A Christmas Story

Critics Consensus

Both warmly nostalgic and darkly humorous, A Christmas Story deserves its status as a holiday perennial.



Reviews Counted: 56

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User Ratings: 285,686


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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

In the 1940's, in the town of Hammond, 9-year-old Ralphie wants one thing for Christmas -- an official Red Ryder BB rifle. When he asks his mother for the BB gun for Christmas, she says, "No, you'll shoot your eye out". When he writes an essay about it at school his teacher gives him a C+ with a note saying "You'll shoot your eye out." Next he asks Santa for the gun, Santa's response is familiar, he says, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid." Ralph fears that he'll never get the BB gun for Christmas. But there may be a surprise in store for him.

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Peter Billingsley
as Ralphie Parker
Darren McGavin
as Mr. Parker
Melinda Dillon
as Mrs. Parker
Ian Petrella
as Randy Parker
R.D. Robb
as Schwartz
Tedde Moore
as Miss Shields
Yano Anaya
as Grover Dill
Zack Ward
as Scut Farcus, The Bully
Jeff Gillen
as Santa Claus
Colin Fox
as Ming the Merciless
Paul Hubbard
as Flash Gordon
John Wong
as Chinese Father
Jim Hunter
as Freight Man
Patty Johnson
as Head Elf
Drew Hocevar
as Male Elf
Les Carlson
as Christmas Tree Man
Chad Dowdell
as Sleeping Child (uncredited)
Dwayne McLean
as Black Bart
Tommy Lee Wallace
as Boy in School
Helen E. Kaider
as Wicked Witch
Rocco Bellusci
as Street Kid
Fred Lee Own
as Waiter #2
Dan Ma
as Waiter
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Critic Reviews for A Christmas Story

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (7)

Audience Reviews for A Christmas Story

Little Ralphie really wants a Red Ryder B. B. Gun for Christmas, and not even the objections of authority figures will dampen his quest to get it. Good Lord, I love this movie. It seems like a funny, charming, and quirky little film, and it is, but it's also rather dark, twisted, and mean spirited. Somehow it all manages to work out though, and it somehow finds a balance. The absurdity of the situations,and Jean Shepherd's excellent writing and narration are some definite highlights. His way of describing stuff and telling a good story is unmatched. The child actors are good, which is surprising since most are usually annoying and ridiculous. The adults are also pretty good, especially Darren McGavin, who just hams it up without overdoing it. This is a strange Christmas film, but it's hard not to like. I think we've all had that one gift we always wanted, and hoped like Hell we'd get it. Along the way, this film also has some good lessons about life, childhood, growing up, and the ridiculousness both of life in general, and the holiday season. I never get tired of watching this, and hope I never do.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I tuned in halfway during TBS's A Christmas Story marathon. Everything was five-star gold. Watching it three more times kinda wore on me.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

Not many movies do I make sure to watch at least once a year, let alone watch it more than once a day. But, every year I look forward to watching this numerous times on Christmas Day. "Christmas Story" is the perfect Christmas movie. It captures what it's like to be a child with one toy in mind for Christmas. How that one toy consumes them and becomes their obsession. It also shows very dysfunctional people in a very functional loving family. Try to think of another movie with as many memorable and iconic scenes as this one? Leg lamp, tongue on pole, fudge, Santa putting his boot in Ralphie's face, among many more. This is a movie to be past down generations and shared with everyone. I can't wait for Grant to be old enough to laugh at this with me, like I have with my parents. Thanks to TBS for doing a marathon every year with. If you don't watch it at least once on Christmas, then I gotta ask: Why the hell not? Without this movie on Christmas, you might shoot your eye out.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Narrator: Was there no end to the conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his peacemaker? "Peace. Harmony. Comfort and Joy... Maybe Next Year." Sure, I like A Christmas Story, but I still think it is extremely overrated. The fact that it is played for 24 straight hours, every single Christmas is pretty annoying. Yet I still watch it every single year. The film is not bad, just overrated. I find the narration rather annoying. I find the kid playing Ralphie rather annoying, but the movie as a whole is pretty funny. The kid with his tongue stuck to the pole yelling "Come back, don't leave me, come back," the mall Santa kicking Ralphie down the slide, the Chinese singers(Rarararaara) and Randy. The movie is humorous and obviously a classic. An adult Ralphie tells the story of the Christmas where all he wanted was a BB gun. His mother didn't want him to have it because he would end up shooting his eye out. The whole film is a him telling the story through an annoying narration. I would like the movie so much more if the narration was non existent.  Still, A Christmas Story is one of those Christmas classics you have to see. I can't imagine how anyone hasn't seen it yet because it never stops playing each and every Christmas. If you haven't though, give it a look next Christmas and decide for yourself if it is the amazing film everyone thinks it is. I know I don't.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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