“The Boss” might have the potential to dethrone “Batman v Superman” this weekend, but that doesn’t mean it’s Melissa McCarthy‘s best movie by a long shot.
Critics are giving the comedy a Rotten Tomatoes score of 19 percent, calling the film something to add to the “pile of mediocrity” and a “catastrophic comic miscalculation,” while one reviewer described McCarthy as “loud and grating and crass and nearly unbearable.”
TheWrap’s film critic Dan Callahan wrote, “On the heels of ‘Tammy,’ ‘The Boss’ suggests that McCarthy really needs to regroup and find a project that she doesn’t have to carry all alone, and with a character that suits her sensibility better.”
“The Boss” is directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, who also helmed “Tammy,” which scored 23 percent on the review aggregator. McCarthy’s latest effort follows Michelle Darnell, an industry titan who goes to prison for insider trading, and then tries to redeem herself by building a brownie empire.
See nine of the worst reviews below.
Mara Reinstein, US Weekly:
“Though the gifted comedian exudes fearless energy onscreen, her most impressive talent is the ability to elevate so-so material. And face it: that’s how she’s spent the bulk of her post-‘Bridesmaids’ career. ‘Tammy.’ ‘St. Vincent.’ ‘The Heat.’ ‘The Identity Thief.’ ‘This Is 40.’ ‘Mike & Molly.’ Her third stint as host of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ You can add her latest film (out April 8) to the pile of mediocrity.”
Will Leitch, The New Republic:
“Which is why it’s baffling that Falcone — and, by extension, McCarthy — seems to fundamentally misunderstand her appeal. Falcone has directed his wife twice now, first in 2014’s ‘Tammy’ and now in this week’s ‘The Boss,’ and for reasons I wouldn’t dare attempt to psychologically analyze, he uses her in the worst possible way. (It is worth noting that McCarthy co-wrote both films with Falcone, who is also an actor; you might remember him as the very funny air marshal in ‘Bridesmaids.’) In both films, she is loud and grating and crass and nearly unbearable. She sucks the air out of every scene she’s in simply by walking into the room.”
Joe Dziemianowicz, The New York Daily News:
“‘The Boss’ doesn’t work. Melissa McCarthy stars in this half-baked and derivative comedy. The ‘Bridesmaids’ Oscar nominee can blame herself for the material — she helped write it — which may help explain why she’s in virtually every scene. At least that spares the rest of the cast from more embarrassing exposure.”
Roger Moore, Movie Nation:
“It happens to every big screen comic sooner or later. Eventually, some desperate director, working from a deathly-dull script, pleads into that comic’s ear, ‘Just get in front of the camera and DO something, SAY something, ANYTHING funny.’ And a whole movie, often an entire career, crashes down around his or her ears when the comic fires blanks. It’s happening to Kevin Hart, and sooner than he would have expected. And it happens to Melissa McCarthy in the catastrophic comic miscalculation titled ‘The Boss.'”
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune:
“People — millions of them, and I’m one of them — like McCarthy. They sympathize when her characters are down and nearly out, and they root for her when she’s up, although it’s a very close call when she’s inhabiting a flagrantly dislikable and strangely indistinct character such as this one. But ‘The Boss’ has zero finesse as a comedy.”
Matt Zoller Seitz, Roger Ebert:
“It is the worst kind of bad movie. This film about a disgraced businesswoman trying to reinvent herself isn’t actively, confidently, exuberantly bad, in a way that engages with you and forces you to react. It’s passively bad. It switches gears to no discernible purpose and has things happen that don’t constitute ‘events’ in any meaningful sense, and throughout its last hour it keeps jumping into your lap and demanding love without doing anything to earn it.”
Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times:
“The film’s only lingering, suspenseful question — why does Michelle always wear turtlenecks, even with her pajamas? Is she hiding a scary tattoo on her neck or something? — goes unanswered. Meanwhile, good performers such as Kathy Bates and Peter Dinklage flit across the screen without leaving a trace, and McCarthy’s trademark blend of chipper likability and treble-voiced rage just isn’t quite enough to carry things through.”
Colin Covert, Star Tribune:
“World-class gumption and an on-camera look that the pretty committee would applaud can’t save a poorly executed comedy whose essential elements are dirty words and falling down. After McCarthy’s rapturously funny work in ‘Spy,’ her pratfalls here seem like a reflection of the tangled plot threads tripping her. McCarthy’s go big or go home assertiveness suggests another option: Stay home and avoid ‘The Boss’ altogether.”
Michael Heaton, Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“‘The Boss‘ is a heartbreaking movie. Not because it’s a tear-jerking, three-hanky drama, but because it’s a very funny movie that is severely hampered by star Melissa McCarthy and her husband, co-writer and the movie’s director, Ben Falcone‘s need to go over-the-top tasteless and crude at almost every turn. This didn’t need to be an R-rated movie.”