User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 180
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Jan 14, 2012
    10
    GREAT FILM! it was funny and a perfect christmas movie to watch some parts of the movie are just too funny. Will Ferrell plays the part of elf really well.
  2. Dec 18, 2010
    9
    Loved it. Christmas movies usually disappoint me, but this one, this one was actually good. The characters are well developed, the plot is interesting and Will Farrell and Zooey Deschanel make it even better. Very good movie.
  3. anonimo
    Jan 2, 2006
    10
    Divertentissimo.
  4. Apr 30, 2011
    5
    Will Ferrell gave a funny performance in this movie. However, the story seems WAY too shallow, and, overall, it's not a very funny movie. You'd be better off watching one of the older, more superior Christmas movies like Jingle All The Way and A Christmas Story.
  5. MartinL.
    Dec 4, 2004
    2
    Just like every other xmas movie...ends out with EVERYONE blievin in Santa, yada yada yada load of ancient crap.
  6. Candy
    Nov 26, 2007
    10
    This is one of the most hilarious Christmas classics ever written. I absolutely loved every minute of it. It was also a movie that kids, teens,and parents will all enjoy!
  7. Matt
    Dec 17, 2007
    3
    The ending was terrible. Weak plot/storyline. Some parts were funny but overall the movie was bad.
  8. Dec 25, 2011
    0
    This movie was absolutely painful to watch. The humour is very childish - fart jokes are NOT funny. After cringing for the entire start of the movie, I ended up walking out because it was so bad.
  9. Jun 19, 2011
    9
    Fantastic! Easily my favorite Christmas movie. It is a hilarious premise, that is highlighted by strong performances. Original, funny, and heartfelt, Elf is a modern Christmas movie that works.
  10. Dec 11, 2013
    10
    I love Elf. It is definitely one of my favorite Christmas movies. The jokes are hilarious!!! Will Ferrell plays Buddy the Elf so well. This movie is also a great family movie. I also get a lot of nostalgia from watching this movie.

    Acting: 9.5
    Jokes: 10

    Total: 9.75 (rounding it to 10)
  11. Mar 18, 2014
    3
    Will ferrel is a funny in anchorman and the campaign . but this movie stinks . it is funny but it is gay like turbo the snail and free birds . it is the Christmas movie i have ever seen
  12. [Anonymous]
    Nov 7, 2003
    10
    Funny, all my family members loved it.
  13. Gregg
    Dec 8, 2003
    9
    Best Christmas movie since "A Christmas Story" and/or "Scrooged."
  14. KelleyL.
    Oct 10, 2004
    9
    It was funny.
  15. AbbyH.
    Dec 1, 2004
    8
    It was a pretty good film in all. GOOD FOR ALL AGES. A perfect Christimas gift too.
  16. Kris
    Jan 25, 2004
    8
    Elf is a good Christmas movie. Some parts made me laugh so hard! WIll Ferrell is an excellent actor. Is it good enough to see over and over again? nope. just good enough to see once with a great feeling at the end.
  17. DanielleB
    Jul 28, 2004
    9
    This movie was unexpectately great and Ferrel was just hilarious.
  18. RobertS.
    May 23, 2005
    9
    When i saw Old School, I didn't think Ferrell was going to be--or was--a truly funny actor. But when I saw Elf, I laughed until I almost cried. I agree, the movie is built on dumb humor, but it still is a holiday treat--heck, an all-year-long treat! I'd watch it any time of the year. For those of you readers who though that Old School and Anchorman were too stupid to sit When i saw Old School, I didn't think Ferrell was going to be--or was--a truly funny actor. But when I saw Elf, I laughed until I almost cried. I agree, the movie is built on dumb humor, but it still is a holiday treat--heck, an all-year-long treat! I'd watch it any time of the year. For those of you readers who though that Old School and Anchorman were too stupid to sit through, sit down and laugh your butt off at ELF! It is truly funny. Expand
  19. Steve
    Nov 15, 2003
    9
    Awesome movie. i think the fact that it retains a PG rating and is still hilarious is a testament to hits strength. heart warming tale.
  20. UnbearableLightness
    Dec 10, 2003
    8
    Suprisingly very enjoyable. Not quite as good as A Christmas Story, but still a great family movie to watch at Christmas time... after making them re-watch A Christmas Story for the billionth time. Will Ferell is amazing.
  21. MikeF.
    Dec 4, 2003
    9
    Laugh out loud from start to end. Great ensemble cast and chalk another classic up on Will's hitlist.
  22. PatrickH.
    Nov 25, 2004
    10
    Great movie for all ages!!! Funny!!!
  23. MelissaMe
    Dec 10, 2004
    9
    Great movie. Watch it with the family and enjoy!!
  24. Arthur
    Dec 28, 2004
    10
    This movie was a big surprise to me. I'm very picky about comedies but Elf has a great, light sense of humor that most lack. It's also refreshing that a comedy can be this good AND you can watch it with your family. Definately a must see.
  25. G.M.D.K.
    Dec 4, 2004
    10
    A great christmas classic. It even made ME belive in Santa. Will Ferrel is the new JimCarrey. Sorry, Jim....
  26. HollyM.
    Dec 4, 2004
    9
    This is a terrific movie for any day, but especially when you're feeling low and/or cynical. Based on the previews, I thought it would be dumb, but on viewing in theater it was sweet, fun, and much smarter than I ever expected. In 2004 DVD release, my family loves it, and I consider it a classic in the more contemporary sense. This is a movie with its heart and its medium in the This is a terrific movie for any day, but especially when you're feeling low and/or cynical. Based on the previews, I thought it would be dumb, but on viewing in theater it was sweet, fun, and much smarter than I ever expected. In 2004 DVD release, my family loves it, and I consider it a classic in the more contemporary sense. This is a movie with its heart and its medium in the right place. Expand
  27. GraceC.
    Mar 19, 2004
    10
    Great movie with nothing bad in it! Very funny and cool!
  28. BillM.
    Mar 4, 2009
    8
    excellent xmas comedy, and surely a future classic. the only movie ive ever seen with will ferrell, so dont judge! might seek out a few more, although unsure if any of his other output also hits the right mark. will stay optimistic! lol.. anyone that dislikes this movie however surely should stay away from this particular genre altogether. perhaps not 'laugh out loud' amusing excellent xmas comedy, and surely a future classic. the only movie ive ever seen with will ferrell, so dont judge! might seek out a few more, although unsure if any of his other output also hits the right mark. will stay optimistic! lol.. anyone that dislikes this movie however surely should stay away from this particular genre altogether. perhaps not 'laugh out loud' amusing for a comedy, but its not really designed to be.. theres actually a reasonable xmas plot in there, and it wears its influences on its shoulders with pride! recommended. Expand
  29. Ryan
    Nov 13, 2003
    7
    Entertaining, but if you don't buy into the ride there are a lot of plot problems, story problems and inconsistent characters. And could it be any more predicatable...with all of the hype on this movie, I was a tad disappointed... and what the heck is the motivation of James Caan to become nice all of a sudden...could have used the children's book angle a little more as well.
  30. MikeM.
    Nov 15, 2003
    8
    Despite some technical (character depth, so-so plot) downfalls Will Ferrell stars in his second good movie in a row, the first being Old School. The movie is probably meant to be geared towards families but certainly it takes a special movie to get a crowd of 20 somethings to burst out in Christmas Carols while watching the movie. Great, you'll laugh till it hurts but don't Despite some technical (character depth, so-so plot) downfalls Will Ferrell stars in his second good movie in a row, the first being Old School. The movie is probably meant to be geared towards families but certainly it takes a special movie to get a crowd of 20 somethings to burst out in Christmas Carols while watching the movie. Great, you'll laugh till it hurts but don't expect brillant acting. Expand
  31. JasonP.
    Nov 24, 2003
    10
    This was an absolutely wonderful Christmas movie. Will Ferrell was portrayed absolute sweetness as Buddy. Take your kids, take your girlfriend or boyfriend, take your little brother or sister. Take anyone, share some Christmas cheer.
  32. HaleyM.
    Dec 23, 2003
    9
    What a cute movie for not having any bad words, sexual activity, or anything of the sort! I loved watching this movie and without a doubt would go to see it again! I love the Taxi parts! LOL...if you don't now what i mean you need to go see this movie!!!!
  33. DragonKnightofFinalFantasy
    Nov 16, 2004
    10
    It was as funny as Hell it was incrediblty funny. I loved it! Get it NOW!
  34. Rico
    Nov 18, 2004
    9
    I really tried to hate this movie. Really...I did. This is destined to become a holiday classic.
  35. DennisP.
    Dec 12, 2004
    6
    Despite the contrived ending, this movie was suprisingly enjoyable.
  36. MitchM.
    Dec 7, 2004
    7
    A holiday classic that the whole family will enjoy. L'il Buddy's sugar-charged enthusiasm for all things Xmas repeatedly knocked my jingle bells off.
  37. RichT.
    Mar 26, 2004
    10
    Absoluteley hilarious. Non stop laughs.
  38. AdamL.
    Jan 14, 2005
    5
    This movie has few funny moments, but I grow tired of Will Ferrell and his obnoxious antics.
  39. Mike
    Dec 25, 2006
    7
    Very enjoyable, funny at alot of moments. But the ending falls apart.
  40. JackS.
    Dec 17, 2008
    9
    This is one of Ferrels more funnier movies. A hell of a lot funnier then "Talladega Nights." This movie made kept me and my brother lauphing for hours. Buddy is so funny and oblivious to how to behave with the people in New York.Had a great sense of humor, I would love to have Buddy the elf as a brother or a friend.
  41. EricY.
    Nov 12, 2003
    10
    I think that I laughed through the entire movie. It was absolutely hilarious. It was only after I left the theatre that I realized that my face hurt so much--from laughing! A must see. This is the new holiday classic!
  42. ChadS.
    Nov 12, 2003
    7
    "Elf" is a small miracle. It's funny. Bob Newhart just has to sit there in that elf get-up and we're laughing. Director Jon Favreau could've gone the PG-13 route and had James Caan's character spout profanities and land punches at his seemingly freak of a son, but he wisely sacrifices a few cheap laughs for warmth and good cheer. "Elf" seemed so poised to be another "Elf" is a small miracle. It's funny. Bob Newhart just has to sit there in that elf get-up and we're laughing. Director Jon Favreau could've gone the PG-13 route and had James Caan's character spout profanities and land punches at his seemingly freak of a son, but he wisely sacrifices a few cheap laughs for warmth and good cheer. "Elf" seemed so poised to be another stupid comedy. In the trailer, we see Ferrell burp and hurl himself on a Christmas tree; but within the context of the film, it actually works. "Elf" isn't high-brow stuff, but it certainily raises the bar, a bar that's been lowered by the collective ouevres of past SNL-cast members. Expand
  43. LeslieR.
    Nov 14, 2003
    8
    Very cute. Warmed us up for the holidays. Great family movie, even if you have teenagers!
  44. ScottF.
    Nov 16, 2003
    9
    Elf is one of those movies that has feel good written all over it. Will Ferrell is at his best throughout the film and steals the show. He has a real talent for comedy and it shows in this movie. Don't let the PG rating fool you because this movie has many moments that are genuinely funny without having to restort to adult content. If you liked Ferrell in Old School they you really Elf is one of those movies that has feel good written all over it. Will Ferrell is at his best throughout the film and steals the show. He has a real talent for comedy and it shows in this movie. Don't let the PG rating fool you because this movie has many moments that are genuinely funny without having to restort to adult content. If you liked Ferrell in Old School they you really need to give Elf a try! Expand
  45. AlokN.
    Nov 29, 2003
    7
    Pretend characters scared me. The man was bad. he saw a girl. he went in the elevator. someone called him elf. he said call me elf one more time.
  46. Dec 10, 2012
    9
    Definitely one of those Christmas films (which you really do have to remember that it is) that can be on each year and not become tedious. Each laugh is still as fresh as the first.
  47. Dec 31, 2014
    6
    Elf is a decent Christmas movie for children. It has a good amount of Christmas cheer and a fair few laughs. A little bit more of Ferrell insanity would have been more appreciated, though.
  48. Feb 9, 2011
    7
    It's good enough to entertain you so it's worth a watch.
  49. Aug 25, 2014
    6
    Without a doubt, Will Ferrell's finest effort to date. There are warm moments but not enough to necessarily make this one a Christmas-classic. Regardless, you're bound to smile at least once or twice.
  50. Jan 7, 2013
    4
    Elf is a sad piece of material. Will Ferell does his best to save the movie but becomes extremely annoying with his tactics. A childish, stupid movie with a few laughs here and there.
  51. Dec 21, 2012
    8
    Just wonderful! It has just the correct amount of comedy, emotion, and magic to make it a great Christmas movie to see year in and year out. Perfect for the holiday season.
  52. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Possessing what might just be Will Ferrell's greatest performance, "Elf" is an irresistibly adorable comedy, stuffed to the gills with hilarious holiday cheer and affecting human pathos.
  53. Jan 14, 2013
    9
    What a great film this turned out to be! It delivered a truckload of laughs that could appeal to anyone, interesting characters, a heartwarming Christmas plot, and zany Looney Tunes-style sight gags! Overall, Elf is a must see for the Christmas season, and even any other time of the year!
  54. Jun 30, 2013
    10
    Elf, The Santa Clause, and Home Alone. Those are the three real Christmas classics since 1990. Will Ferrell's performance is so great, it's not only a kids movie, but an everybody movie.
  55. Apr 15, 2014
    8
    Elf is outright hilarious, unlike some other 2000's Will Ferrell duds (Talladega Knights, anyone?) The sheer innocence Ferrell gives Buddy the elf just elevates the character and reminds us of when we were like that. All of those who didn't like the movie, "you sit on a throne of lies!"
  56. Nov 12, 2013
    6
    Elf is decorated with spirit.
    Elf is simply a fun loving and heart warming comical film about a man raised as an Elf who searches for his biological father. The movie succeeds with its one-liners and quarks to make a good holiday film.
  57. Dec 15, 2013
    8
    Elf is one of those movies that is made or lost by the strength of its lead. Luckily, Will Ferrell plays the role of Buddy with so much energy and passion it's impossible not to like him. While the supporting cast is bland and some scenes fall flat, Elf is an instant holiday classic due to its jokes, which almost always hit bulls-eyes, it's innocent premise, and the warm fuzzy feeling thatElf is one of those movies that is made or lost by the strength of its lead. Luckily, Will Ferrell plays the role of Buddy with so much energy and passion it's impossible not to like him. While the supporting cast is bland and some scenes fall flat, Elf is an instant holiday classic due to its jokes, which almost always hit bulls-eyes, it's innocent premise, and the warm fuzzy feeling that a good Christmas movie provides.

    8.3/10

    Follow me on twitter. @cbeers2513
    Expand
  58. Feb 15, 2014
    8
    With a film like this, you can't just watch it during Christmas, but during all times of the year. Elf proves to be the best holiday comedy since Bad Santa. With both laughs and feelings that move you heart towards the screen and not to the exit.
  59. Dec 18, 2014
    7
    The movie is predictable but he has his laughs.Will Ferrell is really good in his role of a human adopted by elfs who returns in the city.Zooey Deschannel is good but not REALLY good in her role.The humour is childish and the special effects are bad but it's watchable.
  60. Jun 14, 2014
    10
    This is my automatic go to movie if nothing else is on TV! I love this movie and no matter what time of year this movie will bring you Christmas cheer, its just so funny, and it's just one of the ultimate feel good movies!
  61. Dec 20, 2014
    8
    It's funny as hell. The quotes are memorable "Do someone need a hug?', "SANTA! OMG!", " I like to smile, smiling my favorite" Will Ferrell was perfect for this role. It's a instant classic.
  62. May 3, 2015
    9
    one of my favorite Christmas film ever I just love it. this movie is funny if your an adult or a kid the charters where good and the story was wired but it was still good.
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 38
  2. Negative: 2 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the “true spirit of Christmas” must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
  2. 63
    More likely to end up on the snow pile of forgettable Christmas-themed movies than in the vault of memorable ones.
  3. 50
    Ferrell makes the damn thing work. Even though he can't get naked or use naughty words, there's a devil of comedy in Ferrell, and he lets it out to play. Director Jon Favreau has the good sense to just stand out of his way.