The Fitzgerald Family Christmas (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

With THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS, Burns returns to the working-class, Irish-American roots of THE BROTHERS MCMULLEN. Reuniting with McMullen co-stars Connie Britton ("Friday Night Lights", "Nashville"), and Michael McGlone, along with Noah Emmerich (LITTLE CHILDREN, BEAUTIFUL GIRLS), Kerry Bishé (ARGO, RED STATE) and Caitlin FitzGerald (DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, NEWLYWEDS) Burns seamlessly weaves an ensemble story of adult siblings dealing with the desire of their estranged father (Ed Lauter, THE … More

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Edward Burns
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 5, 2013
Tribeca Film - Official Site


as Sharon Fitzgerald

as Gerry Fitzgerald

as Erin Fitzgerald

as Dottie Fitzgerald

as Connie Fitzgerald

as Rosie Fitzgerald

as Cyril Fitzgerald

as Jim Fitzgerald

as Quinn Fitzgerald

as Mrs. McGowan

as Johnny Esposito

as Quinn's Assistant
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

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Critic Reviews for The Fitzgerald Family Christmas

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (16)

Resentments, pregnancies, cancer, spousal abuse and the struggle of a recovering alcoholic all come and go on cue.

Full Review… | December 27, 2012
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

These Fitzgeralds are loud, selfish and often maddening, but they're a loving group, and you wouldn't mind spending more time with them.

Full Review… | December 14, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Burns remains an agreeable presence throughout, and the emotions mostly ring true, even if the comic elements feel overly broad and individual episodes are hit-and-miss.

Full Review… | December 12, 2012
Top Critic

A holiday-themed piece shot through with humor and heartbreak. No bull. And low on sappy.

Full Review… | December 10, 2012
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Too much of the film is taken up by creaky plot devices and one sibling vowing to track down and talk to another one to resolve a problem.

Full Review… | December 7, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

Manages the considerable feat of interweaving the personal dramas of nine members of a boisterous Irish-American clan into a coherent mosaic with a streamlined narrative drive.

Full Review… | December 6, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Fitzgerald Family Christmas


An estranged father wants to spend his last Christmas with his family.
The characters in this film aren't new and border on cliche, but Edward Burns can find a sliver of individuality in each type. Burns's films are not as good as Woody Allen's and don't deal with the same heavy, Bergman-influenced issues as Allen's, but they are vaguely reminiscent.
The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is a light but unsentimental character study. The people are flawed but fun, light but not without significance, and separate but related personalities. They are, in short, just like the groups of people you know.
Overall, Burns, with his $6000 movies, proves that good story-tellers don't need special effects; they just need special people.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Rather boring. Too bad, because I usually like Ed Burns movies. Not at all a typical holiday film.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Jim Fitzgerald: I had no intention of breaking this family up!

I have yet to see an Edward Burns film that I didn't enjoy and The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is no different. What I always enjoy about his films is the simplicity he brings to them. There's no action to speak of, there's no schmaltzy bullshit; it's all just real conversations between real people. In many ways, Burns is like a Woody Allen, making conversational movies set in New York. The only real difference is that most of Burns' movies are dramas and most of Allen's are comedies.

This film follows the huge Fitzgerald family around Christmas time. Jerry is the leader of this family, the oldest of seven or eight siblings who ended up being like a father to the younger ones when their father left them high and dry as kids. Now they're all grown up and there's a lot of resentment towards their father. Most of it comes from the youngest three, who he was never a father too, and the mother who vowed to never let him set foot in her house again. He wants to now though. It could be his last Christmas as the doctors only are giving him four or five months to live because of his pancreatic cancer.

There's a lot of drama in this film. Unexpected pregnancies, an absent father, relationships going south, spousal abuse, and alcohol and drug problems come into the mix at different points in the film. What astounded me throughout though is how these plot points were used. With so much drama surrounding one family, you would think the movie would give in and become overly dramatic, but Burns' script doesn't allow this to happen. All of it occurs as it would in any family. It's pretty mind-blowing that Burns was able to pull this thing off.

All the actors, most of whom I've never heard of besides Burns and Connie Britton are all very good and believable. You'd think the movie would lose direction with so many different characters and situations, but it never does. It's also very different from the usual Christmas movie and doesn't play anything like what it's title suggests. It stays away from the sentimental moments and always feels very real. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is definitely a film that is worth a look.

Melvin White

Super Reviewer

The Fitzgerald Family Christmas Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)

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