The big difference between "Bad Moms" and the new Christmas edition, which premiered in theaters on Wednesday, is the injection of holiday spirit as well as the bad moms' moms. Susan Sarandon, Cheryl Hines and Christine Baranski join the original lineup of Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn and Mila Kunis.
But most critics agree: more characters doesn't mean more laughs. With 45 out of 62 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes being declared "rotten," the R-rated comedy has a mere 27 percent approval rating -- a significant dip from the original's 58 percent approval rating.
"The push and pull between these mothers and daughters is neither as insightful nor as amusing as it could have been. Really, it's just an excuse for the three original moms to revisit their arcs from the first time around," Merry wrote in her review. "The movie also tries to mine laughs from the incongruity of hearing well-heeled older folks drop expletives, which seems pretty ho-hum at this point."
Here are 7 more of the worst "Bad Moms Christmas" reviews from female movie critics.
"Instead of truly funny jokes about motherhood and emotional exhaustion, this is cheap junk, a bizarro version of female empowerment driven by strippers and cleavage and binge-drinking and emotional breakdowns. There are so many dick-and-testicle jokes that you're surprised only by the ones that weren't written. What, no cheese ball-licking bit? No hide-the-gift-basket-salami? Are they saving those gems in case they ever need to write 'The Hangover 4'? I imagine the scriptwriting process entailed shoving a bunch of CafeMom.com listicles into a sieve — '9 Craziest Things Parents Have Done to Get Kids to Believe in Santa Claus,' '10 Tacky Christmas Decorations Guaranteed to Make You Laugh,' '17 Stages of Trying to Save Your Money & Sanity While Holiday Shopping' — and straining the yuks into a Cathy coffee mug until the gags could be played by Zac Efron in a wig. It's a vision of womankind that imagines that when women are alone, they simply turn into men: shot-drinking, cursing, penis-obsessed frat dudes who end every sentence with 'bitch,' as in 'Let's go slap some wieners, bitch.' ... If anything, the film has made everyone dumber. At least the original one attempted to understand the pressures of modern motherhood. I assume Lucas and Moore at least bothered to ask their wives. Strangely, the sequel seems to agree that our heroines do suck, after all."
"'A Bad Moms Christmas' is a poorly gift-wrapped Pinterest fail of a movie. The Scotch tape in the equation, bravely straining to hold things together, is the emphatic delivery of lines, made to trick us into thinking lines that are not jokes are, actually, jokes. The bows and trim, attempting to distract from obvious seams, are the endless slow-motion montages of mayhem set to pop tunes ... What's offensive about 'A Bad Moms Christmas' (and 'Bad Moms') is just how shoddily made it is. Female audiences deserve better movies than this. Furthermore, it positions the enemies of moms as other moms —- not the rigidly gendered social structures and expectations that demand women do the majority of the domestic and emotional labor. Rather than men or money being the enemy, it's other women, and that's not fair. Here's to hoping for 'A Bad Moms Revolution' as the final installment."
"'A Bad Moms Christmas' should have worked. It has a stellar cast, which includes Christine Baranski, Susan Sarandon and Cheryl Hines on top of the original three stars; it has momentum — the first installment hit theaters only a year and a half ago; and ultimately, its feminist heart is in the right place. And yet, it doesn't. Maybe that's because 'Bad Moms Christmas' takes everything that was wrong with the original 'Bad Moms,' and inflates it with holiday cheer ... The problem is that none of these characters feel like real people. Even at their lowest point, the Bad Moms are all fabulously gorgeous, as are their mothers. They all somehow live in a part of Chicago where there is no diversity. The children only make an appearance as comic relief, or as their parents' guilty conscience. And don't even get me started about the men. For all the talk of wanting their partners to help out or take initiative, not once do any of these women lay down the new world order for the men in their lives. The men in this movie do not parent. They are bystanders, happy to expound on how strong and impressive their wives are, but never lifting a finger to attempt an equal partnership. Maybe that's because ultimately, this is a movie about women written and directed by two men. (Scott Moore and Jon Lucas, of 'Hangover' fame.)"
"It's painful to watch a talented cast grimace their way through this stuff. Kunis, a generally appealing presence, is uniquely bad at this — too bratty to be a straight woman, not to mention one of the more unbelievable screen mothers I've seen outside a CW soap. Baranski, Hines, and Hahn are all A-plus comic talents doing the best they can with material that made me embarrassed for them. Bell is fine. The end of the film sets up a threequel involving Baranski, Hines, and Sarandon that for a fleeting second I thought I wanted, based off the cast alone, but immediately knew better. While it can't be called Bad Grandmas — that's already been taken in the hypercompetitive “just say the name of the thing” comedy-title marketplace — Bad Moms of Moms is still up for grabs, and I promise you, not too stupid to become a reality."
"'A Bad Moms Christmas" is thin and silly, like an overlong Christmas episode of a sitcom you pair with some reheated lo mein when you can't figure out what else to do on a stray weeknight. (The fact that it's opening on November 1 is the real War on Christmas.) It's a warmed-over repeat, sans the charm. 'A Bad Moms Christmas' relies on the time-worn Hollywood comedy principle of taking whatever worked in the last movie and doubling it. Accordingly, there are twice as many moms in this movie, twice as many goofy set pieces, and two sexy hunks instead of one ... But that means it's overstuffed now, and everyone gets short shrift in a story bolstered by stereotypes that seem less winking and more mean the second time around. (That this franchise is written and directed by two men is starting to feel a little too obvious.)"
"'A Bad Moms Christmas' has the shoddy look and frantic feel of a slapped-together, cash-grab sequel, because that's exactly what it is. It arrives in theaters a mere 15 months after the surprise hit 'Bad Moms,' which made about $184 million worldwide – a huge number for a female-driven comedy in the middle of summer blockbuster season. And so of course there's a second 'Bad Moms' movie, which hits all the same beats and themes as the first 'Bad Moms' movie, only now we have double the moms because the moms of the moms have shown up to wreak even more mom havoc. Plus it's Christmas, so they've thrown in all the usual clichés about how this is not, in fact, the most wonderful time of the year."
"What does it say about 'A Bad Moms Christmas' that the funniest line in it is uttered by Kenny G? (Sorry, I can't quote it.) A deeply uninspired sequel to last year's surprise (and surprisingly sweet) hit 'Bad Moms,' this movie was made in a hurry and it shows. No time to write a screenplay? No problem — just have the characters say the same things over and over, namely variants on the following: 'Being a mom is stressful,' 'Christmas is stressful,' 'Being around your mother is stressful,' 'Being a mom whose mother is visiting at Christmastime is REALLY stressful,' and 'Why am I not drinking wine right now?' (Oh, wait, nobody on-screen said that last bit; it was me, looking sadly at an empty popcorn bag.)"