Critic Reviews



Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
L.A. Weekly
Deftly blending disrespect and good nature, Fred Claus is a gas.
Chicago Tribune
Fred Claus seems a clever installment, not a seasonal classic, a buffet whose many nibbles you sample, move on and quickly forget.
The surprisingly puny haul comes from the jolly, usually sparkling comedy workshop of David Dobkin, who directed "Wedding Crashers," and Dan Fogelman, who wrote "Cars" -- two great movies that both make better stocking stuffers.
Fred Claus is less enchanting than the 2003 fairy tale, "Elf" (which was directed by Vaughn's good buddy, Jon Favreau), but no worse than the inexplicably popular Tim Allen series.
The movie wants to be good-hearted but is somehow sort of grudging. It should have gone all the way. I think Fred Claus should have been meaner if he was going to be funnier, and Santa should have been up to something nefarious, instead of the jolly old ho-ho-ho routine.
Village Voice
The exceptional cast--Vaughn, Giamatti, Kathy Bates, Kevin Spacey, Rachel Weisz--is an embarrassment of riches for a script this thin and this beholden to family-fare protocol, with its mushy-minded moral and slick sentimentality.
The Hollywood Reporter
The film isn't just not funny, it is off-putting.
Alternates between unpleasantness and Hallmark-sweet sappiness.
Few things are more dispiriting than a holiday movie straining to become a perennial. Such is the case with Fred Claus, an insipid Christmas comedy.
Austin Chronicle
Fred Claus is sadly just an early lump of coal under the tree.

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