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November 05, 2007

This Christmas

Thischristmas

An unusual blend of well-balanced comedy and drama, writer/director Preston A. Whitmore II’s Christmastime movie effortlessly weaves multiple storylines of family members reuniting for the first time in four years. A solid cast that includes Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Mekhi Phifer, and Regina King embody full-blooded characters keeping personal secrets at bay until perfect plot points allow their disclosure. Dramatically impressive musical performances from Idris Elba ("American Gangster") and Chris Brown ("Stomp the Yard") accompany a distinct musical score of holiday songs to underscore the overflowing story. Ma'Dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine) and her recent husband Joe (Delroy Lindo) host a whirlwind of family activity and airing of personal issues that culminate in a satisfying if bittersweet finale that captures the mood of our times. "This Christmas" is this year’s best holiday movie.

Rated PG-13, 117 mins. (A-) (Four Stars)

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