Reviewed by: Curtis McParland—first time reviewer
Jennifer Aniston … Dr. Julia Harris
Jason Bateman … Nick Hendricks
Charlie Day … Dale Arbus
Jason Sudeikis … Kurt Buckman
Colin Farrell … Bobby Pellitt
Jamie Foxx … Motherf____r Jones
Donald Sutherland … Jack Pellit
Lindsay Sloane … Stacy
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New Line Cinema
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|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.