Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Horrible Bosses is Certified Fresh

Plus, Zookeeper spends too much time monkeying around.

by | July 7, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got scheming employees (Horrible Bosses, starring Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston) and talking animals (Zookeeper, starring Kevin James and Rosario Dawson). What do the critics have to say?



Horrible Bosses

69%

Plenty of folks slog through dead-end jobs with contempt for their employers. Fortunately, few of us would ever entertain the possibility of murdering our boss, but that’s the setup for Horrible Bosses, which critics are calling a gleeful, cheerfully silly and dirty comedy that’s perfect for our troubled economic times. Jason Bateman stars as a middle manager who’s been emotionally tortured by his malevolent boss, a situation he shares with two of his after-work drinking buddies. All three conspire to kill their bosses, using Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train as the model for their plan, but soon our heroes find themselves in way over their heads. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Horrible Bosses doesn’t quite push its wicked premise to the limit, but it’s consistently funny and boasts a terrific cast (including Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jamie Foxx in sharp supporting roles) making the most of sharply-written roles. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most memorable workplaces.)



Zookeeper

14%

Remember Dr. Doolittle? Charlotte’s Web? Babe? There are plenty of solid family movies that feature talking animals. Unfortunately, critics say Zookeeper is unlikely to join that group, since it does so little with its premise and instead relies on shopworn physical humor and bland plotting. Kevin James stars as a beleaguered zookeeper who wants to move on from his job. But the animals, desperate for him to stay, reveal a long-suppressed secret: they can talk. Hilarity ensues. The pundits say Zookeeper is well-meaning, but it’s not particularly disciplined, resulting in a comedy that features a bunch of gags but few genuine laughs.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

Dark Horse Comics Countdown 2016 FOX based on movie Country Opinion TLC NBC VH1 TV Land Premiere Dates Warner Bros. medical drama Biopics Comic Book Paramount Network Star Trek ESPN period drama serial killer Sneak Peek X-Men Pop thriller Fall TV BBC Valentine's Day cats Mindy Kaling Holidays Red Carpet transformers Awards Musicals NYCC Christmas Creative Arts Emmys Super Bowl WGN ratings TV Superheroes crime Musical Amazon SDCC Martial Arts Marvel Polls and Games MTV Reality Competition travel Sci-Fi Britbox Sundance Now Fantasy docudrama YA festivals Music adventure Emmys Summer Winners CBS The CW CW Seed technology Superheroe dramedy Character Guide Bravo Cosplay politics Universal science fiction romance TIFF ABC Family Paramount ITV Best and Worst Sundance See It Skip It E3 biography aliens Action ABC Food Network vampires Rock BBC America Nat Geo Hulu Interview DC Universe Netflix Logo Nominations Watching Series BET Spring TV spy thriller Horror 21st Century Fox cults SXSW Disney E! crime drama sports harry potter supernatural Ellie Kemper Rocky GIFs Rom-Com historical drama Showtime justice league social media Ghostbusters FX Marathons PBS composers war Reality El Rey zombie TCA Star Wars IFC Lifetime finale First Look Western Extras Esquire History binge TBS Lionsgate President police drama Acorn TV political drama Sony Pictures Set visit Shondaland unscripted YouTube Red Animation Tumblr Tomatazos cooking OWN GLAAD CBS All Access CMT zombies TCM Crackle hist Podcast IFC Films Starz Pirates Year in Review Oscars Schedule 2015 Certified Fresh diversity Grammys HBO Drama CNN DC Comics Winter TV Video Games Kids & Family Fox News VICE RT History 2017 20th Century Fox discovery Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TNT Lucasfilm Adult Swim Disney Channel 45 Calendar Trivia USA National Geographic talk show Freeform APB LGBTQ PaleyFest dceu SundanceTV Writers Guild of America Mary Tyler Moore what to watch Comedy Central Cartoon Network A&E DC streaming service Trailer cops Syfy Box Office cinemax 24 frames Toys Infographic Spike USA Network MSNBC Election Comedy TCA 2017 Mystery golden globes Photos Masterpiece DirecTV 007 GoT crossover AMC robots crime thriller comiccon boxoffice Nickelodeon FXX TruTV The Arrangement American Society of Cinematographers Teen psycho Pixar sitcom singing competition dc Thanksgiving