Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Dell's Pointless Lists: Top 7 Black Christmas Movies

Merry Christmas!

Given today's date, that's the appropriate thing to start with. I hope you and yours are enjoying the day. Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, it's a great day to just hang out with and have fun with family. If you found a few minutes to visit my little corner of the internet, I'm thankful. Let's get to the topic at hand - Black Christmas Movies.

Why black?

The reason is two-fold. First, I didn't want to do yet another list where I wrote about my beloved A Christmas Story, or Die Hard, or It's a Wonderful Life. Maybe next year. Second, I was recently listening to my favorite movie podcast - The Home Video Hustle, and they were having trouble naming movies that fit this particular bill. Let's see if I can help them out...and you because, just maybe, you want to see something you haven't watched every year for the last 20 holiday seasons.

Why 7?

Because 7 is a lucky number. Okay, I'm lying. It's really because after 7, the quality of what I've seen gets quite sketchy. Anyhoo, here are...

My Top 7 Black Christmas Movies

7. The Perfect Holiday
Gabrielle Union plays a single mom who's far more concerned about taking care of her three kids than anything else. Morris Chestnut plays an aspiring songwriter who happens to meet her and, well, you know where this is going. Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard play good angel/bad angel (though bad is too strong a word) who hang around all these good folks. It's predictable and cliche, but there is a cuteness to it that helps it along.

6. The Preacher's Wife
Henry (Courtney B. Vance) is the pastor of a small church that is staring financial ruin right in the face. While trying to fix that problem and tend to the needs of his congregation, he loses sight of those of his wife Julia (Whitney Houston). When Henry prays for help, the good Lord sends him an angel named Dudley (Denzel Washington). If any of this sounds familiar, that's because this is a remake of 1947's The Bishop's Wife. Denzel and Houston share a nice chemistry that makes this movie a decent. The highlight is the still-golden voiced Houston belting out gospel tunes.

5. Last Holiday
Georgia Byrd is a hard-working woman who finds out she doesn't have long to live thanks to the rare disease she finds out that she has. Instead of sulking about it and waiting to die, she decides to spend all the money she has on the holiday vacation of a lifetime that takes her around the world. Unbeknownst to her, Sean (LL Cool J) has a serious crush on her and is coming after her. Queen Latifah's charm is on full-blast in this one as she wills this movie to be greater than the sum of its parts. This is a loose retelling of the 1950 film of the same name.

4. This Christmas
This Christmas brings the Whitfield family together for the first time in four years. They're all staying under the roof of matriarch Ma'Dere (Loretta Devine). We quickly find out why they don't get together all that much. They are a dysfunctional brood that keeps lots and lots of secrets from each other. Of course, by the end we get a much tighter unit filled with Christmas cheer. However, the journey to get there is a fun one. It features some wonderful performances from an outstanding cast that's headed up Devine, but also includes Idris Elba, Regina King, Columbus Short, Mekhi Phifer, Sharon Leal, and the forever underrated Delroy Lindo. The film gets its title from the Donny Hathaway song of the same name and gives it a nice cover by a very young Chris Brown, who has a role in the film and is actually likable.

3. Almost Christmas
It's the first Christmas since Walter's (Danny Glover) wife passed away and the rest of his family is coming home to help him, and themselves, get through it. This isn't an easy task, as all of the issues they've always had with each other pop up and cause lots of in-fighting. In many regards, it's similar to This Christmas, but slightly better executed. It boasts a talented cast of its own, starting with Glover. In support of him are Mo'Nique, Kimberly Elise, Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, J.B. Smoove, Omar Epps, Nicole Ari Parker, and John Michael Higgins. (Full Review)

2. The Best Man Holiday
In this sequel to 1999's The Best Man, we reunite with our gang of friends as they do the same with each other after fourteen years. Unfortunately, we find out that the events of that first film have left a number of their relationships fractured. As the film progresses we watch them go through the painful process of trying to patch things up. This is a worthy follow-up to its predecessor, dealing with more sensitive issues. However, it's not some heavy slog. It's a fun, if bittersweet, Christmas movie with another great cast. It includes Morris Chestnut, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Regina Hall, Harold Perrineau, and the other woman of my dreams, Nia Long. (Full Review)

1. Friday After Next
After being robbed of their rent money by someone dressed as Santa, Craig and Day Day find themselves working as security guards while simultaneously trying to figure out who the culprit. Like the other movies in the franchise, there are lots of colorful characters, plenty of them new. Is it technically the best of the movies on this list? No. However, it's the most fun, and it's the one I keep returning to, year after year.

Check out these other Christmas related posts


  1. I've only seen Almost Christmas and The Best Man Holiday. I wasn't crazy about the first but I loved the cast. The latter, I just loved it.

    Merry Christmas to you too!

  2. I've seen a few of these. They're just good and fun films. Merry Xmas Wendell.

    1. Good and fun is all I require from my holiday films.

  3. I love that Friday After Next is #1. I've actually only seen that and Last Holiday on this list but I liked both of those.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Both good for very different reasons. Glad you enjoyed them.

  4. I so need to see The Preacher's Wife.