User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 27
  3. Negative: 2 out of 27
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  1. Jan 13, 2015
    7
    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
    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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  2. May 1, 2011
    10
    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.
  3. Feb 15, 2014
    10
    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 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
    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 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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  4. RobC.
    Mar 5, 2006
    3
    Extraordinarily contrived and cloying, kind of like a Hallmark movie done in a different language. No way should this be a Best Foreign Film nominee.
  5. KenG
    Apr 7, 2006
    10
    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 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
  6. TaylorB
    Dec 30, 2006
    10
    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.
  7. JohnP.
    May 31, 2006
    9
    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 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
  8. ChrisP.
    Jun 15, 2006
    6
    Failed to evoke any empathy towards the characters at all. Since the oppression of war or the characters were not built up enough the whole movie makes you rely on your own knowledge of the war to appreciate the beauty of the event although most people who are going to see it probably know enough about the war and probably even this event in particular.
  9. RolandoB.
    Feb 27, 2006
    10
    Fantastic film! Very touching and moving... Plus I enjoyed the music and the amazing cast...
  10. TracyR.
    Mar 17, 2006
    10
    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.
  11. Fill
    Feb 25, 2007
    10
    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 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
  12. Feb 14, 2014
    7
    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 every time--but I do watch it every year). The characters are wooden and underdeveloped. Plot is virtually nonexistent. The director seems too busy shoutingThis 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
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. With a cast of Scottish, German and French actors all speaking their own language, writer-director Christian Carion has fashioned a deeply moving and uplifting piece.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    90
    A period drama marbled with humor, bold gestures and bittersweet consequences.
  3. 70
    Carion is no Jean Renoir, but he does strike an appealingly low key of tender, faintly goofy affinity between the combatants.