Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. The title refers to the commercialization of just about everything in modern society, and Ferrara brings touches of his ornery filmmaking imagination to bear on the pessimistic parable.
  2. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    70
    R Xmas offers a poetic and profane ambiguity that's vintage Ferrara. The drug dealers are community leaders, the cops are corrupt, and the materialistic wife has unimagined emotional reserves.
  3. Few directors can put loneliness on screen as persuasively or capture the eerie quiet of people waiting for something, anything to happen. It's in moments such as these, when all sense of time disappears and all that remains are bodies in motion and Ken Kelsch's limpid cinematography, that you remember just how good Ferrara can be.
  4. Despite the intriguing potential, the end result is a queasy stalemate.
  5. 75
    Introduces a new Ferrara -- sophisticated and restrained. It's a look that becomes him.
  6. 33
    A seedy little movie with little in the way of theme, purpose, energy or wit, 'R Xmas is the latest slice-of-death drama from that earnest maestro of grub, Abel Ferrara.
  7. 80
    A lean, well-contained slice-of-life at 83 minutes, 'R Xmas finds the director making a confident return to the hard-nosed realism on which he's staked his maverick reputation.
  8. Once Ice-T sticks his mug in the window of the couple's BMW and begins haranguing the wife in bad stage dialogue, all credibility flies out the window.
  9. 60
    Cinematographer Ken Kelsch, Ferrara's frequent collaborator, picks up the theme of overlapping lives by layering images within scenes -- the ongoing interplay of reflections and shadows is breathtaking -- and through slow, shimmering dissolves.
  10. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    60
    Despite some hazy plot points, the tough, compelling drama comes together quite satisfyingly, standing alongside 1996's "The Funeral" as perhaps the most controlled and cohesive of Ferrara's uneven work of recent years.
  11. 60
    Like any self-respecting Ferrara film, 'R Xmas has its intimations of hellfire, yet it's a weirdly benign Christmas fable -- something like "Miracle on 134th Street."
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Ice-T
    Nov 12, 2005
    10
    My movies rock!
  2. GilbertMulroneycakesAndFriends
    Dec 6, 2002
    6
    What the hell is that title all about? I assume I'd get it if I was blacklatinItalian American. But I'm not, so I don't. Anyway, the film. Not bad. But not great. A teensy bit gratuitous and unecessary. Watchable enough. Full Review »