Movie Review: No one wins in the crappy suburban satire The House

Now and then, a studio grossly misjudges a movie by opting not to screen it for critics. But most of the time, they are sadly right; the film sucks, the studio knows it, and the last thing they want is a second opinion to rip into their already modest box office projections. Such is the case with The House, a creaky and crappy comedy that stars Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as a suburban couple who set up an illegal casino and become small-time, Scorsese-inspired mobsters to pay their daughter’s college tuition. Whatever satirical intent the script might have (and it clearly has some) immediately surrenders to the lackadaisical, incoherent direction of Andrew Jay Cohen, a screenwriter (Neighbors, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) making his feature directing debut. The pace is hectic, but the jokes just aren’t there.

Ferrell and Poehler’s characters, Scott and Kate Johansen, are clingy …

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