Elf

Elf

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Elf Reviews

Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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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.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

December 4, 2013
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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.

Full Review Source: AV Club

December 4, 2013
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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A disarmingly funny holiday comedy.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

September 7, 2011
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The film soon bogs down in fake hugs and a fakier climax involving Santa (Ed Asner) and his downed sled.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

November 27, 2007
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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Some humour might sail over the heads of the very young, but there's a higher chuckle rate for the grown-ups than much dread 'family' fare.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 26, 2006
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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I love watching Ferrell do his gangly, clueless shtick, and even here, there's something inherently funny about just seeing him in a big, green elf suit. There's something inherently funny about Ferrell -- period.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 7, 2004
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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A movie made by people who really have their thinking caps on.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

November 8, 2003
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Ferrell's stone-stupid sincerity keeps the action moving and irresistible, despite its familiarity.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

November 7, 2003
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Thanks to Ferrell, it's a tolerably sweet holiday treat.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2003
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Funny and intelligently made, a film for kids and adults that's both sweet and sardonic.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2003
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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It's Ferrell's untethered turn as Buddy that makes Elf sparkle.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

November 7, 2003
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
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A resounding success in the laugh department, but it tries to warm hearts as well, and eventually collapses under the weight of its own sugarplum schmaltz.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

November 7, 2003
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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A pleasantly old-fashioned, gee-whillikers Yuletide confection rescued from Schmaltz-ville by the subversive comic talents of Will Ferrell.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2003
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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As an original family film for the holidays, it's fresh, timely and quite funny.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: B+

November 7, 2003
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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Say hello, kiddies, to the first big-hearted flick of the season. Time's up, so say goodbye and, be polite now, try to hide your mild disappointment.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 7, 2003
Tom Long
Detroit News
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You'll laugh hard, you'll laugh often, and you'll leave wishing you still believed in Santa.

| Original Score: B+

November 7, 2003
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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The movie sets Ferrell's assaultive and juvenile physical comedy in a less-combative playground, and the result might leave the Ferrell-intolerant exiting the theater on a high.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2003
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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It's a clumsy, tedious ride that wears out its welcome as it wears out the seat of your pants and the circulation in your lower limbs.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 7, 2003
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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Leaves a sour taste in the mouth and a Grinch-like resolve to sue the manufacturer.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

November 7, 2003
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Short and sweet.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

November 7, 2003
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Falls short of a laugh riot but proves generally pleasing nonetheless.

| Original Score: B-

November 7, 2003
Michael Agger
Slate
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It's irony-free fun for the whole family.

Full Review Source: Slate

November 7, 2003
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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It wiped away the Scrooge in me for 90 enchanting minutes.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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This is one of those rare Christmas comedies that has a heart, a brain and a wicked sense of humor, and it charms the socks right off the mantelpiece.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

November 7, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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Ferrell provides just enough humor to get us through the familiar fare and enjoy the ride.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

November 7, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Worth seeing, for one simple reason: Will Ferrell.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 6, 2003
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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A Saturday Night Live skit that goes on too long, a one-joke movie that's funny for a while but wears out its welcome.

| Original Score: 2/5

November 6, 2003
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Its message is unobjectionable, and there are a few laughs to be had, but too much of Elf is like Buddy's favorite meals: syrupy sweet.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2/4

November 6, 2003
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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Making this pay off without winking at the audience is a difficult task, and 'Elf' doesn't always feel all of a piece. But in 'Saturday Night Live' alumnus and star Will Ferrell, the film has a guide who steers it unerringly over the bumpy patches.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

November 6, 2003
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
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The first charming present of the holiday movie season.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

November 6, 2003
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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It's a close call for a while, but at the last moment the movie finally soars.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

November 6, 2003
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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An enjoyably goofy yuletide tale of a towering innocent with a serious sugar addiction.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

November 6, 2003
John Anderson
Newsday
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It is very smart, consistently very funny and, like the elevator ridden by our awestruck title character -- who wants to stop at every floor -- if you've got buttons to push, this movie will push 'em.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 6, 2003
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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A charming, silly family Christmas movie more likely to spread real joy than migraine, indigestion and sugar shock.

Full Review Source: New York Times

November 6, 2003
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Ferrell has found the ideal starring vehicle -- and it turns out to be Santa's sleigh.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 6, 2003
Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
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Formulaic but lovable.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

November 6, 2003
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It's the sort of holiday treat even a Grinch would love.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: A-

November 6, 2003
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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The movie allows Favreau to gently tweak cutesy Mouse House production values without abandoning the concept, and it proves a splendid sandbox for his talents as director, actor and (who knew?) cartoonist.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

November 5, 2003
Ed Park
Village Voice
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[A] wan Christmas concoction.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 4, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Even though [Ferrell] can't get naked or use naughty words, there's a devil of comedy in Ferrell, and he lets it out to play.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone

November 4, 2003
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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A feather-light motion picture that embraces the Christmas spirit, but, in the process, forgets that it's trying to be a comedy.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

November 4, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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The one thing we know is that Will Ferrell will take any chance possible to get a laugh in a movie and it works well here.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

November 3, 2003
David Rooney
Variety
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The sweet-natured outsider fantasy neither skimps on nor overplays its sentimentality.

Full Review Source: Variety

October 29, 2003
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
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While the words 'instant holiday classic' might be pushing it, Elf is at the very least a breezily entertaining, perfectly cast family treat.

October 29, 2003
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