Critics Consensus

A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.



Total Count: 193


Audience Score

User Ratings: 908,544
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Movie Info

For his sophomore stab at directing, actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made), took on this holiday comedy starring Saturday Night Live-alum Will Ferrell. Ferrell stars as Buddy, a regular-sized man who was raised as an elf by Santa Claus (Edward Asner). When the news is finally broken to Buddy that he's not a real elf, he decides to head back to his place of birth, New York City, in search of his biological family. Elf also stars James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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James Caan
as Walter
Bob Newhart
as Papa Elf
Daniel Tay
as Michael
Faizon Love
as Gimbel's Manager
Peter Dinklage
as Mile Finch
Kyle Gass
as Eugene
Artie Lange
as Gimbels Santa
Claire Lautier
as NY 1 Reporter
Ted Friend
as NY 1 Anchor
Patrick Ferrell
as Security Guard
Patrick McCartney
as Security Guard
Annie Brebner
as Elf Student
Luke Paul
as Elf Student
Michael Roberds
as Disgruntled Cobbler Elf
Peter Hulne
as Elf Twin
Patrick Hulne
as Elf Twin
Richard Side
as Elf Teacher
Kristian Ayre
as Foom Foom
Lorin Heath
as Perfume Clerk
Brad Turner
as Office Co-Worker
David Berenbaum
as Office Co-Worker
Brenda Crichlow
as Office Co-Worker
Oscar Goncalves
as Francisco
Murray Jack
as Man in Elevator
Mark Acheson
as Mailroom Guy
Paul Schofield
as Kid with Santa
Matt Walsh
as Himself
Gus Michael
as Witness
Terry J. Scarlatos
as Police Officer
Akeen A. Smith
as School Kid
Jane Bradbury
as Susan Welles
Leon Redbone
as Leon the Snowman
Ray Harryhausen
as Polar Bear Cub
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News & Interviews for Elf

Critic Reviews for Elf

All Critics (193) | Top Critics (48)

Audience Reviews for Elf

  • Nov 26, 2014
    Oddly executed plot along with a joyously flare makes this Christmas comedy a success. Elf is the typical holiday film that's entertaining and strong, all thanks to a vibrant Will Ferrell. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2012
    Elf is a magical Christmas tale that's fun for the whole family. The story follows one of Santa's elves named Buddy who, after finding out that he's adapted, goes looking for his human father in New York City. The film stars Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart, who all give great performances. Ferrell in particular is good at this kind of physical comedy, and there's a certain charm to his performance. However, the film is unable to avoid falling into the usual cliches and stereotypes that Christmas films usually follow. But despite being a tad formulaic, Elf still delivers a wondrous adventure and is sure to become a Christmas classic.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2012
    One of the last great modern Christmas films, Elf benefits greatly from my favorite performance of Will Ferrell's and the great supporting cast. Elf has some smart and hilarious humor, mixed with a cute (if slightly over sentimental) story and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. Overall Rating: 81
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 18, 2012
    Nope, it doesn't make any sense to have Will Farrel to play the Elf, somewhat disturbing and childish (Yes, Slapsticks) Plus there were countless of plot holes I could poke though. I am surprised on the fact that it's a Christmas must-see???
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

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