Bad Words
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Jason Bateman makes his feature directorial debut with the subversive comedy Bad Words. Mr. Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. Contest officials, outraged parents, and overly ambitious 8th graders are no match for Guy, as he ruthlessly crushes their dreams of victory and fame. As a reporter (Kathryn Hahn of We're the Millers) attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I didn't like anything about the movie before discovering what Guy is up to. I actively hated it after I figured out what was actually going on."
‑ Wesley Morris, Grantland
"Trashy, ribald laughs in the Bad Santa vein, this marks Bateman's directorial debut; it's not much to look at, but at least he has the nerve to push the insolence, profanity, and brutal insult humor to its absolute limits."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"...a withering send-up of our kid-obsessed culture, in which childhood has been reimagined as a procession of parent-directed accomplishments."
‑ Josh Larsen, LarsenOnFilm
" one of those actors whose immense warmth can't be concealed no matter how disagreeable the character and he keep the fraying edges...forgivable."
‑ Richard Knight, Windy City Times
"'Bad Words' calls to mind 'Bad Santa' ... not quite as good good, but it's a lot of fun."
‑ Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive
"The laughs in this film are all mean-spirited or just frat-boy gross."
‑ Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail
"In his directorial debut, Bateman casts himself as a foul-mouthed, racist jerk. It's a stretch for the nice-guy actor, but the role doesn't suit him."
‑ Rafer Guzman, Newsday
"[Allison Janney's] presence on any show or movie ultimately has a kind of 'Poochie' effect: whenever she's not on screen you just expect everyone else to be wondering, "Where's Janney?", hoping that somehow spirits her back."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Bad Words does to spelling bees what Bad Santa did to Christmas phoniness."
‑ Mal Vincent, The Virginian-Pilot
"In a word, "Bad Words" is H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!"
‑ Michael A. Smith, MediaMikes
"Almost unrelenting in its takedown both of an American institution and the country's obsession with victories big and small, Bad Words is more misanthropic fantasy than satiric fiction."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"While Bad Words is only sporadically funny, Bateman throws himself into the role without shame or ego. The film is also his directing debut, and a very capable one."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Bad Words is a worthwhile -- if predictable -- dark comedy, particularly for those with a somewhat cruel sense of humor."
‑ Austin Trunick, Under the Radar
"If profanity bothers you, don't even read any further. Not that you'll see profanity here. It's just that 'Bad Words' isn't your kind of movie. And just because it stars many children, don't even consider taking your kid to it."
‑ Linda Cook, Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
"Spell it b-o-g-u-s, because 'Bad Words' reveals very early that it won't even remain true to the dubious integrity of its ugliness."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
More reviews for Bad Words on Rotten Tomatoes