Office Space Movie Poster Image

Office Space

Dark comedy is aimed at 20-somethings, not kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1999
  • Running Time: 89 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Preconceptions are the cause of misunderstandings including the criminal history of a salesman and the treatment of a mentally challenged co-worker. One case of tremendously bad behavior is rewarded, while several characters maintain a strong moral compass.


Implied arson, a medical emergency, violent lyrics to song, character suffers a car accident off-screen, characters destroy an object with baseball bats.


Explicit references to sex and to sleeping around, implicit sex, jealous fantasy. Brief shot of a topless woman on TV.


Strong language used by angry characters, in the music and as mocking insults.


The prevalence of commercialism in suburban life is a theme of the movie and the source of jokes, however there are also product placements that are not the object of satire.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark-humor movie is from the mind of "Beavis and Butthead" creator, Mike Judge, and some teens will think it's likewise targeted at them. However, the subject matter of the movie -- dead-end jobs in banal suburban "campuses" with aggravating bosses --makes it more appropriate for young adults who themselves are in their first office jobs. The movie depicts stealing and implied arson. There is strong language, sexual references, and jealous fantasies. A character celebrates a horrific injury, there is an on-screen medical emergency, characters act illegally, and a mistreated character takes drastic revenge.

What's the story?

Peter (Ron Livingston) passively despises his job, his insufferable boss Lumbergh (Gary Cole), and the small gray cubicle where he spends most of his waking life. When he undergoes hypnosis, he loses his fear of what other people think about him, and his nonchalance frees him to change his life. He asks out the attractive waitress Joanna (Jennifer Anniston) and he stops taking work so seriously. When consultants are brought in to fire many of the company's employees, Peter teams up with colleagues Samir (Ajay Naidu) and Michael (David Herman) to hatch a plan for defrauding the company of its petty change. Meanwhile, mumbling Milton (scene-stealing Stephen Root) is reaching the end of his tether and, if pushed, his actions might change everything.

Is it any good?


Ask 20- or 30-somethings about this hilarious comedy and you will be deluged by movie quotes, references, and the term "a cubicle classic." Most people who have worked in an office will agree that individual scenes in this movie are among the most humorous exposés of cubicle life ever put on screen. While teens will certainly get the jokes, they probably won't identify with the situations as much as a young adult who has experienced office life.

There is no doubt that creator/director Mike Judge has an uncanny eye for revealing the humorous realities and hypocrisies of office life. The banal and often inexplicable tasks that people do as well as the defeating weight of bureaucracy are mocked with dead-pan humor in a series of interviews between employees and the consultants. While some parents might find the end scenes problematic, the sketches that comprise the bulk of the movie are painfully funny observations on office life that will leave many saying "too true, too true". Still, given the language and sex here, this movie is best for older teens and up.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the sources of humor that this movie draws from, including the stereotypes of different office types (the Pollyanna, the self-important boss, etc.), the hallmarks of suburban culture such as the restaurant where "flair" is required, and the venting of frustrations on a piece of office equipment. If you were hypnotized to not care about what other people thought, would you act differently?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 19, 1999
DVD/Streaming release date:August 14, 2001
Cast:Gary Cole, Jennifer Aniston, Ron Livingston
Director:Mike Judge
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:89 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and brief sexuality

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byaileronguy September 1, 2009

Good for those in the workforce /out of school

Funny for adults who are in the rat race, but not for kids who haven't been there yet and don't understand what the movie attacks.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byJWilliams303 July 16, 2009

Very funny movie

One of the best movies ever made. not much to worry about except people cussing and seeing a brief sex scene.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byjanwatches April 9, 2008
This movie is smart comedy--it realizes that the line between funny and tragic is fine.