Bad Santa

Working from a story by the Coen brothers, director Terry Zwigoff’s 2003 film is calculated to affront anyone who holds the holidays sacred. It is vile, hateful, and—for most of its 90-odd minutes—utterly soulless. That said, I can’t imagine chortling so heartily, and guiltily, at a blacker black Christmas comedy. Billy Bob Thornton plays a self-loathing, foul-mouthed, alcoholic safecracker who annually dons white beard and red suit for his criminal M.O.: He and his elfin cohort (Tony Cox) loot a department store every Christmas Eve and live large for the rest of the year. Whoomp, there’s your plot. Bad Santa simply follows Thornton’s misanthropic human wrecking ball through affluent Phoenix suburbia. (R) ANDREW BONAZELLI

Fri., Dec. 17, 11 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 18, 11 p.m., 2010