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Bad Santa 2003

  • Terry Zwigoff
  • November 25, 2003
  • 91 mins
  • English
  • Comedy, Crime, Drama
He doesn't care if you're naughty or nice.
A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.


All 5 Comments

Bad Santa is a nice change for a holiday film. Most Christmas comedies are knit from the same cloth but Bad Santa introduces a whole new concept. Billy Bob Thornton is a perfect casting for an rude alcoholic Santa Claus. His dialogue with the kid is a really funny and Brett Kelly really does exactly what he needs to do as the cute little fat kid. They even manage to hide a little heart in the movie.

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I’m an unashamed Bad Santa apologist. Billy Bob Thornton’s booze-fuelled chain-smoking fat-chick banging train-wreck Santa is something I revel in seeing at Christmas if only to cut through the sickly sweetness of everything else in the season.

This isn’t always a laugh out loud funny film but the sheer lunacy of what happens on screen keeps you grinning. Drunk logic drives the plot, making it an unpredictable experience, yet it somehow all comes together. This is at some expense; Bad Santa starts to feel a little monotonous in the middle to final third.

What I value the most is the way Santa only just begins to think about changing his ways as the credits roll. Zwigoff points out that people can have a good heart yet can’t always magically sort out their lives in 90 minutes as Hollywood would have you think. It takes time, and sometimes never works out at all.

Not a great film by any means but Bad Santa never fails to strike a chord with me. Your mileage may vary.


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I think it's best watched with your parents in-law. Definitely one of the funniest christmas movies ever made.

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