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Bad Teacher
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Bad Teacher More at IMDbPro »

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186 out of 279 people found the following review useful:

This is where we are as a culture

1/10
Author: Steve from United States
28 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

How many millions of dollars went into this which could have been used better in some other venture? Sour premise of a dope-smoking, opportunistic junior high school teacher who skates through her job, looking for a way to fund her breast augmentation job so she can land a rich boyfriend. Ends up committing several felonies & getting a stuffy but honest co-worker blamed for everything (including drug use on school grounds) while she wins the day. The redemption is her hooking up with an angry gym teacher when he proves the affluent guy she's sharking for is a shallow imbecile.

Now, I'm not the sort of person who demands a moral message in every piece of cinema, but really? Who is the target audience here? To whom are the filmmakers attempting to appeal? This is just vile.

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211 out of 359 people found the following review useful:

Bad Teacher ?? Maybe. Bad Film? Absolutely

1/10
Author: mmccord9126 from United States
30 June 2011

I know others will disagree with me, but this has got to be in the running for the pick for the Razzies this year. What a pathetic piece of crap. The storyline was boring and the jokes either over-the-top, or, worst, not even close to funny. It never fails to amaze me when really bad ideas not only get to be screenplays, but they actually wind up getting produced. And...Timberlake's character...what was he thinking when he took this role??? Yeah, Diaz is still a hot body and all, but even that couldn't save something so downright dumb. I won't bother with any spoilers; it's not worth the effort. Save your money. This one will simply insult your intelligence. I would give it a minus one if I could.

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126 out of 208 people found the following review useful:

Let's hope they paid the actors more than the writers.....

7/10
Author: diac228 (diac1987@netscape.net) from Orlando, Florida
24 June 2011

Bad Teacher is a great concept that resulted in a style of humor like most of the Adult Swim cartoons you see today: When the jokes hit they hit well, but when they miss, they miss quite badly. The cast was delightful, but could only go so far with the material. As a matter of fact, it was the cast that saved the movie from being a total disaster by providing their comedic chops, their charm, and their good comic timing that you don't see enough of nowadays. Despite all that however, Bad teacher is a shiny apple with a few rotten parts.

Elizabeth Hasley (Cameron Diaz) is a foul-mouthed, bitter, and quite nasty teacher that is keeping the job only to pay the bills after her rich fiancée dumps her. Facing debt, aging, and loneliness, Elizabeth starts setting her sights on a boob job and on a new (rich) teacher (Justin Timberlake), whom has also captured the attention of a manipulative rival (Lucy Punch). The script was helmed by two veteran writers of The Office (Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg) as they use their non-television ratings boundaries to mix plenty of vulgar and raunchy humor with even some tidbits of cruel humor. Unfortunately, their lack of boundaries led to a mediocre script.

This film's biggest falters come in the form of the script. Despite the promise in the premise and the cast involved, the script was convoluted, and didn't have much structure until the second half. As a matter of fact, the film switches up the pace very unexpectedly when the next act approaches. Pretty much almost all the crude and vulgar humor failed to draw laughs, with one notable exception involving one of the odder "sex" scenes in recent memory. The movie was a great idea not exactly explored upon, and was full of smaller ideas that were not utilized. Many good smaller characters did not get enough time in the script; most notably the students, the gym teacher (Jason Segal) and the main character's roommate (Erik Stonestreet).

Despite the writing being a fickle mess, the cast was superb, from the small roles to the big ones. Cameron Diaz I can honestly say is one of the most underrated talents in Hollywood, because she rarely ever delivers a mediocre or weak performance. She has this aura, this energy that can save the worst of films (See: What Happens in Vegas) and it is no different here. Despite her smoking/drinking/vulgar/manipulative/cynical/cruel/superficial ways, we still secretly root for her to succeed in reaching her goal. Very few actresses can pull off this type of charm.

Lucy Punch, despite having a bit of questionable material, delivers as Diaz's rival. Jason Segal could have helped the movie a lot more if he was in it more often, as he delivered the laughs every time he was on-screen with his wit, sarcasm, and I-don't-care attitude. Television staples Phyllis Smith and Erik Stonestreet were hilarious in the far-too-few moments they were on-screen. The movie does indeed have its laughs, but the potential was so much greater considering all the talented actors involved.

Jake Kasdan as a director doesn't have much of a resume, but he does have the comedic chops and timing, and he proved this with the underrated Walk Hard. With Bad Teacher, he did not have as much good material to work with but could have still helped the movie if he had tightened the first third of the movie better. There was a lot more unnecessary fluff in the first half of the movie compared to the second half. Smaller plot lines were never resolved, certain jokes literally fell off without a punchline, and certain situations were brought up but never explored. Many concepts were also never explored: especially that of how shallow and shady we all become towards each other in the workforce.

Bottom Line: Bad Teacher was a great idea, poorly executed, but relentlessly saved by the energetic cast. This movie could have mixed the dark charm of Bad Santa with the subtle workforce ridiculousness humor of Office Space to become something very, very special. But neither style of humor was dwelled upon deep enough. The first half had its laughs, but was far too convoluted and was salvaged mainly because of the hilarity of Cameron Diaz. The movie definitely picks up later, but by then its too late, the potential was wasted. Either way, you will certainly laugh, you will remain entertained, but will also be bothered by what it could have been.

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75 out of 112 people found the following review useful:

Funnier than the reviews

7/10
Author: darklydreamingrahu from United States
6 August 2011

Bad Teacher is funny in ways it shouldn't be. Cameron Diaz owns the role of Elizabeth as the foul-mouthed, pot smoking, trashy blonde teacher with a twisted outlook on life. Obscenities and bizarre sexual innuendo roll off her tongue perfectly. Justin Timberlake is hilarious and awkward as Scott. His character is complex and....well he's just awkward....there's no other way to describe it. Lucy Punch is the perfect counterpart to both Diaz and Timberlake's characters as Amy Squirrel. Her over-the-top performance is one you will remember. Jason Segel steals every scene he's in as Russell the equally foul mouthed and dirty gym teacher. Phyllis Smith is an adorable and strange addition to the movie as the confused Lynn Davis, bringing her own brand of corkiness to the plot. All in all, the casting of Bad Teacher is flawless and is really where the movie shines. The punchlines are delivered with punch and the characters are decently developed and complex in their own ways.

There are some setbacks to Bad Teacher which stop it from being a great comedy. The plot devices used to move the story along are unconvincing and overplayed. Character transformations are equally unconvincing, uninspired, and rushed. Some scenes feel forced for the sake of cheap laughs or shock value. None of it though is shocking enough for this to be an effective method of comedy. Sometimes the characters feel a bit too weird even for the universe of strange the movie sets early on. Jason Segel's Russell is the most interesting character in the movie and yet for some reason is greatly underused. He pops up in pointless scenes simply to interject a laugh and then disappears for long stretches of time.

Bad Teacher is a funny movie. The critics have not been so generous with their reviews, but who listens to them anymore anyways? If you are into dark comedies or a raunchy brand of humor, you will find yourself laughing with this one. While the plot devices are forced and some of the humor could have been better with a more subtle approach, overall this is a decent flick to chill out on the couch and laugh with. 7/10

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84 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

Execrable

1/10
Author: evening1 from United States
9 July 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

What was the point of this movie? Cameron Diaz has been in some great stuff. Why would she humiliate herself with this pathetic script? Perhaps she liked the idea of showing off her body for an hour and a half. Because she is exceptionally hammy here in that respect.

Every single character in this movie is unlikeable, with perhaps the exception of the school superintendent, who occupies about three minutes of screen time. Diaz plays an obnoxious character who uses and abuses others, children foremost among them. Jason Timberlake starts out being a refreshing contrast to Diaz, but after awhile he's as unpleasant as all the rest.

The plot is exceptionally poorly constructed. We're supposed to care about how a psychopath drums up the $9,000 necessary for breast implants? Admittedly, I'm older than the target audience of this film. I admit I felt a bit of justice when the acne-faced teacher (unfunnily named Squirrel) caught Diaz at her game. But the plot disappoints again when Diaz out-cons everyone anew. The unlikely ending seems as if it were slapped on because the writer couldn't think of any other way to release the audience from its misery.

This movie is pure detritus and I'm really sorry my family wasted $38.50 (including food) to see it.

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37 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Not a perfect movie, but much better than some reviews suggest.

8/10
Author: xyz72 from Germany
6 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let's face it, the reason many people call Bad Teacher the "worst movie ever shot" is not rational, it doesn't have to do with the movie itself in any way. From the reviews I have read on here the main problem seems to be the moral values in this film leading many "oh so shocked" viewers to give bad reviews, question people's sanity for producing this movie and hate everything about it - whether they admit it's the reason they dislike it or pretend to hate everything about an objectively well crafted film. But this movie is not supposed to teach anyone life lessons, it's not supposed to have some big, moral message about how to live your life in a good way. This is a film for adults. And films for adults do not have to follow certain morals because an adult is expected to judge morals on their own without needing guidelines. An adult can enjoy movies with main characters doing things they would never find acceptable because it's not about agreeing with the character's actions.

Normally, I would rate this film 6 stars, but I rated it 8 to keep some of the irrational reviews on here from bringing the score down too far. It has solid jokes, a mostly good cast, OK direction but also some really bad moments and the main character goes completely out of character towards the end to achieve the usual Hollywood "we need a kiss! FAST!!!" Happy Ending, but overall a good comedy I would watch again with a great performance from Cameron Diaz.

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26 out of 41 people found the following review useful:

mildly amoral, refreshingly different.

Author: RetroRick from United Kingdom
7 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Am reviewing this to counter-balance the far too many negative reviews out there. This is a funny, not hilarious, but funny and sometimes cruel film about a bad teacher, who is funny because she is bad. Just like bad santa she isn't being held up an examplar for teaching or a role-model for young women (actually I'm not too sure about that). What she is is an anti-dote to the righteous, touchy-feely, moralising lesson preaching,heart-in-the-right-place films that normally dominate this genre, or at least do whenever there is a female in the lead. God knows the world would suffer if every film was like this, but a little bit of gentle cynicism is good thing in a world that is full of fraudulent fictional xmas cheer. Spoiler: As for the sensitive little boy not getting the girl, isn't about time that movies stopped lying to teenage boys that being nice & sensitive will get you laid.

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58 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

For a comedy, its woefully short on laughs

4/10
Author: galahadfairlight from United Kingdom
18 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was looking forward to this one, from the trailer it looked like a lot of fun, almost a Bad Santa but in the classroom.

That comparison is unfair to Bad Santa.

With a couple of exceptions, this movie is another case of everything thats funny was shown in the trailer.

Considering me and the missus watched Hangover Part II a couple of weeks ago, we were laughing every minute with that one, but in Bad Teacher, just massive expanses of silence.

The character of Miss Squirrel got wearing quite quickly, and generally the movie only lit up when Jason Segel came on screen, at least his small part was consistently funny.

Diaz would have been much better served by a wittier script, instead the director was happy just to have her swear a lot instead, which again, wears out its welcome.

All in all, this is a movie I really wanted to like, but found myself simply tolerating.

I regret paying a small fortune to see it at the theatre, and I certainly wouldn't recommend buying it on DVD or Bluray, whats the point of buying something you'll only scrape through once?

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11 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

One of the worst movies I've seen since long

1/10
Author: Andreas Rittwage (razitar) from Sweden
30 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wanted to watch this movie because I got the impression that it could be a new kind of "High School Rock" or something similar. Simply a "bad" teacher who discovers that she really wants to do something good for her students and actually helps them in getting good grades and self-esteem. But unfortunately, there is NOTHING of that in that movie!

I don't even know how to begin my review of how bad this movie is. The only good thing about it is the cast: Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, Jason Segal, Lucy Punch, Phyllis Smith... This movie almost SCREAMS for wanting to be a big funny comedy! The cast, including Diaz, is doing an amazing job fitting their roles. Especially Timberlake, who is showing a rather odd kind of roll as the hot hipster new age idiot. But nonetheless, all their effort doesn't save this movie from falling on its knees.

Because this movie gets nothing right. The jokes are harsh, nasty, dirty and political incorrect. Some may find them interesting and funny because of that fact. I just find them typically MTV-generation bad. The story and the pace in which the film develops are horrible too! It starts out by introducing how "bad" of a teacher Diaz is. She clearly shows that she has no interest in her students and their future, lets them watch only movies each day and forces them to do national tests without them having learned anything. And when the students fail (of course), she yells and threatens them to do a better job. And what's more, because threats don't work either, she lets them stand in line at the gymnasium and throws basketballs at each kids face if the kid doesn't answer correctly to one of her questions. Seriously?? What is this movie telling us? That the education system in the US is messed up or that you can teach students better with corporal punishment? All that attitude is so unrealistic, you wonder how she got her teachers' license in the first place.

But sadly, Diaz is never getting away from her attitude. She is never really growing or changing in that movie. She sleeps, drinks, smokes, steals, takes drugs, is violent, cynical, lies and betrays all people around her. And gets always away with it. Right from the beginning of the movie until the end. What's worse, she even gets a colleague of hers to be forced to move to another school AND gets the guy in the end who was chasing her through the movie the entire time. Wonder what he sees in her?

There are only two scenes in the movie where you think that Diaz finally will change, or at least show her "real" nice self. The first one is when she is smoking pod in her car and one of her students is giving her home baked cookies. For the brink of a second, Diaz is softening up and gives her student the advice to loosen up a little ("stop acting like you're racing for congress"). But she immediately finishes with "You're hopeless, kid." The other scene is after one of the boys in her class openly confesses his love to his crush, gets rejected and runs away in his misery. Diaz chases him, and when they finally sit down to talk about what happened, she repeats herself: "I told you so many times, a guy like you will NEVER get a girl like her. Take that ugly hat off your face!"

I became so frustrated by those small moments when it seems like Diaz finally will show us her nice self, only to prove once more what kind of a sad and mean psycho she really is. This movie gives you nothing and is not rewarding to watch in any way. You will get no interesting story, no plot twists, no philosophical depth, no moral message, no happy ending. It's really one of these movies where you have to ask yourself how the script got past the producing rights in the first place. I can simply not recommend this movie to anyone.

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19 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Not much of a comedy

3/10
Author: Floated2
18 December 2012

Bad Teacher is one of those comedies that terribly misjudges the reverse appeal of its central character. Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth, a middle-school teacher who's only serving time until marriage releases her from the necessity of doing anything but pamper herself. Then her fiancé breaks up with her and she has to begin her seduction scheme all over again, getting a fake-boob job and making contact with colleague (Justin Timberlake). Lucy Punch plays a bright-spark teacher who becomes her rival. What the film fails to see is that Elizabeth's not "bad" in a funny way – she's venal, grasping, rude, lazy and ignorant. Loathsome, in fact, and not funny. Jake Kasdan, once a promising director, doesn't have a clue how to make it work. The trailers have made the film seem it was more comedy oriented.

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