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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.14%
Worth A Look49.11%
Average: 8.04%
Pretty Bad: 5.36%
Total Crap: 5.36%

6 reviews, 76 user ratings

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by Greg Muskewitz

"Merry go-round."
4 stars

Thoroughly pleasant and engaging holiday movie about a regular human-being adopted by elves, who sets out to find his biological father.

Despite the obvious outcome which is visible nearly from the outset, it remains a giddy, high-spirited comedy with a good amount of appeal permeating from the genial cast. One reason it comes off so smoothly is because Elf doesn’t simply content itself to appease the juvenile audience. While that is certainly where the movie is aimed, relying heavily on sight gags and goofy predicaments, it isn’t limited to stopping there; enough humor has been set aside to either go over the kids’ heads, or to find someplace in the middle to keep it consistent. And some of the fun totally rides on the coattails of being set in New York — probably the best place to set a Christmas movie in the U.S. — and making an experience out of it all. (Santa’s admonishment that, “There are 30 Ray’s Pizzas claiming to be the original. The real one’s on 11th,” or Will Ferrell’s incidents with taxicabs, or the local news reports on the “Ho, ho, hoax,” etc.) The movie’s ability to transition and meet halfway in its bargain is likely a direct link to Jon Favreau, in his directorial follow-up to Made (a puerile adult movie), who, while his acting is often quite childish, has been around long enough to know which notes to hit and where to hit them. And he knows that any aim beyond that, considering the fluff he’s directing, would melt as quick as a snowflake in San Diego. Pleasantries are also brought by the underused Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, and a little bah-humbug from James Caan.


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originally posted: 05/13/04 07:53:42
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User Comments

12/25/13 Charles Tatum Fun stuff, with energetic cast and direction 4 stars
12/14/10 zenny If you don't like this movie, you're a heartless grinch 5 stars
12/24/09 MP Bartley Funny and kinda sweet, despite plot sinkholes. Ferrell is terrific. 4 stars
12/16/09 A Girl it puts you in the mood? hahahahha 4 stars
1/10/09 Anonymous. i watch this every christmas and it definitely puts me in the mood :] 4 stars
11/17/08 Samantha Pruitt Will Ferrell is really great in it, one movie where he isn't just playing himself! 4 stars
9/04/08 Rachel Not as funny as I'd hoped. Will Ferrell does best at non-PG comedy. 3 stars
8/19/08 Shaun Wallner Will Farrell makes some great films! 5 stars
1/12/08 Pamela White makes a yearly Christmas one to watch 4 stars
6/15/07 Vincent Ebriega A very funny Christmas family movie. Better than expected. 3.5/5. 4 stars
1/03/07 Buddy I like to smile. Smiling's my favorite. 5 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai A funny, enjoyable film. It's really good. 4 stars
11/19/06 Ionicera predictable, sorta dumb, but still fun 3 stars
9/03/06 Dragon The Artist Cute, but I wish Ferrell would ditch his half-retarded infantile characters 2 stars
11/23/05 Ambiedextris LOVED IT! It was hilarious! 5 stars
9/08/05 Tom Burns This is the funniest holiday movie in years. 5 stars
8/18/05 ES Could have been better, ferrel is an old dog with no new tricks 3 stars
7/16/05 Charlie Ferrell is great (just like in Anchorman), but the rest of the movie is average. 4 stars
7/10/05 JFK not that good. 3 stars
4/01/05 Carolyn Cherry Hilarious 5 stars
3/26/05 Denise not that funny 2 stars
3/25/05 Valerie One of the best Christmas movies ever! 5 stars
3/25/05 Abbi Feel good film, still makes me laugh 5 stars
2/23/05 gracecchu This was such a funny movie, any time of the year! 4 stars
2/21/05 david basile very funny origanal comedy 5 stars
2/19/05 Diane Stahlman THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUNNIER 3 stars
2/17/05 Lisa Jochelson Will Ferrell at his stupid comedy best. 4 stars
2/15/05 Christine I thought it was entertaining 4 stars
2/14/05 Angela Saunders Hilarious! Born to be the next Christmas classic! 4 stars
2/13/05 Charlene Javier Better than expected. 4 stars
2/12/05 Ig Didn't like the movie 2 stars
2/10/05 Colleen Goldrick Hysterical and Very Silly 4 stars
2/02/05 BobbysRedQueen My Family enjoyed seeing Elf, especially the kids ! 4 stars
1/17/05 HL Aside from a few funny bits..just stupid crap... 2 stars
1/05/05 HotGirl Way better than I thought it would be. Funny and Touching. 4 stars
12/30/04 Debra Sherman a warm fuzzy for Christmas 4 stars
12/28/04 Jim Some amusing nonsense, some plain old silliness. 4 stars
12/28/04 efrain really funny. simple and sorta family-friendly 4 stars
12/27/04 Alex Ferrell Kills it!! 5 stars
12/25/04 Freddy mostly annoying, not very funny 1 stars
12/25/04 Charlene Javier Unexpectedly funny! 4 stars
11/18/04 Jews for Hitler Pretty funny stuff. Grossed out girlfriend with the spaghetti/poptarts/syrup scene. 5 stars
11/16/04 Dunce Farrel & Newhart - always funny, but this movies isn't. Worth a rental. 3 stars
11/08/04 da hood awp! what the fuck! 1 stars
11/07/04 Evan garbage. kids will love it 1 stars
8/26/04 jmsynth Kids will probably love it. Adults should see "Bad Santa" intsead 2 stars
7/25/04 DM Gets corny towards the end, but has some funny parts 3 stars
7/15/04 S.F What the hell was the ending all about and the chick who sings like a reject from 'Annie'? 1 stars
5/16/04 Idiot's Mouth "Sweet"? "Sensitive"? That is GAY. Farrell is a retard, like all SNL "actors". Save$! AVOID 1 stars
2/04/04 Chris I loved this movie alot. One of the top 10 christmas movies of all time. :) 5 stars
1/02/04 Jon Lyrik Middle somewhat sags, but a funny and sweet movie and maybe even a new Christmas classic. 4 stars
12/26/03 Wolf MUCH Better than I thot it would be; and Zooey's voice is *soo* sexy... :) 5 stars
12/26/03 Marcia Lartz Promising start; Middle DRAGS; Ending sort of okay. 3 stars
12/01/03 NoRefill Good mix of adult and child humor. W. Ferrell's style compliments film well. 4 stars
11/29/03 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. Fell asleep. Maybe I have no sense of humor. Maybe the rest of you don't. 2 stars
11/29/03 k a LOT of fun... just see it 4 stars
11/27/03 Amanda This movie is very funy 5 stars
11/27/03 he a good film 4 stars
11/25/03 Troy Butler 4.5 stars, ... really enjoyable, fun for all ages!!! Highly Recommended!!! 5 stars
11/25/03 Pat Brink This movie is great! See it now...and see it every Christmas! 5 stars
11/23/03 Flick Chick you'll like it, the kids will love it. 4 stars
11/23/03 Nicole Cute & funny 4 stars
11/16/03 bullit16 Very cute. Laugh out loud funny. 4 stars
11/16/03 Jaime I loved this movie!! It was really worth seeing:) 5 stars
11/12/03 Dee Soon to be a Christmas classic 5 stars
11/12/03 nick2k not amy sedaris, andy richter, kyle gass, and matt walsh is in it!!! 4 stars
11/12/03 Two-G - horror_blood2 (aka Double G) Hilarious Movie! 5 stars
11/11/03 Cameron Slick Ferrell is just as funny in this one as he was in Old School, only on a different field. 4 stars
11/10/03 OSU1992 OHMYGOD this movie sucked. 1 stars
11/10/03 kaori lost it was sooooo cute and funny. A film with lots of heart. 5 stars
11/10/03 Miss B. Haven SANTAAAAA!!!!!OH MY GOD!!!!! i know him!! funny, sweet movie 5 stars
11/09/03 George Jung Amazing. 5 stars
11/08/03 Vicious Ferrell was great. 4 stars
11/08/03 Blubberbot Very funny 5 stars
11/07/03 Boombah Baby Surprisingly great. Nice job, Ferrell and Favreau! 5 stars
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  07-Nov-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 26-Oct-2010



Directed by
  Jon Favreau

Written by
  David Berenbaum

  Will Ferrell
  James Caan
  Zooey Deschanel
  Bob Newhart
  Ed Asner
  Mary Steenburgen

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