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Horrible Bosses

A movie directed by Seth Gordon

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Ah, the working world.

  • Jul 10, 2011

I recall reading something a year or two ago about employee dissatisfaction. It commented that it tended to increase during times of economic trouble because employees who felt unhappy in the workplace didn’t have the ability to escape. They were stuck with their current jobs, since leaving might mean they couldn’t find another one. They also seldom got sympathy from other people who said, “Hey, at least you have a job!” This reached its culmination for me when the place where I worked put up a motivational poster that said, I kid you not, “I should be grateful I have a job.” Indeed.

In this time of economic troubles, it’s perhaps surprising that a movie like this, where three friends get together to kill each other’s horrible bosses, hasn’t come along already. Well, it sort of did in 1980 with 9 to 5, but that was a bit different. I don’t think I recall Franklin Hart, Jr, shooting anyone.

The movie’s title bosses are a corporate president (Kevin Spacey), a cokehead who inherited his father’s chemical company (Colin Farrell), and, in one of the funnier performances, a dentist who doubles as a sexual predator (Jennifer Aniston). Their oppressed employees are, respectively, a man who is working hard for a position the corporate president takes for himself (Jason Bateman), a hard-working employee who loved the cokehead’s father (Jason Sudekis), and a dental hygienist/sex offender who is recently engaged (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day). One night while mutually commiserating with each other in a bar a plan begins to take shape. What if they killed their bosses? Soon they have a “murder consultant” in the form of one MF Jones (Jamie Foxx), and, with vague memories that confuse Strangers on a Train with Throw Mama from the Train, the make ready to make murder.

I had no great expectations going into this film, but I was surprised at how enjoyable it was and how much I liked it (also surprising? The ten-year-old boy sitting next me. Some parents…). The film is as raunchy as you’d expect any adult-oriented comedy to be, but it uses its raunch to great effect. There’s the expected jokes centering around sex and bodily functions, but nothing too extreme.

I was also surprised at how intelligent the movie is. At the start I was coming up with objections to the notion that the characters needed to kill their bosses instead of just get new ones, only to find the screenplay explaining why they couldn’t just up and quit. I was also greatly amused when the friends ran into a former pal of theirs who’d lost his last job with Lehman Brothers and since had been forced to resort to offering a “hearty handshake”, as it were, to men in bars.

The performances were excellent all around. Spacey in particular seemed to be having a great time playing a deliciously evil man, while Aniston was clearly happy to ditch her good girl image. Day, who is a relative newcomer to film, plays a character not dissimilar to that of Charlie Kelly, proves that he can certainly hold his own on the screen with the big boys (and girl).

The movie is ably directed by Seth Gordon, who keeps the action moving at a decent, but not frenetic, pace. He also knows when to throw in a good Tarantino homage. It’s produced by the somewhat infamous Brett Ratner who proves that as a director, he makes for an acceptable producer.

This isn’t the best comedy ever, but it was a good time at the movies, and after a summer that’s included films like the rather dull Green Lantern and the aggressively boring Transformers: Bark at the Moon, I’ll take what I can get.

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July 11, 2011
Hahahaha, Bark at the Moon. Looking forward to seeing this one :)
July 10, 2011
This has been getting several mixed reviews. But I have to admit I am interested in seeing it, it can't be worst than "Bad Teacher" right?...I hope not. Nice review.
More Horrible Bosses reviews
review by . December 05, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****    Every awesome movie idea deserves a worthwhile execution; and I'd say it's about time that someone make a film that addresses a common thought that circulates throughout the collective minds within the walls of the workplace: our boss sucks, and we wish we could murder him. Yes, a movie like "Horrible Bosses" was bound to happen one day, and alas, it's all you could have wanted out of a premise that basically suggests it's about three men trying to kill their …
review by . July 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
We have all, or know someone who has had a horrible boss at one point or another.  That one person who makes us want to down a bottle of tequila (or whatever alcohol you prefer) by the end of the night, or just simply makes getting up and going into work the one thing that we don't wish we never had to do.  But what would happen if we were some how able to get our revenge.  Would you act alone or would you enlist the help of a friend to carry out whatever vicious method of revenge …
review by . July 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
'Horrible Bosses' 'Two Jews On Film' Agree (Finally) - This Is One Very Funny Comedy (Video)
      By Joan Alperin-Schwartz      The main thing I want when I watch a comedy...is to laugh...alot....And that is exactly what happened when I saw, director Seth Gordon's new film, 'Horrible Bosses'.       Nick Hendricks (Jason Bateman) has been working 12 hour days at Comnidyne Industries and swallowing all the abuse his twisted, sadistic, control freak boss, Dave Harken (Kevin Spacey) throws at him.  Nick even …
review by . July 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Why do people think movies like this are funny? I’m not posing a rhetorical question; I really want to know what it is about these kinds of comedies that audiences find so appealing. The reason I’m asking is because, after not laughing during recent crowd-pleasers such as Drillbit Taylor, Step Brothers, Dinner for Schmucks, Due Date, Hall Pass, The Hangover Part II, and Bad Teacher, I’m forced to assume that I’ve completely …
review by . July 07, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
At first glance this looks like a very impressive cast, it makes one ponder how they could get so many talented people in one place. Then I actually started to think about it, how they got so many big names to the table. Then that led me to wonder if any of these actors are actually big names anymore. Sure, you recognize everyone on the poster but what have they been doing? Then it came to me, nothing, they either haven't done anything of note for the past 5 years or they are up and coming actors …
About the reviewer
C R Swanson ()
Ranked #59
   I'm an aspiring writer and reviewer. I run a blog, I'm working on a novel and spend my free time reading and playing video games. I also spend waaaaay too much time and money on movies. … more
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