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Fred Claus 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, who was just a perfect…well…Saint.
Berardinelli, Internet CriticFull Review Average Fred Claus, which fits loosely under the umbrella occupied by the forgettable Santa Clause trilogy, is the latest such failed endeavor. The movie is passable in a made-for-TV fashion, but the problem is that it isn't made-for-TV.
Roger EbertFull Review Average The movie wants to be good-hearted but is somehow sort of grudging.
USA TodayFull Review Average Fred Claus is as derivative and predictable as any of the holiday comedies of the past few years, providing audiences with at best a handful of laughs. Most of it is uninspired.
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OPINION OVERVIEW The following is the original "What's Worth
Watching" write-up for this movie.
Based on a theater exit polling of 109 moviegoers:
CHILDREN:Children loved "Fred Claus." Over half gave it their highest rating. TEENS:The male reviews are very mixed. Half loved it and half didn't care much for it. There weren't many in the middle. The ladies enjoyed it quite a bit more. Three-quarters rated it above average or better with lots of "Fantastic" reviews. The remaining 25% only rated it as low as "Good," which certainly isn't bad. Recommended for the ladies, questionable for the guys.
TWENTYSOMETHINGS:Only three male reviews. Two really enjoyed it and one hated it. I will recommend it since it's very likely the "Terrible" review is some guy trying to be funny since most people his age enjoyed it, at least to some degree. The female reviews are very good. Only a very few rated it a bit low. Recommended.
ADULTS:The male reviews are good for a silly comedy. They're concentrated in the average to above average range with quite a few higher reviews. The female reviews are slightly better. They have a few higher reviews and less lower reviews. Recommended.
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. Has Fred finally pushed his little brother to the brink? This time, what Fred may have stolen is Christmas itself, and it is going to take more than Rudolph to set things right.