Elf - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Elf Reviews

December 14, 2014
Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the "true spirit of Christmas" must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
December 4, 2013
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.
December 4, 2013
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.
September 7, 2011
A disarmingly funny holiday comedy.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 27, 2007
The film soon bogs down in fake hugs and a fakier climax involving Santa (Ed Asner) and his downed sled.
January 26, 2006
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.
August 7, 2004
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.
November 8, 2003
A movie made by people who really have their thinking caps on.
November 7, 2003
Ferrell's stone-stupid sincerity keeps the action moving and irresistible, despite its familiarity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
November 7, 2003
Thanks to Ferrell, it's a tolerably sweet holiday treat.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 7, 2003
Funny and intelligently made, a film for kids and adults that's both sweet and sardonic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2003
It's Ferrell's untethered turn as Buddy that makes Elf sparkle.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
November 7, 2003
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.
November 7, 2003
A pleasantly old-fashioned, gee-whillikers Yuletide confection rescued from Schmaltz-ville by the subversive comic talents of Will Ferrell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2003
As an original family film for the holidays, it's fresh, timely and quite funny.
Read More | Original Score: B+
November 7, 2003
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 7, 2003
You'll laugh hard, you'll laugh often, and you'll leave wishing you still believed in Santa.
Read More | Original Score: B+
November 7, 2003
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 | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2003
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.
November 7, 2003
Leaves a sour taste in the mouth and a Grinch-like resolve to sue the manufacturer.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 7, 2003
Short and sweet.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 7, 2003
Falls short of a laugh riot but proves generally pleasing nonetheless.
Read More | Original Score: B-
November 7, 2003
It's irony-free fun for the whole family.
November 7, 2003
It wiped away the Scrooge in me for 90 enchanting minutes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2003
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 | Original Score: 3/4
November 7, 2003
Ferrell provides just enough humor to get us through the familiar fare and enjoy the ride.
November 6, 2003
Worth seeing, for one simple reason: Will Ferrell.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 6, 2003
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
November 6, 2003
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 | Original Score: 2/4
November 6, 2003
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.
November 6, 2003
The first charming present of the holiday movie season.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 6, 2003
It's a close call for a while, but at the last moment the movie finally soars.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 6, 2003
An enjoyably goofy yuletide tale of a towering innocent with a serious sugar addiction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 6, 2003
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 6, 2003
A charming, silly family Christmas movie more likely to spread real joy than migraine, indigestion and sugar shock.
November 6, 2003
Ferrell has found the ideal starring vehicle -- and it turns out to be Santa's sleigh.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 6, 2003
Formulaic but lovable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 6, 2003
It's the sort of holiday treat even a Grinch would love.
Read More | Original Score: A-
November 5, 2003
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.
November 4, 2003
[A] wan Christmas concoction.
November 4, 2003
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.
November 4, 2003
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2003
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.
October 29, 2003
The sweet-natured outsider fantasy neither skimps on nor overplays its sentimentality.
October 29, 2003
While the words 'instant holiday classic' might be pushing it, Elf is at the very least a breezily entertaining, perfectly cast family treat.