Corporate Animals

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Corporate Animals Movie Poster Image
Swearing, cannibalism in unpleasant, unfunny dark comedy.
  • R
  • 2019
  • 86 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There's eventually some teamwork here, but for most of the movie, it's every character for themselves. It's unclear what the movie is really trying to get at.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite a misplaced joke about how they were hired to get grant money, the movie does feature a pretty diverse cast, with Jess emerging as the most responsible (if also ultimately uninteresting) character. Characters eventually model some teamwork.

Violence

Lots of violence/gore, much presented with comic tone. Gory body parts and wounds. Characters are crushed/smashed by falling rocks. Blood spatters. Cannibalism. Bloody clothes. Wounded leg with gangrene. Gory, creepy animated sequences with hallucinations (severed arms, teeth, eyeballs, etc.).

Sex

Full-frontal male nudity. Sex noises as two characters have sex (off-screen). Kissing. One character grabs another's crotch. Strong sex-related talk. Ongoing masturbation-related joke.

Language

Constant strong language includes countless uses of "f--k," "s--t," "bulls--t," "a--hole," "p---y," "c--k," "ass," "piss," "bitch," "nut up," "goddamn," "d--khead."

Consumerism

References to Sprite soda.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters hallucinate after drinking cave water and eating newts.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Corporate Animals is an unpleasant dark comedy about a nasty boss (Demi Moore) and her employees (including Jessica Williams, Karan Soni, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.) who get trapped in a cave during a team-building excursion. It includes some graphic gore and cannibalism -- though much of it is presented in a comic tone. Expect to see gory wounds and body parts, characters smashed by rocks, flesh-eating, urine-drinking, blood on clothes, and animated sequences with creepy, gory imagery. Sex noises are heard while two women make love (off camera), a fully naked man is shown, two men kiss briefly, and there's tons of sex talk. There's also an ongoing masturbation-related joke. Language is constant and extreme, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and more. Characters hallucinate after drinking cave water and eating newts.

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What's the story?

In CORPORATE ANIMALS, Lucy (Demi Moore) is the ruthless CEO of an edible cutlery company, ruling with an iron fist. She decides to take eight employees on a morale-building cave-exploring trip. Among them, Freddie (Karan Soni) and Jess (Jessica Williams) both covet the soon-to-be-opening position of vice president. The rest include Derek (Isiah Whitlock Jr.), Gloria (Martha Kelly), Billy (Dan Bakkedahl), May (Jennifer Kim), Suzy (Nasim Pedrad), and intern Aidan (Calum Worthy). Against the warnings of their guide, Brandon (Ed Helms), Lucy insists on taking the "expert" route. Before anyone knows it, a cave-in has trapped them in an underground cavern, where they must learn to work together and trust one another to survive.

Is it any good?

This mostly laugh-free dark comedy plunges into icky territory, with largely unlikable characters; aside from trying to mock the American workforce, it doesn't seem to have much of a point. Directed by Patrick Brice (of the clever found-footage horror movies Creep and Creep 2), Corporate Animals revolves around a bunch of paper-thin, cartoon-like characters with one-note personalities -- ultimately, it's difficult to care whether they survive their ordeal. Whitlock Jr.'s Derek earns the movie's only couple of giggles, but he still doesn't feel very rounded.

Only Jess seems above it all, which unfortunately forces the otherwise dynamic, funny Williams into an uncharacteristically sober, rather uninteresting role. The movie's comedic approach should have lightened the oppressiveness of the grimy, claustrophobic cave setting, but instead it only seems awkwardly at odds with it. The result is both oppressive and unfunny. The ultimate goal of Corporate Animals remains a mystery. Moore's nasty boss is, eventually, mostly toothless, and a joke about affirmative action and the diverse cast feels terribly misplaced. Better to take a day off from this one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Corporate Animalsviolence and gore. Does the fact that it's supposed to be funny change its impact?

  • How is sex portrayed? Which relationships are based in trust, and which are based in power? What's the difference?

  • How does teamwork play into this story? Does the movie promote teamwork?

  • Would you consider this film a good example of diversity/representation? Did the joke about grants and affirmative action affect your perception?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy and horror

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