Parents' Guide to

Very Bad Things

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Dark 1990s comedy has language, drugs, bloody deaths, sex.

Movie R 1998 100 minutes
Very Bad Things movie poster: The cast of the film stand next to each other.

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This starry dark comedy from 1998 has largely been forgotten, thanks to all the big names involved having far stronger work on their respective resumes. Imagine The Hangover, with Patrick Bateman from American Psycho as the best man, and you're halfway to picturing what Very Bad Things amounts to. Only instead of jokes, it's mostly grown men squabbling for 100 minutes. Agitated and animated performances from all of Slater, Jon Favreau, and Jeremy Piven are not enough to steer the story out of repeating itself with diminishing returns after a decent setup. Meanwhile, Cameron Diaz is sidelined as little more than a nagging, one-note bride to be, dating the material further. It's a plodding misstep from writer and director Peter Berg, who appears to be trying to satirize … something here. But when you've got Tarantino and the Coens doing wild, bloody violence with memorable dialogue in the same era, it's easy to see why Very Bad Things is regarded as a pretty poor movie in comparison.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 25, 1998
  • On DVD or streaming: February 1, 2005
  • Cast: Christian Slater , Jon Favreau , Cameron Diaz
  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Latino actors
  • Studios: Polygram , Shout! Factory
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong, grisly violence, sexuality, drug use and language
  • Last updated: December 21, 2023

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