Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The screenplay just isn't funny: Most jokes fall flat and just lie there in a pool of their own sick. And while Zwigoff's deadpan pacing was perfect for the wry, sophisticated humor of "Ghost World," here it's a comedy killer; that extra beat after each new outrage is just long enough for viewers to realize just how sad and disturbing it all is.
  2. Isn't up to much of anything besides pretending that swearwords and snot-nosed insults, served up by Santa with an almost institutional monotony, aren't just naughty. They're -- big joke! -- incorrect.
  3. 20
    A frozen pile of reindeer droppings. The cinematic equivalent to passing a kidney stone, Zwigoff’s unholy foray into “dark comedy” gives us a suicidal, sociopathic drunk slinging swear words with a ferocity that would make Tony Montana wince.
  4. If you're addicted to Billy Bob Thornton's slovenly charm, and thrill to the prospect of watching him talk endlessly about his bodily functions and penchant for anal sex with obese women, this is your movie. If not, it's like 90 minutes in hell.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 136 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 77
  2. Negative: 13 out of 77
  1. Jul 10, 2014
    This film had me spitting out my drink. The timing of the actors was so on cue I'm amazed this movie gets so few awards. Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox are both the funniest and ridiculous duo that I can name off the top of my head. The kid and the bartender had me in stitches. Bernie Mac and John Ritter also gave funny performances. So sad to see them both go, so young. 'Bad Santa' maybe too vulgar for some, but dark comedies are an art form; to take a serious topic, and generate laughs from it takes skill and quality. It shows itself here, if you can get past the language and hedonism. Full Review »
  2. Feb 20, 2014
    Easily one of the best comedies ever made. It's not just the hilarious script and premise that make it stand out, but it has a lot of heart too. For me it's a feel good film and every time I watch it I come away slightly choked up, in a good way. Amazing performances all around, just pure perfection really. I wish Zwigoff would hurry up and make a new film. Full Review »
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    Funny. Really funny and sweet. Several words can be used to describe Bad Santa, but only "Good" actually stands out. Because it was good. Good enough for me to hope for a sequel. Full Review »