Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The cast is wonderful--especially McGavin, Billingsley and Petrella--the laughs are nonstop if rarely subtle, and the whole thing deserves to become a Christmastime classic.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come. [19 Nov 1983, p.1]
  3. 100
    The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day—and a surprising moment of parental grace—can ease a troubled mind.
  4. 88
    It's those moments and others and the way they are tied together by Shepherd's tongue-in-cheek narration that cements A Christmas Story as one of those rare must-see holiday movies, even for those who don't celebrate Christmas.
  5. 75
    It is pitch-perfect, telling the story through the enthusiastic and single-minded vision of its hero Ralphie, and finding in young Peter Billingsley a sly combination of innocence and calculation.
  6. Though Mr. Billingsley, Mr. Gavin, Miss Dillon and the actress who plays Ralphie's school teacher are all very able, they are less funny than actors in a television situation comedy that one has chosen to watch with the sound turned off.
  7. 60
    Director Bob Clark teamed with nostalgic humorist Jean Shepherd for this squeaky clean and often quite funny 1983 yuletide comedy, adapted from Shepherd's novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephen Godfrey
    Needless to say, what's refreshing about A Christmas Story is subversive to the sepia-toned and loving references to the forties which director Bob Clark has provided for the film. The fictional Parker family that Shepherd has written about for 20 years is not as gentle or gauzy as they first appear. It's possible to imagine them so preoccupied with their own problems, whether dealing with the neighbor's dogs or winning a mail- order contest, that they could forget Christmas altogether. [25 Nov 1983, p.E5]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Apr 8, 2014
    A Christmas story is that holiday movie staple that never comes out of your shelf except around December 25th, yet when it is watched, it is thoroughly enjoyed and looked upon with hilarity and even possibly nostalgia. Full Review »
  2. Jan 17, 2014
    A very creepy holiday movie as a kid growing up even owning the leg lamp from this movie, I can say I hate this movie and it ruins the holidays for me. I will say the father in the movie was great and probably can related to any ones dad but, What I find creepy in this movie is the narrator voice hearing the voice every christmas over and over dramatically explaining his most memorable Christmas is terrible as well as the creepy Santa Claus, his elf, and the little midget bully that until now I realizes he was really a kid. This has a huge Cult following and that makes me wonder in the voice of Kenan Thompson "WHY". Full Review »
  3. Jul 26, 2013
    It's a classic holiday movie! I mean what more is there to say? It's funny, clever and a must watch every Christmas day. Fragile? That must be Italian! Full Review »