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.
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
Starting from childhood attempts at illustration, the protagonist pursues his true obsession to art school. But as he learns how the art world really works, he finds that he must adapt his vision to the reality that confronts him.
Willie T. Stokes is a convicted con man who's led a miserable life. He drinks heavily and constantly embarrasses himself publicly. He only works once a year dressed as Santa. But then come Christmas Eve, he and his pint-sized helper dwarf Marcus stage elaborate robberies and take their department stores for everything they got. This year, they hit a mall in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. This time around, Willie gets distracted by having sex with large women, a bartender who is attracted to Santas, and a kid who's convinced he's the real deal. However, this time around Marcus must once again put up with Willie's heavy drinking and a series of incidents that constantly shoot themselves in the foot. Not to mention a nosy department store security guard who's onto them and wants his cut of the loot. Will Willie and Marcus make it to next Christmas? Or will this be the year the dynamic duo finally face justice? Written by
One of the best, and most surprising, films of the year
When I first saw the trailer for this film I thought that it was basically just gonna be a funny little dark comedy that would be a nice distraction from the annoying family movies that are being dumped into theaters around this time. However, leaving the theater after watching this, I discovered how much more it was than what I was expecting. Instead a good movie, I got a great one, with good direction and a wonderful script and, best of all, the performance of Billy Bob Thornton, who makes the film what it is. His foulmouthed, cynical, suicidal character might look two-dimensional on paper and, had another actor taken a stab at this role, come off as forced and tiresome, but Thornton finds just the right blend of humor and reality. The film is touching, but not on the surface. Many viewers will not get it; they'll see this film as a vulgar assault on the Christmas spirit, and, in a way, it is, but deeper than that there is a story here about a man who has lost all faith in the human race and has now been restored. Without being sappy, unlike almost any other film I've ever seen, "Bad Santa" is able to make this an emotional journey for a contemptable character, get us to like him, and disguise it behind dark, sick humor. It's a masterpiece of dark comedy and the best holiday film of the last 5 years. **** out of ****
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