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Scrooged (1988)

tomatometer

14

Average Rating: 3.6/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 6

No consensus yet.

audience

72

liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 76,099

My Rating

Movie Info

A darkly comic and surreal contemporization of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, this effects-heavy Bill Murray holiday vehicle from 1988 sees the former SNL funnyman assuming the role of television executive Frank Cross, the meanest and most depraved man on earth. Cross will stoop to unheard of levels to increase his network's ratings -- even if it means mounting outrageous programs to retain an audience, such as "Robert Goulet's Cajun Christmas" and Lee Majors in "The Night the Reindeer

Nov 9, 1999

Paramount Pictures

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Latest News on Scrooged

October 31, 2007:
Robert Goulet: 1933-2007
Robert Goulet, the entertainer whose portrayal of Lancelot in the 1960 Broadway production of...

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All Critics (38) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (13) | DVD (14)

Tacky in the extreme, this self-congratulatory 1988 film is an exercise in hypocrisy, indulging every form of Christmas exploitation that it pretends to attack, and many of the laughs are forced.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An appallingly unfunny comedy, and a vivid illustration of the fact that money can't buy you laughs.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rowdy stuff for the light in head.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In spite of the jokes at the expense of television-network censors, there's very little in the film, aside from naughty words, that wouldn't be perfectly acceptable on prime-time television.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is not a 'good movie' -- in fact, it's a sprawling mess -- but I like it.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It was obviously intended as a comedy, but there is little comic about it, and indeed the movie's overriding emotions seem to be pain and anger.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's got Bill Murray, and that's always a good thing.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

A meaningful Christmas Carol this is not, but a perfectly entertaining yuletide comedy this certainly is.

December 13, 2009 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Bill Murray is the one of the greatest screen Scrooges in this 1980s updating.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A number of talented actors appear, but only a few are able to make much of a mark given their limited screentime.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Frequently funny take on Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" with Murray learning a lesson.

August 12, 2006
Dispatch-Tribune Newspapers

I found much of this irreverent modernization of A Christmas Carol to be hilarious, and I commend Murray and director Donner for giving their film a sardonic edge.

February 20, 2006
FulvueDrive-in.com

A roaring good time.

January 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

I saw this during a brief visit to Germany and it really helped things suck less. Possibly even funnier dubbed in incomprehensible German.

October 20, 2004
New Times

Necessary viewing during the holidays.

June 4, 2004
Needcoffee.com

The smart-aleck comedy keeps the holiday cheer from getting too sugary.

May 21, 2004
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Forgetable holiday offering with Murray at his least inspired.

April 30, 2004
Nitrate Online

Proves that remakes and new visions of old material need not be redundant.

December 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Movie Views

So-so variant on A Christmas Carol as a Bill Murray vehicle,

April 21, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Made in the crappy Murray years between CADDYSHACK and RUSHMORE. A few laughs, but mostly forgettable.

March 18, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

Good idea that never fully plays itself out.

February 12, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Bill Murray as Scrooge? Now that's perfect casting!

February 4, 2003
Sunday Times (Australia)

Audience Reviews for Scrooged

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
December 24, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

"Scrooged is by far one of my favorite Christmas flicks. Yes I know were in Februrary and Christmas has come and gone, but I couldn't resist watching it when I saw it on Netflix streaming. Plus it was about 4 in the morning and I had nothing better to do. I love Bill Murray. He is one of my favorite comedy actors. He has perfect timing with his lines. Carol Kane is my favorite ghost, that being the ghost of Christmas Present. She made me laugh the most. She and Murray were great together.
The movie is a lot of fun and you can't come away not feeling a bit happy after watching it. It's too much fun. Watch it if you get the chance. Who cares if it's Christmas or not. I can watch this anytime."
February 6, 2013
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

It's one of Murray's funnier films and certainly one of the better Christmas movies around (not that that's a hard thing to achieve!) and almost certainly my favourite version of the story.
January 2, 2013
SirPant

Super Reviewer

I can't believe this was made in 88! my god that's a long time ago and I remember when it came out haha!. We all know the plot here I should think, the classic Dickens tale revamped and 'modified' for the modern era...well the 80's.

Straight of the bat this is a classic film based around a classic tale. Like the 'Muppet Christmas Carol' its one of the best versions of Dickens fable around and really gets you in the Xmas spirit. I always loved the title for a start, such a simple idea yet really original in the way its been slightly tweaked.

I never knew that Danny Elfman did the musical score for this either, as I watched this again recently and the film started you hear this typical Elfman score, 'Batman Returns/Beetlejuice' type of thing. You know what I mean...that kind of spooky, gothic, halloween-ish tune accompanied by a young choir to give that crispy old English Xmas atmosphere. These days that typical Elfman score is a bit samey I'll admit but it always works.

The film is so so dated now but you gotta love that 80's look n feel right?. The old 'Gordon Gecko' style high flying business corporate world with its glossy offices, greasy suits and large plastic looking technology hehe. Murray is the perfect cast for this concept, the film was made for him (probably was) as he uses his dead pan, wry, dry stinging humour to really create a sleazy, immoral, disreputable, executive suit wearing Scrooge.

Of course he's not called Scrooge here, the whole film doesn't really mention or use any wording that refers to the old tale (well if you don't count the in-movie plot). This is merely a clever little recreation using the basic story but setting it in the business world. Whats really great is the effects and general visuals still hold up today, they aren't hugely over done effects but simply utilizing makeup and the odd bluescreen. The three main ghosts really add to the film with their performances. 'The Ghost of Christmas Past' (Johansen) easily being the best for me as a dirty, grumpy, pug ugly NY cab driver who shouts abuse at other road users, smokes, probably drinks and generally acts as if he's just sobering up.

'The Ghost of Christmas Present' (Kane) is close behind with her fantastic performance as a sort of bitchy, spoilt, pixie sized fairy with violent tendencies. Despite her delicate appearance in a kind of little girls halloween pink fairy costume complete with tiny wings and lots of sparkly glitter, she acts like a bully. The swing from softly spoken fairy to a swift kick in the balls is quite amusing if childish.

'The Ghost of Christmas Future' is a nice bit of visualisation and simple effects. A large 'man in a suit' approach with some puppet work and a TV screen for a face, to make him seem more modernised I guess. Didn't really see enough of this guy I reckon and he could of been a bit more creepy really, but the sequence where his large hooded face looms up behind 'Frank' across his multiple TV screens is brilliantly done. There he looked good.

The best ghost visually is probably 'Lew Hayward' who is 'Frank's' old boss who comes back to warn him of his pending situation. A great bit of makeup and prosthetic work which really does look real haha loved his snapping arm moment complete with plumes of dry dusty decomposition.

Alongside many other quirky characters there is Glover as 'Brice Cummings' who epitomises the image of an 80's office type and complete arse kissing suck up, love it!. You know he afters 'Frank's' job and that makes him such a good character.

The end to the film does get a bit too vomit inducing for me, never really liked how it all gets so mushy  and almost turns into a 'behind the scenes' piece. 'Frank' breaks the fourth wall in the end and it kinda spoils the film even though its a unique thing to do in a major movie. Up to the very end the film is really enjoyable and chock full of spine tingling atmosphere with great performances, its just a shame the finale goes off track...in my opinion.

'Yule love it!'
December 12, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

    1. Frank Cross: Well I AM happy with the path that I have chosen, you little bitch! In fact, I couldn't be happier!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (24 months ago)
    1. Claire Phillips: Taxi, can you get me to IBC in three minutes?
    2. Ghost of Christmas Past: Which floor?
    – Submitted by Daniel R (2 years ago)
    1. Frank Cross: The Bitch hit me with a Toaster.
    – Submitted by Daniel R (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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