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Review Roundup: BAD WORDS Screams Into Theaters

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For his directorial debut, Jason Bateman abandons his loveably, sweet family-man persona in BAD WORDS. Based on Andrew Dodge's original screenplay, BAD WORDS chronicles a middle-aged man (Batemen) who dropped out of High School and decides to enter the National Quill Spelling Bee.

The movie stars Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn and Ben Falcone.

BAD WORDS cusses its way into theaters today.

Let's see what the critics had to say:

Manohla Dargis | New York Times

"One of the givens in BAD WORDS, a would-be gonzo comedy with a tough exterior and a marshmallow center, is that there's something funny about making children cry. Squeezing tears is a talent that Mr. Bateman's bullying 40-year-old, Guy Trilby, has perfected as the unwelcome participant and universally loathed champion in a national spelling bee where everyone else is decades younger." Read the full review here.

Betsy Sharkey | Los Angeles Times

"Sarcastic, sanctimonious, salacious, sly, slight and surprisingly sweet, the black comedy of BAD WORDS, starring and directed by Jason Bateman, is high-minded, foul-mouthed good nonsense." Read the full review here.

Claudia Puig | USA Today

"It's tough to summon sufficiently negative language to describe the unfunny, desperate mess that is BAD WORDS. Though aiming for dark comedy, the film lands in a listless, laugh-free zone." Read the full review here.

Peter Travers | Rolling Stone

"Forget all the usual feel-good sh*t they're shoveling at the multiplex. Bad Words, starring Jason Bateman in a tour de force of comic wickedness, takes sinful pleasure in rubbing our noses in the toxic joys of revenge." Read the full review here.

Kyle Smith | New York Post

"A young Jack Nicholson might have pulled this off, but Jason Bateman is not Jack Nicholson. Pity the actor who thinks he's edgier than he actually is." Read the full review here.

Justin Chang | Variety

"Essentially doing for one of America's great scholastic pastimes what "Bad Santa" did for Christmas cheer, this exuberantly foul-mouthed and mean-spirited comedy goes somewhat soft in the final stretch but remains an often uproarious model of sharp scripting and spirited acting, spelling vulgar-crowdpleaser status in theatrical and ancillary play." Read the full review here.

Jocelyn Noveck | Associated Press

"There are definitely moments that go too far. But if you know what you're getting into - an R-rated comedy about a (mostly) nasty guy - it's hard to imagine you won't find yourself helplessly "cachinnating" at some points." Read the full review here.

Owen Gleiberman | Entertainment Weekly

"So part of the hilarious shock of Bad Words, Bateman's directorial debut, is seeing him play a stone-cold misanthropic SOB, the type of man who will calmly tell you to get the hell out of his face, then toss in a gratuitous insult and really mean it, because he's on a mysterious angry mission." Read the full review here.

Did you see BAD WORDS this weekend? Add your review to the roundup in the comments below.

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