Bad Santa (2003)


Movie Review

Directed by: Terry Zwigoff

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, and Lauren Graham

Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) and his friend Marcus (Tony Cox) get the best Christmas present they can for themselves.  Each year, the pair works as a Santa and elf at a mall and robs it on Christmas Eve after hours.  At a new mall one year, their activities arouse the suspicions of Bob Chipeska (John Ritter), the mall’s manager.  Chipeska turns to security chief Gin Slagel (Bernie Mac) to investigate the matter.  Meanwhile, Willie gets involved with a bartender named Sue (Lauren Graham) and picks up a troubled boy nicknamed the Kid (Brett Kelly) during their robbery.  As Slagel’s investigation unfolds, the web of crime expands in this raucous comedy.

Bad Santa is undoubtedly the blueprint for raunchy holiday films.  I never thought that a man dressed as the jolly old saint could be so crude and crass, and I loved every moment with Thornton’s Willie Stokes.  If you’re tired of sappy, saccharine holiday films that make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, grab some liquor and watch Bad Santa.  This is John Ritter’s final appearance on the big screen, so don’t miss this one. 



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