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The Boss (2016)

R | | Comedy | 8 April 2016 (USA)
2:46 | Trailer

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A titan of industry is sent to prison after she's caught insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America's latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget.


Ben Falcone
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melissa McCarthy ... Michelle Darnell
Kristen Bell ... Claire
Peter Dinklage ... Renault
Ella Anderson ... Rachel
Tyler Labine ... Mike Beals
Kathy Bates ... Ida Marquette
Cecily Strong ... Dana Dandridge
Mary Sohn Mary Sohn ... Jan Keller
Kristen Schaal ... Scout Leader Sandy
Eva Peterson ... Chrystal
Timothy Simons ... Stephan (as Tim Simons)
Aleandra Newcomb ... Mariana
Annie Mumolo ... Helen
Presley Coley ... Hannah
Dax Shepard ... Kyle (as Dax Shephard)


The story follows Michelle Darnell, a titan of industry who is sent to prison for insider trading, denounced by her former lover, Renault, who still holds a heavy grudge towards her for their breakup, after getting a promotion a few years ago. After doing her time, Michelle emerges, ready to re-brand herself as America's latest sweetheart, but not everyone she steamrolled is not so quick to forgive and forget. With nowhere to go and no one to scam, Michelle is forced to move in with former assistant Claire and her young daughter, Rachel. Now at her lowest point, Michelle wastes no time in devising a winner-take-all plan to rebuild her empire..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

8 April 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Michelle Darnell See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »


Box Office


$29,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,586,645, 10 April 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$63,034,755, 12 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ben Falcone's real-life parents appear briefly in the fight scene, they're seen as neighbors slamming their door. See more »


Several times throughout the movie it is referred that Michelle is a "parolee". She was investigated by the SEC and would have been convicted in federal court then imprisoned with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She would not have been on "parole" upon release. The Federal government abolished parole in 1987 with the Sentencing Reform Act. See more »


Michelle Darnell: Pity's all you've got. Pity's your best friend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Out-takes are shown during the closing credits. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Melissa McCarthy/Kanye West (2016) See more »


Throw It on Me
Written by Timbaland (as Timothy Mosley), David Cortopassi, Timothy Clayton, Nicholaus Arson (as Randy Fitzsimmons)
Performed by Timbaland (as Timbaland) feat. The Hives
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

The comic timing is disastrously unpolished.

After consistently being rejected by potential adoptive families during her childhood at the Blessed Sisters of Merry orphanage, Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) grows up to become a highly successful, but hardened and cynical, businesswoman. Placing profits above notions of friends and family, Darnell betrays her mentor Ida (Kathy Bates), her lover Renault (Peter Dinklage), and her loyal assistant Claire (Kristen Bell). When the industry titan is arrested for insider trading, her company is usurped by Renault and all of her possessions are sold off, leaving her destitute when she's released from prison four months later. Arriving on Claire's doorstep, Michelle convinces her former employee to let her stay until she's able to bounce back. With Claire and her daughter Rachel's (Ella Anderson) help, Michelle must attempt to reclaim her empire – and overcome her own contentious nature.

Starting off as a celebrity motivational speaker, complete with rap stars, dancers, and pyrotechnics, Michelle is anything but the typical Wall Street hotshot. So it's particularly baffling that the movie would retain the name "The Boss," a moniker never actually applied to McCarthy's character in any manner fittingly representative of the filthy-rich, mobster-type persona depicted on the theatrical poster art. Whatever the title was intended to mean, it gets utterly lost amidst a series of incoherent, spontaneous modifications for the leading role, which shifts around so much it's as if she's depicting multiple personalities. When the story diverges into a Girl Scouts cookie/brownie-selling rivalry and showdown, Michelle's former multimillions CEO status becomes virtually blotted out.

The very first verbal gag, which is a derivation of the "Who's on First" routine first popularized by Abbott and Costello, descends into blathering babble, as if half a joke was written and then dropped. This gives way to a series of conversations that all fall comparably flat - perhaps setting some sort of record for the most number of completely unfunny blabbers spouted out in a row, gruelingly unable to land a genuine punchline. The exchanges are painfully spewed, as if the actors were laboring through their dialogue while fending off boos from a live improv crowd. Even the slapstick, which generally capitalizes on the easy target of McCarthy's weight, struggles to find its footing.

"You've got no capital and nobody likes you!" The plot comes together discordantly, with flashbacks and transitions so ineffective they appear as if pilfered from different films. The basic ideas are hastily and sloppily sewn together from a smattering of varying works - undoubtedly pulling from rejected subplots from other Ben Falcone/Melissa McCarthy scripts. Is Darnell trying to regain her business acumen? Is she trying to display an emotional or maternal side? Is she trying to save her employee-turned-partner from the monotony of life as a single mom in a dead-end job? Is she trying to redeem herself from a career of backstabbing and deceit? Is she trying to find a suitable man for Claire?

As each wholly incompatible predicament arises, the calculations and the resolutions either carry on too long or cut off too soon. The comic timing is disastrously unpolished. And the villain is another strong example of how incautiously the storyline is concocted - he's a bitter ex-lover, a rival businessperson, an extreme eccentric, and a samurai enthusiast all rolled into one, proving to be more of a cartoon character than a believable human being. When deadly conflict (something that should have never appeared in this kind of project) transforms into reconciliation with a couple of quick jokes, it's clear that nothing about "The Boss" was well thought out or approached with common sensibility (especially when the money to buy bags, stickers, ribbons, berets, and all the brownie ingredients is totally ignored). But, more unforgivable than the lack of substance, is the fact that so many of Michelle's misadventures are just plain humorless.

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