A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Buried underneath the movie's over-the-top behavior (randomly dosing someone with cocaine, for instance) are the ideas that reconciliation is possible even after intense disagreement and that sometimes people really will pull together to help reach a common goal.
Positive Role Models
Most of the characters mean well but have (more-or-less forgivable) flaws, ranging from unsettling sexual tastes to substance abuse. There's some racial and ethnic diversity in the supporting cast, but all of the main characters are Caucasian.
Violence & Scariness
A man jumps from a second-floor balcony. Car chase/accident takes place on snowy city streets. Many instances of guns being shown/used and held to characters' heads. Angry partygoers throw office equipment out of high-rise windows.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Partially naked drunk people sit or lean on copiers and a digital printer; buttocks are visible, and so is a penis. A man and a woman have sex on a desk; his bare backside is exposed. Officemates have group sex in a bathroom cubicle; bare breasts visible. Many references to sex: group sex, oral, anal. Coworkers play strip poker. A prostitute performs sexual acts in a bathroom. A woman jokes about sexually harassing a male coworker.
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Frequent strong language includes many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and "motherf---er." Also "bitch," "bitches," "d--k," "a--hole," and more.
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Products & Purchases
Characters talk lovingly about how well a Kia drives and prominently use iPhones.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The party features near-constant drinking/substance use; it's assumed that being high/drunk = having fun. Characters drink cocktails and beer, slurp spiked eggnog from a penis-shaped ice luge, and guzzle liquor from bottles. One character brings cocaine to the party and sells it; another is accidentally given a huge amount. Characters smoke joints and snort cocaine; they act silly, sloppy, and make mistakes; consequences are mostly laughed off and everything turns out all right in the end (despite physical injuries). One character gets very drunk and then gets in a terrible accident (but doesn't earn a DUI).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Office Christmas Party is an over-the-top comedy with tons of drinking/drugs, sex, violence, and language. The titular party rapidly gets out of control and includes nearly constant substance use (everything from beer to cocaine to pot to spiked eggnog slurped from a penis-shaped ice luge). The clear implication is that the drunker and/or higher you are, the better the party is. A main character is a problem drinker who makes terrible choices when he exceeds his limit. But consequences are mostly laughed off, and everything turns out all right in the end. Expect lots of jokes about and references to sex, as well as partial nudity. Co-workers have sex on a desk (buttocks are visible), make copies of their genitals (buttocks and penis visible), and have group sex in a bathroom cubicle (breasts visible). A prostitute performs sexual acts in a bathroom (off screen), characters play strip poker, and a woman jokes about sexually harassing a male coworker. Frequent swearing includes a steady stream of "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and more. The movie is also more violent than many edgy comedies -- though, miraculously, no one gets seriously injured or killed. Guns are held to characters' heads, characters get in brawls, and there are scenes of mayhem, including a serious car accident. A man jumps from a second-floor balcony in a party prank, and drunken partygoers start fires and hurl office equipment from high-rise windows. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This over-the-top party movies isn't without its pleasures -- particularly the cast -- but it's too predictable to be a blast, and unsettling violence overshadows the jokes. Office Christmas Party's premise goes down easily enough: Clay is a party-hard, hail-fellow-well-met type who runs his business sloppily, while Carol is pinched, repressed, and all business (though, of course, she also has a heart hiding somewhere, ready to grow, Grinchlike, three sizes before the credits roll). And the rest of the characters have their own movie-ready quirks. But of course, it's all just a prelude to this movie's real point: the party.
It's fairly amusing, as these things go. Vance's prim Walter gets a faceful of cocaine due to another character's mistake with a fake-snow blower, various coworkers get busy in offices and on rooftops, Miller dresses up like Santa and rides a sleigh down the office stairs, hapless middle manager Nate (Karan Soni) gets hooked up with a spooky female pimp. But the scenes of amusing-enough wasted-people comedy are interrupted by scenes of oddly out-of-place violence -- like when Walter tries to swing from the rooftop using strung Christmas lights and lands, after a 20-foot fall, on a filing cabinet with an awful thump. In another scene, coworkers in cars race to jump over a drawbridge to prove a point; both wind up slamming into barriers. Everyone's basically fine, but it sure didn't look fine. Scenes like that contribute to an uneven tone that makes ultimately this comedy not quite as much fun as you'd hope.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.