Bad Santa movie review - Aussieboyreviews


The drinking, sex and crass humour is very naughty, kid-unfriendly and doesn’t reach the nice list. Despite the crudeness and absurdity, there is also a nice attitude in this dark comedy.


Rather than spreading Christmas cheer, a drunk swindler dressed up as Santa and his elf-dressed partner try to rob a mall. However, their intentions fails when the thief befriends an 8-year-old boy.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Lauren Tom, John Ritter, Bernie Mac
Writer: Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Release Date (Australia): 25 November 2004
Runtime: 93 minutes/1h 33m
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

The film features thematic elements such as crude humour, criminal activity, alcoholism and an attempted suicide.

Violence (M)

The film contains depictions of people being punched, kicked and shot. There is also a depiction of a bloody cut on a child’s hand.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

The film contains frequent coarse language, including the words “f**k”, “f**king”, “s**t”, “ass” and “bitch”.

Drug Use (M)

A man is briefly depicted snorting cocaine.

Nudity (M)

Women’s breasts are depicted in a strip club.

Sex (MA15+)

The film features strong crude sex references and use of the word “f**k” in a sexual context. There are also multiple sex scenes.

mpaa rating

R (for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence)

Aussie boy's thoughts

This foul-mouthed, hard-drinking and horny Santa’s helper is right at the top of the naughty list. With a solid mature rating and a bad-ass appealing title, this often dark Christmas comedy with an unanticipated touch of sweetness is something quite unique to throw into theatres during the holidays that doesn’t deliver the exact same thing that family Christmas movies execute.

This crude comedy acts realistically, meaning it’s not all fantasy-themed with reindeers pulling a sleigh and it’s not set out in the actual North Pole; Bad Santa follows one of “Santa’s helpers”, the people who dress up and talk with children in malls. The special feature of this movie is the Santa-character played by Billy Bob Thornton. He constantly swears, drinks, has sex and commits crimes, living up to the title.

Although it’s a mature crass movie targeted at adults, it still has a genuinely sweet attitude that sparks up through the friendship between the Santa and this random kid. And although it’s a comedy that is clearly packed with laughs, there’s also a sort of unpleasant tone that seems to be unseen. Santa always drinking and robbing stores is funny, but it’s just kind of dirty. It clearly lives up to being a dark comedy.

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