Miracle on 34th Street

1994

Miracle on 34th Street

Critics Consensus

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59%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

62%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,554
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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 (34) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (14)

  • When [it] remembers that it's supposed to be a sweet piece of hokum, when it has the wit to leave Attenborough and Wilson on the screen together and forget about its rash of putative improvements, it does offer well-scrubbed family fare.

    Oct 23, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 31, 2017 | Full Review…

    Geoff Brown

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The overall effect is enjoyable and cuddly like a warm fire on a cold night. It also harkens back to a bygone, simpler time.

    Jul 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Leonard Klady

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • This retelling is loving and gentle and lit like a 1940s musical.

    Dec 1, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The new Miracle on 34th Street, produced by John Hughes and written by him with George Seaton, is a dull project that makes only cosmetic changes in the original.

    May 20, 2003 | Full Review…
  • A different angle is taken for the legal case in this movie and it works quite well in creating a fairytale miracle within the middle of corporate America.

    Apr 17, 2001 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Miracle on 34th Street

  • Dec 19, 2011
    Although I enjoy the "Matilda and Mrs. Doubtfire girl", this movie wasn't the best. This is one of those cases where nothing was wrong with the original, so why remake it? It fell short...
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2011
    "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 P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 14, 2011
    One would think that John Hughes would know better than to remake a classic, but he did...so there it is. Hughes' Miracle on 34th Street is vastly inferior to the original, but it does manage to pull off a little magic. The major flaw of the film is that it creates a villain out of the rival department store, which isn't in keeping with the spirit of the story. The casting is pretty solid for the most part; Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott do especial well in the lead roles, as does Mara Wilson. As remakes go, Miracle on 34th Street isn't a bad one. But it's just reflected glory.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2011
    Uplifting and sweet but verging on twee throughout. Full review later.
    Thomas B Super Reviewer

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