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Bad Teacher

MPAA Rating: R-Rating (MPAA) for sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use.
Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 24, 2011 (wide—3,000+ theaters)
DVD: October 18, 2011
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

In real life, actress Cameron Diaz has said that she thinks marriage is a obsolete tradition, “I think we have to make our own rules. I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off of old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? What does the Bible say? Answer

ruthlessness vs. mercy and love

drunkenness and drug use


Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

seeking marriage with wrong motives


Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer

How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer

How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer


good teachers vs. bad

vulgar and profane language


consequences of wild and outrageous schemes, and sinful behavior

What are the consequences of sexual immorality? Answer


Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Cameron DiazElizabeth Halsey
Lucy Punch … Amy Squirrel
Jason SegelRussell Gettis
Justin TimberlakeScott Delacorte
Thomas LennonCarl Halabi
Phyllis Smith … Lynn Davies
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Director: Jake Kasdan
Producer: Mosaic Media Group
Carey Dietrich … associate producer
Georgia Kacandes … executive producer
Jimmy Miller … producer
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Copyrighted, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “Some teachers just don’t give an F. For example, there’s Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). She’s foul-mouthed, ruthless, and inappropriate. She drinks, she gets high, and she can’t wait to marry her meal ticket and get out of her bogus day job. When she’s dumped by her fiancé, she sets her plan in motion to win over a rich, handsome substitute (Justin Timberlake)—competing for his affections with an overly energetic colleague, Amy (Lucy Punch). When Elizabeth also finds herself fighting off the advances of a sarcastic, irreverent gym teacher (Jason Segel), the consequences of her wild and outrageous schemes give her students, her coworkers, and even herself an education like no other.”

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Comments below:


Neutral— I watched “Bad Teacher” when it was released in 2011, Cameron Diaz was beautiful as always, and that was basically the only thing good going for the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Jeff Andrew Winters, age 38 (USA)
Negative—Please keep in mind that it has an R rating. This is the mindset I had when my husband and I decided to watch this movie. I knew that I could expect crude humor and explicit language. What I did not expect was the sexual perversity throughout the movie that was supposed to have been perceived as humorous. This is not a movie children should watch at all. Run away from this movie.

I walked away feeling disgusted and filthy. In one scene a clothed child is shown in a state of arousal. This is just one of the many scenes that are disturbing.

The previews make it look like it is going to be hilarious, but those scenes in no way make up for the disgusting and inappropriate sexual humor and explicit language found non-stop throughout the movie. This movie will have no problem feeding those addicted to pornography. Shame on me for seeing this movie knowing that Rated R movies have gotten worse. Don’t dim the light of our Savior by watching this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Patricia, age 33 (USA)
Negative—I expected “Bad Teacher” to be raunchy and even mean-spirited, but I also expected it to be funny. “Bad Teacher” has its moments, but not enough of them, and when the good teacher is funnier than the bad teacher, you know something is wrong. Cameron Diaz doesn’t give a bad performance (she proves that she could play a rotten character in a comedy effectively), but she also isn’t given much of a character to play. By the end of the movie she is still an enigma, mostly. While she does do some very nasty things, most of the time she is just cursing, drinking, smoking pot, sleeping at her desk, showing movies, instead of actually teaching, and being anti-social.

The filmmakers seem to think that having a teacher do all these things will automatically make the film funny. Didn’t work-that is lazy filmmaking. Also, Diaz does show some twisted levels of compassion (advising another teacher how to talk to men and giving twisted career advice to a girl student). There is nothing in her character to suggest WHY her character would show ANY compassion, no matter how twisted.

Jason Segal has some moments as the gym teacher, but he is playing an underwritten character, and Justin Timberlake has such a thankless role as the rich substitute teacher (how many men from multimillion dollar families take jobs as substitute teachers?) that there are long stretches where he seems forgotten. He is a no-personality wimp in this film, and when he cheats on his girlfriend with Diaz, it seems inconsistent with his character (not to mention disgusting).

It also doesn’t help that the ads have given away the funniest lines in the film. But I can’t write off Bad Teacher 100%, and that is because of the performance by Lucy Punch as Miss Amy Squirrel (love that name). Punch, who was hilarious as the sex-crazed Darla in last year’s “Dinner for Schmucks” gives a very funny performance as Miss Squirrel, who is zany and enthusiastic and tries to see the best in everyone, and who, slowly but surely, becomes unglued by Diaz’s badness. The way Punch delivers dialogue, reactions, and facial expressions, and the way she greets her class at the beginning of the school year had me in stitches.

The filmmakers did one thing right by giving her several scenes. I liked her so much that since she gets shipped off to the worst high school in the state, I honestly hope the filmmakers will take the hint that Lucy Punch is star material and make a spin-off sequel (like “Get Him to the Greek” did) and show her misadventures in this high school. That is a film that would probably be much funnier than “Bad Teacher” could ever hope to be.

“Bad Teacher” contains a lot of profanity, nudity, drug use, offensive sexual content (I have found scenes with actual nudity in other movies LESS offensive than the clothed sex scene in this film), and, at the end, evil is rewarded and not punished. Skip “Bad Teacher,” but if it is ever put on YouTube you should definitely search for Lucy Punch’s scenes; they are totally worth it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Andrew, age 35 (USA)
Negative—This film is unChristian and should not be watched. Why? Because the premise is that disgraceful behavior is funny, and we, as Christians, should not be focusing on disgraceful behavior.

It did turn me to thinking that there are a number of teachers like this in the schools, and tenure means that the children are stuck with them—I was a teacher many years ago. I disagree with the viewpoint that says it isn’t funny. All it really has is a teacher acting the way that the producers and writers usually depict business people, but it is done in a funny way, provided you can laugh at teachers. But the humor is coarse and not worthy of Christians, for example [spoiler alert] it is funny that she sets up a skimpily clad girls car wash and steals all the proceeds to fund breast augmentation surgery and gets away with it, in part, because she lies that she is interested in dolphins.

Miss Squirrel is utterly hilarious. It is funny [spoiler alert] that she “frames” Miss Squirrel on drug possession. But what you focus on, affects your life and how you present to God and others. It reminded me of the old St. Trinian’s movies from England. Whilst the film is funny, it is an easy (albeit not a logical step), that such bad behavior is cool. This is definitely not a film for the impressionable.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
BP, age 53 (Australia)
Negative—“Bad Teacher” was just awful, another movie with no morals, full of immorality and just a big no. Apparently it’s getting more difficult to make good characters, and they resort to this trash!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Yem, age 25 (USA)
Movie Critics
“A foul-mouthed reprobate working in a traditionally wholesome profession with young people secretly plots to serve her own ends. Sound familiar? Although the two have no above-the-line credits in common, “Bad Teacher” is essentially “Bad Santa” with a femme lead (Cameron Diaz), set in a middle school instead of a department-store grotto. It’s also nowhere near as gleefully filthy or fun, which would be OK if it had something more to offer, like warmth or a sharper script. …”
Leslie Felperin, Variety
“…nothing in ‘Bad Teacher’ inspires more than distaste for its lead character. Other problems: There is no chemistry… Whole chunks of the plot seem to have gone missing. …Jolly music keeps elbowing its way onto the soundtrack in an unconvincing attempt to cue us that we’ve seen a good comedy.”
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“This subversive comedy definitely has its moments, but when the final grades are in, the raunchy romantic romp starring Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel, Justin Timberlake and Lucy Punch is a frustrating mix of smart flash and smirking impudence. It makes you want to dash off a “could have been great, if only they’d tried harder” note to the parents. …”
Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
“…It’s a bad movie: bad artistically, bad ethically, bad to its cinematic core. It’s about a bad person who does bad things and winds up being the film’s big, bad antihero. That’s bad. …This movie teaches all the wrong lessons in the worst ways. …”
Paul Asay, Plugged In
“…From the evidence on screen, no one who made this alleged comedy ever noticed that no one in it was remotely likable. …”
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
“…It’s outrageous, goes for some cheap and easy laughs with language, nudity, sexcapades and drugs, and suffers some abruptly awkward transitions. …‘Bad Teacher’ doesn’t make the grade…”
Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“…We’re just watching a film try to pass off misanthropic blunt-wittedness as ‘edge’. …”
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
“…The best lines were harvested for the trailer—so if you’ve seen that, you’ve seen it all. …”
Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle