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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Charlie Day
Colin Farrell
Jamie Foxx
Jennifer Aniston
Jason Sudeikis.
Directors
Seth Gordon.
Screenwriters
Francis John Daley
Jonathan Goldstein
Michael Markowitz.
Running Time
98 minutes

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Horrible Bosses
It's 9-5 with blokes


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Plot
Three put-upon employees (Bateman, Sudeikis, Day) decide to murder their bosses (Spacey, Farrell and Aniston respectively). But their plans, assisted by a dodgy 'professional' (Foxx), don't quite go to plan.


Review
Horrible Bosses
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The pitch — Office Space meets Strangers On A Train — is why-didn’t-I-think-of-that? brilliant. The casting — three likable comics as the schlubs and three stars, two of them playing against type, as the bosses — is impeccable. Yet Horrible Bosses doesn’t quite deliver, feeling generic and rather limp instead of delivering the comedy punch it needed to land.

The end product manages to attain the baseline of mild background chuckles that you’d expect of a talented comedy ensemble, but it can never quite spike into brilliance. The bosses are horrible, true, but in these straitened times, the prospect of working for these guys is more scary than laugh-inducing. Jamie Foxx’s twitchy ex-con is eccentric, but not that eccentric, and while his advice is dumb, it’s not breathtakingly so. The plot builds into a mildly amusing farce, but it never quite gathers the energy to deliver. Everywhere you look, it falls just short.

It may partly be a case of too many characters and too little focus. The three leads work well together, but none of them are given much character development. And really, if we’re to buy them as genuinely nice guys pushed a little too far, we need more than two scenes each to sell that.

The bosses, meanwhile, get the skin crawling but can’t quite bring the belly laughs. It’s not really the actors’ fault. Kevin Spacey adds an extra sprinkling of sadism and paranoia to his Swimming With Sharks character, cruising through offensiveness and out the other side into grotesquery to good effect. Colin Farrell turns in snivelling, shockingly ugly, sex-addict cokehead in probably the most memorable of the three. And Jennifer Aniston, America’s sweetheart, goes full rapist in an extraordinarily ill-judged series of plot developments. The way in which she attempts to coerce sex from her employee is played for laughs because she’s a woman — but it’s genuinely unsettling and, from a man, would be the stuff of Oscar-focused drama (incidentally, and not encouragingly, the film’s second-biggest female character is also a nympho; the other two are barely sketched). Each of the three lands a laugh or two, but the script doesn’t give any of them the comedy apotheosis that would transform them into icons, and none linger in the mind in the way that, say, Gary Cole’s Bill Lumbergh has done.


Verdict
These bosses cannot justify either murder or lasting comic memories, fatally compromising a farce that could have been great but ends up merely mediocre.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Horrible Bosses
Empire Star Rating

it was gooood ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by baileyp at 23:08, 11 April 2012 | Report This Post


Funny Horrible Bosses

Funny, dirty, surprising. Farrell is awesome. Great one liners. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:03, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post


Funny Horrible Bosses

Funny, dirty, surprising. Farrell is awesome. Great one liners. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 23:03, 23 February 2012 | Report This Post


Overrated much?

I was disappointed at this movie, it had potential, I laughed here, but overall pretty bad. Shame really, I thought it would be hilarious. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by asda24995 at 14:45, 24 January 2012 | Report This Post


"I'd like to bend her over a barrel and show her the 50 states"

Totally ridiculous and utterly hilarious! I didn't know Jennifer Anniston had it in her, quite honestly. A 2-star rating here is a crime. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Turd Ferguson at 17:00, 14 December 2011 | Report This Post


NOT GREAT, NOT BAD.......

NO LAUGH-OUT LOUD MOMENTS, JUST MILDLY AMUSING.. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chrisdagnall at 12:58, 04 December 2011 | Report This Post


RE: 2 stars?

Not for me - I found some parts of it funny but not really and laugh out loud moments. Worth watching just for Kevin Spacy, Colin Farrel and Jenifer Aniston clearly having a good time with their characters. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ongbakdan at 12:33, 28 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: 2 stars?

This was really good, a highly enjoyable comedy with a simple concept but works on every level due to an entertaining script and some good, albeit-very Hollywood, acting. It's easy to see how they got the cast list together for this. 4/5 ... More

Posted by Goodfella at 17:18, 27 November 2011 | Report This Post


RE: 2 stars?

It was decent.Anniston was annoying for me(but  hot!). Not enough Farrell,too much Spacey. 3stars. ... More

Posted by thetruth at 18:40, 25 August 2011 | Report This Post


2 stars?

I enjoyed this film, which is a wonder as comedies lately haven't exactly been my thing. There was a packed cinema and pretty much everyone enjoyed it, as there were plenty of laughs throughout the majority of the film. Although I'm not exactly a major fan of any of the actors, I think they made the situations (not exactly realistic) but incredibly funny. And I've seen some reviews of people being less than impressed with Charlie Day's character, but I for one found him charming, in a dork... More

Posted by billycostiganjr at 17:24, 25 August 2011 | Report This Post


2 stars no way!

This film was hillarious! The packed cinema seemed to aggree too! Empire you dnt no wat ur talking about! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Empo at 14:26, 24 August 2011 | Report This Post


2 stars no way!

This film was hillarious! The packed cinema seemed to aggree too! Empire you dnt no wat ur talking about! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Empo at 14:26, 24 August 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Horrible Bosses: Review

I quite agree with Helen. Mostly it wasn't humorous. Dialogues are average or below, there are no well-constructed,compound jokes. Actually comedies get worse and worse, mainly these types of comedies are based on the free-spoken characters, jokes derive from that characters dare to say exactly, without pondering what they think or what feel unfair. It's too wore how mates react to sex-hungry female boss. ... More

Posted by szoni at 12:00, 19 August 2011 | Report This Post


Horrible Bosses: Review

Horrible Bosses is an alright film. It definitely funny parts in the film and the cast did a great performance for their characters. The problems with this film is alot of the scenes were they try to be funny really isnt funny at all and some of the things they try to do to be funny they could of done it in a better way then the way they did. Its not the worst comedy film ive ever seen but its not the best. I would recommend this film to be a rental. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 00:47, 17 August 2011 | Report This Post


RE: bore off empire

I thought this was great, although I would have liked more of the bosses, they dam near showed the whole of their performances in the trailers, stop doing that please, leave something for us to enjoy and be surprised at. not quite getting the comments regards Jen being attractive makes her character null and void, the guy she is pursuing is very happy in the relationship he is in he's looking forward to getting married to her, why would he throw away that happiness by sleeping with his hot horn... More

Posted by durelius at 22:31, 29 July 2011 | Report This Post


bore off empire

This is the best comedy in ages. I laughed so much. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tysmuse at 19:26, 28 July 2011 | Report This Post


pleasantly surprised

saw the title: was put off, saw jenifer aniston: was even more put off, saw harry potter 3 times: definately needed to see something else... and guess what,, i enjoyed it! probably because i expected it to be the usual mildy-amusing-fart-joke-male-comedy, with all the funny moments stuffed into the trailer, but i was really surprised! thoroughy childish, often cringingly horrible, but very, very funny, if you want a leave-your-brain-at-home kind of film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Swedle at 23:19, 27 July 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

PRO CON TIME: PROS: -Farrell is suitably tool-ish and easily the best of the 3 bosses. -Jason Bateman, while the same as always, is likable and has some decent lines. -Jamie Fox is without a doubt the best thing in the film stealing all scenes he shows up in. -The cats are funny CONS: -Anniston is painfully miscast. The whole premise of her character is made void due to her attractiveness. -Sudekis is not a leading man. He is a forgettable SNL p... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by st3veebee at 15:52, 27 July 2011 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

L: brucejackiejet Second thing - were we really supposed to buy that Jason Sudekis was some kind of ladies man? Really? Again, while I can accept the basic premise of the film this was asking to suspend my disbelief just a tad too much. Other than that it was ok, more smile inducing then anything resembling an actual laugh. This, 1000 times over. I thought that Sudekis guy was largely terrible, and he kept pulling prolonged reactionary faces, when certain situations arose, lik... More

Posted by captainrentboy at 13:24, 27 July 2011 | Report This Post


2 Stars Really?

After seeing Horrible Bosses over the weekend I really enjoyed this. No, it's not the best comedy I have seen and it wasn't the worst, it did make me laugh and the cast worked well together, especially the main 3 guys. And to give it the same rating as Zookeeper, REALLY????? Now I havent seen Zookeeper, but its a Happy Madison production starring Kevin Smith remaking a cross over between Night at the Museum and Dr Dolttle!.... I think that says it all! Horrible Bosses was way better that the ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gavc1978 at 13:47, 25 July 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

I'd probably agree with Helen's review for the most part. Some interesting comments on Jennifer Anniston's character. I didn't find it uncomfortable so much as just completely unrealistic. Sure, the whole premise is over the top but I could accept that Spacey and Farrell were so horrible that you might resort to murder. The idea though that your stupidly hot boss wants sex with you and because you have a girlfriend you'd rather kill her? On top of that we're supposed to buy that ... More

Posted by brucejackiejet at 11:23, 25 July 2011 | Report This Post


Considering that this film got the same rating as Yogi Bear, i think it's a bit harsh. spacey delicious. farrell splendid but not in it enough. aniston kinda freaky. jasons x2 and charlie better than are given credit for. funny movie. not a 2 star. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gurnblenston at 23:53, 24 July 2011 | Report This Post


Very good!

Very funny, however not enough of said bosses in the film. Jamie Foxx does an outstanding job in his bit part also. It's a nice welcome to have something else to watch in cinemas at the moment than the ridiculously over rated potter! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by J_BUltimatum at 18:25, 24 July 2011 | Report This Post


RE:

ery, very funny! In fact, horribly funny if you want to milk it from the Comedy of 2011! Ever since a clever promo campaign that I've been made aware of since March, I always had high hopes for this movie. And the price I paid for it? Aching ribs (some probably cracked from excessive laughter). Psst -the good news about that, is laughing your ass off isn't bad for your health. Even the UK Medical Council have vouched for that, fact. The best way to describe this movie is Office Space meets... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jace007 at 18:23, 24 July 2011 | Report This Post


The appearance of Jamie Fox alone makes it a Four Star movie... then again the appearance of Charlie Day drops it to a Three. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by down4orce at 20:00, 23 July 2011 | Report This Post


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