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Review: Horrible Bosses

Jul. 8, 2011by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Three buddies (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day) plot to murder their horrible bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston).

REVIEW: Judging from the reactions the red-band trailer for this has been getting all over the web, its obvious that HORRIBLE BOSSES is one of the most highly anticipated R-rated comedies to come out in a while. Obviously, Warner Bros., by casting a trio solid comedic actors, each of whom seem inches away from hitting superstardom, is hoping that HORRIBLE BOSSES will be another HANGOVER.


But is it?

Not quite, but HORRIBLE BOSSES is still a very funny, entertaining flick, if a bit more uneven than youd think judging by the trailers. The premise is dynamite, and the three leads are perfectly cast, as are their respective bosses. Jason Bateman plays the everyman (ya know- the Ed Helms-role), whos lorded over by psychotic Kevin Spacey, who manages to make the other horrible boss he played, Buddy from SWIMMING WITH SHARKS, look almost saintly by comparison. Spaceys always had a knack for dark comedy, and he steals every scene hes in- and its no surprise than when the premise is twisted in the last third, hes the boss the whole plot ends up revolving around.

Meanwhile, we get Jason Sudeikis as the cool ladies man (the Bradley Cooper role), with Colin Farrell playing his coke-head, comb-over wearing boss. Farrell does a nice job sending up the douchebaggy, wildman persona that he was saddled with eight-or-nine years ago (although Id wager his work has since elevated him), but- compared to the other bosses his screen time seems limited. Oddly, his funniest scene is an outtake that shows up in the end credits. Sudeikis is maybe a bit much to harder to swallow as the cool guy than Cooper was, but nonetheless hes fine here (with this being a much better vehicle for his talents than HALL PASS).


As good as Sudeikis and Bateman are, I think the guy thats going to really break out if HORRIBLE BOSSES does big business is Charlie Day, who plays the Zach Galifianakis role. Well, maybe thats not entirely true, as Days character, a dental assistant sexually harassed by his boss Jennifer Aniston (doesnt sound too bad, right?) is more down to earth than Galifianakis. Hes actually a pretty together guy- complete with a pretty fiance (Lindsay Sloane), but of course, once the shit hits the fan, hes the crazy guy. Day, who owns on the great ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA is phenomenal, and watching him get coked up with Jason Bateman, or explain how he ended up on the sex registry (a great bit) is a treat. Granted, he pretty much plays the same guy he plays on PHILADELPHIA, but whatever. Its a comic persona, and judging from the audiences reaction every time this guy showed up on screen, it works.

As for Ms. Aniston, shes actually not half-bad as Days sex-crazed boss, although, again, I think a lot of us guys who grew up watching her on FRIENDS wouldnt mind being sexually harassed by her. Also, Aniston looks sexy with dark hair, and a scene where she cavorts around in black lingerie proves that if anything, Aniston is even hotter now that she was on FRIENDS ten years ago. Jamie Foxx also has a nice cameo as a tough guy sporting the awesome name, Motherfucker Jones, who helps the guys plot their bosses demise.


Considering the top-notch cast, and the clever screenplay by FREAKS & GEEKS alum John Francis Daley (along with Michael Markowitz and Jonathan M. Goldstein), its too bad that HORRIBLE BOSSES one flaw is the uneven pacing. Considering that it only runs 100 minutes, the film has more slow gaps than it should. Also, while the premise might suggest that this gets into darker territory, it really doesnt with director Seth Gordon (who's KING OF KONG needs to be immediately Netflix'd if you haven't seen it) chickening out a bit towards the end. Then again, black comedy is notoriously tough to pull off, so maybe thats not such a bad thing after all.

While its not a perfect comedy, and more than a little uneven, I still laughed my ass off through most of the film, and probably had more honest laughs here than I did with THE HANGOVER 2. I should also mention that the preview audience applauded the film once the end credits rolled- and I havent seen that happen at an advance screening for quite a while. If theyre reaction is any indicator, we may be getting an EVEN MORE HORRIBLE BOSSES sometime soon.

Extra Tidbit: I know, I know- I'm giving a lot of 7's lately. Been that kind of month. Lots of "good, but not great" stuff.
Source: JoBlo.com

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8:40AM on 07/08/2011

Lame review..

Why is every comedy compared to The Hangover? Every character is a copy of the guys in The Hangover?... Doubtful.
Why is every comedy compared to The Hangover? Every character is a copy of the guys in The Hangover?... Doubtful.
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9:10PM on 07/08/2011
Thanks for outright calling my comments bullshit..
Have you seen the movie? No? Then we have nothing to talk about. This movie felt nothing like The Hangover.
Thanks for outright calling my comments bullshit..
Have you seen the movie? No? Then we have nothing to talk about. This movie felt nothing like The Hangover.
4:01PM on 07/08/2011
If ONE reviewer, who's never made the comparison before, believes it's appropriate or hard to avoid in a PARTICULAR case, what difference does it make that "every reviewer" is constantly dropping a reference to HANGOVER (I've only really seen this done on a wide scale with BRIDESMAIDS, by the way). This movie isn't just a Hangover knock-off -- and this review ultimately isn't implying that -- but yes the flick's particular brand of three-guy dynamic was clearly (on an executive level) chosen,
If ONE reviewer, who's never made the comparison before, believes it's appropriate or hard to avoid in a PARTICULAR case, what difference does it make that "every reviewer" is constantly dropping a reference to HANGOVER (I've only really seen this done on a wide scale with BRIDESMAIDS, by the way). This movie isn't just a Hangover knock-off -- and this review ultimately isn't implying that -- but yes the flick's particular brand of three-guy dynamic was clearly (on an executive level) chosen, favored, encouraged, perhaps even guided in some way, in light of the earlier movie (which is now inarguably a model in the studio mindset). The effects of that are inevitably going to manifest in the movie itself on some level, therefore it's not too much of a stretch to mention it. And it's mentioned rather neutrally here.

justbink, learn to discern, my friend. Just because someone soundly defends their choices doesn't mean they can't take feedback. They're just nice enough to reply to bullshit, knee-jerk feedback that's mostly in response to something they didn't do.
3:48PM on 07/08/2011
im not handling feedback? haha

they're cashing in on The Hangover, but does that mean the movie IS trying to be The Hangover? No. That's just how a movie is marketed. How do people at a movie site not understand this? You review 'Horrible Bosses', not 'Horrible Bosses compared to The Hangover'.
im not handling feedback? haha

they're cashing in on The Hangover, but does that mean the movie IS trying to be The Hangover? No. That's just how a movie is marketed. How do people at a movie site not understand this? You review 'Horrible Bosses', not 'Horrible Bosses compared to The Hangover'.
3:27PM on 07/08/2011
Considering you titled your comment "Lame Review" and then proceeded to use "the endless comparison of comedies to the Hangover" as your only argument - I can see why Chris might take umbrage with your statement. If the review is bad - maybe your should focused on his review; instead of what all reviewers everywhere do. Besides - his point is that studios are trying to cash in on the Hangover's success, which they definitely are.

And btw - don't post strikebacks if you can't handle feedback.
Considering you titled your comment "Lame Review" and then proceeded to use "the endless comparison of comedies to the Hangover" as your only argument - I can see why Chris might take umbrage with your statement. If the review is bad - maybe your should focused on his review; instead of what all reviewers everywhere do. Besides - his point is that studios are trying to cash in on the Hangover's success, which they definitely are.

And btw - don't post strikebacks if you can't handle feedback.
2:13PM on 07/08/2011
And btw, don't write reviews if you can't handle feedback.
And btw, don't write reviews if you can't handle feedback.
2:12PM on 07/08/2011
Did I say YOU always compare comedies to The Hangover? NO i didn't. I'm saying reviewers everywhere are constantly dropping The Hangover into reviews for comparison. Its ridiculous to not know when a studio is trying to make a profit. That's where the association comes from.
Did I say YOU always compare comedies to The Hangover? NO i didn't. I'm saying reviewers everywhere are constantly dropping The Hangover into reviews for comparison. Its ridiculous to not know when a studio is trying to make a profit. That's where the association comes from.
9:59AM on 07/08/2011
Ummm- every comedy compared to THE HANGOVER? Do you actually read my reviews? I think this is the first comedy I've ever compared to THE HANGOVER- and the only reason I am is because that's an association it obviously wants audiences to make.
Ummm- every comedy compared to THE HANGOVER? Do you actually read my reviews? I think this is the first comedy I've ever compared to THE HANGOVER- and the only reason I am is because that's an association it obviously wants audiences to make.
9:16AM on 07/08/2011

Looks Funny.

I am getting ticked off at reviewers always comparing comedies to the hangover. When you review something you are supposed to take the movie in as a whole and not draw comparisons. Especially to 3 year old films. That is the lazy way of writing. Try forming an opinion on the movie without comparisons. Just because you think The Hangover was the funniest movie ever does not mean others did. So when you compare it to that movie it alienates readers and you're not doing your job properly. I loved
I am getting ticked off at reviewers always comparing comedies to the hangover. When you review something you are supposed to take the movie in as a whole and not draw comparisons. Especially to 3 year old films. That is the lazy way of writing. Try forming an opinion on the movie without comparisons. Just because you think The Hangover was the funniest movie ever does not mean others did. So when you compare it to that movie it alienates readers and you're not doing your job properly. I loved Hangover btw, but it gets annoying when EVERY comedy gets compared to it now. Even if the premise is so far off (bridesmaids).

So please, do your job properly and review movies without comparisons. It isn't difficult. It may even turn out to be less words for you to type so the lazy factor equals out.
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3:30PM on 07/08/2011
"It may even turn out to be less words for you to type so the lazy factor equals out."

This sentence alone should disqualify you from dispensing editorial advice.
"It may even turn out to be less words for you to type so the lazy factor equals out."

This sentence alone should disqualify you from dispensing editorial advice.
10:15AM on 07/08/2011
Spraragen88 - Jason Bateman even described the movie as "9 to 5 meets The Hangover." Seth Gordon, the director also said "The truth is, the success of The Hangover paved the way for films like this..." So it's only natural to draw comparisons between the two since they are banking on that notion to become a success.
Spraragen88 - Jason Bateman even described the movie as "9 to 5 meets The Hangover." Seth Gordon, the director also said "The truth is, the success of The Hangover paved the way for films like this..." So it's only natural to draw comparisons between the two since they are banking on that notion to become a success.
10:02AM on 07/08/2011
Again- this is probably the only time I've EVER compared a comedy to THE HANGOVER- and that's because that's an association Warner Bros is obviously trying VERY hard to make.
Again- this is probably the only time I've EVER compared a comedy to THE HANGOVER- and that's because that's an association Warner Bros is obviously trying VERY hard to make.
9:24AM on 07/08/2011
Way to not be condescending in any way dude. It's Chris' review and he can formulate it any way he chooses.
Way to not be condescending in any way dude. It's Chris' review and he can formulate it any way he chooses.
9:27AM on 07/08/2011
Great news to hear. This looked hilarious so im deff going to check this out.
Great news to hear. This looked hilarious so im deff going to check this out.
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11:02AM on 07/08/2011

Wow

Really can't believe the comparison to Hangover in this review. This film feels nothing like The Hangover films at all. All the comparisons to the characters in those films are such a stretch. I'm sure this film is much more original and funny than those films. I laughed more during the trailer for Horrible Bosses than I did during the entirety of "Hangover 2". What an awfully un-funny film that was. One that you obviously enjoyed enough to give a 7/10 and unfairly compare other comedys too.
Really can't believe the comparison to Hangover in this review. This film feels nothing like The Hangover films at all. All the comparisons to the characters in those films are such a stretch. I'm sure this film is much more original and funny than those films. I laughed more during the trailer for Horrible Bosses than I did during the entirety of "Hangover 2". What an awfully un-funny film that was. One that you obviously enjoyed enough to give a 7/10 and unfairly compare other comedys too. I'll take this original film over another crappy Hangover flick any day.
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3:32PM on 07/08/2011
Are you kidding me? No film exists in a vacuum. No art anywhere exists in a vacuum. Of course reviewers draw comparisons to other films.

If you've got a problem with reviewers comparing films to the Hangover - blame the studios for marketing every buddy ensemble comedy as to imply a similarity to The Hangover.
Are you kidding me? No film exists in a vacuum. No art anywhere exists in a vacuum. Of course reviewers draw comparisons to other films.

If you've got a problem with reviewers comparing films to the Hangover - blame the studios for marketing every buddy ensemble comedy as to imply a similarity to The Hangover.
11:36AM on 07/08/2011
Because in a review a film should never be compared to another unless its a sequel, remake, or direct rip-off. This film is none of those things. It's not like The Hangover was the first comedy to ever pair a straight man, a ladies man and a wild card together. Everyone acts like that film is the epitome of great comedy films and every film has to follow suit. Your review solidifies that way of thinking. Plus I've read several interviews with the cast and crew and haven't seen anyone compare it
Because in a review a film should never be compared to another unless its a sequel, remake, or direct rip-off. This film is none of those things. It's not like The Hangover was the first comedy to ever pair a straight man, a ladies man and a wild card together. Everyone acts like that film is the epitome of great comedy films and every film has to follow suit. Your review solidifies that way of thinking. Plus I've read several interviews with the cast and crew and haven't seen anyone compare it to Hangover. Is there any in particular I should be looking at?
11:07AM on 07/08/2011
Again- you even have the actors and filmaker themselves comparing this to HANGOVER. If they can- why can't I?
Again- you even have the actors and filmaker themselves comparing this to HANGOVER. If they can- why can't I?
11:09AM on 07/08/2011

For Sunny Fans

"once the shit hits the fan, hes the crazy guy."

Charlie Kelley - The Wild Card
"once the shit hits the fan, hes the crazy guy."

Charlie Kelley - The Wild Card
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11:52AM on 07/08/2011

Chris...

I didn't mean to single you out. I apologize. I am a big fan of your reviews actually. But you have to know the difference between marketing as hangover to increase sales and using hangover as a benchmark. If you kept it to a minimum and said the script was weaker than the hangover or maybe the direction was better in Horrible Bosses. That is acceptable. But to compare every character is crossing the line in a way.

Look at Bridesmaids, they marketed it as Hangover with chicks but it was far
I didn't mean to single you out. I apologize. I am a big fan of your reviews actually. But you have to know the difference between marketing as hangover to increase sales and using hangover as a benchmark. If you kept it to a minimum and said the script was weaker than the hangover or maybe the direction was better in Horrible Bosses. That is acceptable. But to compare every character is crossing the line in a way.

Look at Bridesmaids, they marketed it as Hangover with chicks but it was far from it and turned out to break records. Comparing it to hangover in a review would be unfair to the film because it is such a different plot, whether you enjoyed it or not.
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+19
12:17PM on 07/08/2011
Well, I'd have to say that this was a lot better than Hangover, but we're agreed that the film was pretty damn funny. Here's the full review:

[link]
Well, I'd have to say that this was a lot better than Hangover, but we're agreed that the film was pretty damn funny. Here's the full review:

[link]
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+1
12:27PM on 07/08/2011
The Hangover gave back studios the faith in hard R comedies. Though the Apatow camp also has a lot to with that and started the trend before The Hangover. So thanks to those successes we're seeing more good R-rated comedies make it to production.

I will admit I rolled my eyes when CBum mentioned The Hangover, only because so many other reviewers have tossed that movie into their reviews as well (same thing with Bridesmaids).

Aside form that it's a good review and I'm pumped to see this
The Hangover gave back studios the faith in hard R comedies. Though the Apatow camp also has a lot to with that and started the trend before The Hangover. So thanks to those successes we're seeing more good R-rated comedies make it to production.

I will admit I rolled my eyes when CBum mentioned The Hangover, only because so many other reviewers have tossed that movie into their reviews as well (same thing with Bridesmaids).

Aside form that it's a good review and I'm pumped to see this flick.
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12:42PM on 07/09/2011
I do remember Old School being fairly succeful way before we even heard the name Judd Apatow though.
I do remember Old School being fairly succeful way before we even heard the name Judd Apatow though.
12:33PM on 07/08/2011
Well, Spider-Man is a pretty good movie. You know, it's kinda like The Dark Knight. You got Spider-man, who is like the Batman type. Then you've got The Green Goblin in a Joker-esque role. Rachael is OBVIOUSLY the Mary Jane. Oh, but Spider-man isn't as good as The Dark Knight. GIVE IT A SEVEN!

*watches Green Lantern*

Now, Green Lantern... he's kinda like Batman. I mean...all the Lanterns, they're all Batmans. The bad guy...he's like Joker.
Well, Spider-Man is a pretty good movie. You know, it's kinda like The Dark Knight. You got Spider-man, who is like the Batman type. Then you've got The Green Goblin in a Joker-esque role. Rachael is OBVIOUSLY the Mary Jane. Oh, but Spider-man isn't as good as The Dark Knight. GIVE IT A SEVEN!

*watches Green Lantern*

Now, Green Lantern... he's kinda like Batman. I mean...all the Lanterns, they're all Batmans. The bad guy...he's like Joker.
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12:52PM on 07/09/2011
AGREED
AGREED
4:59AM on 07/09/2011
why is everyone flaming this guy? Hes right. Chris Bumbray did exactly this in his entire review. I knew i wasnt the only one threw off by it. Everyone asking what your talking about obviously just scrolled down and saw a seven and were satisfied.
why is everyone flaming this guy? Hes right. Chris Bumbray did exactly this in his entire review. I knew i wasnt the only one threw off by it. Everyone asking what your talking about obviously just scrolled down and saw a seven and were satisfied.
12:03AM on 07/09/2011
Huh!?
Huh!?
3:23PM on 07/08/2011
You're an idiot.
You're an idiot.
2:14PM on 07/08/2011
This comment is actually very relevant. Kudos.
This comment is actually very relevant. Kudos.
2:02PM on 07/08/2011
Your just sounding stupid
Your just sounding stupid
+5
3:09PM on 07/08/2011
Farrell's faux hair line in this is strangely hypnotic.
Farrell's faux hair line in this is strangely hypnotic.
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7:49PM on 07/08/2011
"Motherfucker Jones"...That is hilarious...
"Motherfucker Jones"...That is hilarious...
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9:12PM on 07/08/2011

Just saw this movie

Easily worthy of an 8. Laughed my ass off through the entire thing. Don't see The Hangover bits at all though...
Easily worthy of an 8. Laughed my ass off through the entire thing. Don't see The Hangover bits at all though...
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12:54AM on 07/09/2011

Best comedy of 2011 so far...

...and holy fuck is Aniston hotter than hell in this flick. The brunette hair plus the dirty dialogue is incredible.
...and holy fuck is Aniston hotter than hell in this flick. The brunette hair plus the dirty dialogue is incredible.
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4:57AM on 07/09/2011
i never knock a mans opinion(and im not knocking your review per say) but wtf was this straight up comparison to Hangover.

GreenScreen got it right. Might as well start comparing every character in any movie from now on.
i never knock a mans opinion(and im not knocking your review per say) but wtf was this straight up comparison to Hangover.

GreenScreen got it right. Might as well start comparing every character in any movie from now on.
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12:02PM on 07/09/2011
THANK YOU! And my comments get thumbed down all day...
THANK YOU! And my comments get thumbed down all day...
10:50AM on 07/09/2011

One of the best comedies of the century [thus far]

I went in after skimming this review and was seriously surprised at just how hilarious this movie was. The casting was pretty much flawless and the comedy never fell flat. Definitely a must-see.
I went in after skimming this review and was seriously surprised at just how hilarious this movie was. The casting was pretty much flawless and the comedy never fell flat. Definitely a must-see.
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+13
12:38PM on 07/09/2011
I LOATHED how this review kept comparing the movie to The Hangover. It's not The Hangover! Very different in fact. I can't draw not one comparison to the two at all. They are two VERY different comedies. This movie was good. Just get off the Hangover's d*ck with all the "Day played the Zach Galifianakis role" bulls*t.
I LOATHED how this review kept comparing the movie to The Hangover. It's not The Hangover! Very different in fact. I can't draw not one comparison to the two at all. They are two VERY different comedies. This movie was good. Just get off the Hangover's d*ck with all the "Day played the Zach Galifianakis role" bulls*t.
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1:34PM on 07/09/2011
Definitely worth seeing. 7/10. Some great social lines will come from this movie.
Definitely worth seeing. 7/10. Some great social lines will come from this movie.
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3:25PM on 07/09/2011
I too don't see the similarities between this and the hangover. For one, Horrible Bosses is actually hilarious and it deserves all the praise it receives. The Hangover, while funny, is one of the most overrated movies ever. While I have a feeling this one, which is truly hilarious, will be forgotten because so many critics are surgically attached to The Hangover's ass.
I too don't see the similarities between this and the hangover. For one, Horrible Bosses is actually hilarious and it deserves all the praise it receives. The Hangover, while funny, is one of the most overrated movies ever. While I have a feeling this one, which is truly hilarious, will be forgotten because so many critics are surgically attached to The Hangover's ass.
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12:16AM on 07/10/2011
i think the word overrated is the most overrated word ever.
i think the word overrated is the most overrated word ever.
12:14AM on 07/10/2011
so basically from now on every R rated comedy will be compared to The Hangover, another lazy review indeed Mr. Bumbray after yur last few have been spot on.
so basically from now on every R rated comedy will be compared to The Hangover, another lazy review indeed Mr. Bumbray after yur last few have been spot on.
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2:37PM on 07/10/2011
Is it weird that I've *never* been as attracted to Jennifer Aniston than I have with this movie?
Maybe it's the dark hair (which I LOVE)...maybe 'cause she plays a naughty, raunchy bitch...I dunno...all I know is she's really, really hot here.
Is it weird that I've *never* been as attracted to Jennifer Aniston than I have with this movie?
Maybe it's the dark hair (which I LOVE)...maybe 'cause she plays a naughty, raunchy bitch...I dunno...all I know is she's really, really hot here.
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9:35PM on 07/10/2011
i personally think she looked much hotter than Brooklyn Decker in Just Go With It even if the movie did suck.
i personally think she looked much hotter than Brooklyn Decker in Just Go With It even if the movie did suck.
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