Elf (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes


Elf (2003)



Critic Consensus: A movie full of Yuletide cheer, Elf is a spirited, good-natured family comedy, and it benefits greatly from Will Ferrell's funny and charming performance as one of Santa's biggest helpers.

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For his sophomore stab at directing, actor/writer/director Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made), took on this holiday comedy starring Saturday Night Live-alum Will Ferrell. Ferrell stars as Buddy, a regular-sized man who was raised as an elf by Santa Claus (Edward Asner). When the news is finally broken to Buddy that he's not a real elf, he decides to head back to his place of birth, New York City, in search of his biological family. Elf also stars James Caan, Mary Steenburgen, Zooey Deschanel, and Bob Newhart. ~ Matthew Tobey, Rovi

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James Caan
as Walter
Bob Newhart
as Papa Elf
Daniel Tay
as Michael
Faizon Love
as Gimbel's Manager
Peter Dinklage
as Mile Finch
Kyle Gass
as Eugene
Artie Lange
as Gimbels Santa
Claire Lautier
as NY 1 Reporter
Ted Friend
as NY 1 Anchor
Patrick Ferrell
as Security Guard
Patrick McCartney
as Security Guard
Annie Brebner
as Elf Student
Luke Paul
as Elf Student
Michael Roberds
as Disgruntled Cobbler Elf
Peter Hulne
as Elf Twin
Patrick Hulne
as Elf Twin
Richard Side
as Elf Teacher
Kristian Ayre
as Foom Foom
Lorin Heath
as Perfume Clerk
Brad Turner
as Office Co-Worker
David Berenbaum
as Office Co-Worker
Brenda Crichlow
as Office Co-Worker
Oscar Goncalves
as Francisco
Murray Jack
as Man in Elevator
Mark Acheson
as Mailroom Guy
Paul Schofield
as Kid with Santa
Matt Walsh
as Himself
Gus Michael
as Witness
Terry J. Scarlatos
as Police Officer
Akeen A. Smith
as School Kid
Jane Bradbury
as Susan Welles
Ray Harryhausen
as Polar Bear Cub
Leon Redbone
as Leon the Snowman
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Critic Reviews for Elf

All Critics (196) | Top Critics (56)

While his plotting may leave a little to be desired, Favreau directs with speed, humour and efficiency.

December 14, 2014 | Full Review…

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.

December 14, 2014 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Sure, Elf feels a little too feel-good at the end, but what do you expect? It's a Christmas movie! Anything else would be the cinematic equivalent of finding coal in your stocking.

December 4, 2013 | Full Review…

The cast wrings laughs out of David Berenbaum's script as if it were a damp washcloth, but even they have trouble selling frenetic button-pushing as the Christmas spirit.

December 4, 2013 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A disarmingly funny holiday comedy.

September 7, 2011 | Rating: B+

Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents.

August 31, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Elf

The biggest joke in the shenannigans depicted therein is that a big human being acts like a little one, perhaps THE mainstay of all Will Ferrell's material. Do you think that's funny? Well, if so, then this'll be a laff riot, because that's the entire premise here. In point of fact, nearly every joke in the film can be glossed by the film cover. "Isn't he cute?" If that doesn't crack you up (the possibility exists) then I've done you a favor. Don't mention it.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Oddly executed plot along with a joyously flare makes this Christmas comedy a success. Elf is the typical holiday film that's entertaining and strong, all thanks to a vibrant Will Ferrell. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

One of the better Christmas movies. This is pretty cute and Will Farrell plays his adult moron (sorry, elf) role well. I love Zooey Deschanel as well - I would watch this just to hear her sing Baby it's Cold Outside. (I was so disappointed that on the She & Him Xmas album, the guy does the lead vocal on that song). I pretty much hate kids movies, but I have watched this one many times and enjoyed it.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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