Box art for Fred Claus

Fred Claus

comedy


A hilarious and heartwarming comedy starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti about Santa's brother, and complete opposite, Fred Claus.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    21%
  • Audience Score
    45%

common sense

ON for kids age 7
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
0 out of 5
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
3 out of 5

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.).

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    21%
    reviews counted: 0
    see all Fred Claus reviews
  • Audience

    45%

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Great film, probably the best Xmas movie for years. It works mainly because of Vaughn and his deadpan, sarcastic deliveries and being an average Joe in his forties. It makes you feel good not because of the Xmas factor but because Vaughn makes you feel happy and comfortable about being an average Joe. The everyman who has to put up with life's crap just like the normal folk outside Hollywood. Spacey and Giamatti are also very good in their roles as expected. It does look and play out like ALL other Xmas films but a slight twist on the plot, a few neat visual gags and some good verbal make all the difference. The legal side with Spacey is quite special but the sloppy ending almost spoils it...but its a nice flick.

- phubbs1, Monday, May 14, 2012

2 stars

Fred Claus fails to deliver a classic Christmas movie that will impact audiences for years to come. It's not as endearing as Elf nor is it as funny as Bad Santa or Jim Carey's Grinch. What's even more disappointing is this film's attempt at being family oriented. It's more like a drama pretending to be a Christmas movie. This film deals with a wide variety of inner struggles and other deep family issues that aren't conventional in family-oriented Christmas films. These underlying themes overshadowed the overall atmosphere. Where Fred Claus succeeds is it's casting and delivery. The film boasts an all star cast: Vince Vaughn, Rachel Weisz, Kevin Spacey, Paul Giamatti, Kathy Bates, Jessica Banks, and Ludacris. ALL of them completely wasted here... especially Weisz! You come to expect nothing short of Oscar-worthy performances from her lately, but yet this role was a complete waste that could've been used by a no-namer. Kevin Spacey was the only big name who did something special with his role. He was the perfect diabolical creepy Christmas killer. There was also a really good cameo scene with Roger Clinton, Frank Stallone, and Stephen Baldwin... get the connection? Not-so famous brothers who are over-shadowed by their famous siblings... a bit cheesy and it's definitely over kill, but it was still entertaining. In the end, it doesn't feel like a Christmas film and it won't stand out as a classic. I don't recommend it. Vince Vaughn delivers some funny lines, and all the A-list actors can't save this film. It's at least better than all those Tim Allen Christmas films....

- DerekA101, Monday, December 15, 2008

2 stars

this was a bad movie, lets just get that out of the way. i rate it this high however because there were two scenes, the superman scene and the brothers anonymous scene, that were amazing, and because the cast was phenomenal despite the silly script. elizabeth banks might be more beautiful in this film than in any ive seen, and the cameo's were excellent. there are a lot of downsides however. the whole "board" thing is stupid, who can shut down santa? and some of the conflicts created were contrived. the film did have an odd charm to it that made it fun. while not a new holiday classic, its watchable.

- sanjurosamurai, Tuesday, December 16, 2008