(2003)

Critic Reviews

64

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
83
Entertainment Weekly
The disarming comedic tone -- silly and novel in its lack of cynicism -- is driven by the fearless, cheerful unself-consciousness of Will Ferrell, a big man last seen streaking (all too unself-consciously) through ''Old School.''
80
The Hollywood Reporter
While the words "instant holiday classic" might be pushing it, Elf is at the very least a breezily entertaining, perfectly cast family treat.
80
Ferrell is a hoot. So is much of this witty holiday family entertainment, which, up until the end, when the “true spirit of Christmas” must be reaffirmed, happily favors slapstick over treacle.
70
Variety
Will Ferrell graduates to his first solo leading role with flying colors in Elf, a disarming holiday comedy about a clueless innocent who saves Christmas and fosters a renewed sense of family in his reluctant father.
70
Dallas Observer
Elf may be no more than a pleasant, amusing trifle, a grin that fades well before Thanksgiving, but it also will endure in the way all decent Hollywood-made Christmas fairy tales last if they're rendered with good cheer and good will.
63
ReelViews
More likely to end up on the snow pile of forgettable Christmas-themed movies than in the vault of memorable ones.
60
The A.V. Club
The cast wrings laughs out of David Berenbaum's script as if it were a damp washcloth.
50
Rolling Stone
Ferrell makes the damn thing work. Even though he can't get naked or use naughty words, there's a devil of comedy in Ferrell, and he lets it out to play. Director Jon Favreau has the good sense to just stand out of his way.
40
Village Voice
Works best as a rapid-fire series of sight gags and absurd remarks.
30
New York Magazine (Vulture)
I was looking forward to something a tad more satirical than this Hallmark card of a movie, which plugs innocence and goodness like they’re going out of style.

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