choices like the Kranks, the film underscores the importance of community support and spreading joy to those around us.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

This movie, “Christmas with the Kranks” (2004), has been rated PG for brief language and suggestive content.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware of the following content in “Christmas with the Kranks” (2004) when considering it for their children:

  • Sex & Nudity:
    • Nora Krank’s cleavage is seen in a tanning bed scene, and one of her breasts slips from under her swimsuit top.
    • There is a brief scene where a woman thinks she and her husband are going to have sex. She unbuttons her shirt excitedly, but her husband stops her. No explicit content is shown.
    • A scene shows a man and a woman laying next to each other in bed fully clothed. They are irritated with each other, then quickly resolve their dispute. The woman smiles and begins to climb on top of the man as he says, “It’s not even Saturday night!” No nudity is shown.
    • While getting tans, the main characters show a good bit of skin. The female is in a bikini with cleavage visible.
  • Violence & Gore:
    • A woman slams her head inside a tanning bed.
    • A policeman chases a man, slips, and hits his head on a metal banister.
    • A woman crashes into a display.
    • Various characters slip on an icy lawn, and a man dressed as Santa hits a robber with an umbrella.
  • Profanity:
    • There is brief language present in the movie.
  • Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking:
    • No instances of alcohol, drugs, or smoking were noted.
  • Frightening & Intense Scenes:
    • No intense or frightening scenes were reported.

Overall, “Christmas with the Kranks” is a light-hearted holiday movie suitable for a family audience, with some mild suggestive content and brief language that may not be suitable for very young viewers.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
Netflix You can watch ‘Christmas with the Kranks’ on Netflix.
Amazon Video You can rent or buy ‘Christmas with the Kranks’ on Amazon Video.
AMC Cable TV subscribers can watch ‘Christmas with the Kranks’ for free on AMC.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • I thought the idea was to get them during the cruise.
    Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Look at us, we kind of look like uncooked chicken.
    Tim Allen
  • Imagine if a suburban lynch mob said 'Have a Merry Christmas or we'll kill you,' and you'll get some idea of what spending Christmas with the Kranks is really like. And if you laughed at the frozen cat, you're probably on Santa's 'naughty' list.
    Jeff Shannon
  • Santa always has to work on Christmas eve.
  • Skipping Christmas. What a stupid idea.
    Luther Krank
  • People in a community stick together, even if one of them has been behaving for most of the holiday season like a spoiled, selfish, little baby.

🤖Christmas with the Kranks Reddit Talks

Christmas with the Kranks: A Tale of Holiday Horror and Absurdity

Prepare yourself for a wild ride, folks, because “Christmas with the Kranks” has sparked quite the debate on Reddit. While some hail it as a holiday classic, others find it downright disturbing. Let’s dive into the madness and explore the various viewpoints surrounding this peculiar Christmas flick.

The Horror of Christmas

One camp of Redditors sees “Christmas with the Kranks” as a chilling horror movie. They argue that the relentless bullying and harassment faced by the Kranks over their refusal to decorate for Christmas creates an atmosphere of terror that would make even Freddy Krueger shiver. The townspeople’s obsession with conformity and their willingness to ostracize anyone who dares to deviate from the holiday norm sends shivers down their spines.

The Absurdity of Christmas

On the other hand, some Redditors find the movie’s premise utterly absurd. They question why the Kranks would suddenly develop such an extreme aversion to Christmas, especially considering their past enthusiasm for the holiday. They also find it ridiculous that the neighbors would go to such extreme lengths to force the Kranks to participate in the festivities.

The Disturbing Nature of Christmas

A particularly intriguing perspective emerged from one Redditor who sees “Christmas with the Kranks” as a reflection of the darker side of Christmas. They argue that the movie exposes the hypocrisy and materialism that often accompany the holiday season. The Kranks’ desire to break free from these societal pressures is seen as a rebellion against the commercialization and consumerism that has come to define Christmas.

A Guilty Pleasure

Despite the movie’s flaws, many Redditors admit to having a soft spot for “Christmas with the Kranks.” They find it to be a guilty pleasure, a movie that they can’t help but watch every year, even though they know it’s not the best. They appreciate the film’s humor, particularly the hilarious performance of the tanning lady.

A Skippable Holiday Flick

However, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm. Some Redditors find the movie to be so bad that they actively avoid it. They describe it as being on par with “Plan 9 from Outer Space” in terms of its awfulness. They criticize the movie’s lack of logic, its unlikable characters, and its overall cringe-worthy execution.


“Christmas with the Kranks” is a movie that elicits strong reactions from both its fans and detractors. Whether you see it as a holiday horror classic, an absurd comedy, or a guilty pleasure, there’s no denying that it’s a film that sparks conversation. So, grab your eggnog or your popcorn, and prepare to dive into the strange and wonderful world of “Christmas with the Kranks.” Just be warned, you may never look at Frosty the Snowman the same way again.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the message in Christmas with the Kranks?

Christmas With the Kranks hilariously showcases the fanfare created by an average family’s desire to follow seasonal tradition. While it doesn’t focus on the Creator of Christmas, the film still delivers a poignant message about questioning the necessity of excessive holiday decorations and festivities.

Is Christmas with the Kranks inappropriate?

Christmas with the Kranks is rated PG and contains mild instances of romantic interaction, such as hugging and kissing, along with some mild sexual innuendos and language like “damn” and “hell.” It may not be suitable for children under 13 years old due to these elements.

What is the story Christmas with the Kranks about?

Christmas with the Kranks follows a couple, Luther and Nora Krank, who decide to skip Christmas when their daughter is away but face disapproval from their Christmas-loving neighbors. The storyline unfolds as their daughter decides to come home unexpectedly, causing chaos.

What town was Christmas with the Kranks filmed in?

Christmas with the Kranks was filmed in various locations in California, including Downey, Universal City, Burbank, Glendale, and Pasadena. Despite mixed reviews, the holiday comedy film has become a festive favorite for many.

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