The three “Bad Moms” are back in “A Bad Moms Christmas,” just 16 months after the original film hit theaters — and critics are panning the “rush job” production, saying it misses more than it hits.
“The Xmas edition of ‘Bad Moms’ is OK if not laugh-out-loud, culminating in a grind-and-twerk foursome with a mall Santa,” TheWrap’s film critic Robert Abele wrote in his review. “Ho ho ho-hum. But then the slo-mo gets trotted out again for a dodgeball free-for-all featuring all the families at a Sky Zone trampoline center, and it sinks in just how threadbare the movie is with its mix-and-match family dysfunction comedy.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Katie Walsh wrote, “‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is a poorly gift-wrapped Pinterest fail of a movie. The Scotch tape in the equation, bravely straining to hold things together, is the emphatic delivery of lines, made to trick us into thinking lines that are not jokes are, actually, jokes.”
“A Bad Moms Christmas” stars Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn, as well as Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines and Justin Hartley. It was written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, the same writers and directors of the first movie.
Unfortunately, the sequel seems to not bring the holiday spirit to critics.
“The holiday season has barely started and already we have our first lump of coal. ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is not only an insipid, uninspired sequel to last year’s hit comedy, it’s an embarrassment for all parties involved,” wrote Adam Graham of The Detroit News.
Of course, there are some positive reviews. The Daily Beast‘s Kevin Fallon, for example, called the film “a masterpiece.” Chicago Tribune‘s Michael Phillips said “a fair number of the jokes hit their targets.”
See 9 of the worst reviews below. The film does not yet have a Rotten Tomatoes score, white Metacritic puts it at 43 out of 100 points,
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox:
“‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is thin and silly, like an overlong Christmas episode of a sitcom you pair with some reheated lo mein when you can’t figure out what else to do on a stray weeknight. (The fact that it’s opening on November 1 is the real War on Christmas.) It’s a warmed-over repeat, sans the charm.”
Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times:
“‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is a poorly gift-wrapped Pinterest fail of a movie. The Scotch tape in the equation, bravely straining to hold things together, is the emphatic delivery of lines, made to trick us into thinking lines that are not jokes are, actually, jokes. The bows and trim, attempting to distract from obvious seams, are the endless slow-motion montages of mayhem set to pop tunes.”
Emily Yoshida, Vulture:
“‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is a film about women trapped in a bleakly infantilizing suburban hellscape with horrible lighting, whose only idea about how to subvert their situation is to scream and push people and hit each other in the crotch.”
Kate Erbland, IndieWire:
“‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is at its best when its various trios are finally pushed together in wacky circumstances. These comedic trios work, perhaps better than they should and well enough to make even a mostly flaccid followup still feel weirdly appropriate. It seems inevitable that there will be more ‘Bad Moms’ films despite the throwaway feel of this outing, and ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ might be the worst movie to so transparently set up a sequel that nearly demands to be made as soon as possible (yes, it involves the Bad Grandmas). Now that would be a holiday treat worth celebrating… The cheerless, choppy nature of ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ keeps each storyline feeling oddly singular, and it’s worse for it.”
Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
“But as good as all of the actresses are, the characters often don’t talk or react like normal human beings. Moreover, outright pathological behavior is condoned while our heroines (especially Kunis) are flat out punished and condemned for standing up to the madness. Like the first film, the ‘low point’ involves Kunis being chewed out by her kids for her completely reasonable reaction to what amounts to third-party sabotage.”
Conner Schwerdtfeger, CinemaBlend:
“While not great, ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is an above-average comedy sequel/ heartfelt Christmas story kept afloat [by] the charm of the returning leads and their family dynamics. It’s undeniably one of the more fun raunchy comedies of the last few years (particularly one of the more fun Christmas-themed raunchy comedies), but like the moms who populate this ever-expanding universe, it’s far from perfect, and not trying to be.”
Rafer Guzman, Newsday:
“Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as women who decide to rebel against the straitjackets of motherhood — school functions, bake sales, raising perfect children — 2016’s ‘Bad Moms’ was surprisingly funny and, even more shocking, rather sweet. It genuinely empathized with its characters and got us to do the same, a rare quality in an R-rated comedy these days. The magic isn’t entirely gone but it’s in much shorter supply in the inevitable sequel, ‘A Bad Moms Christmas.’ It feels like a bit of a rush job from writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, who begin with an appealing idea — what if the Bad Moms’ own moms dropped by for the holidays? — but fall back on formula to execute it. ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is pretty typical of Hollywood seasonal fare: a fine cast and a few passable moments, but the material is more miss than hit.”
Adam Graham, The Detroit News:
“The holiday season has barely started and already we have our first lump of coal. ‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ is not only an insipid, uninspired sequel to last year’s hit comedy, it’s an embarrassment for all parties involved. With no grounding in anything resembling reality, its characters behave like sociopaths while the script wraps them in a blanket of holiday cliches.”
Christy Lemire, Roger Ebert:
“‘A Bad Moms Christmas’ has the shoddy look and frantic feel of a slapped-together, cash-grab sequel, because that’s exactly what it is.”