Miracle on 34th Street (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Miracle on 34th Street1994

Miracle on 34th Street (1994)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The 1947 holiday classic Miracle on 34th Street is transplanted to the 1990s with few changes in this family-oriented remake. The screenplay by the prolific John Hughes sticks close to the original outline, centering on Macy's executive Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) and her young daughter Susan (Mara Wilson), neither of whom much believes in the spirit of Christmas. Dorey is in charge of hiring Macy's Santas, including an old man named Kriss Kringle (Richard Attenborough). He does a remarkably convincing job, and he soon reveals that he actually believes himself to be Santa Claus. The authorities threaten to place the old man in an insane asylum, but a young lawyer comes to his defense. Meanwhile, Dorey and Susan find their own defenses melting and become reacquainted with the power of faith. Hughes and director Les Mayfield add a few modern touches, making Susan slightly more cynical and adding the requisite soulless corporate villains. Viewers familiar with the original may still prefer Edmund Gwenn's original Kris Kringle and consider the remake unnecessary, although the newer version reflects enough of the earlier film's spirit to prove entertaining to modern family audiences. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (3)

The sanitised setting may generate a Yuletide glow, but it gives a hollow, even cynical ring to the film's championship of faith, hope and charity, sweetness and light.

December 31, 2017 | Full Review…

Like Attenborough's beard, the new film lacks the buoyancy of its model. Like so many remakes, it is caught between craven homage and uneasy reinvention. And for a celebration of the Christmas spirit, it is oddly gloomy.

November 30, 2017 | Full Review…

If this doesn't get you into the holiday spirit, may all of your presents be fruitcakes. (published 12-2-94)

January 4, 2005 | Rating: B-

The best version.

January 5, 2004 | Rating: 5/5

While [this] version of the Christmas spirit on trial as written by John Hughes isn't awful, it's also more disappointing than Seaton's take nearly half a century earlier.

December 12, 2003 | Full Review…

Was this absolutely necessary?

July 21, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

"Miracle on 34th Street" has one of the greatest christmas tales of all time at it's fingertips, and it dazzles with humour, sadness, and too many heartfelt moments to count. This film knows what it is trying to be, and therefore, it is one of my favourite christmas films of all time. As one girl is told that santa clause does not exist, she comes into contact with a white bearded man who claims to be the real thing. When he convinces her, she asks him for a new house, a dad, and a baby brother. If she doesn't receive this, then santa clause will not be real to her. There is so much christmas spirit in this film, and every touching moment will bring a tear to your eye. The conclusion will have even adults believing in christmas again. If you have not seen this amazing holiday film, I suggest it be the next one you watch. "Miracle on 34th Street" is a miracle on it's own!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer


Uplifting and sweet but verging on twee throughout. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler
Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer


A pretty darn awesome remake. It may bring some extra 90's cheese, mostly due to the needlessly dramatic music, and it may be overlong in places, but this certainly works. Attenborough is the only person I could imagine taking over this role. He comes across as a genuinely kind and considerate man, with nothing but kindness in his heart. Like the original, it keeps silent as to whether he is Santa or not. The court scene is particularly funny, with a few fist pumping moments. I'd still pick the original, but if you can't sit your whole family down in front of a black and white film, this certainly doesn't offend the original.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer

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