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


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.)



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

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