• Released
  • November 18, 1983
  • PG , 1 hr 33 min
  • Comedy
  • 176 Fan Ratings
100

TV Guide

The cast is wonderful--especially McGavin, Billingsley and Petrella--the laughs are nonstop if rarely subtle, and the whole thing deserves to become a Christmastime classic.
Full Review
100

The A.V. Club

By Noel Murray
The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day—and a surprising moment of parental grace—can ease a troubled mind.
Full Review
100

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come. [19 Nov 1983, p.1]
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
It's those moments and others and the way they are tied together by Shepherd's tongue-in-cheek narration that cements A Christmas Story as one of those rare must-see holiday movies, even for those who don't celebrate Christmas.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
It is pitch-perfect, telling the story through the enthusiastic and single-minded vision of its hero Ralphie, and finding in young Peter Billingsley a sly combination of innocence and calculation.
Full Review
60

Chicago Reader

By J.R. Jones
Director Bob Clark teamed with nostalgic humorist Jean Shepherd for this squeaky clean and often quite funny 1983 yuletide comedy, adapted from Shepherd's novel In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.
Full Review
60

The New York Times

By Vincent Canby
Though Mr. Billingsley, Mr. Gavin, Miss Dillon and the actress who plays Ralphie's school teacher are all very able, they are less funny than actors in a television situation comedy that one has chosen to watch with the sound turned off.
Full Review
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Needless to say, what's refreshing about A Christmas Story is subversive to the sepia-toned and loving references to the forties which director Bob Clark has provided for the film. The fictional Parker family that Shepherd has written about for 20 years is not as gentle or gauzy as they first appear. It's possible to imagine them so preoccupied with their own problems, whether dealing with the neighbor's dogs or winning a mail- order contest, that they could forget Christmas altogether. [25 Nov 1983, p.E5]
Full Review
77 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.