Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Dec 6, 2012
    80
    Mr. Burns shuffles this dense material with the dexterity of a card shark. The pace, although swift, is never rushed. The writing and acting give you vivid enough tastes of the characters - there are seven children, two parents, and assorted spouses, lovers and friends - so that each registers as a singular flavor.
  2. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Dec 14, 2012
    75
    These Fitzgeralds are loud, selfish and often maddening, but they're a loving group, and you wouldn't mind spending more time with them.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 10, 2012
    75
    As an actor, Burns has worked the Hollywood game from "Saving Private Ryan" to "Alex Cross." But his core passion is for making indie movies without studio interference, guerilla style. Because he takes his films personally, so do we. The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is one of his best.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 12, 2012
    70
    It's entirely sincere and genuinely not terrible. Burns knows the milieu of his suburbanized New York Irish-American characters at a bone-deep level (enough to induce powerful flashbacks in someone of my background), and the tone of regretful, tragicomic, low-key melodrama he strikes is just right.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Dec 10, 2012
    70
    Burns's job as director is differentiating and spotlighting everyone in this large ensemble, a storytelling challenge to which he responds with a brisk pace and an eye for revealing moments. The film recalls his 1995 debut, "The Brothers McMullen," grounded in Irish family traditions and comedic chemistry among performers.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 7, 2012
    70
    The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is extremely perceptive about certain angles on life in a big family.
  7. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Dec 6, 2012
    70
    This tale of a dysfunctional family whose members experience enough personal crises to fuel a dozen films is a virtual compendium of clich├ęs, but the star's sheer likeability makes it go down as easily as a cup of eggnog.
  8. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Dec 6, 2012
    60
    Burns has assembled such a fine cast that we leave feeling satisfied, as if we didn't get the iPad mini we wanted, but a pretty good novel instead.
  9. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Dec 7, 2012
    50
    Too much of the film is taken up by creaky plot devices and one sibling vowing to track down and talk to another one to resolve a problem.
  10. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Dec 6, 2012
    50
    Suspense isn't Burns' thing though, and it may be foolish to even ask for it this far into his career. Burns has made it crystal clear what his style is: lots of chatty, mostly amiable folks, working out their not so troubling differences in the greater New York metropolitan area.
  11. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Dec 4, 2012
    50
    In this overly familiar and ultimately meandering exercise in tedium, Mr. Burns also plays the lead.
  12. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Dec 4, 2012
    40
    There are a few nicely turned moments... but they're scattered plums in a starchy, flavorless pudding.
  13. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Dec 2, 2012
    38
    Edward Burns certainly doles out his fair share of family turmoil, but he admirably doesn't make lunatics out of his characters.

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