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The Promotion Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    One of the unfunniest comedies ever. Punch lines are lifeless. Characters are borderline catatonic. Running gags can't even walk.

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  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The Promotion edges toward some pretty bleak stuff. Then it steps back and laughs, like an office slacker.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Then there's screenwriter Steve Conrad. He's interesting. He likes his protagonists to suffer a little en route to finding a better place, and not in the usual sitcomic ways.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    There are enough laughs to justify it being labeled as a comedy but a stronger storyline than one normally associates with this kind of film. It's an enjoyable diversion amidst the big guns of summer.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Mature satire has unexpected brains and heart.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while vulgar and blunt, this comedy -- which stars American Pie alum Seann William Scott -- actually has a surprising amount of heart and is a human-yet-hardened satire of modern corporate America. Much of the film is from the perspective of a character who years for a promotion that he's earned after years of demeaning and dangerous work; as the competition for the coveted position heats up, Doug has to come to terms with what he will -- and won't -- do to get ahead. Language is colorful and frequent (including "f--k" and "p---y"), and there's some drinking, drug use, and sexual content as well.

  • Families can talk about how movies and TV shows tend to portray the corporate world. Do you think that people really do unethical things to get ahead? What qualifies as "unethical"? Families can also discuss the movie's point, which is ultimately about doing (or, rather, trying to do) the right thing. Why is it sometimes hard to make the right choices? Is it ever OK to compromise what you believe in to succeed?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Extensive discussion of doing what it takes to get ahead; discussion of Canada's reputation for polite citizenry for comedic, exaggerated affect; some discussion of racial stereotypes. Some flatulence humor, and humor around people's reactions to flatulence humor. Some discussion of Latino laborers as a subculture within the store.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Mild comedic scuffling. A character is hit with a (plastic) bottle in the head; a supporting character is sprayed with pepper spray; a character is struck by a flung tater tot.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Kissing; sexual activity and language overheard through a thin apartment wall, references to homosexuality and auto-eroticism.

  • language false3

    Language: Fairly constant and inventive language, including "a--hole," "p---y," "s--t," "dick," "bastard," "f--k," "faggot," "titties," and "Jesus." Two uses of the word "negro" (used to mock the out-of-date and insensitive nature of the term).

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Since the film is set in a grocery store, many brands are visible; at the same time, only a few brands are mentioned by name as they figure into the plot, including "Tater Tots," "Yoo Hoo," and "Pepsi."

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette smoking; a character smokes marijuana twice, and alludes to a past as a drug and alcohol addict.