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Overall Rating
3.83

Awesome37.16%
Worth A Look: 36.49%
Average: 8.78%
Pretty Bad: 7.43%
Total Crap: 10.14%

9 reviews, 94 user ratings


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Bad Santa
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"The complete and total opposite of a Wonderful Life."
4 stars

Even the most cynical of bastards love a little something about the Holiday Season. It could just be the silly songs or the happily bustling malls, but after a while (say like, two weeks before Christmas actually arrives) it starts to get a bit grating. One can only see the same TV commercials and offer chipper little "Happy Holidays!" greetings to everyone under the sun before it all seems a little...forced. For those who could use an acidic shower of anti-schmaltz, I heartily recommend "Bad Santa".

Good dark comedies are a rare breed. Rarer still is a black comedy that remains consistently bitter and nasty throughout, as it's usually much easier to lighten things up in an effort to appease the multiplex masses. If a movie can stun you with its audacious behavior and offer up a heaping dose of nasty big laughs...well that's a movie that probably deserves to be seen.

Sadly I predict a rough road at the box-office for Terry Zwigoff's Bad Santa; it's certainly not what one could define as a "crowdpleaser". But those with a taste for humor of a profane and questionable nature, here's one you'll probably dig.

Billy Bob Thornton plays an unbelievable lowlife named Willie. Willie and his diminutive partner Marcus (the hilarious Tony Cox) have an annual scam: Willie's the Santa, Marcus is the elf, and a new mall every winter is the latest mark. During the day our devious duo (barely) entertain the greedy little moppets lined up at the mall queues; on Christmas Eve they break into the shopping center and rob it blind. As the flick opens, the scam has earned our anti-heroes well over $100,000; but when next Christmas rolls around, Willie and Marcus meet up in Phoenix to get down to business once again.

Logically there are all sorts of bizarre goofballs to contend with: a repressed mall manager (the late great John Ritter, offering a few solid laughs to remember him by), an opportunistic security chief (Bernie Mac, reveling in the vulgarity of it all), an anonymous sadsack chubby kid (Brett Kelly, sweet in a pathetic way) and a sexy barmaid (Lauren Graham) with a fetish for St. Nick.

It's all very anti-consumer and decidedly NON-P.C. - and that's the main reason Bad Santa works so well. Inject any sort of sunny platitude and everything that came before is negated. Thornton and Cox are clearly having a lot of fun as they push the envelope of good taste, Bernie Mac and John Ritter have a few truly funny conversations together, there's a whole lot of laughs courtesy of good ol' fashioned shock-value, and everything ends in a satisfying way without having to resort to outright bullshit.

Bad Santa certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea. It's logical that some people might not appreciate a comedy in which a young kid is constantly cussed and yelled at; others might not like the fact that Christmas itself is treated rather shabbily. But if you're sort of a Grinch, or you just need a brief respite from all the sugarplums and the tree ornaments for 90 minutes, Bad Santa is a nasty and joyously caustic good time.

And trust me on one thing: this is NOT a Santa flick you should bring your kids to.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8367&reviewer=128
originally posted: 11/26/03 19:28:22
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell bad indeed it sux donkey dicks 1 stars
12/20/14 PAUL SHORTT AUDACIOUS, FUNNY SATIRE 3 stars
3/01/11 Captain Slog Best Xmas movie ever made 5 stars
12/13/10 MP Bartley When Santa came down the motherfucking chimney, he brought this motherfucking great film. 5 stars
10/18/09 Chad Dillon Cooper A new Christmas classic. I ho ho hoed my A$$ off 4 stars
10/15/09 art WHO NEED"S THIS?,<IT"S REALLY PITIFUL! 1 stars
5/18/09 art BAD IS RIGHT! 2 stars
11/17/08 Samantha Pruitt incredibly raunchy and funny, that Billy Bob does a great job! 4 stars
10/11/08 Annie G Great concept, but poorly executed. Even a Scrooge like me says ‘blah’ 2 stars
5/02/08 art A BRUTAL AND MEAN SPIRTED YET A FUNNY AND< TOUCHING FILM 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies A guilty pleasure. 4 stars
2/01/08 Bonny S. It had a few good laughs, but kinda stupid. 3 stars
10/16/07 fools&#9835;gold Violence is beautiful and real. This is realistic and funny - if only it was more fresh! 3 stars
6/16/07 al smith so crude and funny.billy bob is awesome 5 stars
3/24/07 mb Nothing There 1 stars
12/22/06 MP Bartley When Santa came down the motherfucking comedy he brought a motherfucking good comedy. 4 stars
11/06/06 Chris Bad santa bad movie 1 stars
1/21/06 eTourist Raunchy, Profane, Perverted, Seditious ... and ... Perfect 5 stars
1/08/06 gerry dunne why is there so much violence in american films? 2 stars
9/12/05 Total Crap Hands Down. The funniest movie ever. Wait till your find out the kid's name. 5 stars
8/11/05 ES funny movie, great main character, so many cool scenes 4 stars
6/18/05 Charlie This is the next "Christmas Story"! 5 stars
5/09/05 JFK not to funny, but entertaining.the end sucks 4 stars
4/11/05 gasml laughed the whole movie, brilliant 5 stars
3/25/05 indrid cold Good for several bellylaughs, but really not much to it. 4 stars
3/12/05 Edler It is missing some. The crudest is overdone at time. The kid is great though! 3 stars
12/24/04 Hugh Janus If you missed the point of this masterpeice, its your fuckin loss 5 stars
12/14/04 Taylor Fladgate Bad Santa? Bad idea, bad movie. 1 stars
12/13/04 Landshark Willie is to Santas what Shakes was to clowns...Zwigoff never gets candyassed. 4 stars
12/10/04 Jason Kaul Get past the language and overall crudeness, and this film has a lot of heart. 4 stars
12/05/04 Kristina Williams THIS is an Xmas movie! 5 stars
11/22/04 Melissa Way funnier than I expected. I laughed (and even cryed) at sweet Therman Merman 4 stars
11/11/04 David Johnson A great black comedy, ... for anyone needing their fix of "BAH HUMBUG"!!! 4 stars
10/30/04 Sherman McMerman FUNNIEST MOVIE IVE EVER SEEN I love the part when throws da clock and yells FUCK U 3 times 5 stars
8/30/04 Geo78665 Some laughs, but too one-note. Where did all the great reviews come from? 3 stars
8/18/04 Anthony G one of the worst movies I have ever seen, FUCK THIS SHIT. 1 stars
8/08/04 DH 4th grade attempt at satire--so lame! 1 stars
8/05/04 Chris it made me laugh, and it was an okay movie. not the greatest ive seen though. 3 stars
8/04/04 ownerofdajoint THIS MOVIE IS A FUCKING HOOT!!GO FUCKING GET IT ! 4 stars
7/31/04 Tom with the talent in this movie, I was hoping for much better results 1 stars
7/28/04 Mike Devans hilarious 5 stars
7/08/04 Simon Khalil I'd comment but I'M ON MY FUCKING LUNCH BREAK!! 4 stars
6/11/04 T. Maj Holiday-temed black comedy--great genre! 4 stars
6/08/04 Jon Hillarious 5 stars
5/11/04 Z F Funny as hell, +best little-person role since Year of Living Dangerously 5 stars
4/04/04 da hood i liked it! good halloween movie! 5 stars
3/26/04 LIAM JACKSON santa fucking a woman in the ass? right.... 4 stars
1/24/04 bender funny as hell. 4 stars
1/21/04 John B. Worst movie I've ever seen 1 stars
1/16/04 Ralph R. Clemente Liked it a lot - funny in a sick kind of way 4 stars
1/15/04 Jack Bourbon Funny goddam fuckin shit. 4 stars
1/10/04 Tommy Funniest movie since Caddyshack; One for the Ages 5 stars
1/09/04 Vince Krey sucks the big one. 1 stars
1/06/04 jim march best christmas movie of all time 5 stars
1/04/04 b denton Steps close to saccharine, but never goes over the edge. 5 stars
1/03/04 A F Although raunchy, you need to be at least 50 to enjoy this film. 3 stars
12/31/03 Mike I can not believe that parents really let their children participate in this move 1 stars
12/31/03 Nee Nee This should have been rated X instead of R 1 stars
12/31/03 Me. >:) My god, Max Van Ville is FINE! 5 stars
12/31/03 Angolmois If you like Coen Brothers movies, you'll like this one.Never though I'd laugh at crotchkick 4 stars
12/29/03 Haney Fuckin Hilarious 5 stars
12/26/03 Richard Finally a movie that sees this Christmas shit the way I do 5 stars
12/25/03 Greg Wheat funny as hell 5 stars
12/23/03 Jed Just amazing! Funny but hits an emotional chord. 5 stars
12/23/03 Marcia Lartz Entertaining in spite of itself. A guilty almost pleasure. 4 stars
12/23/03 SC It was the sickest, most twisted, perverse, irreverent and utterly appalling movie I had se 5 stars
12/23/03 Steven wolff best xmas movie ever 5 stars
12/22/03 Ivan Amaro Very creative, you get a surprise after a surprise, the soundtrack picks are extraordinary 5 stars
12/22/03 ger Bad Santa is one of the 10 worse movies I have seen 1 stars
12/12/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. I haven't seen a Santa this BAD since Bill Murray on "SNL" in 1977. R.I.P. John Ritter. 5 stars
12/11/03 john great, hilarious, delightful 5 stars
12/11/03 Tom F Great movie! Laughed so hard I cried! 5 stars
12/11/03 astrotart Finally a movie that's just as crass as I am! 4 stars
12/10/03 re funny 5 stars
12/08/03 Still N. Stitches Funniest "got damned" movie I've seen in a long while! Riotously hilarious! 5 stars
12/05/03 Smitty in Evanston The funniest film of the year... 5 stars
12/05/03 Igor Laughed my ass off. I haven't seen a movie this funny in a very long time. 5 stars
12/03/03 Obi Wan Unexpectly very funny . . .didn't know Billy Boy had it in him! LOL I'M ON MY BREAK!!!!!! 5 stars
12/03/03 Agent Sands This is a surprisingly brilliant, hilarious movie. Everything's done well. 5 stars
12/03/03 aseelye Funniest movie I've seen in a long time 5 stars
12/02/03 kawaii50 I laughed but I found myself wondering why in the @#$% I was watching this mess 2 stars
12/02/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat THIS MOVIE WAS FUCKING AWESOME.HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/01/03 JackedSanta Funny 5 stars
12/01/03 NoRefill 4 or 5 pretty funny scenes, but the rest just falls apart. Had potential, but fails. 2 stars
11/30/03 cpbjr Laughed my ass off, but was very poignent at the same time. Good flick. 4 stars
11/30/03 Morally Sound Ho-ho-hollarious from start to finish! Black comedy at its best! 5 stars
11/30/03 jimmy d this movie is a very touching family movie. only rated R for 1 f word. rest is touching!!! 5 stars
11/28/03 ajay this movie is full of those moments where you think, "man, it's so wrong, but so funny" 4 stars
11/28/03 Michael Medved Fun for the whole family!! Bring the kids! 5 stars
11/28/03 Scott Imhoff Bad Santa is a mean-hearted story about the abuse of an overweight child. 1 stars
11/28/03 Curious George Pretty good. 4 stars
11/28/03 TP Bad film, Butt fucking bad! 1 stars
11/27/03 nick2k this movie was quite coen-esque. really funny! 5 stars
11/25/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat Saw it last night in a screening. very funny, and good to see ritter again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 10-Oct-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Nov-2004




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