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I cant believe some of the comments...
mazingol24 September 2004
I think this movie was great. It has hilarious humour and its almost an unique growth story of a man that has grown tired of his miserable life and finds something worth fighting for.

The thing that bothers me is that some people criticize the film cause it has too bad language. In my opinion the used language is important part of the film. I wouldn't find the characters very "authentic" if they wouldn't use the kind of language they do.

Maybe its part of modern trend. People are shocked if somebody swears or shows a breast in TV and after that they go see some idiotic TV series or action movie where they kill 1000 people and not even blink.

Is the message "violence is OK, but sex/nudity and swearing is not" somehow logical? I think in the real life its quite the opposite.
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Crude,Rude and Surprisingly Touching
trickydicky8 January 2005
I avoided this flic when it first came out due to the reviews which concentrated on the 'cynicism'and 'edgyness' of the effort. It is crude.It is rude.And is is filled with enough 4-letter words to be its own zone of bad taste. Know what else? Billy Bob Thorton is masterful as is the rest of the cast.There are no 'heroes',but Billy Bob is not exactly an anti-hero either.He portrays a broken,dysfunctional loser who holds nothing in contempt so much as himself.Desiring nothing so much as extinction,he rambles through life hating EVERYTHING. But it's Christmas,and even for losers third,fourth,fifth,or 50th chances sometimes show up.Watching Billy Bob's character 'grow-up'during the film is surprisingly heartwarming.For a broken man,he does the best he can once he allows himself to 'give-a-damm'. See this for his performance(and the rest of the cast),and be surprised.
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The perfect Christmas antidote
idiopath23 December 2004
Hilarious from start to finish, this movie covers the story of an alcoholic safe cracker who works as a shopping mall Santa to steal money from the mall on Christmas eve. The concept of the movie is simple and the script is razor sharp with well drawn characters enhanced by faultless performances throughout. As with all good comedies, the material is inspired but it's the delivery that makes it unforgettable. Thornton proves that when it comes to Dead-pan comedy, there's no one better! His performance alone would be enough to make this film good but the fact that his high standards are maintained by the rest of the cast elevates it to a classic.
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One of the best, and most surprising, films of the year
carmackdaddy1 December 2003
When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought that it was basically just gonna be a funny little dark comedy that would be a nice distraction from the annoying family movies that are being dumped into theaters around this time. However, leaving the theater after watching this, I discovered how much more it was than what I was expecting. Instead a good movie, I got a great one, with good direction and a wonderful script and, best of all, the performance of Billy Bob Thornton, who makes the film what it is. His foulmouthed, cynical, suicidal character might look two-dimensional on paper and, had another actor taken a stab at this role, come off as forced and tiresome, but Thornton finds just the right blend of humor and reality. The film is touching, but not on the surface. Many viewers will not get it; they'll see this film as a vulgar assault on the Christmas spirit, and, in a way, it is, but deeper than that there is a story here about a man who has lost all faith in the human race and has now been restored. Without being sappy, unlike almost any other film I've ever seen, "Bad Santa" is able to make this an emotional journey for a contemptable character, get us to like him, and disguise it behind dark, sick humor. It's a masterpiece of dark comedy and the best holiday film of the last 5 years. **** out of ****
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marcosaguado28 April 2005
Billy Bob Thornton has found his Josef Von Sternberg in Terry Zwigoff. As a revolting, immoral, insignificant Santa, Billy Bob is a wonder. His face is a moving, disturbing, hysterical reflection of his awareness. His life sucks. The cut from Miami to Billy Bob and his partner walking down the street in their Christmas costumes is, on its own, worth the price of admission. Terry Zwigoff has transformed the crumbs of society into a sophisticated, adult, art form. Billy Bob and his sensational young co star Brett Kelly create characters never seen before on the screen and as a consequence we cling on to their every nuance, incapable to predict what could happen next. That in itself makes Bad Santa a very welcome surprise and a great time at the movies.
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Inappropriately Brilliant
SnoopyStyle22 December 2013
Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) is a drunk who plays store Santa for Christmas. He and his partner-in-crime Marcus (Tony Cox) case out the department store where they work and rob it on Christmas Eve every year. Willie befriends a chubby loner boy (Brett Kelly), and bartender Sue (Lauren Graham) who has Santa issues. Then store manager Gin (Bernie Mac) muscles in on their action.

Bad Santa is demented and destructive. Billy Bob Thornton goes over the edge, and Tony Cox goes right along with him. This is no Christmas special. And I love the kid Brett Kelly. He isn't your average adorable little kid. He's your average loser kid. That makes their friendship so much better. This is a great black Christmas.
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It took two viewings to really get into it- and really laugh my head off
Quinoa198418 January 2004
The first time I saw Terry Zwigoff's latest effort (co-executive produced by the Coen brothers) Bad Santa, I didn't know whether I was watching a comedy that had astonishingly funny and madcap moments, or if it was a really bad movie. At times the script felt like it was under the penmanship of demented cretins off loan of some low-rent porno company. But there were scenes and moments with good old Billy Bob Thornton that had me laughing uncontrollably, so I decided to see it again recently. Now I understand it- this is a dig-in nails, ribald, hardcore satirical look at one (un-kept is a term used loosely) man in the midst of Americana during Christmas time.

This man is Willie, played by Billy Bob, as something of a loser, low-self esteem, boozing, cursing, and a thief, though only at Christmas time. In a sense he's a modern day pirate without a shave, though with a yearly plan to rob a large store in a given mall he's given a job at with his co-patriot Marcus (Tony Cox, whom you may recall from uproarious bit parts in Friday and Me, Myself, and Irene). In one season, however, he meets a Kid (Brent Kelly), who for some reason looks up to this con-man in a red suit, giving him a place to stay in turn (never asked for) for some advice and help with bullies and self-esteem. On the first viewing of Bad Santa, along with not knowing whether I was seeing a good or bad film, I didn't know whether Billy Bob was pushing the 'rotten-dude' envelope over the top or just right. This may be a problem for most viewers going to see it once and not thinking of seeing it again.

But I think Bad Santa is one of those movies that merits a repeat viewing- you may laugh less or harder at certain jokes and moments of outrageousness, some may fly over your head completely or make you go "eww". Yet I think the brilliant aspect about Bad Santa is it never takes itself a bit too seriously. Even in the denouement, when we are sort of assured things will turn out alright; it's like a denouement on a South Park episode. In fact, that's something that can be said about Bad Santa, is that it feels like a work in the vein of Parker and Stone, but since it's from the director of Ghost World it comes off a little fresher, with an appeal all its own.
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Wonderfully Funny, Very Irreverrent Christmas Movie
jiraf28 December 2004
This is one of the best Christmas movie of all times. The casting is brilliant, and the chemistry between all the characters is very much present.

Billy Bob Thornton was especially funny as the loser in life who dons the red suit every Christmas. Just seeing Santa behaving drunken and swearing every other word tells you how different this is from the typical Christmas family friendly movies.

Bernie Mac was funny in his supporting role, and Tony Cox was OK. Billy Bob was phenomenal.

I've watched this movie twice already this Christmas season, and I loved every minute of it.
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One of the funniest movies for a long time
sfwriter99920 October 2004
I saw the trailers and knew what I was in for when I went to see Bad Santa. It's not Nice Santa or Naughty Santa, but BAAADD SANTA, horribly drunk and disorderly Santa. Rude and Crude Santa.

I laughed until tears streamed down my face.

There is a lot of sexual situations and profanity, but you have to look past it. Those sensitive to foul language should not watch this movie nor FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. This is not a kiddie movie, but a movie made for adults.

Compared to ELF, SANTA CLAUSE, and a whole raft of other so-so Christmas related comedies, this is one of the best. Most holiday humor movies are always on the lightside with an eye to the children market during the holidays. This one ranks in there with A Christmas STORY and PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES and THE GRINCH WHO STOLE Christmas (cartoon version).

BAD SANTA is Christmas at its darkest, full of profanity, bad people, and evil deeds. But at the heart of it is a small bit of caring by one Bad Santa.
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One of the best I've seen in a LONG time, good message behind it too (spoiler)
rastanton1121 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I think this movie is just brilliant. It has comedy obviously, but it is also sexy, dramatic, suspenseful, and great. The message behind the whole movie wasn't a joke. It was that Christmas shouldn't be about the commercialism. This was symbolized in many areas through the film, one being the pink elephant. Seriously, if you haven't seen this movie, go see it, its one of my new favorites.

Also, if you liked John Ritter, you should probably go see this, because it was the last film he was in. His acting was wonderful, as was everyone else's. Thornton (of course), Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac, and Tony Cox all lend their fine acting skills to this movie. There's even a guy that used to be on Mad TV that did pretty well.

I bought the DVD, Badder Santa, and it is loaded with extras. Check that out.

So, in conclusion, just watch the movie if you haven't already. And if you have, watch it again and appreciate it.
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Produced by the Cohen Brother's - A Continuous Classic
biggushlong26 November 2019
So It's dark and funny. But it's also produced by the Cohen Brothers. It somehow feels they were involved even before seeing their credits. The movie is a bonafide classic. A bit like The Big Lebowski ...This has a time and a place. And this time is Christmas. I make an effort to watch this year on year....sometimes I miss a year. You can watch this at anytime of the year. It reminds you of how fun it can be at such a time of mass shoppers and cheesy adverts. Constantly hyping everything. But honestly there are so many little things you can miss. There are 3 versions of this film...Theatrical....Director's Cut and Extended. I have seen them all and eventually plumped for the Theatrical as It is probably the most rounded. The language used on 'the Kid' is epic and it took me a couple of years after seeing it to think...Did I really see that and did that really happen!? After that if you like films...You're hooked!
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It is much more than a black comedy.
nzswanny23 December 2016
I expected to be really offended in this movie. I expected to hate this film. In fact, I even thought about not watching it. Luckily enough, I trusted my friends recommendation, and watched the film. I gotta say, it was really sweet, even if the lead wasn't super likable.

The first half of the movie was not that great, but I forgive the film, because it gave us the introduction to the characters. The first half was basically just an offensive, crude comedy, even if some jokes were funny. But, the second half of the film I found was ten times more enjoyable.

The second half was emotional, heart felt, and soft, even if the last three minutes was a bit, "What?" But, I gotta be honest, I laughed quite loudly at the first three minutes. The second half of this is really touching, funny, and quite nice. Even if you think you won't enjoy this, you will if you watch it until the end. Overall, I rate this a 8.7/10. Masterpiece.
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Holiday Hilarity Galore!!!
zardoz-1327 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Sometimes genuinely obnoxious movies can prove entertaining. "Ghost World" director Terry Zwigoff doesn't pull any punches in his sarcastic, sacrilegious, but sizzling saga about a pair of thieves that dress up like Santa Claus and his Elf accomplice and rob a departmental store of everything at Christmas time. The first thing that is going to rile prospective spectators is the abundant profanity. According to the Kids-in-the-Mind website, the F-word or its derivative is uttered 130 times. This should slash a third of the audience for this interesting, artsy, crime thriller/ character study. Oscar winning actor Billy Bob Thornton is thoroughly persuasive as a down-on-his-luck individual who has dedicated himself to a life of debauchery and wound up masquerading as Santa Claus once a year as part of an elaborate crime. Willy (Billy Bob Thorton) is not the brains behind this skulduggery. Instead, Marcus Skidmore (Tony Cox) organizes everything. Marcus is as ruthless as he is short. He is a small person. Nevertheless, nobody should let Marcus' lack of height lull them into a false sense of security. He uses Willy to break into the safe so they can loot it for an eleven-month holiday until time comes for them to look for a new target. This time, they run into a challenging adversary, a Department Store Security Chief (Bernie Mac") who is as smart as he is cunning. In one of his final theatrical appearances, John Ritter plays a sensitive story supervisor who discovers Willy having anal sex with a customer in a ladies' dressing room. The second reason you won't like "Bad Santa" is the amoral behavior of the hero. He drinks himself into a stupor and often winds up bedding down a single girl. His only dictum is that she must cry "Santa" during their sexual follies. "Bad Santa" is a crude, rude, lewd character study with a surprise ending for what is basically a matter-of-fact crime comedy.
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Not For Children
Christmas-Reviewer19 March 2017

The story of this film is Willie T. Soke and his assistant Marcus Skidmore are professional thieves. Every year, Willie disguises himself as a department store Santa Claus and Marcus disguises himself as an elf in order for both of them to rob the store at night, using Marcus' wife Lois as their getaway driver and accomplice. Marcus takes his duty as an elf seriously, but Willie is a sex-addicted alcoholic, and is gradually unable to perform his Santa duties appropriately with children, plus likewise a diminish in his safe-cracking performance, much to Marcus' dismay. When they are hired at the Saguaro Square Mall in Phoenix the following year, the vulgar remarks made by Willie shock the prudish mall manager Bob Chipeska, who brings them to the attention of security chief Gin Slagel.

Now this film has had 4 different cuts. 1) The Theatrical Cut 2) Unrated Extended Edition (Aka Bader Santa) 3) The Director's Cut 4) The Television Cut

Now my preferred version of this film is the "Unrated Bader Santa" edition.

This film is funny! It is mean spirited at times but it is not trying at all to be a "Politically Correct Hallmark Movie".

Billy Bob Thornton is very good in the role. However the late John Ritter and Bernie Mac are gold here! Lauren Tom is unrecognizable here but she is funny!

There is several upsetting images in this film but if you have a funny bone and you want to laugh then watch. Watch this Anytime of the year. It will make you laugh.
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A Cynic's Perspective Of Christmas, Which Is Something That Works Brilliantly
Det_McNulty24 June 2007
Typically, around Christmas you will find yourself watching a generic, feel-good, moralistic "Christmas movie", Bad Santa is the "reversed" version of the Christmas genre. For those of you who are fed-up with clichéd Christmas films, Bad Santa is the perfect film for you, as it is an entirely altered perception of a now-consumerist holiday. No, Bad Santa is not It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and nor is it Home Alone, yet it still incorporates features from all of those films and that is what makes it such a special take on the Winter holiday.

Willie (played by Billy Bob Thornton) is a perverted, alcoholic, part-time conman, who during the Christmas season indolently works in shopping malls with his fellow criminal in disguise, Marcus (Tony Cox). Willie dresses as Santa, while Marcus (the more professional of the pair) acts the elf, due to his height. Throughout the tedious Christmas period, the pair use their job at the mall to exploit the opportunity to rob the store overnight. While working at a mall in Arizona, Willie meets a child who teaches him the meaning of Christmas, whilst falling in love with an attractive waitress and having law-enforcement hot on his trail.

When a film starts off with a guy in a Santa outfit, sitting at a bar, drinking his life away you know you are not watching your average tale of "good tidings". From the crude opening narration, to the wonderfully inflated finale, Bad Santa is a taste of comedic genius. Billy Bob Thornton performs as a crude, dishonest cynic who hates everyone and everything. Bringing comedic energy and offensive characteristics to his character he impeccably balances the grumpy scrooge of Christmas with heart. I honestly believe that Billy Bob Thornton's performance in Bad Santa was worthy of an Oscar nomination.

It is not a case of whether you are a lover of Christmas or not –although, it would come as an advantage when viewing the film- as Bad Santa is continually entertaining and at times, even charming. Through its witty script, fuelled by grumpy, drunken humour it is almost impossible not to become entranced by the inconsiderate lines of raucous profanity. Director, Terry Zwigoff proves his quirky talent once again, after the success of 2000's Ghost World. Bad Santa is comedic bliss and a highly recommended comedy for fans of something a little more extreme than the average, feel-good Hollywood extravaganza.
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A welcome antidote to the artificiality of a lot of festive movies. Just what a lot of us will need come the season.
GiraffeDoor11 November 2019
In many respects exactly what you'd expect from the poster but at the same time you'd be surprised of the pathos and tenderness this movie is capable of.

It just doesn't wrap itself in the same old festive schmaltz and actually earns its subtle moments of sentimentality as well as being pretty funny though never without the sense of quiet desperation lingering not far behind.

What they were trying to do here, they did it right.
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not a family movie, but a rather hilarious one at that.
vmmvieira1 January 2018
This bad santa performance is nothing short of amazing. The jokes are very adult oriented and very well placed without sounding juvenile. A Christmas classic to see with your friends and adult family, but spare the kids. They won't get it anyway...
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Bad Santa. Great Movie!
anaconda-4065810 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Bad Santa (2003): Dir: Terry Zwigoff / Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac: Unbelievably vulgar Christmas comedy about deceit or the wolf in sheep clothing. In this case it is the con artist dressed as Santa who appears with his trusty dwarf dressed as an elf to spread Christmas cheer before robbing the store. Billy Bob Thornton is hilarious as a bitter alcoholic who hates the holidays, which results in numerous amusing drunken outbursts in front of children. Tony Cox plays his midget partner fed up with Thornton's drunkenness, and practically runs an obstacle course just to defuse the alarms. Brett Kelly plays a naïve kid whom Thornton shacks up with when police search his hotel room. Kelly lives with his senile grandmother while his father serves time in prison for tax fraud. Bernie Mac steals scenes as a corrupt security officer. Lauren Graham plays a bar waitress who has a Santa fetish. John Ritter is featured in his final role as a squeamish mall manager. Superb setup that becomes a well written screenplay that may strike a note of truth to some. Director Terry Zwigoff who made Ghost World, takes a chance in a daring conclusion that works all the better because it doesn't play to the typical happy ending with a give and take. Not for families but it does stress the need to turn the bad into good. Score: 9 / 10
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Bad Santa
phubbs16 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
No this isn't a National Lampoon movie although you could easily be fooled into thinking that with this title. As you might have expected this is a Christmas set film and its about a naughty Santa character. Again you could easily be fooled into thinking this is a silly kids movie with lots of fart gags...but no, its actually a black comedy and most definitely for the grown ups.

The whole point of this film is the ever so slight redemption of the main character played by Thornton. This guy is a low down permanently drunk criminal who drags his way through life whilst robbing department stores with his dwarf partner. The dubious duo take yearly jobs as a department store Santa and his elf worker, this way they get to know the ins and outs of the store so they can easily rob it. Things change for Thornton's character 'Stokes' when he meets a tubby little boy who he kinda befriends and takes a shine to...eventually.

This film is kinda unique in the sense that the main character has many flaws and issues which you tend to think he will sort out at some point by the end of the film. The twist and funny part is he doesn't really change at all, he does a little bit with the help of his little fat young friend, but not too much really, he still ends up as the same bum. The amusing things about the film are the constant little moments where Thornton's character gets angry or frustrated with the fat kid and swears at him. The little fat kid (eerily played by Kelly) seems to be a bit slow and just takes the abuse, in one ear and out the other. At times it can be very funny to watch these outbursts yet at other times you do feel sorry for the kid or Stokes because you know he sometimes doesn't mean it.

The heist aspect of the film is quite good and offers some reasonably tense moments, especially near the end. The various Santa sequences are probably the films highlights as we see Thornton getting sneezed and coughed on by lots of pant wetting tots. Of course his reactions and the way he treats the kids are the best bits, he basically sneers growls and scowls at them, finally nudging them off his knee and virtually kicking them to the curb. Watching the reactions of the parents is great, as a man pushing 40 and with no kids I love it, if I was a parent I might feel differently I guess who knows.

The darkest sequence must be when a severely sozzled Stokes crawls up the escalator towards his Santa grotto. His beard and clothes now filthy stained and damaged, he looks like crap, can hardly walk and promptly falls into a reindeer display. This whole sequence starts out funny but descends into a more cringeworthy incident as he freaks out and starts to smash up the Xmas display in front of everyone in the store, its still amusing but also poignant and depressing...much like the plot as a whole really.

The finale was a tad of a let down for me, it does seem like you're gonna get the predictable ending where Stokes will die trying to achieve a small slice of decency in his life, the right ending. A bit like the finale in 'The Wrestler' where Rourke's character goes out doing what he loves but also reclaiming a small part of his dignity right at the end. Even though this ending is predictable as I said, I think it would have been stronger for obvious reasons. Instead Stokes lives on and we get some mumbo jumbo about how he survived and what he plans to do after he heals up. This simply feels like an open ending so they can roll out a sequel which this film really doesn't need in my opinion, if it happens that is. I think it should have wrapped up there and then.

All in all I like how this is basically an anti-Christmas flick which sticks two fingers up at the sweet yuletide greetings side of it and embraces the Scrooge side with extreme profanity. Its not exactly original in idea, the drunk rude Santa schtick has been done before but you can't deny its amusing. Crude rude edgy and drenched in cynicism...but there is a soft warm heart buried deep in there and it just about manages to shine through in the end.

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Excellent casting
=G=23 June 2004
He drinks and smokes and pukes and wets his pants and has sex in public places. He has a horrible attitude, a trash mouth, is mean to little kids, hates himself, and robs department stores. Ok, so he's not all bad, but he is without a doubt the worst department store Santa ever. There's not a lot of stretching required of Thornton to get into character in this flick which capitalizes on the grosser than gross sense of comedy/humor as it wends its way through a simple tale about a scamming Santa and his dwarf/elf sidekick who rip off a department store a year to avoid honest toil. A mildly creative love it or hate it flick which tries as hard to be disgusting as funny, "Bad Santa" has, for obvious reasons, received mixed reviews. Only for the thick skinned who aren't easily offended by bad language, bad attitudes, or bad, bad Santas. (B)
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The Ultimate Inappropriate Christmas Movie
RossWrock29 December 2004
Forget Jimmy Stewart and that claymation crap! If you like Christmas movies with more of an edge and lots of comedy however, "Bad Santa" might just be your new favorite holiday movie. In my mind, usurping "A Christmas Story" and "Scrooged" as the funniest holiday movie yet, Bad Santa (or BS as I like to call it) pulls no punches as it delivers a raunchy, yet funny, and yes, even a little bit of a touching film.

Billy Bob Thorton is a drinking, fornicating, defecating thief who freeloads for the whole year, only to work 25 days in December while robbing a mall of all it's holiday proceeds. His partner in crime is Tony Cox, Santa's little person helper who keeps him sober and lucid enough through the season to not royally screw things up.

I won't go into details, because frankly the plot needs work. But the acting is superb, the script hysterical, and the unbelievable jokes and inappropriate situations are just so entertaining you won't care about anything else.

Bernie Mac and Lauren Graham deliver polished supporting roles, as does John Ritter in his final film role before his death. The kid doesn't have many lines (and I want to slap him for the ones he does deliver), but just looking at him makes me laugh, so I can't complain there.

Basically, this is the ultimate inappropriate Christmas movie; one that makes you stand up and scream, "Holly s*!t I can't believe they did that!" This movie is just so blatantly wrong, the only other film I can compare it to is "South Park: The Movie." Just as South Park crosses every line of decency that previously existed, so does BS. A great movie because of it? Hell no. But a funny and entertaining one? Hell yes!
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One of my Favorite Movies
zeroverse13 August 2008
I don't rate many movies 10 out of 10. But honestly, I think this is one of the best movies ever made in its genre. It is profoundly well written and extremely hilarious (if you like dark humor). Above that, it has excellent characters that come alive through the finely crafted story. There isn't a single scene that doesn't develop character or move the plot forward (or make you laugh your ass off). In the end, the film is poignant and touching and probably will be for decades to come. I have watched this movie at least ten times, and each time I laugh...and revel over just how great this movie is. Believe me, when you compare this comedy to most other "comedies" released today, there just isn't a comparison. Bad Santa is brilliant.

Yes, the movie is vulgar and may even be truly offensive to some more sensitive types. But if you enjoy sharp uncensored black are going to LOVE this movie like I did (and still do).

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My Favourite Christmas Movie
Chrysanthepop22 June 2008
I am sick of most the Scrooge-type Christmas movies where the main character does not initially believe in Christmas or is too busy to celebrate Christmas and in the end he's all celebrating it with some strangers because he's become kind hearted. 'Bad Santa' comes as a breath of fresh air. Many people have criticized it because they were expecting the usual boring sugarcoated winter holiday flick and thus the use of bad language may have come across as a huge shock. Well, 'Bad Santa' certainly ain't for the kids. While the swearing and cussing provide humour, they also make the characters more authentic.

'Bad Santa', in spite of the language and sexual content is kind of a sweet movie. Zwigoff does a great job as the director. It's not a brainless tasteless comedy as it does deal with some themes quite sensibly. I laughed out loud at the dialogues and one-liners and in the end I was left with a grin on my face. Ficarra and Requa's writing is very good. We're provided with 90 minutes of wholesome entertainment. Even though the protagonist Willie, isn't likable, you can't help but laugh at this guy and eventually you end up liking him.

Another strong point is the unique ensemble cast. Only Billy Bob Thornton can excellently pull off 'Bad Santa'. I couldn't picture anyone else that could suit the part more. Ditto for Tony Cox. It's good to finally see him in a more significant role that has more scope for his talent to shine. Child actor Brett Kelly is cast well as The Kid. He's not the usual filmy cute kid who gets on your nerves and reminds you why you hate child actors. Kelly plays his part naturally and is very likable. The sizzling Lauren Graham brings out the other side (a much darker one) of Lorelai Gilmore (of 'Gilmore Girls fame). She skillfully portrays Sue's weirdness, sensuality and sweetness. Lauren Tom is funny as Marcus's bitchy girlfriend. The late John Ritter has some of the funniest lines and he delivers them with complete ease. Bernie Mac, however, is the least funniest of them all. It's not his acting but more the comedy of the character that isn't enough. Otherwise he's quite adequate.

Basically 'Bad Santa' is one of the darkest funniest Christmas films, one that has a strong repeat value as it still makes me laugh in repeat viewing and sometimes when I think of the situations in the film, I at least end up with a smile. Strongly recommended but watch it after the kids have been tucked in bed.
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AKS-626 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Bad Santa is everything I wished it to be when I rented it: funny, funny and funny. In fact, I thought this movie was hilarious. However, what surprised me, and made me like the movie even more, is the fact that it is not only a foul-mouthed comedy, it is also very touching and sweet.

Billy Bob Thornton is brilliant as the foul-mouthed mall Santa who hates the kids that sit on his lap. I even liked Lauren Graham in this movie (I don't particularly like her in Gilmore Girls). Also, the young boy who plays the rather slow Merman kid is also great.

So, Bad Santa is a hilarious movie with some sweet elements and great performances from the cast... Can't give it less than an 8 out of 10.
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Take your kids! If they're over 45.
yawn-22 January 2004
First, to all those IMDB'ers who are just SHOCKED by the bad language and general depravity depicted in this movie: what in blazes do you expect in an R rated film anyway? Next time stay home and watch reruns of "Touched By An Angel" or something. Ned Flanders types are NOT going to enjoy this. Just about everbody else is going to split a gut laughing.

I stole my summary line from Stephanie Zacharek's review in Salon - she loved this movie and so do I. It's instantly one of my top ten comedies ever. It's the most unapologetically pitch black comedy in many, many years. Thornton is absolutely brilliant (easy Oscar nomination) and everybody else is first-rate. 8+ in my book.
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