Bad Santa - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bad Santa Reviews

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December 3, 2016
This movie never gets old. A perfect Christmas movie!
December 1, 2016
An incredibly funny and well written comedy. There are many people who won't enjoy this comedy but those people just don't have a healthy sense of humor. For those who do, please don't miss this one.
November 28, 2016
Love this flick. It is gross out comedy at its very best. Loads of great gags and Billy Bob Thornton is the balls.
November 26, 2016
Nothing says Christmas like the f-word 159 times...
November 25, 2016
Quite possibly the funniest movie ever. If you are a prude bitch, don't bother. ??
Super Reviewer
November 23, 2016
When an R-Rated comedy is released nowadays, it usually only goes one of two ways. Either the rude and crude humour overpower everything, being an excess of gags that run dry very fast, or it will be a cleverly written screenplay that balances the crude with a well-mannered story. When Bad Santa was released back in 2003, it personified the latter half of that statement. Although this is the absolute last Christmas film I would ever want to show kids during the holidays, it does rank among the most memorable holiday films to a much more mature audience. It does not hold back when it comes to cussing or sexual innuendo, but its core story has a very nice payoff that warrant a viewing each year around the Christmas season. Here is why I believe Bad Santa will always hold up.

While it is odd to call a film directed at a specific audience a classic, it is worthy of that title for a few reasons. Released in a time when 3D animation was on the rise, films like The Polar Express or even the live-action Elf are what many families cared more about. They were the films celebrating the holiday spirit the way everyone normally thinks of them. Strip away the technology, the endless presents, the pretty colours, and what do you get? A drunken Santa Claus that swears every five seconds, robs shopping malls with his elf, and uses a young boys home for shelter. Now, normally I would not be attracted to films like this during a season where people try to keep themselves happy, but the overall message is what truly makes this film memorable. For this reason, Bad Santa will end up being a timeless film like Christmas Vacation or It's a Wonderful Life. That being said, It's a Wonderful Life may just be my favourite Christmas film, so I am not trying to compare this to the classics, but it is well on its way for its own special reasons.

To be honest, this is a film that took some time to grow on me. Upon my first viewing many years ago, I enjoyed the film, but never found it to be quite as funny as I do now. The fact that it was so crude was also slightly startling to me, having me miss the big message as a whole. Rewatching the film over the years, I have come to think of Bad Santa as a great film. Sure it is extremely simple, but the fact that an elderly drunk playing Santa Claus can come around and begin to care for a kid that annoyed him from the beginning, just goes to show what having people in your life who care for you can really do. Bad Santa is absolutely hilarious, but that is not why I choose to watch it. It is filled with so much heart that the comedy almost feels like the cherry on top.

The title says it all, and if you are not in for this type of film, I would not suspect it will win you over. This humour is directed at a very specific demographic and if you do not enjoy balls-to-the-wall comedy that doesn't hold anything back, Bad Santa is not for you. There are moments where I feel it goes too far for being a Christmas movie, but it is easily redeemed moments later. I truly can't believe this film has already been in release for over 13 years, but it does hold up better than most Christmas films from its time. Films like Four Christmases, Jingle All the Way, or Christmas with the Kranks are still viewed by many families on cable and whatnot, but they are very mediocre films at best. Although this film is not for everyone, it definitely stands among the top of its genre in its decade.

With loveable characters like Thurman Merman, cleverly written jokes about the Christmas season, a story that takes a while to develop, but in turn makes for a moving conclusion, Bad Santa holds up as one of the better films to watch around Christmas, even if it does dampen the mood quite a bit. If you are looking for a film to genuinely make you smile during the holidays and not laugh due to a film full of grinches, then stay far away from this picture. That being said, even though not everything works throughout this film, it sets up its punchlines perfectly and does everything it wants to before the credits roll. In the end, Bad Santa is a great time if you know what you are getting yourself into.
November 22, 2016
This was just too depressing to watch!
November 21, 2016
Wildly inappropriate, but hilarious with a surprising feel-good ending.

Grade: A
November 21, 2016
Probably my favourite Christmas movie and I know that sounds crazy but it's true.
November 19, 2016
Hilariously funny and surprisingly witty! This is a movie worth watching every Christmas! A+
November 5, 2016
Outrageously hilarious holiday movie!
August 15, 2016
vulgar and very very funny.
August 11, 2016
The movie was so boring half the movie I slept in
August 9, 2016
laugh all though the movie
August 7, 2016
Yes, it's awful, but have to laugh. Definitely not a sentimental Xmas movie.
½ August 1, 2016
Bad Santa is directed by Terry Zwigoff, and it stars Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Lauren Graham, and Bernie Mac in a dark comedy about a drunken robber that dress up as Santa during Christmas in order to get the money. Bad Santa is one of those films that could've go both ways of whether it be really funny, or too mean-spirited. Luckily it isn't the case for it being too mean-spirited as this is a hilarious Christmas film. The Billy Bob Thornton is really funny in this as he does have a balance of whether he goes too far or not in terms of him being a jerk. The beginning was a bit of mixed things for me as it gets some chuckles there, but it can also be a bit too much and wouldn't get a laugh out of me, but when the movie introduces the child character that's played by Brett Kelly, that's when the movie gets downright hilarious, whether it be from him, or from Billy Bob Thornton. The characters are a fun to watch, and with all the nasty stuff in this film, there are some heartfelt moments that is a little taste of Christmas in there that works effectively. The chemistry between Billy Bob Thornton and Brett Kelly is really good, and I'm glad that it doesn't go for the sort of father and son type of relationship. Bad Santa is definitely not for the faint of heart as it does get raunchy a lot, but for people that are into dark comedies, this a lot of fun to watch.
July 21, 2016
This movie is so funny.
July 18, 2016
No this isn't a National Lampoon movie although you could easily be fooled into thinking that with this title. As you might have expected this is a Christmas set film and its about a naughty Santa character. Again you could easily be fooled into thinking this is a silly kids movie with lots of fart gags...but no, its actually a black comedy and most definitely for the grown ups. The whole point of this film is the ever so slight redemption of the main character played by Thornton. This guy is a low down permanently drunk criminal who drags his way through life whilst robbing department stores with his dwarf partner. The dubious duo take yearly jobs as a department store Santa and his elf worker, this way they get to know the ins and outs of the store so they can easily rob it. Things change for Thornton's character 'Stokes' when he meets a tubby little boy who he kinda befriends and takes a shine to...eventually. This film is kinda unique in the sense that the main character has many flaws and issues which you tend to think he will sort out at some point by the end of the film. The twist and funny part is he doesn't really change at all, he does a little bit with the help of his little fat young friend, but not too much really, he still ends up as the same bum. The amusing things about the film are the constant little moments where Thornton's character gets angry or frustrated with the fat kid and swears at him. The little fat kid (eerily played by Kelly) seems to be a bit slow and just takes the abuse, in one ear and out the other. At times it can be very funny to watch these outbursts yet at other times you do feel sorry for the kid or Stokes because you know he sometimes doesn't mean it. The heist aspect of the film is quite good and offers some reasonably tense moments, especially near the end. The various Santa sequences are probably the films highlights as we see Thornton getting sneezed and coughed on by lots of pant wetting scroats. Of course his reactions and the way he treats the kids are the best bits, he basically sneers growls and scowls at them, finally nudging them off his knee and virtually kicking them to the curb. Watching the reactions of the parents is great, as a man pushing 40 and with no kids I love it, if I was a parent I might feel differently I guess who knows. The darkest sequence must be when a severely pissed Stokes crawls up the escalator towards his Santa grotto. His beard and clothes now filthy stained and damaged, he looks like shit, can hardly walk and promptly falls into a reindeer display. This whole sequence starts out funny but descends into a more cringeworthy incident as he freaks out and starts to smash up the Xmas display in front of everyone in the store, its still amusing but also poignant and depressing...much like the plot as a whole really. The finale was a tad of a let down for me, it does seem like you're gonna get the predictable ending where Stokes will die trying to achieve a small slice of decency in his life, the right ending. A bit like the finale in 'The Wrestler' where Rourke's character goes out doing what he loves but also reclaiming a small part of his dignity right at the end. Even though this ending is predictable as I said, I think it would have been stronger for obvious reasons. Instead Stokes lives on and we get some mumbo jumbo about how he survived and what he plans to do after he heals up. This simply feels like an open ending so they can roll out a sequel which this film really doesn't need in my opinion, if it happens that is. I think it should have wrapped up there and then. All in all I like how this is basically an anti-Christmas flick which sticks two fingers up at the sweet yuletide greetings side of it and embraces the Scrooge side with extreme profanity. Its not exactly original in idea, the drunk rude Santa schtick has been done before but you can't deny its amusing. Crude rude edgy and drenched in cynicism...but there is a soft warm heart buried deep in there and it just about manages to shine through in the end.
June 30, 2016
this or 'unrated version' r the best
½ June 30, 2016
Pretty bad, but at parts laughable. Generally wouldn't recommend to someone else.
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