The wait is over! Hallmark Channel finally released the schedule for their 2022 Hallmark Holiday Movies.
Overall the lineup looks very good, and I am excited about the holiday season, along with legions of Hallmark fans.
There are 40 new movies currently scheduled (though I think they may sneak one or two more in). In the lineup, 31 are Hallmark movies, with the nine remaining movies slated for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
I have ranked all the Hallmark movies from 1-31, from what I feel are the can’t-miss to the not holding out much hope.
I will soon do the same for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries ones. I didn’t combine them in one ranking since they are two very distinctly different genres with very different criteria.
In addition to the straight-up ranking, I also put them in buckets:
- Can’t Miss – Very confident it will be a hit.
- Optimistic – It should be good based on the stars or the story.
- Cautiously Optimistic – Same as above but some red flags.
- Hopeful – Everything looks good, and my fingers are crossed.
- Intrigued – It seems like it could be good, but just not enough to commit.
- Doubtful – Just not feeling it and not feeling confident it will be worth watching.
Hallmark 2022 Holiday Movie Rankings
#31 The Royal Nanny
Premiers: November 12
Main Actors: Rachel Skarsten, Dan Jeannotte, and Greta Scacchi
Overview: Claire is an MI5 agent who goes undercover as the roal nanny. She must overcome the challenges of her assignment, like resisting the charms of Prince Colin while keeping the family safe at Christmas.
First, I admit I am not a fan of the royal troupes. I know a lot of people are, and therefore others may be more excited than I am for this one.
While I don’t like the core premise, I think it is kinda cool that she is an MI5 agent. I always like it when gender roles are swapped.
Dan Jeannotte was Brandon in The Good Witch, which I enjoyed that series. Rachel Skarsten was in Timeless Love, and I actually enjoyed that movie as well.
So maybe they will overcome the lousy troupe, but doubtful.
#30 A Holiday Spectacular
Premiers: November 27
Main Actors: Ginna Claire Mason, Derek Klena, Eve Plumb, Ann-Margret
Overview: In 1958, Maggie is an heiress from Philadelphia who puts her high society wedding plans n hold to sneak up to New York City and make her secret dream come true: dancing live on stage in the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.
OK, first, let’s acknowledge that Jan Brady (Eve Plumb) is in this movie. For all of us that grew up with The Brady Bunch, that is very compelling. People older than me may think the same about Ann-Margret.
This is the Hallmark debut for both the leads, and it is always fun to see new faces. But I don’t find the whole Rockette thing all that interesting.
#29 Christmas at the Golden Dragon
Premiers: November 13
Main Actors: Kara Wang, Osric Cheu, Sara Canning, Antonio Cupo, Barbara Niven
Overview: When Romy and Rick’s parents surprise them with the news that they will be closing the Chinese restaurant they have owned and operated for decades, the siblings each find themselves re-evaluating their futures. Also impacted by the news are the landmark restaurant’s loyal patrons and staff, who have all come to depend on the restaurant over the holidays.
OK, let’s start with the positive first, Barbara Niven, who is a staple in Hallmark movies, is always delightful.
The sheer volume of the official description is a good indication that this movie is going to be all over the place.
I just have a feeling this is going t sit like bad Kung Pao Chicken.
#28 A Cozy Christmas Inn
Premiers: October 28
Main Actors: Jodi Sweetin, David O’Donnell
Overview: Real-estate exec Erika travels to Alaska during Christmas time to acquire a bed and breakfast, only to discover that it is owned by her ex. While there, she finds herself falling in love with the town and, quite possibly him.
Jodi Sweetin has been in several Hallmark Christmas movies with mixed reviews. This is O’Donnell’s first Hallmark movie.
The real-estate exec is a story that has been done many times, and rarely are they very good, so I am skeptical this one will be any different. A lot will come down to the chemistry between Sweetin and the newcomer.
Hey, Check Inn to Christmas was pretty good last year, so you never know.
#27 A Noel Next Door
Premiers: October 21
Main Actors: Natalie Hall, Corey Sevier
Overview: A hard-working single mom gets into a war of words with a neighbor who she feels is ruining Christmas., only to find that this misunderstood grouch just may steal her heart.
Ok, who doesn’t love a good enemy to romance story? Well, unfortunately, Hall and Sevier tried it once in Road Trip Romance and failed. Granted, they were handed a bad script, but they also failed to generate any chemistry.
It is a shame that Hallmark decided to kick off the season with a potential dud. You would have thought they would have learned when they started 2022 with Where Your Heart Belongs.
The one good thing I can say is Natalie Hall seems very likable, and she deserves a good script.
UPDATE: Hallmark released the trailer, and I can’t tell you what the hell the movie is going to be about. Hmm, this is not looking good. Please, please, please let me be pleasantly surprised.
#26 The Most Colorful Time of the Year
Premiers: December 9
Main Actors: Katrina Bowden, Christopher Russell
Overview: Ryan is an elementary school teacher who learns that he is colorblind. Michelle, an optometrist and mother of one of his students, helps bring color into his life in time for the holidays.
OK, I bet when you first read that description, you thought it was a joke. I would have loved to bein the room when the script was pitched. But hey, it was and it was produced.
I think the folks at Hallmark felt with such a silly script, they needed to make sure the leads were sickenly good-looking.
Also, could you imagine the number of moms volunteering if Russell really was an elementary teacher?
OK, silly, but we don’t take Hallmark too seriously, so yup, I am intrigued.
#25 In Merry Measure
Premiers: November 11
Main Actors: Patti Murin, Brendan Penny, Jennifer Robertson
Overview: When pop star Darcy returns home to spend Christmas with her sister and niece, she unexpectedly finds herself coaching the high school choir with her one-time rival, Adam.
Boom, another enemy to the romance story. Also, bring in some singing, and this could be a pretty fun movie, right?
But it could also go off the rails badly.
And Brandan Penny is so unpredictable. I loved him in The Secret Ingredient but hated Beverly Hills Wedding.
A bonus is Jennifer Robertson, Jocelyn from Schitt’s Creek, is in this one.
#24 Inventing the Christmas Prince
Premiers: November 18
Main Actors: Tamara Mowry-Housley, Ronnie Rowe Jr.
Overview: Shelby is about to quit her job as a rocket engineer when her daughter becomes convinced that her Scrooge-like boss, Evan, is the Christmas Prince from a story Shelby invented years ago.
OK, so rocket engineer? Come on; this is Hallmark. Give us a baker, matchmaker, or, hell, even a butterfly raiser, but a rocket engineer?
All the aero-space engineers I have ever met are as exciting as Saran Wrap.
For that alone, I can’t be totally on board with this one.
Plus, I worry that the kid will have too large of a role, and for the most part, kids ruin Hallmark movies.
Premiers: November 25
Main Actors: Claire Bowen, Brant Daugherty
Overview: When Jen gets the chance to enter a brand’s design contest, she poses as a family influencer, enlisting the help of her best friend, Max, and her baby nephew. When her video is selected as a finalist, Jen is torn on whether to go on with her perfect “family” or reveal the truth.
OK, how do you fake being an influencer? A brand would be able to look at your social media and instantly know if you are legit or not.
Secondly, any movie with a hashtag is a risky proposition to be good and not lame. Look no further than #love and Where Your Heart Belongs.
But when you put two wildly attractive people together, you never know. Look no further than The Baker’s Son.
#22 My Southern Family Christmas
Premiers: November 24
Main Actors: Jaicy Eliot, Bruce Campbell, Ryan Rottman, Moira Kelly, Brian McNamara
Overview: Under the guise of a journalist, Campbell has a chance to get to know her biological father for the first time – without him ever knowing who she actually is. As she spends time with him and his family, as well as with the town’s record keeper, she realizes that families are messy, wonderful things. In the end, Campbell must decide if she is going to keep her identity a secret or reveal the truth to her father – a decision that will change their family Christmas forever.
Ok, this move has me cautious based on the incredibly long description.
But being adopted myself, I like the plot (I loved Aimee Teegarden’s My Christmas Family Tree).
Plus, Bruce Campbell is from Birmingham, Michigan, next door to where I grew up. Spent plenty of time there, especially at Marty’s Cookies and Olga’s. I also bought my first Clash album in a record store in downtown Birmingham.
Oh wait, where was I?
Oh yea, so I am intrigued.
Lastly, Bruce Campbell is best known for making horror and slasher movies, so venturing into Hallmark is, well, intriguing.
#21 Holiday Heritage
Premiers: December 16
Main Actors: Lyndie Greenwood, Brooks Darnell, Holly Robinson-Peete
Overview: Ella returns to her hometown to mend fences with her fractured family. With the help of Griffin, her ex-boyfriend, she encourages her family to celebrate Christmas and Kwanzaa and to heal their past would before it is too late.
Brooks previously starred in the very average Advice to Live By and Winter Getaway, so for this to be good; he will need to elevate his game. But he has the strong presence of Greenwood and Robinson-Peete to help.
Based on the initial description, my main concern is that this seems a little heavy and potentially more suited for Hallmark Movies and Mysteries than a cute, lighthearted Hallmark flick.
#20 A Royal Corgi Christmas
Premiers: November 25
Main Actors: Hunter King, Jordan Renz
Overview: Reluctant Crown Prince Edmond returns home just before Christmas in anticipation of being named successor to the throne. To ingratiate himself to his mother, the Queen, he gifts her with ‘Mistletoe,’ a rambunctious Corgi in need of some serious training. After several doggy disasters, Edmond turns to Cecily, a canine behavior expert from America, for help — but to his great surprise, Cecily demands that he take an active part in the daily dog training sessions. Sparks fly between them as the pair work together to get Mistletoe ready to present at the annual Christmas Ball. Just as the precious pup captures their hearts, they discover that love can grow in the most unexpected places, leading them to question what they really want.
Ok, so this is a royal movie, so that is a strike against it. Then it has a super long description, s strike two.
So why am I hopeful? Simple, Hunter King. I had zero expectations for Hidden Gems, and she blew me away, so I am giving her the benefit of the doubt.
# 19 Undercover Holiday
Premiers: December 4
Main Actors: Noemi Gonzalez, Stephen Huszar
Overview: When returning home for the holidays, newly minted pop star Jaylen tells her protective family that Matt is her new beau when in reality, he’s her overzealous security guard.
I have to say the plot seems silly; I mean, why does she have to conceal the identity of her bodyguard? She is a pop star, and pop stars have bodyguards. So when the very premise of the movie is questionable, it makes you question the very movie itself.
While this is Noemi Gonzalez’s first Hallmark movie, Huszar was excellent in the Ruby Herring Mysteries, so I am hopeful he will make this a fun one as well.
#18 A Big Fat Family Christmas
Premieres: December 2
Stars: Shannon Chan-Kent, Shannon Kook, Tia Carrere, Jack Wagner
Overview: Liv is a photojournalist eager to make it on her own. To get a dream assignment — shooting the Chang family’s annual holiday party for a cover story — she doesn’t reveal that they are, in fact, her family. When she finds herself growing close to Henry, the co-worker covering the story with her, she wants to confide in him but doesn’t want to jeopardize her big break.
OK, so both the male and female leads are named Shannon. Hmmm.
This is another movie where I am unsure why there is a conflict. Why does she have hide that it is her family? But I am curious why the Chang family is so interesting that their party is newsworthy.
Lastly, Tia Carrere is in it, which also makes me curious. What has she been doing since we saw her in Wayne’s World?
#17 All Saints Christmas
Premieres: November 6
Stars: Ledisi, Roger Cross
Overview: Lisette is a popular R&B singer who’s getting ready to travel home to New Orleans for Christmas. When the media mistake a photo of her with her music producer ex as an engagement announcement, her family insists that he join her on the trip.
So Ledisi has a Grammy so she is legit. And while I wouldn’t say I liked a ton in Game, Set, Love, I did like Roger Cross as the dad.
This isn’t ranked higher because this is yet another movie where the conflict seems amazingly easy to resolve and falls short of being plot worthy.
#16 We Wish You a Married Christmas
#15 Three Wise Men and a Baby
Premieres: November 19
Stars: Paul Campbell, Tyler Hynes, Andrew Walker, Margaret Colin
Overview: Three brothers get the surprise of their lives when they are forced to work together to care for a baby over the holidays. As they slowly get the hang of things, they find themselves on unexpected journeys of self-discovery and begin to rebuild their relationships as brothers, as well as the damaged romantic and professional relationships in their respective lives… all while rediscovering their love of Christmas.
Obviously, this is a “remake” of the 80’s classic 3 Men and a Baby starring Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, and Steve Gutenberg. So Gen X’ers and Boomers will enjoy the nostalgic nod.
For many, this is the surefire hit of the season. After all, with Campbell, Hynes, and Walker leading the way, how could it not be outstanding?
That is my concern, will there be enough screen time to showcase and fully develop each of the characters and their stories?
Each actor has proven Hallmark brilliance and could easily carry the entire movie.
But many Hallmark movies have been undone by trying to do too much, leaving us frustrated and unsatisfied.
If the writers and directors get it right, I have no doubt the trio will deliver, and this movie could easily be the top movie of the season.
Interestingly, Margaret Colin starred in the original 3 Men and a Baby. Fortunately, Hallmark didn’t get Steve Guttenberg as well.
UPDATE: It was revealed that Kimberley Sustad and Paul Campbell co-wrote this movie. As a result, I have much more confidence it will be a fun ride. I am still concerned about three Hallmark heavyweights battling it out for screen-time, but If anyone can do it, the Sustad/Campbell duo can.
#14 The Holiday Sitter
#13 Christmas Class Reunion
Premieres: December 10
Stars: Aimeé Teegarden, Tanner Novlan
Overview: High school classmates, who once dubbed themselves the ‘cursed class,’ reconnect at Christmas for their 15-year reunion. Over the course of their time reconnecting, the classmates challenge each other to remember who they were, who they are, and who they want to be.
I can’t deny the reason I am hopeful on this one is Aimee Teegarden. She was excellent in last year’s My Christmas Family Tree, Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, and A New Year’s Resolution (I know, technically not a holiday flick). But I didn’t enjoy Heart of the Matter, so I am still a little unsure.
Teegarden had proven Hallmark leading men (Andrew Walker, Michael Rady, and Brett Dalton) to lean on in all of those movies, while this time, she will be counted on to lead newbie Tanner Novian.
The class reunion plot is a little underwhelming, but I am confident that Teegarden’s charm will compensate for it. Or maybe it will be the Dillon Panthers’ reunion!
#12 When I Think of Christmas
Premieres: November 20
Stars: Shenae Grimes-Beech, Niall Matter, Beth Broderick
Overview: “Sara Thompson returns to her hometown to help her mother move and is surprised to find her ex-boyfriend Josh Hartman is back home. The two had once planned life in music together, but Sara left to study law. The former flames slowly reconnect and try to heal wounds, both old and new. When Sara makes a surprising discovery, she and Josh forge a bold plan for the upcoming Christmas concert that will lead them all back to their musical roots and make this a holiday to remember.
I liked Grimes-Beech in Chrismas Incorporated and Date with Love. Naill Matter can be really good (Rip in Time) or really average (A Christmas Together with You).
The basic plot is run-of-the-mill, but I tend to like music movies, so I am cautiously optimistic they will elevate it. I can’t totally hop on board because it could also go horribly wrong.
#11 Hanukkah on Rye
Premieres: December 18
Stars: Jeremy Jordan, Yael Grobglas, Lisa Loeb
Overview: A matchmaker connects Molly and Jacob, but their new romance is put to the test when they realize that they are competing deli owners. Will a Hanukkah miracle keep them together?
Matchmaker movies are typically fun ones, and it looks like Lisa Loeb is the matchmaker.
Hallmark has also done a pretty good job with its Hanukkah movies. Double Holiday was fun. Eight Gifts of Hanukkah and Love, Lights, Hanukkah! were both excellent.
I am hoping they keep the string going.
As a bonus, Hanukkah on Rye is slated to air this year on the first night of Hanukkah.
#10 A Magical Christmas Village
Premieres: November 4
Stars: Alison Sweeney, Luke Macfarlane, Marlo Thomas
Overview: When Summer’s mother, Vivian, moves in with her and her young daughter, Chloe, her orderly existence is upended. Upon arrival, Vivian sets up an heirloom miniature Christmas village resembling their town and tells Chloe it grants Christmas wishes. As Chloe begins setting up the figurines, real-life events seem to mimic the scenes she creates. With a little help from the magic of the Christmas village, the family will be brought closer together, and, just maybe, Summer will learn to open her heart to love again.
Alison Sweeney doesn’t make many bad movies.
Luke Macfarlane is usually quite enjoyable. And I am pretty sure this is his last Hallmark movie.
Some of the folks older than me are probably excited to see Marlo Thomas.
The casting lends me to believe this will be a good one. But it does feature three generations, and if they try and spread the stories too thin to cover all three, the movie will suffer. Let’s hope they handle it as well as this summer’s hit, Dating the Delaney’s.
#9 A Kismet Christmas
Premieres: October 23
Stars: Sarah Ramos, Carlo Marks, Marilu Henner
Overview: Sarah is a children’s book author who returns to her hometown, where she reconnects with her family and Travis, her teenage crush. She soon discovers that a long-held family legend might actually be true.
Carlo Marks is excellent in Chesapeake Shores, and Marilu Henner has been pretty solid in her holiday movies.
And magical cookies?
Why wouldn’t anyone be excited about this one?
#8 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Premieres: December 17
Stars: Torrey DeVitto, Zane Holtz
Overview: A former actress trying to break into directing tests her skills with a town’s annual Christmas Eve courtroom production in which the true authorship of the famous poem ‘A Visit from St. Nick’ is debated.
The plot of this one sounds fun and unique. Totally interested in this debate and how much the town gets into it.
And then we get a dose of Torrey DeVitto? She has been delightful in Rip in Time, The Christmas Promise, and Write Before Christmas.
Maybe I shouldn’t be as excited as I am for this one, but I am.
#7 Ghosts of Christmas Always
Premieres: October 30
Stars: Kim Matula, Ian Harding, Beth Leavel, Lori Tan Chinn, Reginald VelJohnson
Overview: “Katherine is a Ghost of Christmas Present, and she must help one soul, Peter, rediscover his Christmas spirit. But this year has something unusual in store.
The dude from Die Hard! Enough said.
#6 A Tale of Two Christmases
Premieres: November 26
Stars: Kat Barrell, Chandler Massey, Evan Roderick
Overview: Thanks to some Christmas magic, Emma gets to experience two different Christmases — one where she stays in the city and celebrates with a new crush and his friends, and one where she returns home for all the traditions with her family… and Drew, a longtime friend who may have feelings for her. Emma’s double holiday ultimately helps her discover what will truly make her happy in life as well as in love.
I love the Sliding Doors-style storyline. I often think of the ripple effect seemingly insignificant decisions could have.
Also, Kat Barrell and Chandler Massey are both excellent leads.
This is my dark horse to be the surprise hit of 2022’s Hallmark holiday movies.
#5 Jolly Good Christmas
#4 Haul Out the Holly
Premieres: November 26
Stars: Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Ellen Travolta, Peter Jacobson, Melissa Peterman, Stephen Tobolowsky
Overview: Emily arrives home, hoping to visit her parents, only to discover that they are leaving on a trip of their own. As she stays at their house for the holidays, their HOA is determined to get Emily to participate in the neighborhood’s many Christmas festivities.
Lacey Chabert is the queen of Hallmark for a reason. She doesn’t make bad moves. Plain and simple.
While some Hallmark fans were disappointed in Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKeller leaving the Hallmark Channel earlier this year, I didn’t fret for a moment because neither was in Chabert’s league.
While I admit the plot seems a little silly, why would her parents leave if she came home to visit? But I am not worried; Lacey will make me not care about any plot holes.
Oh yea, Wes Brown is a solid lead as well.
#3 Lights, Camera, Christmas!
Premieres: November 5
Stars: Kimberley Sustad, John Brotherton
Overview: When a holiday rom-com movie shooting in her town needs a costume designer, Kerry, a local shop owner, steps into the role. While working on the movie, she rediscovers her passion for costume design and finds herself falling for Brad, the film’s famous leading man.
OK, I will admit, I love Kimberley Sustad and would probably rank her reading a dictionary pretty high.
Well, first and foremost, she would probably make it hilarious.
But when she is handed a fun script as this seems to be (a movie within a movie), she will slay. I have no doubt.
November 5th can’t come quickly enough.
#2 A Fabled Holiday
Premieres: December 3
Stars: Brooke D’Orsay, Ryan Paevey
Overview: “Talia and her childhood best friend, Anderson, unexpectedly reunite in a curiously familiar-looking town full of Christmas spirit that restores its visitors when they need it most.
For some reason, I always forget how much I adore Brooke D’Orsay. I think she annoys me, but then I watch one of her movies and am reminded she is just so likable.
Ryan Paevey is just a stud. His performance in Two Tickets to Paradise was the best of any Hallmark actor this year (just nudging out Paul Campbell in Dating the Delaneys).
I just don’t see any chance of these two being paired together and the movie not being very enjoyable.
But I have to ask, what is a “curiously familiar-looking town”?
#1 A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe
Premieres: November 27
Stars: Rachel Boston, Victor Webster
Overview: Annie Cooper has big shoes to fill when she takes over as CEO of her late grandmother’s small-town cookie company and is doing her best to help their struggling business get back on track. That task gets more daunting when her grandmother’s secret recipe is stolen during the Christmas party. As Annie tries to crack the case and uncover the culprit, she works with Sam, the owner of a local bakery, to recreate the recipe in the hope of saving the company and her job. As Annie and Sam bake batch after batch in pursuit of the perfect one, they begin to learn that their lives go together like milk and cookies.
OK, this was an easy one.
Put them together in a holiday movie, and you have the top-ranked movie of the season.
Now add cookies and recipe shenanigans, and I just can’t see where this one can go wrong.
The holiday season for Hallmark is always the most popular time of the year. The 2022 Hallmark holiday movie schedule looks to be full of great movies. With 31 movies in the line-up, there are only three that I think, at first, look, do not look very good.
But keep in mind, as of now, all we have seen is just the brief overview for each flick provided by Hallmark. As we begin to see the trailers, my opinions will probably shift a little.
One thing to note, as of now, it doesn’t appear that some Hallmark favorites aren’t in any of the holiday movies, such as Cindy Busby, Bethany, Joy Lenz, Kevin, McGarry, and Chris McNally.
Please keep checking back for additional information and reviews of the movies after they have aired.
Watch this great Youtube episode where I discuss with two other Hallmark experts what 2022 Hallmark Christmas movies we are most excited about.