High-spirited high jinks on Christmas Eve put Frank Cross (Bill Murray) in a ghostly time warp in this hilarious take-off of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Cross, who has made the meteoric rise from the depths of the mailroom to TV network president, is mean, nasty, uncaring, unforgiving and has a sadistic sense of humor - perfect qualities for a modern-day Scrooge. Before the night is over, he'll be visited by a maniacal New York cab driver from the past, a present-day fairy who's into pratfalls and, finally, a ghoulish, seven-foot headless messenger from the future.
Most critics couldn't get behind Bill Murray's modern retelling of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, finding it too unfocused at times and not nearly wicked enough. Still, if you're a Murray fan, you have to enjoy his deliciously nasty portrayal of the world's meanest TV executive, who has his cathartic moment one cold Christmas night in New York City. The various ghosts lead him on a ghost-town tour of Manhattan, with stops at holidays past, present, and future and a Kumbaya moment when Al Green and Annie Lennox sing "Put a Little Love in Your Heart." The effects are otherworldly, but one wishes the writing were as sharp as Murray's edgy portrayal. --Marshall Fine