Bad Santa

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Terry Zwigoff
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
Bad Santa is the 2003 raunchy holiday comedy from celebrated director Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Crumb). Willie (Billy Bob Thorton, Sling Blade, The Bad News Bears, Armageddon, The Man Who Wasn't There) is a boozing, whoring, slovenly misanthrope safe cracker who makes his living, along with his little person companion Marcus (Tony Cox) putting on a department store Santa and Elf act every Christmas so they can loot the store's vault after hours for the big score. Well, it's the most wonderful time of the year again, and this time, their exploits take them to Arizona, where everything seems to be going as usual at first. However, they are receiving unwanted attention and flack from, at first, their conservative boss Chipeska (John Ritter) and then security head Gin (Bernie Mac), who is suspicious of their intentions. Couple this with an unlikely friendship between Willie and an incredibly awkward portly youth named Herman Merman and comedy gold ensues!

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Takes all the Christmas season's bad vibes and converts them into an achingly funny and corrupt dark comedy.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    It unapologetically exults in its characters' glorious imperfection. It's good to know that oddballs, outcasts and people who don't look like Barbie and Ken still have a place in A...

  • 70

    Variety Dennis Harvey

    First-rate talent and a uniquely dyspeptic mood separate this effort from more routine, populist stabs at tasteless yukkage.

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    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    Dark Comedy, Cult