I like Jonah Hill in both his goofball movies like “Superbad” and in “Moneyball,” where, playing a baseball stats whiz-kid, he proved he could act in something that didn’t require the display of bodily functions. In “The Sitter,” directed by David Gordon Green, he’s trying to sustain his acting chops in a vehicle undeserving of them.
He plays Noah, a reluctant baby sitter who ends up ferrying his three charges on a comically nightmarish night on the town. Nine-year-old Blithe (Landry Bender) is a foul-mouthed would-be debutante; Slater (Max Records) is a pill-popping 13-year-old with unspecified anxiety disorders; Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) is a foster child from Mexico who carries cherry bombs in his pants and likes to blow things up.
Since one of Noah’s nighttime missions is to score some cocaine to impress a potential girlfriend (Ari Graynor), there’s also much drug humor, or lack of, as well as the usual parade of scatological and politically incorrect jests. It’s one thing, I suppose, to feature this stuff with teens or adults in the cast, but having a 9-year-old girl along for the ride is especially noxious. Sit this one out. Grade: D+ (Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, and some violence.)