Bad Santa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bad Santa Reviews

Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 14, 2014
An antidote to forced holiday cheer, this scabrously funny misanthropic comedy is not for the whole family.
Top Critic
Michael Agger
New Yorker
December 5, 2013
Once the rude shock of a profane Claus wears off, there's not really much to do except await the next outrageous remark.
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 5, 2013
Even when the film threatens to turn feel-good, it thankfully resists the urge.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
December 5, 2013
Best of all, it plugs into -- and electrifies -- the mostly unacknowledged grimness that lies just beneath our holiday cheer.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 5, 2013
Much like School Of Rock, Bad Santa salvages a tired, paint-by-numbers formula by resisting it every step of the way, stubbornly refusing to stop its juvenile fun until the last possible moment.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 5, 2013
I wanted to believe in Bad Santa. At least half of the time I did.
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
November 27, 2007
Zwigoff and company wring some laughs out of it, though the tone is uniformly mean and vulgar.
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Wonderfully tasteless, gloriously non-PC, admirably bilious; humourless souls should steer clear.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
Bad Santa is my kind of Christmas movie -- profane, subversive, and swarming with scuzzballs.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 11, 2003
The funniest send-up of bad Christmas karma I have ever seen.
Top Critic
December 5, 2003
Thornton's performance is -- there's no other word -- beautiful.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 1, 2003
I laughed at loud at a lot of the stuff.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 29, 2003
I found the escalating disreputability of Bad Santa completely cathartic.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 28, 2003
It rides a one-trick reindeer that tires well before the second reel, and it mistakes crudity and cruelty for humour.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
November 28, 2003
What's meant to be a live-action South Park just winds up in a scatological dead end.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
November 26, 2003
The movie is -- how can I say this? -- funny as hell.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
November 26, 2003
Thornton, with his one-of-a-kind drawl, his lazy gaze, restless shaggy eyebrows and misanthropic attitude, seems to be the movie's essential X-factor.
Top Critic
Mary Brennan
Seattle Times
November 26, 2003
A profane, wildly politically incorrect and sometimes shockingly funny holiday comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
C.W. Nevius
San Francisco Chronicle
November 26, 2003
A tasteless, vulgar, savage assault against everything that is good and decent in the Christmas season. I think you are going to like it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
November 26, 2003
The cast is resourceful enough to keep the film at least watchable throughout.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
November 26, 2003
You'll find yourself warming to Bad Santa in spite of its blemishes, simply because it's different than any holiday tale that's come before, or is likely to assail multiplexes again.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 26, 2003
For all its laughs, the movie ... is a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 26, 2003
Thornton and Cox are wickedly funny, and Bernie Mac has some good moments as the cynical mall detective on their trail.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
November 26, 2003
Like The Ref, the best previous film in this vein, Bad Santa redeems itself with rounds of riotous outrageousness.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
November 26, 2003
Just plain hilarious, a dark comedy triumph that beats on your typical holiday movie with a baseball bat.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
November 26, 2003
The movie drags you into a dark- comedy alley and beats on you.
| Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
November 26, 2003
There are laughs along the way. But too many of them are the sort that send you out into the cold worrying for your own humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
November 26, 2003
I didn't like this movie merely because it was weird and different; I liked it because it makes no compromises and takes no prisoners. And because it is funny.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 26, 2003
Mac and Graham have little to do, sadly, but this may be the bravest acting Thornton has ever done, so complete is his refusal to play to our sympathies.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mike Clark
USA Today
November 25, 2003
It's such an original that it could eventually become the No. 1 cult movie of 2003.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
November 25, 2003
Baaaad Santa. Good movie!
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 25, 2003
For those who don't mind a little bile in their eggnog, it's the perfect antidote to all that prefab Christmas cheer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
November 25, 2003
Forget spiked fruitcake: This is bad taste with a real kick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
November 25, 2003
Takes all the Christmas season's bad vibes and converts them into an achingly funny and corrupt dark comedy.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
November 25, 2003
This is a superb stink bomb of an entertainment, generously larded with jokes about alcoholics, short people, dim children and the kind of sexual congress that until recently was illegal in nine states.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
November 25, 2003
Gets stuck in a rut.
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
November 25, 2003
If you think you can shake your head and mutter, 'That's just wrong,' as you laugh your lungs out, or if you're sick of artificial yuletide treacle, then step right up for a bit of holiday distemper.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 25, 2003
A must-see movie for the Scrooges of the world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
November 25, 2003
The movie actually has a heart -- a coal-black heart, but a heart nonetheless -- and it's bitingly funny.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
November 25, 2003
As toilet-mouthed, puke-encrusted, and liver-damaged as it may be, the movie's a traditional Scrooge story at heart.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 25, 2003
By the end of Bad Santa, you may no longer believe in Santa Claus, but you certainly will believe in Billy Bob.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 25, 2003
If you appreciate movies that don't compromise on their comedic journey into the heart of darkness, this is for you.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 25, 2003
There simply aren't enough laughs in this Christmas comedy -- it's more like a stocking stuffed with lumps of coal.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
November 25, 2003
A foul-mouthed joy for much of the way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Mark Caro
Chicago Tribune
November 25, 2003
The foulest holiday movie I've ever seen -- and the funniest.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 20, 2003
It could become a Christmas perennial for Scrooges of all ages.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Dennis Harvey
Variety
November 20, 2003
First-rate talent and a uniquely dyspeptic mood separate this effort from more routine, populist stabs at tasteless yukkage.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 19, 2003
Terry Zwigoff's comedy isn't up to much besides pretending that swearwords and snotty insults are -- big joke! -- incorrect.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
November 18, 2003
Extremely funny -- at times sidesplittingly so -- thanks to Zwigoff's way with raw irreverence and Thornton's perfectly pitched, ready-for- anything performance.