CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy
  • 2011

Horrible Bosses

Horrible Bosses

Synopsis

Three put-upon employees decide that the best way to overcome their difficulties is to murder their vile bosses. Comedy starring Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman

About

Bosses, eh? Can't live with them, can't shoot them in the back of the head and dispose of their body somewhere off the Brooklyn Bridge. Well, in Seth Gordon's entertaining comedy, that's exactly what the hapless trio of protagonists want to do to their overbearing employers. Nick (Jason Bateman) works in a white-collar job where he must kow-tow to his psychotically domineering boss Dave(Kevin Spacey, reprising roles of villains past). Dale (Charlie Day) is a dental assistant whose sexy superior Julia (Jennifer Aniston, of all people) wants to give him a very thorough examination, despite his being engaged. And the happy-go-lucky Kurt (Jason Sudeikis) has a wonderful boss, Jack (Donald Sutherland), who unfortunately dies and is replaced by his ne'er-do-well cokehead son Bobby (Colin Farrell). Aggrieved, the three plot to dispose of their aggressors, enlisting the aid of the splendidly named Motherfucker Jones (Jamie Foxx). But things go wrong, unsurprisingly.

The biggest flaw with Gordon's film, written by Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, is that it's not as dark and disturbing as it easily could have been. While there are scenes of death, self-mutilation, cocaine binges and staged sexual abuse, these are played, oddly, for cosy laughs rather than anything more impactful. Still, it's frequently amusing, occasionally witty and once or twice genuinely laugh-out-loud hilarious, which is more than can be said for the vast majority of cookie-cutter product out there. Some of the best jokes are clearly post-Judd Apatow - references to Snow Falling On Cedars and Throw Momma From The Train tap into exactly the same sort of semi-obscure pop cultural allusion that Apatow's films do.

The performances are mostly great, with the exception of Day's nails-on-the-blackboard idiot, and it's the superlative comic timing of the excellent actors that sells the film. Bateman does a superb straight man, Spacey channels the menacing charisma of his early roles into something more broadly comic (until the end, which just becomes absurd and by the numbers) and Aniston is a revelation as the sexy nymphomaniac dentist, channelling male fantasy to absurd, parodic heights. And thankfully there isn't one of those annoying Wedding Crashers-esque character reversals that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I enjoyed Sudeikis as the unfeasibly successful ladykiller (a joke that could have had more made of it) and Farrell, in a brief part, is a riot as a comb-overed sleazebag.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Kevin Spacey, Donald Sutherland, Jason Bateman, Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston
  • Director: Seth Gordon
  • Photographer: David Hennings
  • Composer: Christopher Lennertz

In a nutshell

It's not going to win any Oscars or even be remembered for very much a few months down the line, but if you're looking for a bit of undemanding fun with a few really good laughs, you could do a lot worse than this.

by Alex Larman

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Hahaha

    Comedy-drama from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. Two friends, one a film director and the other a critic, discover their lives overlap more than they thought

    On Film4: 7 Nov 1:00AM

  • Film4

    The Day He Arrives

    Comedy-drama from South Korean director Hong Sang-soo. A film director visits a friend in Seoul, but his trip begins to resemble a romantic version of Groundhog Day

    On Film4: 6 Nov 1:30AM

  • Film4

    Tower Heist on Film4

    Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy & Casey Affleck lead an all-star cast in Brett Ratner's heist comedy

  • Film4

    The Debt on Film4

    Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington & Jessica Chastain star in John Madden's Nazi-hunting thriller

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Rent now on Film4od

Available to rent for £2.49

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share