[Screen It]


(1996) (Tom Cruise, Renee Zellweger) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Heavy None Moderate Minor *Minor
Mild None None None Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Mild Mild Minor Mild

Drama: A sports agent is fired and works to keep both his one remaining client and new girlfriend happy.
Jerry Maguire (TOM CRUISE) is a 35-year-old hot sports agent for Sports Management International and has 72 clients. He's not happy, however, with the impersonal relationships he has with them and thus writes his "mission statement" titled "The Things We Think and Do Not Say: The Future of Our Business." His associates like it, but he's fired by the management. He races to contact all of his clients and have them leave SMI, but his former protégé, Bob Sugar (JAY MOHR), steals away all but Rod Tidwell (CUBA GOODING JR.), a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals. And the only associate who leaves with him is Dorothy Boyd (RENEE ZELLWEGER), a single mother looking for something new in her life. They immediately bond both professionally and romantically, which is a good thing since Jerry's fiancé, Avery (KELLY PRESTON), has left him after his fall from the ranks of the rich and famous. Jerry is also drawn to Dorothy's son, Ray (JONATHAN LIPNICKI), and soon he and Dorothy become involved. But Jerry's future rides on renegotiating Tidwell's contract and during this time he learns that it's best to work from the heart as well as from the head in both his professional and personal life.
Older kids might be drawn to this, as will Cruise fans. Younger children, however, will have no interest in this film.
For language and sexuality.
  • TOM CRUISE plays a smooth talking, hard-working sports agent who suddenly finds himself with only one client. He has a good work ethic and finally learns to balance that with his social life. He does sleep with his employee.
  • RENEE ZELLWEGER plays the single mom who wants something more out of life and thus quits her job and follows Maguire into his own business. She does sleep with him in the process.
  • CUBA GOODING JR. plays an egocentric football player who's developed a bad attitude toward the game, but who comes around by the end of the film.


    OUR TAKE: 8 out of 10
    This is one of the better films of 1996 and is sure to bring a smile to nearly everyone who sees it. The performances are outstanding from Gooding, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, to Zellweger (in her first big role) who should have been nominated as well. Cruise easily delivers the best performance of his career, balancing the big ego hustler we've grown used to him playing, with a more fragile man underneath. But the person who steals the movie is little Jonathan Lipnicki who plays Dorothy's precious son. With his bug-eyed gaze and spiked hair, he dominates every scene he's in and is a joy to watch. The writing and directing are superb and the pacing works very well. The movie has a little of something for everyone, so those looking for comedy, romance, sports or a movie with a message need look no further. We give this film a big 8 out of 10.
    This film has some material that you may want to keep your children away from. Profanity is extreme with 19 "f" words being used. Sexual content is heavy with one explicit scene (with movement, sounds and some nudity) that includes an offer for later exhibitionist lesbianism. The two leads sleep together and although there is no nudity, there is one rather sensual kissing scene. Also, there are several views of bare athletes' butts in locker rooms. Marijuana is smoked in one scene and Cruise is drunk in another. Violence is pretty much limited to Cruise's fiancé hitting him, and some on field football related hitting and rough tackling. We suggest, as always, that you read the category listings to determine if this movie is appropriate for you and your family.

  • A woman drinks several glasses of champagne while talking with Jerry.
  • People drink beer at a bachelor party.
  • Sugar drinks a beer.
  • To steal away Jerry's clients, Sugar implies that Jerry's recent behavior may have been drug induced (it wasn't).
  • A college player's father drinks beer.
  • Sugar drinks whiskey.
  • Jerry drinks on several occasions and in one scene arrives at Dorothy's house drunk. She then pours beer for both of them.
  • A divorced woman's group drinks wine.
  • People are seen drinking margaritas at a Mexican restaurant.
  • Dorothy's sister smokes a joint (marijuana) in the kitchen.
  • People are seen drinking at a wedding reception.
  • None.
  • A kid throws a golf club at his coach on the green after missing a shot.
  • An athlete won't sign a kid's player card because it's not made by a manufacturer that's agreed to under his contract.
  • A kid gives Jerry "the finger."
  • Jerry is fired for having written and passed out his professional beliefs to his associates.
  • To steal away Jerry's clients, Sugar implies that Jerry's recent behavior may have been drug induced (it wasn't).
  • Tidwell has a bad attitude toward playing football and is known for being a disagreeable player.
  • A college player's father breaks his verbal agreement to sign with Jerry after stating that Jerry was spending time with "that black fellow" (Tidwell).
  • Avery doesn't want to be with Jerry after he's lost his job and then punches and kicks him on her way out.
  • Tidwell lands on his head during a game and remains unconscious for some time and everyone is uncertain as to his status.
  • Bomb: Seen on a TV rerun of "Hawaii Five-O."
  • Phrases: "Balls" (testicles), "Pisses me off," "Skanks," "Sucks," "Shut up," and "Punk."
  • A kid gives Jerry "the finger."
  • Ray stands and rides around on the baggage carousal at the airport.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • 19 "f" words (3 with the prefix "mother" and 1 used sexually), 23 "s" words, 3 slang terms for female genitals ("pooty"), 1 slang term for male genitals (the "d" word), 6 "ass" words, 4 hells, 2 damns, and 7 uses of "God," 6 of "Oh God," 5 of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Christ," "God forsaken," and "For God's sake" as exclamations.
  • Tidwell's son, seeing his father playing football on TV, says, "That's my mo-fo" (for motherf*cker). His mother immediately tells him not to use that term.
  • Jerry and Avery have sex. She's seen on top of him and there's a great deal of sexual movement as well as moaning and screaming. The sides of her breasts can be seen. When they're done, she tells him that if he ever wants her to do it with another woman she will. She then says that while she's not really into that now, and that it was an experimental thing in college, she'll still do it for him.
  • Later, the two eat strawberries while sitting nude at the kitchen table. Due to the way their bodies are positioned, the only nudity seen is the side of their bare butts.
  • At his bachelor party, a video tape of previous women Jerry's been with is seen and one older lady says that he was "no slouch in bed."
  • Sugar tells a client on the phone that his job to the client is "to remember the names of the skanks you bang on the road."
  • While drunk, Jerry suddenly kisses Dorothy and puts his hand on her breast. Realizing what he's done, he apologizes.
  • On several occasions the bare buttocks of male athletes, including Tidwell, are seen in locker rooms.
  • In a scene that's more sensual than sexual, Jerry and Dorothy kiss on her front steps. He accidentally pulls her dress straps loose and when re-tieing them, kisses her down the front of her body. We don't see where he's actually kissing her, but her reaction implies where that might be.
  • Jerry and Dorothy move in to her bedroom where she removes his shirt and he lowers the top of her dress (her back is exposed). They're then seen in bed before having sex, but no nudity or movement is seen.
  • Tidwell tells Jerry "A real man wouldn't shoplift ‘pooty' (slang for female genitals and in this instance probably a reference to having sex) from a single mother." Jerry then says that he didn't do that (using the same words) but then admits that he actually did.
  • People smoke cigars at a bachelor party and Jerry's given one and he lights up.
  • Dorothy's sister smokes a cigarette.
  • Sugar smokes a cigar.
  • Jerry and Dorothy break up for a while and this doesn't sit well with Ray who's come to see Jerry as his father.
  • Tidwell lands on his head during a game and remains unconscious for some time and his family, watching on TV, is very concerned about him.
  • The world of sports and sports agents.
  • Balancing work with one's relationship with family.
  • A kid throws a golf club at his coach on the green after missing a shot.
  • To win more of Jerry's clients, Sugar tells one of them, "I'll kill for you. I'll rape and pillage for you."
  • Avery punches Jerry twice in the face and then knees him in the gut during their break up.
  • Dorothy's sister tells Jerry (about his relationship with Dorothy), "F*ck this up and I'll kill you."
  • There is some football violence where bodies collide in bone jarring hits.
  • After Tidwell is hurt during a play, his wife hits his brother for making fun of him.

  • Reviewed December 13, 1996

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