Critic Reviews



Based on 31 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Fred Claus sells you something you didn't know you wanted: a Vince Vaughn Christmas movie. Vaughn is not the hook. Neither is the holiday. The script, by Dan Fogelman, is smarter than that.
Silly, heartwarming, and fun.
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 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.
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.
Yet another ho-hum family comedy hits screens this weekend -- this one in peppermint holiday flavor.
Freely mixing reality therapy, fairy tale and satire, Dobkin's film does not maintain a consistent tone. Is it a seriocomedy about brothers who need to work on unfinished business? Is it a holiday fable about a Scrooge who comes to surf the yuletide? Is it a satire in which an efficiency expert (Kevin Spacey) puts pressure on St. Nick to outsource gift allocation and distribution?
The movie has a terrible premise compounded by a lame script and the miscasting of its surfeit of talented stars. You have to wonder why Dobkin, whose last film was the hilariously raunchy "Wedding Crashers," would be attracted to this tame material.
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 Hollywood Reporter
The film isn't just not funny, it is off-putting.
This is just plain bad - and it's a surprise.

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