In Review: Spirited (Apple +)

Spirited is a new movie available on Apple + which gives a modern take on Charles Dicken's classic Christmas story 'A Christmas Carol'.

Synopsis: Spirited is a new movie available on Apple + which gives a modern take on Charles Dicken’s classic Christmas story ‘A Christmas Carol’.


The Story

In this take on A Christmas Carol. The various ghosts that have been haunting folks toward redemption for about 200-plus years are looking for their next haunting. But they seem to be hard-pushed to find a new victim. That is until The Ghost of Christmas Present bumps into ruthless PR Man Clint Briggs who is so bad that he is in the Irredeemable book. Present ambitiously suggests that they haunt Clint Briggs, but Marley who is the leader of the Ghosts initially refuses and says that they have only ever succeeded at bringing an Irredeemable into the light once and that was a pretty tough night. But when Present threatens to retire. Marley changes his mind. 

What ensues is a bit of a topsy-turvy storyline in which Clint Briggs goes out of his way to prove that he is Irredeemable to The Ghost of Christmas Present. However, Present is convinced that he can bring Briggs back to being a good person.


The Acting

First off. I have to admit to not being a fan of Will Ferrell in general. So when am praising him for an acting performance it is high praise indeed as I have a low tolerance for him in just about any other movie. Especially when it’s comedy. However, Farrell who is paired with Ryan Reynolds for most of this movie does really well. And the twist about who The Ghost of Christmas Present actually works out pretty well due to how good the partnership is between Ferrell and Reynolds.

Octavia Spencer has a nice role as Briggs’s personal assistant Kimberly who is sadly underserved by a rather underdeveloped romance storyline with the Ghost of Christmas Present. I’d have liked to have seen more of Spencer as she is very watchable and quite compelling as an actor. 



Sadly Spirited is very hit-and-miss and not particularly sure-footed in its storyline, which seems to be more a series of musical numbers and sketch-style comedy than it is a strong story. It felt very disjointed and the music numbers, which are fun just didn’t fit together very well with the film’s story. Though admittedly, even I had to chuckle at the fact that the term “Good Day To You” in Dickensian English is the Victorian way of telling someone to F### Off. That’s probably the one song that really does work. As it is still trapped in my head.

Overall. This film was more miss than hit with me in that the story doesn’t quite fit together all that well. There are some fun ideas and the debate about whether people can change for the better or not is always a fun one to have. But sadly Spirited doesn’t quite succeed in delivering the goods.

You’d be better served by watching The Muppet Christmas Carol or perhaps the 1972 Musical Scrooge with Albert Finney. As both those interpretations work much better than this does.


Spirited is available to watch now if you are a subscriber to Apple +.

Spirited (Apple +)
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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