The Christmas Candle (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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From bestselling author, Max Lucado, comes The Christmas Candle, a timeless holiday film for the entire family. Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries old legend may come to an end. When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen. (c) Official Facebook
PG (for mild thematic elements)
Drama , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
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Hans Matheson
as David Richmond
Samantha Barks
as Emily Barstow
Lesley Manville
as Bea Haddington
James Cosmo
as Herbert Hopewell
Sylvester McCoy
as Edward Haddington
John Hannah
as William Barstow
Barbara Flynn
as Lady Camdon
Susan Boyle
as Eleanor Hopewell
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Critic Reviews for The Christmas Candle

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8)

The kind of vaguely distasteful Yuletide concoction that viewers normally find playing on cable channels that they don't even realize that they have.

Full Review… | November 25, 2013
Top Critic

Melds the intriguing with the hokey in a variation on the standard template of a nonbeliever who changes his outlook amid a holiday miracle.

Full Review… | November 22, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Relates the weak-tea parable of a town that receives a wish-giving candle every 25 years from an angel.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

This holiday movie about a man of God who regains his faith thanks to a miraculous candle is as picturesque as a snow globe and just about as full of human life.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Orange County Register
Top Critic

This odd Dickens-meets-Sunday-school movie is as artless as the setup is muddled.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
New York Daily News
Top Critic

"The Christmas Candle," based on a book by Texas minister Max Lucado, might be the ideal movie for Christians in search of family-friendly entertainment, but its appeal won't stretch beyond that demographic.

Full Review… | November 21, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Christmas Candle

Enjoyable primarily in its unintended humor. A nice story that is neither theologically nor historically accurate and doesn't quite to care that it isn't.

Jesse Luke
Jesse Luke

The Christmas Candle is an uneven Christmas tale with good intentions.I found it a big surprise that a film like this would come to the big screen at all. It looks pretty, the cast is mostly good, (aside from Susan Boyle who has the acting chops of a candlestick). The themes are nice, but the way they are presented didn't flow for me. I felt unfulfilled at the end. Aside from a one or two emotionally developed scenes, this film is rather lackluster in terms of screenplay. But this is not why I saw it. I saw it for one thing only, and that was Samantha Barks. She doesn't get a lot of screen time, but when she's present she glows. I can't wait to see where she will go. Celebrity crush aside, The Christmas Candle is a nice family film, that will probably be taken in by local Sunday schools. It wasn't my cup of tea, and I probably will never revisit it, but depending on your personal state of spirituality, you may find something to grasp on to. I watched this with my mom and some of the later scenes made for some water works, but I don't think that had much to do with the movie itself. Overall, it is probably the least satisfying movie experience I had in the theater all year. Not that the message wasn't a good one, but because both the aesthetics and script were lacking. I can't really recommend this The Christmas Candle. If you want to bring your family to the theaters this week see Frozen instead. If you have already seen it, see it again.

Grant Fitzgerald
Grant Fitzgerald

I truly did enjoy all the acting except for Susan Boyle. I loved the cinematography. I did feel the story fell apart a little towards the end, but I did enjoy the movie. The message truly is about hope, daring to believe in the miraculous and how to love others well.

Michelle Bryant
Michelle Bryant

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