Extract (film)

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Theatrical poster
Directed by Mike Judge
Produced by Mike Judge
John Altschuler
Mike Rotenberg
Glenn Lucas
Written by Mike Judge
Starring Jason Bateman
Mila Kunis
Kristen Wiig
Ben Affleck
J. K. Simmons
Clifton Collins, Jr.
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Julia Wong
Distributed by Miramax Films
Release dates
  • September 4, 2009 (2009-09-04)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $8 million
Box office $10,848,783

Extract is a 2009 American comedy film written and directed by Mike Judge. The film stars Jason Bateman, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Dustin Milligan, J. K. Simmons, and Ben Affleck. This was said to be Judge's companion piece to his cult-classic Office Space. Judge also makes an uncredited appearance as 'Jim', a union organizer.


Joel Reynolds is the owner and founder of Reynold's Extract, a flavoring-extracts company. Although his business is successful, his marriage is now completely sexless. His best friend Dean, a bartender and pothead, offers to ease his mind with Xanax and various other drugs, but the straight-laced Joel refuses.

One day, a series of mishaps occurs at the extract factory, resulting in an employee (Step) losing a testicle. Cindy, a con artist and drifter, reads a news story about the accident. Hatching a get-rich-quick scheme, she gets a temporary job at the factory, flirting with Joel in order to manipulate him into giving her more information about Step. She also begins a series of petty thefts from her co-workers, who suspect or openly accuse each other of the thefts. Although Step initially decides not to sue the company, he changes his mind after a "chance meeting" with Cindy (that she sets up in order to meet and flirt with him). Under Cindy's influence, Step hires ambulance-chaser attorney, Joe Adler.

Joel, unhappy in his marriage and mistaking Cindy's manipulations for genuine attraction to him, entertains the idea of an affair with Cindy; however, he still loves Suzie, and wants to avoid actions that would leave him with regrets later. At the bar, Dean suggests that Joel hire a gigolo to seduce Joel's wife, so that Joel can then have a guilt-free affair of his own (as "revenge" for his wife cheating on him, first). Joel initially balks at the idea; but, after his judgment is impaired after ingesting a ketamine tablet that Dean mistakenly told him was just a Xanax, Joel eventually agrees. The friends hire Brad to seduce Suzie into an affair, while posing as the pool cleaner. The next morning, Joel sobers up, realizes what he has done, and tries to stop Brad from going to his house; but by then, Brad and Suzie have already begun an affair. Things backfire further, as Brad falls in love with Suzie and wants to run away with her. After smoking marijuana with Dean and his friend Willie, Joel attempts to call Cindy, but soon realizes that he is calling Willie's number. Just then, Cindy walks into the apartment. Willie realizes that Joel is trying to get with Cindy [who lives with Willie—they're lovers], and, infuriated, punches Joel in the face.

Joel meets with Adler and his associates, in the factory office, to discuss the terms of the settlement. The workers, believing that the meeting is about a buy-out of the factory by General Mills, organize a strike. Frustrated by Adler's uncompromising negotiating style and the growing disrespect from his employees, Joel storms out and goes home—where Suzie admits her affair with Brad to him. Joel admits to Suzie that he hired Brad to do it, then leaves the house after their annoying, overly-talkative neighbor Nathan appears at their door.

Joel moves into a motel, where he spots Cindy, staying in another room. When he goes to her room, he notices a purse stolen from one of his employees, along with other stolen items, and realizes that Cindy is not only a thief, but is also behind a lot of the company's problems. He begins to leave and call the police, but softens when Cindy confronts him and breaks down in tears. Ultimately, the two spend the night together. The next morning, Cindy disappears, but leaves the stolen items behind.

Step meets with Joel at the factory, where he offers to drop the lawsuit if Joel promotes him to floor manager. Meanwhile, while cleaning the pool herself, Nathan stops by and Suzie loses her temper. She tells him what she really thinks of him, and just as she finishes her tirade, he collapses and dies. Feeling guilty, Suzie attends the funeral, where she runs into Joel. After a few awkward moments, the two agree to share a ride later, hinting at a possible reconciliation. It is revealed that Cindy has scammed Adler, too: she steals his luxury car, leaving him Step's truck in its place.




Filming began on August 25, 2008 in Los Angeles.[1] Shortly after completing the film Office Space director Mike Judge was already about 40 pages into his follow-up script, set in the world of an extract factory, when he was convinced by his representative team that he needed to shelve that and concentrate on something more commercial. "The only idea that I had that anyone was interested in was what eventually became Idiocracy", says Judge. Over the next several years he focused his energy on developing Idiocracy. But years later, by the time of the film’s release, audiences had decided that Office Space had struck a chord, and they were ready to see Judge return to on-the-job humor and thus the Extract script was given new life.[2]

Seeking to keep Extract below the radar of the studio system, Judge and his producers set up a production company, Ternion Productions, and arranged private financing—while partnering with Miramax for domestic distribution of the film. Judge relied heavily on his own personal knowledge of the industrial world to bring the story to life. “I actually worked in a factory a little bit myself,” the director stated. “I hopefully write stuff that is recognizable as the archetypes of this world.” Keeping true to this baseline of reality, "Extract" was shot in a working factory, in this case a water bottling plant south of Los Angeles, in the City of Commerce.[2] Judge took the authenticity one step further by using the plant’s employees as extras in the scenes’ backgrounds. “Those people were actually running, doing some bottling while we were shooting. There were people working on machines that were so loud in there they couldn’t hear anyone call ‘action’ or ‘cut.’ They were just doing their job.” Shooting on the factory set led Judge to some epiphanies about what made the story resonate for him: “Office Space was told from the point of view of the employees looking up at management as the ‘bad guys’. This is told from the point of view of the owner of the place and the workers are the big pain in the butt to him. I think partly it was inspired by that point in my life where I suddenly had a large number of people working for me and realizing you can’t be a ‘cool guy boss’. It just doesn’t work. So this is my more sympathetic take on the boss.”[2]


Leading up to the film's release, Affleck went on a promotional tour of various cities, starting in Vancouver, Washington, on August 20, 2009, and ending in Los Angeles on September 14, 2009.

In effort to promote the film, Judge released a promotional short which featured his characters Beavis and Butt-head who summarize, and critique, the events depicted in the film.


Critical response[edit]

Extract earned a 63% "fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes, based on 179 reviews. The consensus was "Extract has some very funny moments and several fine performances, but the film feels slighter and more uneven than Mike Judge's previous work."[3]

Dan Zak of the Washington Post, called it "the most disappointing American comedy of the decade".[4] On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune called it "the funniest American comedy of the summer".[5]

Box office[edit]

Extract made $4.3 million during its opening weekend and $7.1 million in its first week of release, with a total worldwide gross of $10,848,783.[6]

Home media[edit]

Extract was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on December 22, 2009.


  1. ^ Jaafar, Ali (August 7, 2008). "Content takes on Judge’s 'Extract'". Variety. Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Nasson, Tim (August 13, 2009). "Extract-Behind the Scenes". wildaboutmovies.com. Retrieved 2010-07-23. 
  3. ^ "Extract (2009)". RottenTomatoes.com. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ Zak, Dan (September 4, 2009). "'Extract': Sadly, It's Dumb and Dumber". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  5. ^ Phillips, Michael (September 4, 2009). "'Extract' – 3½ stars". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  6. ^ Extract. Box Office Mojo.

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