Very Bad Things

Critics Consensus

Mean-spirited and empty.

43%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

58%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 35,228
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Very Bad Things Photos

Movie Info

The only thing that Kyle Fisher wants is to marry the woman he loves, Laura Garrety. All Laura wants is the wedding of her dreams. But before Kyle staggers down the aisle with his beautiful, controlling bride, his buddies decide to give their friend one last night of freedom, male bonding and debauchery. Real estate hustler Boyd (Christian Slater); the battling Berkow brothers, Adam and Michael; and introvert mechanic Moore throw a Las Vegas bachelor party for Kyle that is a smashing success, with plenty of booze and drugs - and even a visit from a lithe young stripper. But accidents will happen...

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Cast

Cameron Diaz
as Laura Garrety
Jon Favreau
as Kyle Fisher
Leland Orser
as Charles Moore
Christian Slater
as Robert Boyd
Jeremy Piven
as Michael Berkow
Daniel Stern
as Adam Berkow
Jeanne Tripplehorn
as Lois Berkow
Joey Zimmerman
as Adam Berkow Jr.
Tyler Cole Malinger
as Timmy Berkow
Russell B. McKenzie
as Security Guard
Steve Fitchpatrick
as Cop at Hospital
Brian Grandison
as Doctor No. 1
John Cappon
as Doctor No. 2
Linda Klein
as Doctor No. 3
Bob Bancroft
as Barry Morris
Trey Davis
as Receptionist
Marilyn McIntyre
as Judge Tower
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News & Interviews for Very Bad Things

Critic Reviews for Very Bad Things

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (12)

  • Berg is so in love with his escalating shock tactics that they quickly cease to shock.

    May 11, 2001 | Rating: 2/5
  • ...hollow, simple-minded and about as profound an experience as stepping in a pile of road kill.

    Feb 14, 2001 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • It's extremely lousy material, but these guys make the most of it.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Paul Tatara

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • ...uneven but frequently funny...

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4
  • Berg ... brings wit, energy and a twisted kind of joy to a story that's little more than a tasteless anecdote.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • ...Berg's listless direction brings the film so little point of view that it doesn't much matter who lives or dies.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Very Bad Things

  • Aug 22, 2013
    Unjustifiably mean spirited and at times headache inducing, Peter Berg's Very Bad Things (1998) is a muddled and ill-conceived attempt at creating a cult black comedy without any funny ideas. We open with Kyle Fisher (John Favreau) a 30 something year old man waiting to be married to his fiancée Laura (Cameron Diaz). He sits alongside Charles Moore (the near silent Leland Orser) and together the pair reminisce the insane recent events that lead them to where they are now. We are then pulled back a few days and Kyle is set to leave on his bachelor party with friends Robert Boyd (Slater), brothers Adam and Michael Berkow (Daniel Stern and Jeremy Piven) and Leeland. From here on out things get undeniable messy; a swooping shot of a Casino table begins a montage of shouting, drinking, drug taking and bromantic babble, all shot with a constantly moving camera and distorted visual overlays jumping from one moment to the next. It's a merciless affair that thankfully ends relatively quickly with the arrival and consequent murder of a prostitute, setting of a dark chain of cover-up murders and madness. It's obvious from both the film's posters and on-screen who are the real stars are here. Slater's performance as the psychotically persuasive Boyd feels as if it could be the later iteration of his character from 1989's cult classic 'Heathers', and Cameron Diaz conveys her character's longing for marriage and subsequent madness in a convincingly annoying fashion. Other character's and performances here are less refined, as Berg to often relies on racial identity and for comedy; his constant stereotyping of Jews in particular grows tiresome quickly. VBT also falls apart when it comes to comedy senarios, with Berg constantly trying to present unfunny situations in a funny manner. Take, for example, the scene in which Boyd goes to set up a murder/suicide, it's undoubtedly the most dramatic point in the plot but for some reason Berg decides to turn it into a penis biting joke. Moments like this occur far to often and what feels like could have been an interesting deconstruction of the American Dream is lost among the chaos. Alongside it's bigger problems VBT suffers also from an overused and over-loud soundtrack, the always annoying shaky cam and a tone that darts between the serious and silly in an obnoxious fashion. If you asked Berg what exactly he was attempting in this film I'm sure he'd say it was a comment on voyeurism and the way people have become desensitized to violence so much that they can laugh at it, and I'm sure that may be the case, but only if it's funny.
    Cameron S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2012
    Really? No love for Very Bad Things? I still love the ending. Entirely unpredictable and very darkly funny.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2012
    Christian Slater single handedly saved this dreadful black comedy. All of the characters (Except for Cameron and Christian) were absolutely dull and annoying. It wasn't funny at all, just really loud mostly. Peter Berg should have gotten someone to read the script before allowing it to be used, geez. The amount of gore was surprisingly adequate. Never have bachelor party, ever. (If you really want to have one, do not to invite Jews)
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 07, 2011
    Boyd: The room is covered in blow; Moore looks like he went at it with a fuckin' mountain lion.  "They've been bad. Very bad." I really liked Very Bad Things for what it was. It's an over-the-top, ridiculous and savage dark, dark comedy. I can totally understand why a lot of people are easily turned off by this movie and don't find it funny at all. The movie is violent and probably would offend most people. I guess that's why I like it. It's not like any of this is actually happening. We all are taking this a little too seriously. I'm going to be the complete opposite of a Roger Ebert type. Ebert feels like movies have to have morals. He said of Very Bad Things that it isn't bad, just "reprehensible." That's why he and many others don't like it, but it is also why I do.  The laughs come from how completely serious the subject matter is. In no other movie would we be laughing at this. But I found myself laughing and I still don't know why. I'm guessing it's because of the over-the-top performances. The actors and director aren't taking this seriously, so why should I. It's pure entertainment and has nothing to say about morals. It throws them completely out the window and basically in my eyes says, "Fuck You" to anyone that doesn't like it.  At the end of the day, this is a movie. If we need to look to movies to show us the right way to live and to give us good fundamental moral characters to look up to; what is that saying about us. Now, I'm not saying that I don't like movies that show the correct way to live and the consequences of living wrongly, but I do like this movie for not being that way. It's something fresh. There are no heroes, just anti-heroes. Really there is no true comedy and that's why it's funny(I know that doesn't really make sense, but it's true). It's a well-made film and it's really entertaining. Slater, Favreau, Diaz, Piven, Stern and Orser all give ridiculous, but good performances. You may hate it, but I like it.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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