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Bad Santa (2003)

Not only is this Santa bad, he is vulgar, crass, dirty, foulmouthed, loose-moraled - come to think of it, I can't imagine a worse Santa. In spite of this, Bad Santa is a brilliant dark comedy, full of huge laughs from beginning to end, as long as you can put up with all of the bad language, which has got to be close to setting a record.

Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie, an ex-con drunkard who gets a job every year at a different department store playing Santa, along with his own elf, Marcus (Tony Cox). The catch is that every Christmas Eve, Willie and Marcus rob the department store blind. Willie wants to get out of this game, but he's so irresponsible and undisciplined that every year he's in dire need of cash again and needs to pull another job. As Santa, he swears at kids, urinates on himself, and is generally the exact opposite of what you want your Santa to be.

This particular year, a young kid (Brett Kelly) who is oblivious to the fact that Willie is not, in fact, the real Santa, attaches himself to Santa. Lo and behold, the kid lives alone in a posh suburban house with only his catatonic granny, so Willie takes up residence with the kid. As Christmas Eve approaches, Marcus becomes increasingly concerned with Willie's condition, the kid becomes increasingly annoying, and Willie stays exactly the same - drunk, angry, and generally foul.

Bad Santa is exactly my kind of movie - unrelenting, unapologetic, inappropriate, completely distasteful, and utterly hilarious. It's essentially the anti-Christmas film. Billy Bob Thornton has an unbelievable knack for acting, and an almost poetic way of unleashing cuss after cuss. This movie gets a big thumbs up, but definitely is not suitable for kids or the easily offended.

Christopher Moyer
February 6, 2005

- Directed by Terry Zwigoff
- Written by Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
- Produced by Sarah Aubrey, John Cameron, Bob Weinstein

Cast
Billy Bob Thornton - Willie
Tony Cox - Marcus
Brett Kelly - The Kid
Lauren Graham - Sue
Bernie Mac - Gin
John Ritter - Bob Chipeska

- Genres: Comedy, Crime

Full Approval