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Fred Claus Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… totally unfunny and disjointed … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film isn't just not funny, it is off-putting.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Yet another ho-hum family comedy hits screens this weekend -- this one in peppermint holiday flavor.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    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.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Fred Claus seems a clever installment, not a seasonal classic, a buffet whose many nibbles you sample, move on and quickly forget.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Holiday comedy's no classic, but it's OK for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that since this is the first Christmas-themed movie of the season, kids might be extra interested in seeing it. The trailers and ads feature the comedy's silly elves and slapsticky nature, and that's exactly what you get (along with a heaping sleighful of brand-name toys). This is no serious, high-minded holiday story; it's a simple comedy about Santa's jealous brother. While there's nothing scary or troubling in the movie, there are a few scenes of couples kissing (including Santa and his wife, and two elves) and a sad moment when an orphan says he doesn't believe in Santa. Fred and Santa get into a fight, as do Fred and a group of angry Salvation Army Santas, and there's some relatively mild language ("crap," "hell," etc.).

  • Families can talk about the movie's themes: sibling rivalry, naughty behavior, and Christmas greed. Santa's parents, especially his mother, clearly favored him over Fred. How did that make Fred feel and act toward his family? How does he redeem himself? Why does the average Santa letter include a request for 15 toys? Is that a good thing? Are there any toys you want after seeing them in the movie? Why do you want them? What do you think about Fred's comment that no kid is naughty, and that every kid deserves one toy? Do you think that's true? Kids: How can you help a child like Slam receive a gift this holiday season?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Sends the message that, despite their differences, brothers should stick together. Another message is that no kid is truly naughty -- they all have reasons for behaving "badly."

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Fred is followed by a bunch of Salvation Army Santas and gets into a slapsticky fight with them. Nick and Fred get into a wrestling match/snowball fight, during which they crash into things, fall on the floor, etc.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: A few couples kiss; Willie flirts with Charlene; Charlene wears a skimpy Santa outfit.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "crap," "hell," "idiot," "shove it," etc.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Lots of brand-name toys in Santa's workshop, including Hello Kitty, Thomas the Tank Engine, Care Bears, and many more. Salvation Army Santas; Toys R Us; Gap bags; mentions of Supernanny, Patty Hearst, Superman.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The elves hang out at Frosty's Tavern, but there's no evidence they're actually drinking