Copyright, Universal Pictures

The Boss

also known as “Michelle Darnell”
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for sexual content, language and brief drug use.
Moral Rating: not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 39 min.
Year of Release: 2016
USA Release: April 8, 2016 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: July 26, 2016
Copyright, Universal Picturesclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues


About money in the Bible


“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

Featuring Melissa McCarthyMichelle Darnell
Kristen Bell
Peter Dinklage
Kristen Schaal …
Kathy Bates
Cecily Strong …
Margo Martindale …
See all »
Director Ben Falcone — “Tammy” (2014)
Producer On the Day
Universal Pictures
Melissa McCarthyExecutive Producer, Producer
Will FerrellProducer
See all »

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “The story follows Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy), a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s convicted of insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.

McCarthy is joined in The Boss by an all-star cast led by Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage and Kathy Bates.

Directed by Ben Falcone (Tammy), the comedy is based on an original character created by McCarthy and written by McCarthy and Falcone alongside their Groundlings collaborator, Steve Mallory. The film is produced by McCarthy and Falcone through their On the Day productions and Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy through their Gary Sanchez Productions.”

Editor’s Note: The DVD and Blu-Ray versions of this film are NOT the same as the theatrical release version. They have more objectionable content and are therefore UNRATED by the MPA.

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

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—I enjoy Melissa McCarty and much of her work. This movie is an excellent Melissa McCarty vehicle (she executive produced it and her husband directed it.) But, I am disappointed in the meanness and language often in her films; I believe they could be just as funny and entertaining, but with the “f” bombs dialed back. This movie is a good example. This strong “R” rated movie is NOT for kids. (In the theater were parents with young girls. After the movie, I saw the mom looking at the dad shaking her head with the “this was a mistake” look.)

There are young actors in this film who use strong language, and there are group scenes with adults and kids where the language is rough. I saw one movie synopsis refer to the Girl Scouts as the organization in the movie. The Girls Scouts are spoofed in the movie, and the colors of the Girl Scouts are used (khaki and green), but the Girls Scout organization is NOT identified by name in the movie; a made up girl organization—The Dandelions—is featured. There is a rough street fight between a “Girl Scout-esque” group and the Dandelions. It is violent and has both adults and girls fighting—pulling and cutting hair, clothesline tackles, and crotch and face punches.

I looked at the Girl Scouts of America Web site and Twitter feed and did not see any cautions, compliments or commentary on the movie. If they are smart, they need to put something up soon, since I sense there will be pushback from Girl Scout devotees. There is a mean-streak in the movie that the sappy ending cannot overcome.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
J.L. Mack, age 55 (USA)
NegativeMelissa McCarthy is a personable and talented young woman; unfortunately, her taste in humor and her choice of movie scripts obliterate any of her finer qualities. This film had a clever premise, but was ruined by absolutely tasteless and CONSTANT cursing. I’m no prude, but what’s so funny about gross sexual references of a man REPEATEDLY volunteering to perform fellatio on another man—and he said this openly IN FRONT OF CHILDREN! What can possibly be going through Melissa’s mind? (Apparently, nothing good or decent, where she could improve the value and quality of life.) I truly doubt I’ll ever go to another of her films again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Leonardo, age 74 (USA)
Negative—From a man’s perspective, I see nothing wrong with a funny movie about a female boss who is genuinely funny/quirky. Many of the female bosses whom I’ve worked with in the past were humorous… but it was a talented and clever type of humor that made you think. However, McCarthy’s humor is not “on-point” or apt, like those of intelligent women. It’s more of the Adam Sandler variety, where you just let all the most profane things you can think up at the moment hang out for the world to gape at.

Even if intelligently funny conversation is lacking in a movie, you would at least expect to find some funny situational humor. But this is not the case. Everything that I saw in the preview seemed contrived and geared toward creating a morally uncomfortable atmosphere for the charters and audience instead of a random, socially relaxed atmosphere which allows for the opportunity for funny, not ugly, things to be said and done. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
Luke, age 33 (USA)
Movie Critics
…deals in cheap jokes in a foul-mouthed caper that swats at suburbia, salesmanship and girl-scouting… unfunny, chaotic mess of ludicrous plotting and tone-deaf set-pieces that’s as bad as her 2013 abomination “Identity Thief.” … [1/5]
Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian (UK)
…surprisingly unfunny… [2/5]
Eli Glasner, CBC News
…a major miscalculation… potty-mouthed… strained, unfunny movie with a half-baked (at most) screenplay that isn’t even quite up to the modest standards of their first project, “Tammy.” …
Bill Win, CBS Philly
…raunchy comedy… More “Tammy” than “Spy.”…
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…few funny moments in this sloppy, haphazard comic vehicle. …
Justin Chang, Variety
…“The Boss” has it’s moments but not enough to make a great comedy. …I just can’t recommend that you rush out and see The Boss this weekend. …
Jonathan Nettles, KTHV-TV
…a fitful amalgam of bouncy and slack laughs mixed in with some blasts of pure physical comedy and loads of yammering heads. There isn’t much filmmaking in it…
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…it turns overly mean-spirited as four-letter words fly around kids. There is one violent girl fight, with teens getting thrown into cars and cookie crumbs winding up in unseemly body crevices, that is totally out of place. …
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…misses the mark… a minor-league movie… Kathy Bates, as Michelle’s mentor, is entirely squandered… [2]
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press
…should have put more work on script… “The Boss” doesn’t work. …
Joe Dziemianowicz, New York Daily News

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.