Bad Santa

Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    60
    I wanted to believe in Bad Santa. At least half of the time I did.
  2. 50
    Bad Santa is a one-joke film; to his credit, Thornton embodies that joke with vicious, vaguely insane conviction.
  3. 50
    A determinedly raunchy holiday comedy about a libidinous, larcenous and perpetually soused St. Nick with a nonstop potty mouth.
  4. 50
    Gets stuck in a rut. Hearing Santa say “f---” isn't nearly as funny the 50th time as it is the first 49.
  5. Aspires to the devilish crudity and unfettered social commentary of South Park. But Zwigoff's direction lacks the exaggerated cartoonishness necessary.
  6. 50
    Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the story, using the ancient gag of the toxic Santa as a vehicle for their patented brand of misanthropy; Zwigoff and company wring some laughs out of it, though the tone is uniformly mean and vulgar.
  7. Perhaps for Zwigoff, directing someone else's script, this was just a job of work. If not, the talent who made "Crumb" and "Ghost World "has now made his first movie mistake.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 289 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 80
  2. Negative: 13 out of 80
  1. Feb 20, 2014
    10
    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 heartEasily 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 »
  2. Feb 3, 2016
    8
    A treatment of comedy treated like it actually works. Everyone's subjected to their own opinions, but I can't handle these 0's here. TheyA treatment of comedy treated like it actually works. Everyone's subjected to their own opinions, but I can't handle these 0's here. They belong somewhere else. Full Review »
  3. Jan 7, 2016
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Went to see it on word of mouth. This is a dark, dark black comedy spoofing life and especially the Xmas season. Billy Bob Thorton as a down and out loser is superb. He stays in character throughout the movie which translates to silver screen very well. He is one bad dude, and despite all of his flaws and total disregard for humanity, you are drawn to him like a bee to honey. There are some fall off of a chair, pee in your pants bathroom humor; but despite that, one can only hope that Billy Bob can find himself that indeed life has a purpose. In doing so, although you laugh, you also feel his pain. In other words despite being a comedy it will evoke your emotions as you leave the theater having some emotion. Definitely a sleeper hit, but I caution it is not for children. Lots of bad language and sexual implications. Full Review »