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Movie Review

Horrible Bosses

MPAA Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language and some drug material.

Reviewed by: Curtis McParland—first time reviewer
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 40 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
July 8, 2011 (wide—2,900+ theaters)
DVD: October 11, 2011
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

murder in the Bible

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Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

PURITY—Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer

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Sex, Love and Relationships
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conspiracy

employer employee relationships

Featuring: Jennifer AnistonDr. Julia Harris
Jason BatemanNick Hendricks
Charlie Day … Dale Arbus
Jason SudeikisKurt Buckman
Colin FarrellBobby Pellitt
Jamie FoxxMotherf____r Jones
Kevin Spacey
Julie Bowen
Donald SutherlandJack Pellit
Lindsay Sloane … Stacy
more »
Director: Seth Gordon
Producer: New Line Cinema
Rat Entertainment
more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Sequel: “Horrible Bosses 2” (2014)

The film “Horrible Bosses” revolves around three friends, Nick, Dale, and Kurt whose bosses make their lives miserable. For example, Nick, has a slave-driving, psychotic boss who only cares about himself and makes the littlest of problems big ones for Nick. Dale, who is engaged, has a boss who sexually harasses him. And Kurt has a boss who is self-centered, addicted to drugs, and treats everyone in the office with disrespect.

As a result of the friends” horrible bosses, they conspire to murder them. But since the friends have never committed a murder before, they do not know where to start. Therefore, they hire a murder consultant. The consultant tells them to kill each others’ bosses. He also tells them to learn more about their bosses” personal lives so they can create the perfect murder that looks like an accidental death. Of course, it is not as easy as it sounds.

Through various mishaps, such as breaking into their bosses’ homes to speeding away from the cops their murder plans don’t turn out as great as they planned. The three friends must face the reality that they may end up in prison, if they do not pull off the perfect murder.

As I was walking into the theater, I was preparing myself for a very raunchy Hollywood film, along the lines of “The Hangover.” However, I found it not nearly as raunchy as “The Hangover” when it came to nudity, or sexually explicit images. Yes, there is still a lot of sexual material in this film, but it is mostly in the dialogue.

There were numerous sexual references, including masturbation, rape, male and female anatomy, and talk about how some food items look like male genitalia. There is also talk about Dale being a registered sex offender because he urinated in a fountain when he thought there was no one around. We are told a child saw him. There are also two implied sex segments where we see Kurt running into Dale’s boss’ house while talking off his shirt (we later hear the conversation of what happened) and see him zipping up his pants while exiting a bathroom with a married woman.

Dale’s boss tries to blackmail him into having sex with her. While under anesthesia, she takes near nude photos of him and her together and shows them to Dale. There are also two scenes where Dale’s boss is in her underwear, and, in another, only wearing her dentist gown unbuttoned with nothing on underneath (there is no nudity). Dale’s boss also places a patient’s hand on one of her breasts while he is under anesthesia and pulls another patients pants down while he is on the dental chair. We also see Dale’s boss in the bathtub, but she is covered in bubbles. We see some scantily clad women in a few scenes, along with close ups of both male and female clothed rears. There were a few moments of sexually explicit dialogue, as well.

The language is pretty strong, with the f-word leading the pack. In fact, one character’s name is Motherf***er Jones. Other language includes F- 115 times, including 13 times used sexually, S- 41 times, God’s name is misused about 20 times, 10 times paired with d*mn, Jesus” name is abused 8 times, b*tch and b*stard aree used 8 times combined, A__ (10 times), H___ (5 times), p*ssed (6 times). Other anatomical terms for male and female genitalia total about 22 times including the terms b**bs, d*ck, c*ck, and p*ssy. There are also a handful of demeaning terms such as f*g, w*ore, p*ssy, and d*ck.

The violence is slapstick for the most part, but a couple of characters are shot with some blood shown. There is also an intense (but very funny) car chase where there are a few crashes. A character also punches a man and throws him out of a window,, and he crash lands on top of a car (all for comic effect). Another character has a severe allergic reaction to peanuts, so another character finds a medical needle and starts jabbing it into the other’s chest and neck trying to help stop the reaction (again all for comic effect). Another character grabs another man’s crotch as well.

There is also some drug content. Kurt’s boss is addicted to cocaine, and while the friends are inside his house, Dale accidentally spills the cocaine. While he and Nick are trying to clean it up, they end up inhaling some. We later see the effect the cocaine has on them. There are also a few scenes where characters drink.

There are a few crude moments, including the friends accidentally hiring a man who urinates on other men for money (we hear him later urinating in the toilet) and Kurt sticking his bosses toothbrush and razor down the back of his pants. Nick also makes himself vomit, so he can have an excuse to leave work early. There are a few crude comments about “taking a dump,” as well.

I would also like to mention that there are many funny, clean parts to this film. For example, the three friends try to leave a parking lot, but manage to almost run into each other with their cars every time they try to pull out. We also see some red light photos, and Nick’s facial expressions as he is speeding through an intersection. There are even more scenes with a few one liners that are very funny and still clean. On a side note, I would like to mention that I appreciated Dale’s dedication to his fianceé by not giving in to his boss’s sexual advances. I would say that there are almost as many funny clean moments as there are dirty ones.

This film is very well made, in my opinion. Day, Sudeikis, and Bateman’s performances are well played out and believable. The bosses” performances are top notch, as well. Seth Gordan’s stylish directing, along with the great storyline and witty script make this a well made comedy. I was expecting a fairly predictable Hollywood comedy, but there are many surprises and twists in this one. Overall, this is a very clever and well cast film.

However, the filmmaking cannot help the quality of the film as a whole. Due to unnecessary language, profanity, and sexual content, I can’t even recommend “Horrible Bosses” to adults. There is so much language in this film that every few words would have to be muted on a ClearPlay filter. It is very unfortunate for films like “Horrible Bosses” to be rated R, because the story and script itself is very comedic. All the filmmakers need to do is remove the strong language, profanity, and sexual material to have a much cleaner film that can still have the potential to be very funny, while still being more family-friendly.

The saddest part about the movie-going experience nowadays is that you even see families with young children and the elderly going to these types of films. That is one thing I noticed when I went to see “Horrible Bosses”. I feel like our society today is being desensitized to such offensive material each and every day. Even though it is “just a movie,” it could still have a lasting effect on people, and that is why we as Christians should try to avoid films such as “Horrible Bosses” or any other film that condones what the Bible condemns—such as murder, sexual immorality, adultery, and profanity. We must never forget the 6th commandment “Do not murder” and the 7th commandment “Do not commit adultery”.

We may not be murdering or committing adultery by watching films like “Horrible Bosses,” but we should still try to protect ourselves from evil things we see or hear. As Psalm 101:3 (NKJV) says, “I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.” And hopefully and prayerfully the things I saw and the words I heard will not cling to me, or anyone else who views this film, especially Christians.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t say it is the worst movie ever made, when it comes to content. There is no nudity, and there are no sex scenes in this film, which was quite surprising to me, since it seems like any other R rated comedy would have content like that, nowadays. But not even that can save a movie like “Horrible Bosses” when there is sexually explicit dialogue, sexual material, and profane and obscene language. “Horrible Bosses” may turn out to be the comedy hit of the year, but it definitely shouldn’t be a hit with families or followers of Jesus Christ. I can only hope and pray that families, individuals, and followers of Jesus Christ will take the time to make the right decision before viewing films that have content similar to “Horrible Bosses”.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I honestly loved this film. Yeah there’s a lot of crude humor involved, but I see no reason why people should be ashamed of it. Their [sic] just words, they were made by god like everything else. Get over it. Hilarious film!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Brennon, age 22 (USA)
Positive—…this film is incredibly funny. Yes, the humor is crude. No, you shouldn’t take it seriously. The comedy is dark, the writing is sharp, and the performances are spot on. Kevin Spacey recalls his character from SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, and Jennifer Aniston plays against her type as an unbelievably promiscuous dentist. Fun stuff. Did I learn anything profound? Not exactly. But I needed to laugh, and so this film did the trick. If you are a prude, skip it. If you are easily offended by R-rated material, skip it. If you can’t take a joke, skip it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Steven Adam Renkovish, age 29 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—“Horrible Bosses” is the film that “Bad Teacher” wanted to be. While “Bad Teacher” tried simply to be funny by shocking us with a teacher doing bad things, “Horrible Bosses” made me laugh, due to its writing, intelligence, and its performances. All three of the main actors are funny and likeable, even when they are plotting murder. While they all have their vices (Jason Sudeikis is a womanizer, but has morals and is generally a good person who wouldn’t hurt anyone or cost them their job just for profit, like his lowlife boss (hilariously played by Colin Farrell does); they are generally good guys trying to make a living, but under the thumbs of their bosses and unable to quit (the movie actually explains why). more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrew, age 35 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I did not check this Web site before going to the movie. Sad to see a father bring his child, male, pre-teen, to this movie, and on so many levels, I should not have stayed through the entire feature. I would not recommend this movie to anyone. It is truly the worst for sexual content in a comedy I have ever seen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Linda, age 61 (USA)
Negative—I saw this movie last night with my husband, based off of this Web site’s critic review saying it wasn’t as lewd as he thought it was going to be. While that may be true, it was a terrible, trashy movie. I am not even sure who would find the majority of the jokes in this movie funny, as they were jokes apparently thought of only by 8th grade boys. Jennifer Aniston’s role/character in this movie was totally unbelievable, and I have actually lost respect for her as an actress, because of it. Her character brought to mind that of Eva Mendes in “The Other Guys,” which I found funny other than her.

I am a Jason Bateman fan, and he is funny in this movie, but the parts I laughed at were few and far between. The movie was actually unwatchable toward the end, especially during a car chase involving Charlie Day on the phone with Jennifer Aniston. I can say it was a lot less crude than “Bridesmaids,” which I also regret seeing.

Bottomline, we have decided just to skip out on R rated movies involving sexual humor all together, as there is nothing humorous about them. We literally had to repent in the parking lot after seeing this movie, and all I wanted to do when I got home was shower.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Carrie, age 29 (USA)
Negative—I actually enjoyed this film. I always enjoy Kevin Spacey’s acting, albeit I am convinced that he is a secular person. However, objectively viewed, this film is disgusting. The idea that Julie Bowen’s character as Kevin Spacey’s wife is essentially a promiscuous whore was unfunny and too much for me.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—BP, age 53 (Australia)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—7/2/11 3 seventeen year old girls, a 76 yr. Old granny and myself, age 52 and married. One of my daughter’s friends said her mom approved it. I did not confirm this. This will never happen again. We sat through 20 minutes of it. I could not stomach the sexual language and continuous profanity. If there was a rating between R and X. That was it. Pulled the whole group out and requested a refund. We got credit vouchers.

Spoke with the girls about the inappropriateness of the movie for their age, let alone for me, a married woman and granny. We spoke about the Spirit of discernment. So sad that the cast would allow themselves to be used in this way-just for money.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Irene Chavez, age 52 (USA)
Negative—I went and saw this movie with my husband, a friend and my 17 year old son. We walked out 40 minutes later, because we couldn’t take the language or the sexual content any longer. It was absolutely disgusting. We got our money back. It’s such a shame, because it really looked like it was going to be funny. I couldn’t even enjoy the funny parts, because there were too many offensive parts going right along with it.
—Lori, age 42 (USA)