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Bad Santa (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  26 November 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 100,951 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 473 user | 186 critic | 38 from

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.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandra Korhan ...
Dylan Charles ...


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 halo1k

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's very naughty . . . and not very nice. [DVD] See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »




Release Date:

26 November 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Badder Santa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,292,952 (USA) (28 November 2003)


$2,983 (Hong Kong) (31 December 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Director's cut) | (unrated)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jack Nicholson read the script and wanted to do the film, but had to turn it down because he was already committed to Something's Gotta Give (2003). See more »


When Marcus turns off the surveillance cameras, he uses one button to turn off the TVs. If he just turned off the TVs, then the cameras would still be recording (but the images wouldn't be displayed in the security room). See more »


[first lines]
Willie: Hey, can I get another drink down here?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In loving memory of John Ritter See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


Jingle Bell Rock
Written by Joseph Beal and James Boothe
Performed by Bobby Sherman
Courtesy of Bobby Sherman Enterprises, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the best, and most surprising, films of the year
1 December 2003 | by (Arkansas, US) – See all my reviews

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 ****

58 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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