required viewing during the holiday season
| Original Score: 4/5
All told, Elf is undeniably cute, but not destined to become a Christmas classic. Nevertheless, children will love it.
A gleeful, cracked fairytale.
Dressed in a snug green outfit throughout and dispensing decorations, sugary snacks and a beaming grin, Ferrell is the life and soul of an otherwise unexceptional Christmas celebration.
| Original Score: 3/5
It would be Scrooge-like to say mean things about the innocuous Elf, so I'll just point out that director Jon Favreau's film rarely reaches its full comic potential.
| Original Score: 2/4
Sure, Elf feels a little too feel-good at the end, but what do you expect? It's a Christmas movie! Anything else would be the cinematic equivalent of finding coal in your stocking.
The cast wrings laughs out of David Berenbaum's script as if it were a damp washcloth, but even they have trouble selling frenetic button-pushing as the Christmas spirit.
Feels like that rare instant Christmas classic.
| Original Score: A-
A disarmingly funny holiday comedy.
| Original Score: B+
The third act's a little clumsy, but Elf brings the Christmas cheer and loads of laughs.
| Original Score: 8/10
Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents.
A family-friendly, funny and heartwarming holiday film with a great heart that is well worth watching more than once.
| Original Score: 5/5
Elf might be the last modern Christmas classic we see for a long time.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
The sentiment gets a little sticky towards the end, but many will consider this the perfect antidote to traditional Christmas fare -- especially those with a fondness for Ferrell's comedy.
Delivers a warm, feel-good Christmas ending that will inspire the hope that even New York City can have Christmas spirit -- at least of the Hollywood kind.
| Original Score: B-
Most will relate to its Christmas spirit, and there's unlikely to be a dry eye in the house during the emotional climax.
[An] amusing, sweet-natured ode to retro-Christmas warmth and cheer...
The result is a turkey.
The film soon bogs down in fake hugs and a fakier climax involving Santa (Ed Asner) and his downed sled.
A delightful, slapstick adventure about a na´ve innocent, woefully ill equipped to handle the rigors of life inside any impatiently unforgiving metropolis.
| Original Score: 4/4