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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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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"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."
‑ Christy Lemire, Associated Press
"The film soon bogs down in fake hugs and a fakier climax involving Santa (Ed Asner) and his downed sled."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"required viewing during the holiday season"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Dressed in a snug green outfit throughout and dispensing decorations, sugary snacks and a beaming grin, Ferrell is the life and soul of an otherwise unexceptional Christmas celebration."
‑ Jason Caro, Radio Times
"The third act's a little clumsy, but Elf brings the Christmas cheer and loads of laughs."
‑ R. L. Shaffer, IGN DVD
"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."
‑ Scott Tobias, AV Club
"Some humour might sail over the heads of the very young, but there's a higher chuckle rate for the grown-ups than much dread 'family' fare."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"All told, Elf is undeniably cute, but not destined to become a Christmas classic. Nevertheless, children will love it."
‑ Eddie B. Allen Jr., Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
"It would be Scrooge-like to say mean things about the innocuous Elf, so I'll just point out that director Jon Favreau's film rarely reaches its full comic potential."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"Peppy holiday favorite for both kids and parents."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"A disarmingly funny holiday comedy."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"I love watching Ferrell do his gangly, clueless shtick, and even here, there's something inherently funny about just seeing him in a big, green elf suit. There's something inherently funny about Ferrell -- period."
‑ Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture
"A gleeful, cracked fairytale."
‑ , Total Film
"Feels like that rare instant Christmas classic."
‑ Bruce Bennett, Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
"A family-friendly, funny and heartwarming holiday film with a great heart that is well worth watching more than once."
‑ Vic Holtreman, ScreenRant
More reviews for Elf on Rotten Tomatoes

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