Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: March 3, 2006
8.1
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 33 Ratings
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Positive:
29
Mixed:
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Negative:
3
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10
FillFeb 25, 2007
Those who don't like the film because it's too "contrived and cloying" should go back to commenting on National Lampoon and American Pie fims and let the grown ups talk aboutreal films. Joyeux Noel is fantastic. Christian Carion Those who don't like the film because it's too "contrived and cloying" should go back to commenting on National Lampoon and American Pie fims and let the grown ups talk aboutreal films. Joyeux Noel is fantastic. Christian Carion did his research. He was able to accurately portray a time and place that is difficult for us to understand. He is able to bring out the humanity that exists during a time of war. This is effectively evidenced by the compelling characters that he places before us. Through them we are able to see that the men on both sides were fighting for one thing; the right to go home. A wonderful film. A must see! Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
10
RoeylMay 1, 2011
A very beautiful movie, very sentimental. It represents perfectly a human aspect in war like no other movie did. This isn't your classic war movie: it has nothing to do with action or mass death.
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10
KenGApr 7, 2006
Movie is haunting, sad, poignant, and beautifully done. I didn't find it a bit sappy. I should point out here that although christmas clearly plays a part here, movie doesn't come off as a celebration of christmas, or jesus, or Movie is haunting, sad, poignant, and beautifully done. I didn't find it a bit sappy. I should point out here that although christmas clearly plays a part here, movie doesn't come off as a celebration of christmas, or jesus, or christian values. (and if it had, as a jewish agnostic, I likely would have been turned off) Rather, christmas comes off as the conviant excuse, that the soldiers on both sides could relate to, to stop the insanity. One of the sad parts here is knowing that as haunted and as traumatized as the soldiers on both sides are, this movies takes place in 1914. WW 1 ended in 1918. These soldiers still had almost 4 years of war to go, and many of them would not make it. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
TaylorBDec 30, 2006
I have heard about the actual event, and it was captured just as I thought it might have been. As i said when i finished watching it, "it did a lot to restore my faith in the inherent good of humans" Thank you.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohnP.May 31, 2006
An excellent film. Very well done. And for those who believe it's too "over the top" and schmaltzy, read the actual acounts of this extraordinary event. In many instances, the screenwriter dulled the actual history, lest audiences not An excellent film. Very well done. And for those who believe it's too "over the top" and schmaltzy, read the actual acounts of this extraordinary event. In many instances, the screenwriter dulled the actual history, lest audiences not believe what they're seeing. The story of the Scottish priest, chastised for not using his religion to support war, was for me the backbone of the film. And a frightening reminder of how zealots of all religions can twist scriptures for their own rotten purposes. A film worth seeing. Expand
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10
RolandoB.Feb 27, 2006
Fantastic film! Very touching and moving... Plus I enjoyed the music and the amazing cast...
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10
TracyR.Mar 17, 2006
Lots of missing the point here. The movie is about how hard it is to wreak destruction when you don't de-humanize the enemy and the message couldn't be more timely. Nothing schmlatzy at all about that reality. Beautifically acted.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
vahnFeb 15, 2014
This is...the "best" movie I've ever seen in my entire life: I almost cried at the end of it, and I tend to watch movies mostly as a way to communication more than a total. But this movie gives such a strong and powerful message that i wasThis is...the "best" movie I've ever seen in my entire life: I almost cried at the end of it, and I tend to watch movies mostly as a way to communication more than a total. But this movie gives such a strong and powerful message that i was simply amazed and overjoyed.

The story is based on a real fact on the WWI, specifically around Christmas, where basically the 3 opposing factions (Scotland, France and Germany) decided to stop the war for celebrating Christmas...and it all develops from there what is basically a strong message of peace.

Infact, this movie shows how a simple festivity, how just the mere act of celebrating a holiday, it's able to change EVERYONE in the span of few instants. It's not even about Christianity sake, it's a global message of how just simple beliefs can bring out the good in people.
It has some flaws now and then (I hardly remember the characters themselves) but I just loved the message and basically how we should religions not just a simple way to live, but a way to bring out the best of ourselves and to do the right thing.

Like I said at the start, in my opinion, this is the best movie "ever".

Of course, to each his/her own.
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8
SpangleDec 2, 2016
Joyeux Noel is a film sculpted out of the spirit of Christmas and of unity. A film about highlighting our similarities in the face of so many differences and animosities, Joyeux Noel is a beautiful film celebrating the kinship of humanity.Joyeux Noel is a film sculpted out of the spirit of Christmas and of unity. A film about highlighting our similarities in the face of so many differences and animosities, Joyeux Noel is a beautiful film celebrating the kinship of humanity. Telling the real life story of the Christmas truces of 1914 in World War I, Joyeux Noel is a film with great scope, as it focuses on the French, British, and German soldiers in equal measure. With good cinematography, gorgeous music, and an infectious Christmas spirit, Joyeux Noel is an undeniably remarkable work by director Christian Carion.

Blending bloodshed with tears, Joyeux Noel's great breadth really both elevates and harms the film. By showcasing the stories of all three sides and their similarities and all of the elements that make them human, the film expertly creates sympathy on all sides. When the bureaucracy shows up to condemn the actions, both in a religious and war sense, it leaves the audience feeling angered. Yet, it does nothing to undo the brotherhood on display beforehand. From shots of the three troops in their own trenches to the three sides meeting in no man's land to celebrate Christmas, the film is well-served by treating all sides equally. There is no bad, only good. In juxtaposition to the words of their superiors, the soldiers at battle know the truth: there is more that unites us than divides. For this, Joyeux Noel is a phenomenal work that serves up a striking and moving message to humanity: drop your arms and join together, forgetting our petty differences, and unite under one umbrella. This message is not restricted to religion either, though it does heavily depict Catholicism. As shown, the Catholic Church rebuked the priest who conducted the Christmas mass for the soldiers. Thus, religion is like nationality. It is merely something that serves to divide us. It is only when we are truly human with no barriers - such as in joining together to celebrate Christmas or burying our dead - do we find unity with one another. However, all of this said, its breadth hurts it in the character development department. With so much going on, names get lost in the shuffle and stories blend together. While the stories are all moving and serve to further unite the characters, it feel all too much for two hours. That said, this is a nitpicky concern, given the power of the togetherness in the film. In fact, it could be argued that by giving little attention to character development, the film is aiming to create a sense of realism. Essentially, we know as much about these characters as they reveal to the opposing sides. By the end, this is numerous and reveals a lot about who they are. However, it is only very little information, but it information with great impact that drives home the point that these are humans with lives and wives who, for all intents and purposes, is the exact same as yourself. Thus, we do not really need more character development because it would create an affiliation for certain characters over others when we should instead feel attached to all of them. This is fair and, obviously, I do agree. However, in a longer film, delving further into some stories on each sides would have been a great addition.

However, nothing can match the chills of Anna Sorensen (Diane Kruger) or Private Nicolas Sprink (Benno Furmann) singing for the troops as all sides play the accompanying music. Moving, stirring, and entirely breathtaking to watch, these moments repeatedly gave me chills due to the way in which it truly captures the spirit of Christmas and why this season is the best of the year. One of the few times we all come together, Joyeux Noel is about coming together at all odds. Here, music and a love of God bring the characters together and, even if you hate music or do not believe in God, it is hard to deny the power of the film in these moments.

Though called sentimental by some (and it certainly is), Joyeux Noel is a breathtaking and beautiful work about Christmas and what the season truly means. A film about dropping your arms and differences in order to join one another in celebration of the season, Joyeux Noel is a gorgeous work that is wide in scope, but never loses sight of its main purpose: to bring joy.
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7
TheApplegnomeJan 13, 2015
Merry Christmas is fascinating and touching, but unfortunately too slow.

The fact that it’s based on a true story really did manage to get my interest. This is not a classic war movie; it’s much more than that. It’s amazing to see people
Merry Christmas is fascinating and touching, but unfortunately too slow.

The fact that it’s based on a true story really did manage to get my interest. This is not a classic war movie; it’s much more than that. It’s amazing to see people from different nations interact like we humans are all the same. It also gives a new and nuanced perspective on WW1. We see the war from 3 different angles, the French, Scottish and the Germans. The movie incapacitates our differences and show that we are all living on the same earth, and that we can get along. We only have to talk. I admit that there are some slow and less entertaining scenes in this movie, and I expected much more action. But I still enjoyed it!

Merry Christmas (Joyeux Noël in French) gets a 7/10.
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7
h27kimFeb 14, 2014
This is a tough movie to dislike, unless you are a hate-filled warmonger. Still, all the sweetness of the movie does not make it a great movie (I've been watching it every Christmas since 2006, and I get away with the same feeling everyThis is a tough movie to dislike, unless you are a hate-filled warmonger. Still, all the sweetness of the movie does not make it a great movie (I've been watching it every Christmas since 2006, and I get away with the same feeling every time--but I do watch it every year). The characters are wooden and underdeveloped. Plot is virtually nonexistent. The director seems too busy shouting out his politics to introduce much subtlety to the movie itself. What should be a terrific and powerful message that ought to be strengthened by its real life bases somehow becomes stilted, preachy, and over the top, thanks to the inept manner of the storytelling. But, notwithstanding the flawed execution, it is a movie that I keep watching year after year. Expand
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8
MrMovieBuffFeb 13, 2017
Writer and director Christian Carion decides to tell us a very important story about the one time during "The Great War" when soldiers fighting for other countries came together that one Christmas time to celebrate life. The time of year thatWriter and director Christian Carion decides to tell us a very important story about the one time during "The Great War" when soldiers fighting for other countries came together that one Christmas time to celebrate life. The time of year that is so precious, many settled their differences to actually get to know each other. 'Joyeux Noel', or "Merry Christmas" is a poignant, emotionally stirring, sometimes too sentimental movie that is perfect for the holiday season. The movie stars Benno Furmann as Private Nikolaus Sprink, a German tenor who also sings opera with his beloved wife, Anna Sorenson (Diane Kruger) who becomes concerned when he goes off to war. She gets permission to perform for the soldiers there, as long as Sprink accompanies her. When we see the soldiers getting together and actually swapping stories, the movie becomes interesting as we see their differences are only so small. The focus is very strong on bringing these characters and making them human and easily sympathetic. Again, what does hold the movie back is the overuse of its sentimentality, there is some bitterness from a couple of characters such as Lieutenant Hostmayer (Daniel Bruhl), but even then, it is limited to try and make this movie as likeable as some of the soldiers we see on screen. All in all, this is a very solid movie, telling us a story that we should all know, in that War is something that people are only forced to fight in. Nobody here is a blood hungry murderer, they're just taking orders. At the end of the day, they're good people. Expand
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9
PetitBikiniOct 29, 2016
"Merry Christmas" or "Joyeux Noel" is a fantastic anti-war movie. The film's concept that combines singing Christmas carols with world war 1 is a strange one, but it is handled masterfully. This film needs to get more attention.
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