Jason Bateman's directorial debut Bad Words has received glowing reviews ahead of its full U.S. release on March 28, 2014. Bateman plays Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition.

Jason Bateman Bad WordsJason Bateman as Guy Trilby in 'Bad Words'

Guy ruthlessly crushes the dreams of 8th graders and their ambitious parents, though a reporter - played by We're the Millers' Kathryn Hahn - attempts to discover his true motivation and an awkward 10-year-old proves to be his match.

"At heart, Bad Words is a nice little concoction about a fellow walking around with a deep emotional wound, who heals it, not by confronting the source of his troubles, but by healing a similar wound in someone else," said Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Bateman, who's so often the put-upon straight man, really stretches himself here. His deadpan delivery works just as well in the role of a wicked antihero as it does when he plays Michael Bluth in "Arrested Development."" wrote Stephanie Merry at the Washington Post.

Bad WordsJason Bateman Celebrates Spelling Bee Victory in 'Bad Words'

"The film is at its best when it's hovering aimlessly without any apparent purpose in the world of this embittered, misanthropic little man," said Bilge Ebiry of Vulture.

"Sarcastic, sanctimonious, salacious, sly, slight and surprisingly sweet, the black comedy of "Bad Words," starring and directed by Jason Bateman, is high-minded, foul-mouthed good nonsense," wrote Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times. 

The screenplay for Bad Words, written by Andrew Dodge, made The Black List in 2011. Dodge is currently working on a comedy about a man passing himself off as a real leprechaun, starring Peter Dinklage.

More: see pictures from Bad Words

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Watch the Bad Words red-band trailer: