Los Angeles Times
The Man Who Invented Christmas is a jaunty, amusing patchwork of truths, half-truths and pure fiction that cleverly combine to recount the story of the whirlwind creation of Charles Dickens' famed novella "A Christmas Carol."
The Seattle Times
It’s a pleasant Christmas-season offering; both mild (read: family-friendly) and sweet.
The Hollywood Reporter
There are many pleasures along the way, including the effective evocation of Victorian-era London.
In addition to being a rather fine addition to the Christmas-movie canon, the film marks a useful teaching tool — a better option for classroom screenings than any of the previous “Carol” adaptations, once students have finished reading the novella.
The movie — based on Les Standiford’s novel — is pleasantly simpleminded, often assembled from parts of other movies.
As a portrait of an author on the verge of a breakthrough, this is a run-of-the-mill, occasionally clumsy biopic; as for contextualizing Christmas, it never explains how it functioned before Dickens and only briefly mentions how it changed after him.
A well-intentioned but wearisome jolt of prefab holiday cheer.
The more that Nalluri tries to connect Dickens’ personal breakthroughs to those of his fictional character, the less authentic it feels. Inadvertently, this forgettable bauble ends up illustrating just how rare and precious true inspiration is.
The New York Times
Brightly lit and anchored by Mr. Stevens’s infectious, live-wire performance, the film, directed by Bharat Nalluri (“Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day”), nevertheless proceeds like a television holiday special, designed to distract children while winking at their parents.
Since “humbug” is already spoken for by Ebenezer Scrooge, “opportunistic” would be the most apt word for The Man Who Invented Christmas.