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Fred Claus

2008-01-21 16:13
What it's about:

Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn) has lived almost his entire life in his little brother's very large shadow. Fred tried, but he could never live up to the example set by the younger Nicholas (Paul Giamatti), who was just a perfect... well... Saint. True to form, Nicholas grew up to be the model of giving, while Fred became the polar opposite: a repo man who then steals what he repossesses. Now Fred's dirty dealings have landed him in jail. Over Mrs. Claus's objections, Nicholas agrees to bail his big brother out on one condition: that he come to the North Pole and work off his debt making toys. The trouble is that Fred isn't exactly elf material and, with Christmas fast approaching, this one bad seed could jeopardize the jolliest holiday of the year.

What the critics thought of it:

"It's more like a holiday fruitcake: a lot of different chunks of stuff - some bitter, some sweet, some awful - half-baked and sent to people low on the Christmas list."
Chris Farnsworth, E! Online

"Fred Claus turns out to be not bad for a Santa movie, which I suppose could be interpreted as either faint or excessive praise, depending on your view."
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times

"The film's multitude of flaws might be more easily forgiven if the movie didn't overstay its welcome by at least a half-hour."
James Berardinelli, ReelViews

"With Santa Claus movies like Fred Claus, who needs Ebenezer Scrooge?"
Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

"The burden of having a famous sibling seems fraught with comedic possibilities, but whatever potential existed has been squandered and then some in Fred Claus, dumping coal into everyone's holiday stocking."
Brian Lowry, Variety
Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole.

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