It's a holiday ritual: Each year, American moviegoers get the misanthropically stupid, plastic-satire-of- a-plastic-society Christmas comedy they deserve.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Broderick and Mr. DeVito look tired and out of sorts, and you can hardly blame them, given the picture's inept, curdled mixture of sappiness and crude humor.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
I literally did not count a single laugh in the whole aimless schlep, except for the hucksters who made it, on their way to the bank.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
How come the talk-radio blowhards never bring movies like this up when they're inveighing against the War on Christmas?
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
As reliable as your Aunt Harriet's sweet potato casserole, every holiday season brings a movie just like John Whitesell's Deck the Halls, in which otherwise sensible actors commit themselves to a cheerless exercise in jingle bell hell.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
You cannot believe how excruciatingly awful this movie is.
Richard Roeper - Chicago Sun-Times
... Deck the Halls has little to recommend it.
Jessica Reaves - Chicago Tribune
This one follows the depressing pattern of Surviving Christmas and Christmas With the Kranks: enforced holiday cheer gives way to bilious hatred, then hollow forgiveness.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
... a mirthless comedy with Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick as warring neighbors, can be described as whatever is the opposite of a Christmas classic.
David Hiltbrand - Philadelphia Inquirer
... the film equivalent of a fruitcake or snowman sweater you don't want but can't regift.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's not horrible, but every sight gag and 'real meaning of Christmas' speech has been seen and heard before, and it steals gratuitously from Chevy Chase's masterpiece National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
Annemarie Moody - Arizona Republic
In essence a title and release date in search of a movie, Deck the Halls is a lifeless, workmanlike comedy conceived to provide holiday shoppers an inoffensive respite from the mall.
Brian Lowry - Variety
The ending is so sweet that it'll send your family out of the theater for 3 1/2 solid minutes of smiles before everyone starts drinking and pointing fingers again.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
Does anybody in Hollywood celebrate Christmas anymore? You have to wonder, with the woeful Christmas fare that has been hurled at us the past few years.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
As long as atrocious, fake-pine duds like this keep making their money back, there's no such thing as a Christmas that's too commercial.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
Although it borrows ingredients from many familiar Christmas flicks, it's got a sly twinkle of its own.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
I love the Christmas season, but there are times when I wish it would go away if only to save audiences from horrific experiences like this.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Deck the Halls muddles along with rote characters and unimaginative gags that will amuse very few.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
It's disappointing to see Broderick and DeVito try to make mediocre material work.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
Like a fatally snarled string of Christmas lights, Deck the Halls promises holiday cheer but delivers only frustration.
Sam Adams - Los Angeles Times
Makes us miss those Home Alone days...
Jane Boursaw - Common Sense Media
The gags land like lumps of coal, but at least the unnatural mounds of fluffy white snow remain unsullied in the dreck.
Tom Meek - Boston Phoenix
Ah, another lifeless comedy for the holidays. It's just super to be reminded how mean-spirited and grotesquely commercial the Christmas season can be, isn't it?
Kit Bowen - Hollywood.com
The distasteful formula is even more sour and ham-handed than usual; Broderick's and DeVito's natural likeability never stands a chance.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
a bit too faux-humbug for me
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
When Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito team up for a comedy that can't even deliver one well-oiled joke, that's a big problem.
Scott Weinberg - DVDTalk.com
Laden with false climaxes, the overstuffed plot leaves you exhausted well before the movie ends, and the amiable actors sleepwalk through their uninspired roles.
Joshua Land - Time Out New York
Even the most dimwitted of kids will see through this poorly made mishmash of every other holiday film.
Andy Kurtz - Bullz-Eye.com
Got any kids who've been naughty this year? Here's their present.
Sam Toy - Empire Magazine
'My stupidity astounds me!' chortles Danny DeVito in Deck the Halls, a line that pretty much sums up this tale of warring neighbours with very different ideas about celebrating Christmas.
Neil Smith - BBC
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
What's interesting about typical Hollywood Christmas movies is that regardless of how crass, vulgar, or mean-spirited they may be, by the last scene they will inevitably try to wrap viewers in a blanket of warm seasonal cheer.
Josh Rosenblatt - Austin Chronicle
Not that we expect much from a Holiday movie about neighbours competing over Christmas lights (how familiar is that?), but John Whitesell's film is so lacking in any plausible plot that I squirmed in my seat throughout the entire duration of the screening
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
seems to have only been greenlit because producers know that families need PG-rated dreck to occupy the kiddies while mom is out shopping for Christmas presents.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
Deck the screenwriter, deck the director--then go and deck your own halls.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
The lights go off pretty fast on this one.
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Caso voce seja diabetico(a), cuidado ao assistir a Um Natal Brilhante, pois ha um grande risco de vir a sofrer uma hiperglicemia provocada pelo excesso de agua-com-acucar.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
A few laughs are sprinkled in this equivalent of a lame sitcom holiday episode, but the broad comedy and treacly ending are unlikely to put anyone in the Christmas spirit.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
[Deck the Halls] wants to be both naughty and nice, but just ends up feeling deeply confused.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
Watching "Deck the Halls" is like getting a lump of coal in your stocking. Except receiving a lump of coal takes only seconds, while this awful movie goes on for an hour and a half.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
You can't even say Deck the Halls lacks the courage of its convictions, because it doesn't have any
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
You might be wondering just when the heartwarming spirit of the season is going to come crashing down upon these boy-men.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
A box of Christmas movie cliches wrapped in tired slapstick and tied up with a bow made of trite lessons about the 'true meaning of Christmas.'
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Deck the Halls seems to have been conceived on the back of a snot-soaked tissue by a none-too-bright second grader.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
It's not enough to be set at Christmastime. Deck the Halls has no Christmas spirit.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Deck the theatres with mediocre material... fa la lame.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Like that holiday fruitcake that nobody wants, here's another stale and joyless Christmas comedy.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Can't we just deck director John Whitesell instead?
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
At least it isn't offensive.
Eric Lurio - Entertainment Insiders
What's plentiful are stupid pratfalls, obvious plotting, cozy homilies and a big helping of saccharine moralizing.
Shlomo Schwartzberg - Boxoffice Magazine
There is something about the holiday season that brings lazy filmmakers to pitch meetings with Frank Capra knockoffs clutched in their sweaty paws.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
Movies like Deck the Halls should make us all thankful that Christmas only comes once a year. What other season could possibly inspire a story as insipid as this?
Peter Debruge - Miami Herald
A holiday farce that pairs a colorful cast with a generic filmmaker.
Lisa Rose - Newark Star-Ledger
Looking for some early holiday cheer? Look at anything but Deck the Halls.
Ted Fry - Seattle Times
In the tradition of Christmas with the Kranks and Jingle All the Way comes Deck the Halls; another Christmas lump of coal sure to dampen the yuletide glee of anyone pumped for the holidays.
Brian Orndorf - eFilmCritic.com
I'm tired of filmmakers, screenwriters, directors and studios that believe every holiday is its own excuse for making films.
Mark Collette - Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
Flimsy and fumbling - bah, humbug!
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
There must be an underground contest in Hollywood to see who can make the worst Christmas movie...Hang the Crepe would be more appropriate.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
...this sour eggnog combines bad taste with ersatz holiday cheer.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The raw ingredients of this crass holiday comedy include an inept stab at Home Alone-style slapstick, sitcom-thin characters, a snickering attitude about tacky yuletide decorations and a good helping of smarmy sentimentality. Merry Christmas!
Walter V. Addiego - San Francisco Chronicle
Broderick and DeVito must be mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted by the sad, tired quality of these lame gags.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Deck the Halls, a flabby attempt at false holiday cheer opening in theaters today, resembles an inflatable Santa after vandals have gotten to it.
Sue Pierman - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Filled with forced yuletide cheer and mixed messages about the true meaning of Christmas, this loud and obnoxious holiday comedy boasts a fine cast and little else.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Since this is ostensibly a holiday family picture, things never get so nasty as to be Bad Santa-style outrageous, unless you think a rigged speed-skating competition or a cross-dressing local sheriff is the height of hilarity.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
A low in soulless Hollywood Christmas movies, and more celebration of consumerism than condemnation.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
has no real heart and certainly not a trace of warmth. You may leave the theater with a strong desire not to decorate a tree, but to deck the person who talked you into seeing this turkey.
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
So bad it almost makes me renounce Christianity altogether.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
When you're starting to think that maybe sneaking out and going to see "The Santa Clause 3" would be a better use of your time, you know you've stumbled upon a truly wretched film.
Kim Voynar - Cinematical
OK, yes, I laughed. I've seen so many awful movies this year that I think I'm punch-drunk.
Dave White - Movies.com
Deck the Halls strains to be both naughty and nice with much clamor and not much conviction.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
Another year, another cheesy, hypocritical movie about how the true meaning of Christmas gets lost in the madness of Christmas. Except that this movie is, in itself, Exhibit A in the Christmas Madness category.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
... Deck the Halls has a cute, if ho-ho-hum story, which makes it more like getting that nice sweater from grandma -- again.
Laura Kelly - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Deck the Halls is no classic, but it has its amusing moments and its tender ones ...
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
...one of those dreadful, pandering, seasonal pictures that sneaks into theaters, Grinch-like, and makes off with tons of cash each year.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
... so contrived and utterly stupid in every way that it surely must be the nadir of the genre.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The quintessential Hollywood Christmas movie. It's Grumpy Old Christmas.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
The word 'comedy' only applies loosely; the laughs are strictly sporadic, and not even Danny DeVito's gruff appeal is enough to overcome the soulless cynicism at the heart of this paint-by-numbers exercise.
Pam Grady - Reel.com
After seeing the trailers and commercials for this one, I was convinced it would be utterly detestable, but it turns out Deck The Halls is only majorly annoying. I guess that is a step up.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
A one-part mean-spirited, one-part saccharine, all-parts forgettable piece of fluff.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
It's Bottom Ten bad, destined to wind up on end-of-the-year 'Worst Of' lists. It may still be there at the conclusion of this century.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Nothing says Christmas quite like incompetent slapstick, saccharine sermonizing, and cavernous cleavage.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
As good-hearted as it may be, Deck The Halls is too lightweight to leave more than a fleeting impact.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile