A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this funny-but-raunchy comedy earns its R rating with scenes that include violence (guns and shooting, some fighting), heavy sexual innuendo (though no nudity), and almost constant foul language (including "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and much more). Plus, one of the movie's villains has a cocaine problem, and the main characters are seen (accidentally) getting high as well as drinking. Of the three main characters (played by Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day), one is a serial seducer who sleeps with more than one woman during the movie, but the others -- despite planning to murder their evil bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jennifer Aniston) -- are generally good-hearted people.
- Parents say
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What's the story?
Hoping for an elusive promotion, Nick (Jason Bateman) is forced to suck up to a maniacal CEO (Kevin Spacey); Dale (Charlie Day) is engaged to be married but works for a sexy, sexually aggressive dentist (Jennifer Aniston); and Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) finds his dream job at a chemical plant threatened when the boss' cocaine-addicted son (Colin Farrell) unexpectedly takes charge. After work, the three friends share their woes and come up with the idea to murder all three HORRIBLE BOSSES. They hire a "consultant" (Jamie Foxx) and begin preparing for their homicidal plan. But it's not long before things go horribly, hilariously awry.
Is it any good?
Director Seth Gordon (The King of Kong, Four Christmases) has the good sense to simply step aside here, letting his cast goof around and bounce off of one another like so many rubber balls. Each character finds a nice niche and runs with it: Bateman plays the straight man, Day is the "dumb one," and Sudeikis finds a nice middle ground. The villains are clearly having a terrific time, too; Aniston is at the top of her game, and Spacey is on familiar territory. Only Farrell seems to be trying something new here with broad comedy, and it fits him well (it appears, judging from the bloopers at the end, that some of his scenes didn't make the final cut, which is a shame).
Especially cathartic for today's luckless job-seekers, the movie's humor is highly raunchy, but it has enough inventively playful moments between characters to make the movie memorable for a long time to come. Expect many genuine belly laughs, rather than just the usual surprised chuckles.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the main characters are sympathetic and/or admirable people. What makes them different from their bosses?
At least two characters think about sex most of the time and sleep with more than one partner. Is this a healthy outlet for them? What could they do differently?
Do the horrible bosses qualify as bullies? What are some more positive ways to handle bullies?
- In theaters: July 8, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: October 11, 2011
- Cast: Charlie Day, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis
- Director: Seth Gordon
- Studios: New Line, Warner Bros.
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material