Tyler Perry will never be a critics’ darling, but the reviews of A Madea Christmas are more pointed than most. Forcing critics to hit up a midnight or 10 a.m. screening and file immediately thereafter is never a recipe for profound reflection, but this one seems to have left ample dead space in which to mentally compose their barbs. It’s a safe bet that the reviews, what with the references to “ghost-themed sex play” and all, are more entertaining than the film itself.
Frank Sheck, Hollywood Reporter
Marking his latest drag turn as the titular character with impulse control issues, Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas is one holiday gift that should be quickly returned.
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture
Tyler Perry doesn’t always make movies. Sometimes he just throws a bunch of crap together and calls it a movie.
Sean O’Connell, Washington Post
Coal. A moldy fruitcake. Socks and underwear. The complete Encyclopedia Brittanica set. These are items I’d prefer to receive this holiday season instead of Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas, an insensitive, unfunny cringer from the entrepreneurial writer-director that should have come with a gift receipt.
Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve
A Madea Christmas feels unfinished and rushed, as if Perry shipped the film to theaters without finishing his editing or scoring, secure in the knowledge that no Madea film has suffered at the box-office for being ramshackle and amateurish.
Richard Corliss, Time
The only bright thing about the movie is the star’s blindingly white teeth, which, if he smiles, could be seen from space.
How bad is this tale of race, “Taking the Christ out of Christmas” and trouble down on the farm? You can’t wait for Larry the Cable Guy to show up.
Laremy Legel, Film.com
Really, the only thing that keeps Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas from being a legitimately good holiday film is a tragically terrible B-story (the entire “bullied Bailey” angle), those aforementioned opening missteps, and a hopelessly contrived “character redemption” story arc.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
Madea is no Groucho Marx, granted, but if writer-director Tyler Perry would just let this ribald, outrageous sassy grandma loose for 90 minutes, he’d have a comedy triumph on his hands.