If there ever was a channel whose modus operandi was to warm your heart and make you feel great, it’s the Hallmark Channel. For decades, the cable network has released hundreds of movies that deliver sweet, fluffy stories, suitable for the whole family. They offer messages of hope, reconciliation, and family that even the most cynical individuals can relate to.
The cable has also released a bevy of movies and movie series that divert from the traditional romance and family genre, including crime-drama and mystery. These films tackle social issues that go beyond typical romance stories. Even the fluffiest movies that Hallmark has to offer tackle deep issues that don’t revolve around romance.
10 A Royal Christmas
This Hallmark original movie follows seamstress, Emily Taylor, who discovers that her boyfriend, Leo, is a prince. Intending to marry her, he takes her back to his country of Cordinia. However, upon realizing that she is of a completely different class, Queen Isadora makes it her mission to make sure that Emily is miserable.
The movie explores class issues through Emily’s interactions with the castle staff, as well as her struggles to fit in. The movie’s message, ultimately, is that love crosses class boundaries.
9 Jesse Stone: Lost In Paradise
This crime-drama is the ninth in the Jesse Stone film series based on the novels written by Robert B. Parker. It follows police chief, Jesse Stone, as he takes on several case files involving brutal murders. He takes a special interest in one particular case that is tied back to the infamous serial killer, the “Boston Ripper,” despite the criminal denying it.
The film dives into the dark side of the fictional town of Paradise, Massachusetts. In his detective work, Stone encounters addiction, troubled homes, and the ugly side of sex work.
8 Crown For Christmas
This 2015 Hallmark film follows Allie Evans, a newly fired hotel maid. A patron overhears her predicament and offers her a job with his employer, who just happens to be a king. As Allie settles into her new life as a governess, she befriends the young princess, Theodora, as well as the rest of the hotel staff.
Theodora wants her father to marry Allie, despite his impending marriage to a countess. Similar to A Royal Christmas, the film tackles class issues through Allie’s friendship with Theodora.
7 Finding Father Christmas
This Hallmark film series adapts the novels of Robin Jones Gunn. The trilogy follows Miranda Chester as she attempts to uncover the truth about her heritage in Carlton Heath, Vermont. She then meets and falls in love with the town lawyer, Ian McKendrick.
The series explores the idea of not only discovering one’s heritage but also reclaiming a part of one’s childhood that one may have missed. This is explored in the second film in the series as Miranda prepares to celebrate Christmas with her newfound family.
6 The Christmas Choir
This movie is based on the true story of Pierre Anthian and his creation of the Montreal Accueil Bonneau Choir. It follows accountant Peter Brockman, whose life changes when his fiancee leaves him over his workaholic tendencies. When he meets blues pianist, Bob, Brockman is introduced to the residents of the homeless shelter Bob lives at. Brockman then goes on to form a choir there and change everyone’s lives.
The movie tackles the issue of homelessness and the various issues surrounding it. It also demonstrates the dignity and fellowship each person experiences through the music.
5 Safe Harbor
This movie follows a retired couple, Doug and Robbie, as they care for four troubled young men sentenced to juvenile detention. As the unlikely group interacts, bonds are forged, and Doug and Robbie gain new hope for the future.
The movie is based on the creation of the Safe Harbor Boys Home, a residential program for troubled and at-risk teenage boys in Saint Johns River, Florida. It covers the issue of rehabilitation for at-risk youth and the importance of family in these situations.
4 The Note
Based on the novel by Angela Hunt, The Note is about columnist Peyton Macgruder as she tries to cope with the impending end of her newspaper. When a note addressed to “T” washes up on shore from a recent plane crash, Peyton discovers that it’s a beautiful message from a father to his child. She then embarks on a journey to uncover the recipient of the note.
The film explores the idea of love and forgiveness, as Peyton’s quest brings her into contact with many people who are individually touched by her message.
3 Daniel’s Daughter
After her mother’s death, a young Cate Mandighan is sent away to live with relatives, with only a promise by her father that he will come to find her. Almost three decades later, she receives a package from her late father and embarks on a journey to honor her father’s last wishes.
The film explores parental death, as well as reclaiming parts of one’s life that may have been lost or never discovered. It also explores the concept of finally realizing one’s true wishes in life.
2 Ladies Of The House
When a town’s daycare center requires repairs, the local church decides to refurbish a house and sell it. Three women: Rose, Birdie, and Elizabeth, are hired to spearhead the project. Although they are completely different, the three eventually grow closer as the project continues and their own personal issues are brought to the surface.
The film explores how friendship and connections are essential for getting through hard times, such as cancer, retirement, and infidelity.
1 An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
This 2008 Hallmark movie follows the Bassett family: the widowed matriarch Mary and her three children. When their farm hits hard times, daughter Tilly writes a letter to her grandmother, Isabella, about their plight. Being a wealthy woman, Isabella arrives at the farm to offer support.
The film explores poverty and its effects as the family struggles to get through Thanksgiving with very little money. It also explores family and reconnecting with loved ones lost to estrangement.