The Man Who Invented Christmas

Critics Consensus

The Man Who Invented Christmas adds holiday magic to the writing of A Christmas Carol, putting a sweetly revisionist spin on the story behind a classic yuletide tale.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 172

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,960

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Movie Info

In 1843 London, author Charles Dickens finds himself in financial trouble after writing three unsuccessful novels in a row. Desperate for a hit, Dickens relies on real-life inspiration and his vivid imagination to bring Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and other classic characters to life in "A Christmas Carol," forever changing the holiday season into the celebration known today.

Cast & Crew

Dan Stevens
Charles Dickens
Christopher Plummer
Ebenezer Scrooge
Jonathan Pryce
John Dickens
Justin Edwards
John Forster
Morfydd Clark
Kate Dickens
Donald Sumpter
Jacob Marley
Miles Jupp
William Makepeace Thackeray
Susan Coyne
Screenwriter
Ian Sharples
Producer
Paula Mazur
Executive Producer
Mitchell Kaplan
Executive Producer
Andrew Karpen
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for The Man Who Invented Christmas

Critic Reviews for The Man Who Invented Christmas

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (42) | Fresh (136) | Rotten (36)

  • The Man Who Invented Christmas isn't a barnstormer but it's exactly the kind of holiday fare that will cure a bout of humbugness. Bring the family.

    December 7, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • A lightweight, tinselly film with some nice touches and appealing performances, though it never lands its darker moments.

    December 3, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • There are a few bright spots, like Christopher Plummer's Scrooge, but with its too-bright visuals and laboured dialogue, at best, the film belongs on television.

    December 3, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The Man Who Invented Christmas, however, is a festive treat, in no small part because it's not about Christmas. It's about one of the most famous authors we know and how he overcame the writer's block equivalent of Santa being stuck in the chimney.

    December 1, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Susan Coyne's smart screenplay sees these real world antecedents rubbing shoulders with composite characters (notably Tara, an Irish maid with a flair for ghost stories) and Dickens getting into loud arguments with his fictional creations.

    December 1, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This entirely terrible film feels about as Christmassy as watching England go out of the World Cup at the group stage.

    December 1, 2017 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Man Who Invented Christmas

  • Jan 10, 2021
    Less interested in being a biopic and more interested in being a look at the writing process and something of a loose adaptation of A Christmas Carol in it's own right, The Man Who Invented Christmas works surprisingly well. The general bullet points of Dickens life and how the story came to be are, for the most part, represented here. However, some of them are certainly exaggerated or at the very least shuffled around. To the larger point, the film uses the unique narrative device of having Dickens literally see his characters come to life and discuss their personalities with him. Was this true to him? Who knows, but it's a fascinating look at the creation process and that's really where the story shines brightest. Having Scrooge talk to him about the type of person he is or have the characters torment him in his day-to-day life is intriguing as hell. It also works in a lot of ways as a loose adaptation of A Christmas Carol. First of all there's just the fact that Christopher Plummer could actually be a great Scrooge in a genuine adaptation because he really nails the character (except for one key scene). There's also the way it uses some great staging choices like having a statue in London come to life as the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come to show Dickens's inspiration, but it's such a great visual I'd love to see this in real Christmas Carol adaptation. Beyond that though, Dickens life parallels Scrooge's in a lot of ways, and he does better himself through the film. Again, how true is this? Who's to say. Historians I guess, but that's beside the point. As a film, it works, and it's quite a delightful little Christmas film and an inspirational look at the storytelling process.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 25, 2018
    An interesting look at how the classic Charles Dickens story 'A Christmas Carol' came to be. Dan Stevens does a great job as Dickens but it's the magic of how Dickens was inspired and what it ended up producing is what makes it so magical.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2018
    An interesting spin on a story most everyone in the West knows by heart, the story behind the story as it were. Nothing too dramatic here (because Christmas is in the very title, eh?), simply lighthearted fun over well known territory. Everyone performs admirably but Plummer, Pryce, Stevens and Coyne (the unseen writer, yah) bring home the bacon.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 14, 2018
    The Man Who Invented Christmas is a compelling and whimsical fictionalized telling of Charles Dickens' writing of A Christmas Carol. Having lost the faith of his publishers after a string of failed novels and dwindling finances, Charles Dickens comes up with a scheme to self-publish a Christmas book that will put him back on top; but to do so he'll have to confront the ghosts of his past. The film does an impressive job at showing the creative process, with Dickens literally bringing characters to life and interacting with them as he develops them. Dan Stevens does a good job at playing Charles Dickens, and Christopher Plummer is perfectly cast as Scrooge. Additionally, newcomer Anna Murphy brings a lot of charisma as the nurse/muse who inspires Dickens. Also, the sets and costumes are especially well-done, giving a real Dickensian feel to the film. Inspirational, with a little bit of magic, The Man Who Invented Christmas is an entertaining look behind the novel that forever changed the way we see Christmas.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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