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Bad Words (2013)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  28 March 2014 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 34,507 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 113 user | 121 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.



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2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pete Fowler
Proctor at Spelling Bee
Bedazzled Judge
Gwen Parden ...
Brace Faced Girl
Sriram Chopra
Bald Glasses Judge
Bill Murhoff
Braden Aftergood
Ling Quan


An adult, who has been a school dropout, finds a loophole in the regulations and participates in the largest spelling bee in the USA, The Golden Quill. His aim is to take revenge for something done to him in the past. Written by Sophia Canoni

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The end justifies the mean.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude and sexual content, language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 March 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Juegos de palabras  »

Box Office


$9,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$113,301 (USA) (14 March 2014)


$7,764,027 (USA) (16 May 2014)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Steve Witting plays the spelling bee proctor. He portrayed Jason Bateman's friend in "The Hogan Family". See more »


During the diner scene with Chia and Guy, when the mother comes to talk to Guy, Chia is sitting with his back against the seat, the camera angle changes and shows Chia then sitting forward with the menu in his hand. The camera angle changes again, and Chia is sitting back against the seat again with no menu. Once again, the angle changes and Chia is sitting forward again with the menu in his hand again. See more »


Chaitanya Chopra: This soda pop is so delicious.
Guy Trilby: I'd just say soda, otherwise you're gonna get raped.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Sabotage/Noah/God's Not Dead (2014) See more »


Holiday Dreams
Written by Hans Kia and Tony Tape
Courtesy of APM Music
See more »

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User Reviews

Not 'Bad'
11 November 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

With a premise and character right in his wheelhouse, first time director and star Jason Bateman takes a script that could've been undermined by its clichés in the hands of a lesser talent and delivers an almost-winner with 'Bad Words'.

On paper, Guy Trilby is one of the most unlikeable protagonists in recent film history, but Bateman is so skillful at these kinds of characters that you find yourself liking him despite your self. Talented co-star Kathryn Hahn provides a nice foil, and newcomer Rohan Chand is a dazzling breath of unpretentious fresh air as Guy's rival and eventual protégé.

Though it never quite gels into something special, 'Bad Words' is a solid directorial debut for Bateman, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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