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It's Christmas Eve in New York City, and with a little help from each other, five people will discover new meaning on Christmas Day: Jules finds the courage to step beyond his past; Artie's own tragic history shows Mike where jealousy can lead, bringing renewal to his relationship with Nina; and Rose discovers new hope as Charlie--an unexpected friend--reminds her that no one is ever truly alone at Christmas.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"One of those unpleasant fiascoes meant to lodge a lump in the throat at Christmas, but it only ends up making you want to bludgeon the elves with their own toy-shop hammers."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Palminteri draws some very good performances from his cast -- only to pile on a lot of shameless heart-tugging on top of a contrived script about five New Yorkers facing Christmas Eve alone."
‑ , Los Angeles Times
"I had a very hard time displaying malice to this."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"The sentiments are right on the money, but the execution never quite filled me with holiday cheer."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"A holiday gift wrapped in sadness -- but tied tenderly with hope."
‑ Betty Jo Tucker, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"The nut-ball factor is just too high for these characters."
‑ Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
"The mawkishness meter is turned up full blast by the time Williams, wearing the hangdog expression he saves for maudlin dramas, shows up out of nowhere as a former priest to save an unhappy Sarandon from jumping into the East River."
‑ Robert Dominguez, New York Daily News
"Pleasantly watchable."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
"There's nothing at all surprising about Noel, except for the fact that it was ever made."
‑ Christopher Null,
"Three tear-jerking stories about faith, love and the redemptive spiritual power of a frosty Christmas Eve"
‑ Susan Granger,
"The kind of sappy, sadness-turns- to-gladness holiday movie that shows up on cable TV this time of year."
‑ Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"I can be sentimental under the right circumstances, but the movie is such a calculating tearjerker that it played like a challenge to me."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A film about folks celebrating Christmas together is about as interesting and carries as much dramatic thrust as the 1989 Christmas reunion video immortalized on Uncle Fred's camcorder."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"If you are looking for a Christmas film that is unconventional, that has a lot of heart without wallowing in sentimentality, this is a good bet."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Fits snugly into the 'Christmas movie' canon by tapping into familiar problems, tugging at the heartstrings and stirring your tired soul."
‑ Todd Gilchrist,
More reviews for Noel on Rotten Tomatoes