Bad Teacher

Rated 4.0

For Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz), teaching isn’t a profession, it’s a holding pattern until Daddy Warbucks shows up and makes the sun come up for her. Ain’t happening fast enough, so she sets her sights on a moneyed substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake) while the schlumpy gym coach (Jason Segel) sighs in the background. Unfortunately for her scheme, a matrimonial cockblock pops up in the form of overachieving rival, fellow teacher Miss Squirrel (Lucy Punch), and a slow-burn duel flares up as they whip out the claws and circle each other in the hallway. And while it’s Diaz’s show (she’s on fire here, with some deft work that grounds Halsey with a charm to make her otherwise near-sociopathic character palatable), the supporting cast members have been given plenty of room to work their character chops. With a lesser cast, this material might have failed dismally, but all in all they work well here as an ensemble. Cinemark 14 and Feather River Cinemas. Rated R