Bad Santa

Bad Santa

Terry Zwigoff (2003)

15 Certificate


Our Score
If Christmas brings out the "bah, humbug" in you, then this pitch-black comedy from indie film-maker Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) will be right up your alley. Flouting the sentimental spirit of the season and then some, it stars Billy Bob Thornton as Willie Stokes, a grouchy, alcoholic safe-cracker who works as a department store Santa so he can rob his employers with the help of an "elf" partner-in-crime (Tony Cox). On one last job, the foul-mouthed, determinedly child-unfriendly Stokes becomes involved with a Santa-loving barmaid (Lauren Graham) and a lonely, bullied, overweight boy (Brett Kelly) who is apparently immune to the river of profanity coming out of Stokes's mouth. Sounds like a recipe for a feel-good ending, but Zwigoff resists that temptation, and with Thornton giving a terrific deadpan performance, this is the perfect antidote to the usual saccharine Christmas confection.


A grumpy alcoholic safe-cracker takes a job as an in-store Father Christmas with a view to robbing his employers' premises - but a bullied child, a barmaid with a Santa fetish and an overzealous security guard look set to wreck his plans for an inside job. Black comedy, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac and John Ritter.

Cast & Crew

Willie T Stokes Billy Bob Thornton
Marcus Tony Cox
The Kid Brett Kelly
Sue Lauren Graham
Lois Lauren Tom
Gin Bernie Mac
Bob Chipeska John Ritter
Hindustani troublemaker Ajay Naidu
Milwaukee Mom with photo Alex Borstein
Grandmother Cloris Leachman
Director Terry Zwigoff
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia TriStarGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes and nudity.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Nov 2004