'R Xmas (2001)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  26 December 2001 (France)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,025 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 19 user | 27 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A New York drug dealer is kidnapped, and his wife must try to come up with the money and drugs to free him from his abductors before Christmas.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Wife
The Husband (as Lillo Brancato Jr.)
Lisa Valens ...
Lisa, the Daughter
The Kidnapper
Denia Brache ...
Louie's Wife
Naomi Morales ...
The Niece
Niece's Husband
Accomplice No. 1 (as Andy Fiscella)
Thomas Murray ...
Accomplice No. 2
Edwin Martinez ...
Accomplice No. 3
Janis Corsair ...
Shopper No. 1
Anne Ackerman ...
Shopper No. 2
Frank Cuervo ...
Bike Pick Up Man (as Frank Antonio 'Anthony' Cuervo)


It's a few days before Christmas, and a Latin American couple living in New York City are preparing and packaging their heroin for street distribution. While the wife has her qualms about the ethics of drug dealing, both she and her husband know there's plenty of money to be made in the drug trade. The couple discovers one of their lower-level dealers may be talking to the police, but they soon have a bigger problem to deal with when the husband is kidnapped and held for a huge ransom. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, drug content and some violence | See all certifications »






Release Date:

26 December 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Christmas  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Annabella Sciorra was originally cast as The Wife but she later pulled out of the film. See more »


Referenced in A Short Film About the Long Career of Abel Ferrara (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Ferrara's best
30 December 2001 | by (France) – See all my reviews

This is without doubt Ferrara's finest film ; mature, restrained, utterly believable. Perhaps that's what the simple-minded don't like about it: it contains no simplified stereotypes

  • the drug-dealers in it are not necessarily reprehensible louts and

thugs - no cliches, no spectacular car chases, no blood and brains spattering the walls... but, you no what? neither does real life. And real life, or an awfully damned good facsimile thereof, is what we get in R-Xmas. Above all, we get award-quality performances from two hitherto actors of tremendous ability, Drea de Matteo and Lillo Brancato, and a warm, empathetic portrayal of New York's Dominican community. Ice-T is superb as a brutal and menacing kidnapper. This film poses all kinds of difficult questions : are wealthy drug-dealers really that different from other successful businessmen? How *do* they bring up their children in an environment of relative normalcy? how does a man react when he is brutalized by a gang of thugs and - since this is not a facile Hollywood fantasy - the possibility of going back and blowing them all away with a magnum simpy does not exist ? Ferrara's latest film is a more-believable _Godfather_ for the 21st century. In the end the film belongs to the astonishing Drea de Matteo. Reminding one in turn of Sharon Stone and Robin Penn, she gives a terrific performance as a complex, tough woman whose main concerns are the well-being of her husband and daughter. In short, just a terrific film. What can one say about reviewers who complain the film is "frustratingly incomplete", when the film itself states explicitly that it is only the first part of a series? There are plenty of empty-headed shoot-em-ups out there if what they want are quick, cheap thrills that don't make them think. Or perhaps they took a wrong turn at the Cineplex, and thought they were watching "Lord of the Ring"? A final word: the French translation of this film, especially the Spanish dialogue, is lamentably poor, and that's a shame, since it's so rich and colorful.

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