Bad Santa (2003)

Comedy, Crime
Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, John Ritter
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.
A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn't for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.
  • Miramax Films Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 26 Nov 2003 Released:
  • 22 Jun 2004 DVD Release:
  • $59.9M Box office:
  • Glenn Ficarra, John Requa Writer:
  • Terry Zwigoff Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

The perfect Christmas antidote10/10
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.
Zwigoff9/10
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.
I cant believe some of the comments...10/10

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.
It took two viewings to really get into it- and really laugh my head off9/10
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.
Crude,Rude and Surprisingly Touching8/10
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.