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El Camino Christmas

El Camino Christmas (2017)

December. 08,2017
| Drama Comedy Crime

A young man seeking a father he has never met, through no fault of his own, ends up barricaded in a liquor store with five other people on Christmas Eve in the fictitious town of El Camino, NV.


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The biggest mistake made with this movie was calling it a comedy. There are funny moments, but a comedy it ain't. It's a drama more than anything and a reasonably good one. Nothing overly original but it was well done and held my attention and enjoyment for the entire story. Something that is very rare these days.

Matt Greene

This is the kind of movie I wanna root for: unique, small, quirky, human. Unfortunately, it's just so...odd. Not funny enough to be a comedy. Not clever enough to be original. Not thrilling enough to be exciting. And DEFINITELY not authentic enough to feel real. There was one moment I really liked (cops shoot out "through" building), but otherwise this is just an awkward holiday indie that wastes a stacked cast.


First thing I'd like to say is that I tend to enjoy most movies. If a film is able keep my attention, and overpowers the modern trend of checking one's phone, then I almost always consider it a smashing success. El Camino Christmas is an enjoyable yet surprisingly dark dramatic thriller. If you watched the Netflix trailer then you may find the tone of the overall film less comedic then advertised. But that does not surprise me though, because most the the Netflix trailers are horrible or incredibly misleading. I going to guess that director David E. Talbert is a Quentin Tarantino fan and the films (Reservoir Dogs/The Hateful Eight) really helped inspire this project. I was going into the film expecting the whole thing to be a Bottle Movie but was pleasantly surprised when I realized it wasn't. The first 45 minutes to an hour of the film is mostly set-up that helps establish just exactly who/what all the main characters are. Then the rest of the film takes place within a single location with the occasional cut away to the other leads who are located directly outside of Vicinte's Liquor Mart (the bottle).Pros: + The cast is absolutely stacked. Kurtwood Smith was great playing Red Foreman as a grumpy sherif in charge of babysitting the standard clueless Dax Shepard (this due provides the majority of the comedy). The young leads, Luke Grimes and Michelle Mylett, both hold their own incredibly well. LetterKenny fans will be happy to see Mylett getting more work, I imagine she'll be doing more things after this. Vincent D'Onofrio has truly perfected the art of the antagonist and shines again as a drunk cop. And to round it out Tim Allen played my favorite character, the drunk veteran Charlie, who loves to slur his way through Christmas songs while sipping on beers and bumping into strangers. I'm probably showing my age here but Tim Allen has only ever been Santa Claus and Buzz Lightyear to me so watching him play a very rated R role was incredibly refreshing.+ The plot has a Fargo-ish vibe and once the story got going I couldn't take my attention off the screen.+ Semi-modern-day-Western that replaces a 'Stranger on a Horse' entering a town, with a 'Stranger in an El Camino' entering a town.Cons: Jessica Alba was just there. She looks great but didn't really add anything. And they definitely made her pregnant just to use the "baby on Christmas" cliche.I am personally not the biggest fan of overly 'happy endings' so this may not be a con for others. But I felt the conclusion was somewhat unrealistic but it was still satisfying and hardly a con.Overall if I had to give El Camino Christmas some parent's I'd say its the offspring of No Country for Old Men & Die Hard. I'm a sucker for the 'wrong-place-wrong-time' plot driven stories so this one will most likely become a favorite of mine and maybe even a Christmas regular.


El Camino directed by David E. Talbert. This movie has been the most unique Black-Comedy Christmas Movie I have ever seen, it has the happy touchy feeling as the classic "It's A Wonderful Life" and the dark gritty humor as "Bad Santa." It's a movie that will offend and a movie that will make those with weaker hearts sad and those with hyper-logical thought process angry. But what makes this movie so watchable in my view, is how possible this scenario is. Hostage situations are the most tense crime thrillers in the genre. This one tells the story of a man in the wrong place at the wrong time and how a simple altercation exaggerated into a catastrophe. By the end of the movie, I was so stunned by the beautiful scene elements. The intensity, the calm music, the hopelessness. It is a movie that is specifically understood by certain people, not everyone will see eye to eye on the quality of this film. It has the same classic potential as "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Which was a comedy that was not perfectly understood by every viewer, it has a unique confusion. This movie has that same Classical Christmas Confusion