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"BAD SANTA"
(2003) (Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Moderate Extreme Minor Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Heavy None Minor None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Extreme Heavy Mild Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A disgruntled, alcoholic man works as a department store Santa so that he and his diminutive associate can rob their places of work, but has his life changed when he encounters a sweet but oblivious and needy boy.
PLOT:
Willie (BILLY BOB THORNTON) is an angry and disgruntled alcoholic who reappears every Christmas season in a different city where he works - as a department store Santa - with his partner in crime, the diminutive Marcus (TONY COX) who acts as his elf. The two make an odd holiday pair, not only due to their unorthodox ways, drunkenness and profanity, but also because their day jobs are just covers for their nighttime business of robbing the stores where they work.

Their latest stop is Phoenix where department store manager Bob Chipeska (JOHN RITTER) is so concerned about the duo that he asks store detective Gin (BERNIE MAC) to keep an eye on them. Also watching them is Sue (LAUREN GRAHAM), a local bartender with a Santa fetish, and young Thurman Merman (BRETT KELLY), a picked-on and na´ve 8-year-old who lives with his grandmother (CLORIS LEACHMAN).

As Willie and Marcus prep for their next nighttime raid, Willie's errant, crude and rude behavior threatens to have the duo fired. Yet, as Sue becomes Willie's girlfriend of sorts and Thurman's sweet-natured but needy demeanor slowly but surely casts a spell on him, the bad Santa eventually begins to open his heart.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids might be enticed by the Santa part of the title, but this one definitely isn't for the kids. Older teens looking for a black comedy might be intrigued by it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BILLY BOB THORNTON plays an angry, disgruntled and politically incorrect man who works as a department store Santa so that he and Marcus can rob the places at night. He's obsessed with anal sex, has sex with Sue various times, drinks to the point of being drunk, smokes, uses a great deal of strong profanity and is mean and disrespectful to adults and kids alike.
  • TONY COX plays his diminutive partner in crime who similarly robs the places where they work, drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • BRETT KELLY plays the sweet young boy who lives with his grandmother and befriends Willie despite taking heaps of verbal and emotional abuse from him.
  • BERNIE MAC plays a department store detective who becomes interested in Willie's con, smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • LAUREN GRAHAM plays a young bartender who has a Santa fetish and thus has sex with Willie several times. She also drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • JOHN RITTER plays a department store manager who's concerned about Willie's behavior and actions while portraying Santa in his store.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 147 "f" words, while plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Various instances of sexually explicit dialogue are present (including references to anal sex), as are several sexual encounters (no nudity, but movement, sounds and related dialogue) and other sexually related behavior. Some women are seen in bikinis and other tight attire.

    Violence includes the police shooting a fleeing suspect in the back (he lives), a person presumably being killed after purposefully being crushed between two vehicles, some fighting, struggling and striking of others, a brief gun battle and some property damage. Some of that violence and other scenes have bloody results while some crude humor also occurs.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (many of them bad, mean-spirited and/or criminal), while all sorts of imitative behavior is present. Various characters smoke and/or drink, with one being drunk and/or passed out on more than one occasion.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks in a pub, including Willie who later vomits from drinking too much (graphically seen, but from a distance).
  • Willie drinks from a bottle.
  • We see many empty beer bottles and cans near Willie and he throws another down when done with it.
  • Willie and Marcus do shots. Willie then tells Marcus that he (Marcus) can't "drink worth sh*t," prompting Marcus to get mad because he only weighs 90-some pounds (and thus can't drink that much).
  • We see Willie pouring a drink behind a bar, but then realize he's not a bartender when the real guy comes along.
  • Willie drinks from a bottle and then throws it at a car, shattering the windshield.
  • A girl comments that Santa (Willie) is drunk and we then see him passed out at the store.
  • Willie states that he has to get a drink.
  • Willie and others drink. Sue then pours shots for him and her (twice).
  • Lots of empty beer cans and bottles fall from Willie's car when the door opens.
  • We see a bottle of booze by Willie as he sleeps.
  • Willie carries a bottle of booze, guzzles it down and then passes out.
  • We hear Thurman screaming and he then shows up with a cut and quite a bit of blood on his hand. Willie pours some booze on it (and then drinks from the bottle), but the boy just runs off screaming some more.
  • Gin has shots with Willie and Marcus.
  • Willie is drunk as he rides up an escalator carrying a broken bottle. He then proceeds to destroy some display animals in the department store.
  • Willie drinks from a bottle.
  • We see Willie and Sue carrying bottles of liquor.
  • Marcus drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Willie vomiting from drinking too much (graphically seen, but from a distance).
  • We see Willie's urine hitting the carpet below him as he relieves himself while doing the Santa bit with kids.
  • A kid blows chocolate ice cream all over Willie and his Santa get-up and beard (from his nose when he sneezes).
  • We see mucous from Thurman's nose.
  • Crude humor includes the following: As Willie has anal sex with a woman (only partially seen), he tells her, "You're not going to sh*t right for a week." Later, a similar comment is made from another woman. Willie tells Thurman to make a wish in one hand and "sh*t" in the other and then see which fills up first. We see Gin taking some "stool softener laxative" but don't see the later results of that.
  • We hear Thurman screaming and he then shows up with a cut and quite a bit of blood on his hand.
  • We see Thurman with a black eye (from a punk hitting him -- not seen).
  • We see a dried cut on Thurman's hand, and a wooden pickle he gives Willie is noted as having dried blood on it.
  • Police repeatedly shoot a fleeing suspect in the back, and we see a little bit of blood on the back of his clothing (we later hear he's alive in the hospital).
  • We see some dried blood on a small, stuffed elephant toy.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Willie has a bad attitude about himself and most everyone and everything else around him, including everything to do with Christmas, seeing kids (while dressed as Santa, and at Thurman, who he constantly verbally abuses). He and Marcus also commit various department store robberies under the guise of playing Santa and one of his elves.
  • We hear that Willie has been to prison once.
  • We see Willie pouring a drink behind a bar, but then realize he's not a bartender when the real guy comes along.
  • Although not intending to be disrespectful (but it turns out he is), Bob uses various disparaging terms to refer to little people and then comments on Marcus being different as he has thin and not stubby fingers like the rest.
  • Some young punks pick on Thurman, calling him various names. One even throws a can that hits Thurman.
  • Various characters use terms like "retard" and "faggot" when describing others.
  • Willie asks an angry guy who approaches him, "Are you off your meds?" That man then struggles with Willie and exclaims that he's not gay.
  • Willie misidentifies a guy as Vietnamese (he clearly isn't) and says that his brother fought people like him in the war.
  • When Willie discovers that the naive Thurman lives in a big house with only his senile grandmother, he asks about the whereabouts of the safe. He then takes money and items from it and drives off in an expensive car.
  • Gin catches a kid trying to shoplift (with the item down the front of his pants).
  • Posing at Thurman's uncle, Willie tells a neighbor that they don't celebrate Christmas since they're Muslims (they're not).
  • The above young punks pick on Thurman again and we later see the boy with the results of a "wedgie" (his underwear is pulled up high out of his pants).
  • Gin wants in on Willie and Marcus' criminal action and agrees not to turn them in for fifty-percent of the take.
  • Marcus says about Thurman, "He's a f*cking retard" and "He's a f*cking faggot."
  • After faking the need for a battery jump, Marcus' girlfriend/wife purposefully drives a van into a man, apparently crushing him between the vehicles (we just see the motion of the car and the man's surprised expression).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We hear Thurman screaming and he then shows up with a cut and quite a bit of blood on his hand. Willie pours some booze on it, but the boy just runs off screaming some more (but is later okay).
  • Willie and Sue think that Thurman's grandmother is dead (she appears to be that way, but then comes to and is okay - in a scene mostly played as black comedy, but some kids might be upset about that).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A man holds a gun on another man and prepares to shoot him, but the police suddenly pop out and aim their guns at him (and a brief gun battle breaks out between them in a department store at night). As the second man flees, the police shoot at him (on foot and in a car).
  • Police repeatedly shoot a fleeing suspect in the back, and we see a little bit of blood on the back of his clothing (we later hear he's alive in the hospital).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck-ass," "Loud f*cing asshole," "F*cking hilarious," "F*ck the loofa, let's go," "F*ck you," "F*ck me?" "Get the f*ck out of here," "F*ck stick" (penis), "What the f*ck /are you doing/is that /do you care/are you doing here/are you talking about?" "F*ck this," "What the f*ck "F*cking retard," "F*ck me Santa" (sexual and said many times), "Are you /off your f*cking meds/f*cking with me?" "F*ckers," "You're f*cking me," "The sound of f*cking someone in the ass," "Thank the f*ck Christ," "I f*ck one person," "Clean as a f*cking whistle," "No f*cking way," "He's a/you f*cking moron," "Jesus f*cking Christ," "He's a f*cking faggot," "More butt-f*cking," "Sh*tty," "Bullsh*t," "Pack your sh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Dipsh*t (loser)," "No sh*t," "You're not going to sh*t right for a week," "Shat," "Sh*t yeah," "(I'll be dipped in) Dog sh*t," "This is bullsh*t," "Well, sh*t kid," "You scared the holy sh*t out of me," "Don't want sh*t," "Sh*t happens when you party naked (seen on a T-shirt), "You sneaky little pr*ck," "Nothing sucks more ass than this," "Brats," "Pissing," "You pissed yourself," "You're an asshole," "My ass," "Piss everything away," "Bastards," "Midget," "Schmo," "Loser," "Fat ass," "Moron," "Dumb ass," "Snot rag," "Freaking me out," "You asshole," "Who's the bitch now?" "Ass clown," "Chicks" and "Broads" (women), "Nut job," "Balls" and "Nuts" (testicles), "Let's get the hell out of here," "Your pathetic," "Mind your own G*ddamn business," "Screw you," "You idiot," "What the hell is that?" "Are you insane?" "Sorry ass," "Shut up," "Sucks," "He kicked my ass," "You jack-off" and "Bitch."
  • Various characters use terms like "retard" and "faggot" when describing others.
  • Willie tells Thurman to make a wish in one hand and "sh*t" in the other and then see which fills up first.
  • Marcus, who's a small person, slides down the metal ramp between escalators.
  • Willie throws a clock radio into a wall when it goes off in the morning.
  • Willie drinks from a bottle and then throws it at a car, shattering the windshield.
  • Willie gives "the finger" to Marcus.
  • A young woman wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • Willie spots a young and shapely woman wearing a midriff-revealing top and tight pants. He then proceeds to show her how to play pinball, first thrusting against the machine with his crotch and then getting her to do the same (with him then thrusting up against her clothed body at the same time).
  • Willie has various tattoos on various parts of his body.
  • Gin catches a kid trying to shoplift (with the item down the front of his pants).
  • Some young punks pick on Thurman and we see the boy with the results of a "wedgie" (his underwear is pulled up high out of his pants).
  • We see Willie sitting in a parked, running car with a hose from the exhaust going inside (a suicide attempt that's cut short).
  • After faking the need for a battery jump, Marcus' girlfriend/wife purposefully drives a van into a man, apparently crushing him between the vehicles (we just see the motion of the car and the man's surprised expression).
  • Thurman gives "the finger" to a punk.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 147 "f" words (5 used with "mother," 18 used sexually as is the term "boned"), 62 "s" words, 6 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck," "d*ck" and "gear"), 2 using female genitals ("p*ssy"), 2 for breasts ("t*t"), 26 asses (8 used with "hole"), 11 hells, 3 S.O.B.s, 2 damns, 18 uses of "G-damn," 8 of "Jesus Christ," 6 of "Jesus," 5 of "For Christ's sakes," 2 each of "Christ," "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" and "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Oh Jesus" and "Sweet Jews for Jesus" (or something close to that).
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see various shapely young women in bikinis at the beach.
  • Willie watches a volleyball game played by women in small bikinis and the camera focuses on their butts (representing his point of view).
  • The camera focuses in close on a woman's clothed butt as she walks away (representing Willie's point of view).
  • Bob questions something about Willie's performance as Santa, prompting Willie to misunderstand him and think he's talking about something sexual. He then asks if there's something wrong with his "gear" and then clarifies that by saying "f*ck stick."
  • When Willie tells a kid (as Santa) that he's sick, and the kid wants to know with what, Willie says that he "loved a woman who wasn't clean."
  • From the side, partially behind and outside the car, we see Willie and Sue having sex inside it. She's straddling him on the front seat and we see movement and hear her sounds that include her repeating, "F*ck me, Santa" (there's no nudity). She later admits to having a Santa fetish.
  • Bob hears sexual sounds coming from a dressing room and goes to investigate. We then see Willie and a woman's feet under the dressing room stall door (his behind hers and both showing movement) and Willie tells the woman, "You're not going to sh*t right for a week" (implying anal sex). Later, there's talk of "fornication" and Willie tells Bob, "I've boned a lot of fat chicks."
  • Willie spots a young and shapely woman wearing a midriff-revealing top and tight pants. He then proceeds to show her how to play pinball, first thrusting against the machine with his crotch and then getting her to do the same (with him then thrusting up against her clothed body at the same time).
  • Bob makes a comment about "screaming orgasms with large women" (referring to Willie). Gin makes a comment about "the sound of f*cking someone in the ass" (also referring to Willie).
  • When Willie asks a woman to come over to him, she says no, adding that "I didn't sh*t right for a week" (implying more anal sex).
  • Willie makes a comment about being caught "f*cking her sister."
  • We see Willie in a bathtub with his crotch just below the surface of the water (nothing is seen).
  • Marcus asks Willie about Thurman's grandmother, "Did you f*ck her?" Later, Marcus states, "I only f*ck one person."
  • From a distance, we see and hear Sue having sex with Willie in a hot tub (both are standing face to face with Willie's back to us). She repeatedly says, "F*ck me, Santa" and we see thrusting movement but no nudity.
  • Gin makes a comment that Willie likes to "f*ck large women."
  • Marcus tells a man, "These lips were on your wife's p*ssy" and then asks, "Why don't you dust that thing (penis) off every once in a while?"
  • We see a shirtless Willie licking up Sue's belly (she's in her bra -- that shows cleavage -- and sounds aroused). Willie then tugs on her panty strap (from under her pants), but Thurman interrupts them before anything else happens.
  • As Sue decorates a Christmas tree, Willie stares at her clothed rear, pats it and then tries to undo her skirt's zipper (she playfully stops him).
  • Marcus kisses the bare breast of a female mannequin.
  • A comment is made about "more butt-f*cking."
  • SMOKING
  • Willie smokes at least 8 times, Gin smokes several times and some miscellaneous people smoke.
  • We see a close-up of Gin taking a long draw on a cigarette and later we see a lot of cigarette butts in his ashtray.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Willie has been divorced twice.
  • Willie states that he had an abusive father.
  • We learn that Thurman's mother is dead and his father in prison (but the boy is so naive he doesn't realize that and only briefly repeats the protective lies told to him about where they are).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Willie states that he had an abusive father.
  • The reason why Willie and Thurman are the way they are.
  • Gin catches a kid trying to shoplift (with the item down the front of his pants).
  • Willie's comment to Marcus that "the world ain't fair."
  • We see Willie sitting in a parked, running car with a hose from the exhaust going inside (a suicide attempt that's cut short).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Marcus breaks a display case to steal something from inside it.
  • An angry bartender punches Willie in the gut and the two briefly struggle, prompting Willie to throw a bottle (or something made of glass) at him.
  • Willie throws a clock radio into a wall when it goes off in the morning.
  • Willie drinks from a bottle and then throws it at a car, shattering the windshield.
  • A deranged guy grabs and struggles with Willie until Thurman breaks it up.
  • We see some videogame violence where one animated figure kicks another.
  • Mad at losing to Thurman, Willie grabs a checkerboard and throws it across the room.
  • Willie proceeds to destroy some display animals in the department store while drunk.
  • We see Thurman with a black eye (from a punk hitting him -- not seen).
  • We see Willie repeatedly punching the punk who's been picking on Thurman (in the face).
  • While in a boxing ring, Thurman kicks Marcus in the crotch. Marcus then punches the boy in the crotch and then does the same to Willie (with all ending up on the mat in pain).
  • After faking the need for a battery jump, Marcus' girlfriend/wife purposefully drives a van into a man, apparently crushing him between the vehicles (we just see the motion of the car and the man's surprised expression).
  • Trying to fell a tall mannequin, Marcus repeatedly whacks at its leg with a club, while Willie repeatedly whacks a safe he's trying to open.
  • A man holds a gun on another man and prepares to shoot him, but the police suddenly pop out and aim their guns at him (and a brief gun battle breaks out between them in a department store at night). As the second man flees, the police shoot at him (on foot and in a car) and he knocks off an open car door while speeding away.
  • Police repeatedly shoot a fleeing suspect in the back, and we see a little bit of blood on the back of his clothing (we later hear he's alive in the hospital).
  • After a punk tries to pick on Thurman again, the boy kicks the punk in the crotch.



  • Reviewed November 13, 2003 / Posted November 26, 2003

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