The Bounty Hunter



Stereotypes and minor violence arrest this dull romcom.
  • Review Date: March 18, 2010
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 110 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Aniston’s character is supposedly independent and successful, and yet she’s still painted as someone who’s fragile and incomplete unless she’s with a guy. And not just any guy, but one who -- what else? -- needs redeeming. Buried amid the rubble of unfunny jokes is an interesting, but hardly surprising message about how relationships crumble because of two people’s shortcomings, not usually one.

Positive role models

Milo and Nicole are supposed rough-and-tumble characters, and certainly nice enough, but he’s a caricature and she’s a contradiction. Though meant to portray a smart, sassy reporter, Nicole spends nearly the entire movie in impractical high heels and cleavage-baring tank top.


Loan sharks whack a guy’s leg with a golf club. Two men have a fistfight at a parade. A formerly-married couple bicker; she throws things at him, he insults her. Guns are drawn and fired; two characters are injured. A street chase results in an SUV careening off the road and rolling over. A guy is Tasered.


A couple banters flirtatiously. There’s talk of “getting laid" and many other references to sex. A seduction attempt includes someone being straddled. Very scantily clad (thongs, bras/pasties) women dance in a strip bar. A man and a woman kiss.


Pretty pungent, indluding “ass,” “hell,” “s--t,” “pr--k,” "Goddamn," and “dick.”


Some logos for champagne (Moet); newspapers (Daily News); fast-food restaurants (Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins) and hotels (Trump Taj Mahal and Borgata).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Stolen cocaine figures into the story, though nobody is shown using it. A main character is briefly seen drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this uninspired romantic comedy with an action twist is a little more violent than most films of this genre. It has gunfights and knee-whackings, but no outright gore. There’s a fair amount of swearing, including "ass" and "s--t," and an improbable reunion between a career woman and the ex-husband who can’t seem to stop making fun of her, which sends some mixed messages about love and relationships. A scene set in a strip club includes some barely clad women (thongs, bras/pasties); there are plenty of references to sex as well.

What's the story?

An ex-cop Milo Boyd (Gerard Butler) owes $11,000 to loan sharks. So when his bail bondsman boss (Jeff Garlin) says he can make $5,000 to pick up one runaway, he says yes immediately and discovers it’s his ex-wife, newspaper reporter Nicole (Jennifer Aniston). Hot on the trail of a juicy story, she's skipped bail and has no time for a return engagement with a judge. But she might have time for a second chance at romance. That is, if she and her ex can stop bickering enough for the goodwill to resurface.

Is it any good?


One of the biggest principles of romantic comedy is this: The couple must have scorching chemistry. It’s a pity, because Aniston and Butler have none. They both look great and sound great -- well, Aniston, anyway (more on this later) -- but paired together, we get nothing. The second rule of thumb: The story has to scamper lightly, but with great charm, and, sadly, THE BOUNTY HUNTER does neither, let alone both. The plot is predictable, the pacing clunky. And this despite numerous location shoots and ostensibly fast-moving hijinks.

Why Aniston chooses material like this is baffling. She has great comic timing and delivery that could be put to better use in less formulaic fare, but here she is, amiable and likable and looking great while phoning it in. Truly, it’s beneath her. And beneath him, too. Butler is not as rakishly appealing here as he is in other films (P.S. I Love You, for starters), and his accent is all wrong. To bring Milo’s oafishness across, he relies on clichéd shorthand, like chewing with his mouth open. Thank goodness for supporting actors like SNL’s Jason Sudeikis and Siobhan Fallon Hogan, who actually outshine them both.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Nicole and Milo’s marriage failed in the first place, and how believable their reunion is. Can two people who really hurt each other reconcile this easily, even in a romcom? What brings them back together?

  • What kinds of stereotypes does this movie portray? Do the men and women in the movie seem like real people, or caricatures?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 19, 2010
DVD release date:July 13, 2010
Cast:Gerard Butler, Jeff Garlin, Jennifer Aniston
Director:Andy Tennant
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Run time:110 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sexual content including suggestive comments, language and some violence

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Teen, 15 years old Written byHAHAHAHA1143 July 24, 2010
Okay. It was pretty funny at some times. But not for young kids. Yes, it does swear a lot, but it's nothing i didn't know by 9. If you know your kid is not going to repeat the words, than language isn't the main problem. Sex is more talked about than actually said. One scene is at a bar and you see quick glimpses of strippers. You then see all of them more closely fighting over money, but no nudity. Most of the violence was slapstick, but a few scenes are really disturbing. A guy is ABOUT to be tortured with a tattoo gun, but isn't. In another scene, a different guy gets his leg broken with a golf club when a man tells his beat-up guy to "pick something and break it". The same man is still locked up when a doctor walks in the room. He asks him is he is a real doctor and he says "Of course. I put a horse to sleep a few days ago and he didn't feel anything." He then takes a big needle and shoves it in the victims neck which is shown onscreen.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bymovie_lover_ May 17, 2013

Good film

Loved the film was slightly a love story, but with action as well. References to an old marriage/relationship between the two main characters, violence, drinking and some language. Nothing major for 14 year olds, think it was completely fine to watch.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 10 years old February 24, 2015

Bad Movie

I was having a sleepover with my friends and we were looking for a comedy so we watched this. But at the end, we hated it. There is lots of sex and swearing. Violence is a bit iffy, with a person getting shot and another getting a taser in the neck. Overall, this a very dull movie.
What other families should know
Too much sex


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