Complete A-Z list

Horrible Bosses


Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Foxx

Director: Seth Gordon

All good comedy should be rooted in reality, to make us laugh all the more. And that's a rule that Horrible Bosses ignores at its peril. It's so intent in aiming for the lowest common denominator and talking as dirty as it can, that it forgets it's supposed to be tickling our funny bones at the same time. Most of us like a good dirty joke, but this is ridiculous.

Aniston, for sure, will never have a more demeaning role. Even if she, Spacey and Farrell seem to enjoy themselves playing them, the three eponymous bosses are ludicrous caricatures that fall well the wrong side of possibility. Spacey humiliates employee Bateman at every turn, while keeping him hopping with vague promises of promotions he'll never get.

Nymphomaniac dentist Aniston makes obscene advances to hapless assistant Day (in real life, a woman like this would never drool over such a wimpy weed), while hophead Farrell, after dad Sutherland's death, revels in the opportunity to make former top dog Sudeikis's life hell.

It isn't long before the three guys team up to hire a hit-man (Foxx), who proves to be anything but, leaving them with a Hitchcockian situation in which each must commit one of the other's murders. Believe me, this isn't nearly as much fun as it sounds - which is a shame, because it's a nice idea and could have been a riot. Would anyone like to help me murder the writers of this exceptionally foul-mouthed farrago?

David Quinlan

USA 2011. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour by deluxe.
97 minutes. Not wWidescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 18 Jul 2011