Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. 90
    But Bad Santa does feature one last turn from the late John Ritter as a twittery department-store manager (his name, Mr. Chipeska, is a stroke of brilliance that I still can't quite put my finger on).
  2. 90
    Much like "School Of Rock," Bad Santa salvages a tired, paint-by-numbers formula by resisting it every step of the way, stubbornly refusing to stop its juvenile fun until the last possible moment.
  3. As surreal as it is obscene, as clever as it is crude. It plays like some raw offspring of underground comix and the comedies of the 1920s.
  4. The movie is -- how can I say this? -- funny as hell. It's like an old Mad magazine "Scenes We'd Like to See" put together by someone on crystal meth, with a vicious streak, an existentialist streak and no mercy anywhere in his soul and only the tiniest flinch at the end, which is probably, sigh, the best way to end.
  5. Suddenly, you're looking at life in his (Thornton's) jaundiced way and laughing with a sense of vicarious liberation, even when he says the most outrageous things -- to children, no less. And I daresay you can still recover your holiday spirit when you're through laughing.
  6. 88
    A demented, twisted, unreasonably funny work of comic kamikaze style, starring Billy Bob Thornton as Santa in a performance that's defiantly uncouth.
  7. 88
    The foulest holiday movie I've ever seen -- and the funniest.
  8. 88
    Won't appeal to everyone, of course, particularly those who blush easily. And parents who take children to see it deserve to have their heads examined. But for those who don't mind a little bile in their eggnog, it's the perfect antidote to all that prefab Christmas cheer.
  9. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    This is a filmmaker who instinctively knows that a shot of Santa sitting at a bar as Ricky Nelson sings Jingle Bells will be no-frills funny.
  10. 88
    Gloriously funky in the good old meaning of the term. Its vulgarity may be offensive, but it's also pungent and real, and it fuels some ferocious humor.
  11. 83
    It's a film for those people -- and they are legion -- who recoil in horror from the very notion of Christmas cheer. If you're in that crowd, and you know who you are, you'll love it.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 60 out of 76
  2. Negative: 13 out of 76
  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 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 14, 2014
    7
    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 »
  3. Jan 25, 2014
    8
    Bad Santa is a holiday treat. With all the feel-good sentimental flicks out there, this movie is a refreshing counterpart to those movies, with its foul-mouthed, alcoholic protagonist and his also foul-mouthed, temperamental little elf. The movie is better than you think, and laugh out loud funny. Full Review »