User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 221 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 221
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  1. KevinR.
    Nov 26, 2003
    8
    Falling down funny...because it doesn't succumb to Hollywood conventions of what comedy should be but takes its own sort of risks and truly makes you laugh.
  2. DudleyR.
    Dec 6, 2003
    10
    There are no words to tell you how funny and insane this movie truly is. Go see it and enjoy.
  3. JamalJ.
    Jan 15, 2004
    10
    Jamal liked Bad Santa. It was cool. Right on.
  4. MikeM.
    Nov 30, 2003
    9
    Raw, rauncy, outrageous and daresay, nearly perfectly criminal when it comes down to it. To hear everything coming out of Billy Bob's mouth will become increasingly harder as the movie goes on (from lauging out loud). There is symbolizism with Bernie Mac and the cigerettes and oranges that gives depth to his character. Great performances all around especially the late John Ritter and Raw, rauncy, outrageous and daresay, nearly perfectly criminal when it comes down to it. To hear everything coming out of Billy Bob's mouth will become increasingly harder as the movie goes on (from lauging out loud). There is symbolizism with Bernie Mac and the cigerettes and oranges that gives depth to his character. Great performances all around especially the late John Ritter and Tony Cox. There's also a few great scenes with Cloris Leachman. The Coen Brothers wrote a masterpiece here that could go down as a cult favorite a few years from now. Expand
  5. 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.
  6. EarlJ.
    Jul 7, 2004
    9
    That guy down there said bernie mac isnt funny. some people!
  7. RobertN.
    Feb 25, 2004
    8
    So bad, its good.
  8. ChuckM.
    Jul 9, 2004
    10
    Perfect. I put off renting this one for quite a while because the trailers made it look lame. I figured Terry Zwigoff finally sold out but I was wrong. This is as funny as any of his other films. I don't understand the half-wits who didn't think the movie was funny but, hey, it takes all kinds (I guess)...
  9. Spriggangirl
    Dec 3, 2003
    10
    Bad santa,Good film!!
  10. [Anonymous]
    Dec 3, 2003
    10
    What a great movie! Funny and sad at the same time.
  11. parmss
    Nov 6, 2004
    9
    This movie is class. So enjoyable.
  12. LeroyT.
    Jan 18, 2004
    10
    Billy Bob rocks!
  13. WaltH.
    Mar 5, 2004
    9
    It made a Billy Bob Thornton fan out of me. I went to "Slingblade next... He's great ! !
  14. TylerC.
    Jun 26, 2004
    10
    This movie was just too funny for words. Anyone who appreciates the whole alcoholic/santa mystique will find this witty. I laughed too many times to count. This was a rarity in movies made in this era. This was no stupid "Old School" movie. This actually had a lot of talent in the chamber.
  15. CosmicStarGoat
    Jul 22, 2004
    10
    Thorton was perfect in this hilarious comedy. Buy the DVD uncut version!
  16. MichaelC.
    Jul 7, 2004
    9
    Hilarious! I really can't begin to describe how funny this movie is. Billy Bob delivers an awesome performance as one of the best anti-heroes of all time. If you're easily offended, this is not the movie for you. However, if you're ready for a great laugh, leave your morals at the door and pop this one in.
  17. BrianG.
    Nov 29, 2003
    10
    This was the best anti-commericalized christmas movie of all time... A lot of people in the theatre were laughing ... If you don't care for holiday cheer and want to tell everyone what you really think about this stressful time of year... see this movie.
  18. CedricB.
    Dec 14, 2003
    7
    I really didn't think this movie was funny...but it wasn't exactly unfunny either. After seeing multiple trailers of this flick, I thought it was going to be nothing more than badly timed jokes centered around a holiday theme. I didn't laugh much, but more importantly, I didn't cringe, and I enjoyed the subtlety which was not at all apparent in the trailer. It was I really didn't think this movie was funny...but it wasn't exactly unfunny either. After seeing multiple trailers of this flick, I thought it was going to be nothing more than badly timed jokes centered around a holiday theme. I didn't laugh much, but more importantly, I didn't cringe, and I enjoyed the subtlety which was not at all apparent in the trailer. It was interesting to see the same jokes which fell flat in the trailer work so well in context to the film. The acting and timing is actually good. So, basically I'd recommend the film with only slight reservations. There really aren't many belly laughs, but the comedy aspect is pretty painless to sit through, and it's much more interesting and rewarding to watch the more subtle themes about life and our sense of worth play out. Expand
  19. NormanZ.
    Dec 2, 2003
    7
    I loved Billy Bob's sarcasm.
  20. ScottE.
    Dec 20, 2003
    7
    This movie quite possibly ranks as the most crude, vulgar, cynical take on the nation's obsession with Christmas cheer. And for that distinction alone, it is destined to become an instant "Scrooge" classic. Billy Bob Thornton's nasty, drunken Mall-Santa sloughs through his day in such a foul, putred existence that we can't help but feel empathy for his fatalistic persona. This movie quite possibly ranks as the most crude, vulgar, cynical take on the nation's obsession with Christmas cheer. And for that distinction alone, it is destined to become an instant "Scrooge" classic. Billy Bob Thornton's nasty, drunken Mall-Santa sloughs through his day in such a foul, putred existence that we can't help but feel empathy for his fatalistic persona. Most moviegoers who aren't too thin-skinned to appreciate this movie's subversive dark humor will laugh hysterically at some of the hijinks that Thornton and his "elf," played by Tony Cox, manage to pull off. John Ritter portrays the spineless mall manager appropriately, while Bernie Mac appears as the mall's security chief who's gotten wise to Santa's scheme. Along the way, we're introduced to an 8-year-old who pries his way into Thornton's heart by topping his own self-loathing. The ending might seem too predictable, but it seems to fit this dysfunctional tale. Even though the humor ranks even darker than "Heathers," I still left the theater feeling like I'd watched this generation's version of "Christmas Story." I'm still chuckling at the some of the clever banter offered up from this script by the Coen brothers (Thornton: "What is it with you and sandwiches?!?"). While I acknowledge that this isn't a break-through performance by Thornton, I can still appreciate his character's existentialist quest for something (anything) that is larger than himself. One final caveat to prospective viewers: Do NOT bring your children to see this film! The humor is vulgar and explicit (way past "South Park" humor), and it just isn't appropriate for young, impressionable kids. Expand
  21. RobertH.
    Dec 4, 2003
    10
    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 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. Expand
  22. HarryH.
    Dec 4, 2003
    10
    Absolutely freaking hilarious laugh out loud black comedy. Not for children and destined to become a Holiday classic. Billy Bob Thorton is marvelous and the supporting cast surrounds him to perfection. Don't miss it.
  23. PaulaW.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    Bad Movie my eye! This is destined to reach cult status as did Animal House. It is the Anti-Xmas movie and thank God for that. It pokes fun at all of us for the way we have become so commercialized at this time of year. Billy Bob is simply outstanding and his supporting cast is hilarious in the way they play up to him. Without doubt the best movie out but a word of caution that you should Bad Movie my eye! This is destined to reach cult status as did Animal House. It is the Anti-Xmas movie and thank God for that. It pokes fun at all of us for the way we have become so commercialized at this time of year. Billy Bob is simply outstanding and his supporting cast is hilarious in the way they play up to him. Without doubt the best movie out but a word of caution that you should not bring your children or adults not possessing a grand sense of bathroom humor. Not 30 seconds go by without Billy Bob shouting another obscenity at someone (kids included.) Expand
  24. WarrenT.
    Dec 5, 2003
    10
    Drop dead funny that has you rolling in the aisle.
  25. DenzelN.
    Jan 15, 2004
    10
    Too funny for words. And speaking of words, not two sentences go by before Billy Bob utters another curse word. Just hilarious and bound to become a cult classic.
  26. GregA.
    Dec 19, 2004
    8
    When a friend of mine said I had to go and see this movie I usually don't expect to find it as good as they say. However, Bad Santa was a gem of a movie, it was funny from start to finish and actually had a story that contained the essence of what Christmas is all about despite the constant swearing and crudeness!!
  27. MarcH.
    Oct 24, 2004
    8
    Very enjoyable. Yes it was offensive, but you just can't help liking old billy-bob. the late john ritter was very amusing too.
  28. WaltD.
    Jan 24, 2004
    10
    Without a doubt one of the funniest movies I have seen in some time. It's hilarious and will surely become a cult classic in time. Don't miss it.
  29. RussellL-H
    Jan 5, 2004
    9
    I was surprised (and a bit ashamed) at how much I laughed. This will be one of those movies that people rent year after year as the perfect antedote for the holiday season. I still find myself repeating some of the crudest lines to my friends. The worse the Santa - the better the movie.
  30. BubbaFresh
    Jan 7, 2004
    10
    Holds nothing back with regards to political correctness. That is why this movie is so great. Extremely funny if you despise annoying snot faced kids and love drinking.
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. 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.
  2. Happens to be extremely funny -- at times sidesplittingly so -- thanks to Zwigoff's way with raw irreverence and Thornton's perfectly pitched, ready-for-anything performance.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    First-rate talent and a uniquely dyspeptic mood separate this effort from more routine, populist stabs at tasteless yukkage.