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(1997) (Tim Robbins, Martin Lawrence) (R)

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

Comedy: An advertising executive teams up with a common thief to retaliate against his boss who had an affair with his wife.
Nick Beam (TIM ROBBINS) seemingly has it all -- a successful advertising job and a beautiful wife, Ann (KELLY PRESTON). However, that all falls apart when Nick comes home early to see his wife and his boss, Philip Barrow (MICHAEL MCKEAN), in bed together. Shattered by this discovery, he just starts driving, only to be carjacked by T. Paul (MARTIN LAWRENCE), a common thief who soon discovers that he picked "the wrong guy on the wrong day." For Nick doesn't care anymore and he takes T. hostage even though the carjacker has a gun, and drives him from L.A. into Arizona. Once there, Nick finds that he needs T. since he earlier threw this wallet out the window, and then finds himself part of a crime spree after T. holds up a convenience store. After Nick teaches T. how to be a smarter thief, he gets the idea to rob his boss' private vault for revenge. As they head off on their mission, however, they soon find themselves pursued by the police, and by two local thugs, Rig (JOHN G. MCGINLEY) and Charlie (GIANCARLO ESPOSITO), who think the men have invaded their territory. Then, as Nick finds out things aren't quite what they seem, he must race to get everything back in order before his life really takes a turn for the worse.
If they're fans of Lawrence (from TV's "Martin") or Robbins ("The Shawshank Redemption"), they will, but otherwise this won't be much of a draw to younger kids.
For pervasive strong language and one sex scene.
  • TIM ROBBINS plays a man whose life falls apart and he resorts to crime in retaliation. Therefore, he's not a good role model.
  • MARTIN LAWRENCE plays a small-time thief who wants to go straight, but can't get a break. Even so, because of his actions and using extreme profanity, he can't be considered a good role model either.


    OUR TAKE: 5 out of 10
    This is an occasionally entertaining film that once again pairs up a white and black man together as a team who "discuss" their differences while trying to achieve a common goal. While we've seen that countless times before (the "Lethal Weapon" series, "48 Hours," etc...) it does manage to work despite its familiarity. Lawrence and Robbins have good chemistry together and their characters are different enough to provide some interesting scenes and humorous moments. The film's biggest problem, however, is that it gets too goofy at times (a security guard acting like a "Solid Gold" dancer, Robbins wildly dancing to get a tarantula off him that causes a matchbook to fall to the ground that he grinds with his gasoline soaked feet that then ignite, etc...). Its other problem deals with character motivation and Nick's seems the most contrived. Sure, his life has suddenly fallen apart (finding his wife having an affair with his boss), but would he really resort to crime (holding up stores and then stealing from, and vandalizing his boss' office) because of that? The impetus to make him do such things doesn't seem strong enough to push him over that edge, and the film consequently loses its touch with reality. While it's certainly not intended to be taken seriously, comedies that are true to -- and make sense inside -- their own little worlds work best. This film breaks that rule and goes outside its boundaries, lessening its fun and emotional impact. Likewise, making T. a family man who steals just to make ends meet for his wife and kids, feels even more contrived. It does give the production something of a human touch, but it feels forced and untrue, as if the film makers are forcing us to like him because of that. Something of a mix between the movie "Falling Down" (where Michael Douglas blew a gasket and took on the world that bothered him) and all of those "odd couple" features, "Nothing To Lose" offers enough laughs to make it worthwhile to see, but it's not a great film by any means. Fans of Lawrence will most likely love the film and his performance, while Robbins' fans will like it, but will probably not be enamored by the experience. That's where we fell, and we give it a 5 out of 10.
    This film is filled with extreme profanity, a great deal of gun pointing and shooting, and robberies played for laughs. While the film certainly isn't meant to be taken seriously, impressionable kids might get the wrong idea about robbery since, as said above, most of the time it's played for laughs. In one scene there's even a discussion about which thief's robbery approach is more frightening to a store clerk. Since the two get away with their crimes (by covering up their actions) and suffer no punishment for those actions, this also presents bad role models and situations for those impressionable minds out there. Besides that, due to crowd noise and laughter at our screening, the listing of profanity should be considered a minimum since the characters probably say more words than are listed, but what we heard easily surpasses what would be considered excessive. There's also a great deal of gunfire (often played for laughs) where again there are no serious repercussions from all of that. In addition, there's one brief and relatively mild sex scene and some sexual talk. Since male teens are the likely audience amongst kids, you should examine the content listed below before allowing them, or any children, to see this film.

  • People drink in a strip joint.
  • Nick sits in a bar drinking many shots, and then buys shots for himself and a female friend.
  • Nick's lip is a little bloody after fighting with T.
  • Nick's arm has a tiny, bloody scratch from where a bullet grazed him.
  • Nick comes home early and finds what he thinks is his boss having sex with his wife.
  • T. is a petty thief. He tries to carjack Nick, and does rob a convenience store.
  • Nick, feeling he has nothing to lose, plots to -- and finally does -- rob his boss for revenge, and also holds up a gas station. While that wasn't his intent, he still robs the place at gunpoint -- although he does pay for what he takes. Later, however, he and T. rob another store and don't pay for what they take.
  • Likewise, Rig and Charlie are thieves, and Rig mentions that he's also a killer (but nothing's seen) and they steal a tourist's car.
  • Nick and T. cover up their crimes and get off without a hitch.
  • There are a few standoff scenes where guns are pointed at others, but none of it's played to be tense (instead it's all "aimed" for laughs).
  • A tarantula briefly crawls across Nick's head and then face.
  • Nick returns to their hotel room to find that Rig and Charlie have tied T. to a chair that's perched on the balcony railing and is held there just by a sheet that's barely stuck in the balcony door. Nick must try to save T, and while this may seem tense, it's only played for laughs.
  • Handguns/Shotguns: Used by T., Nick, Rig and Charlie in various scenes. See "Violence" for details.
  • Phrases: "Fat idiot," "Bitch" (toward women), "You hit like a girl," "Freak," "Punk," "Jerkoff," "Fart," "Kiss my ass," "Turd," and "Balls" (testicles).
  • Nick joins T. as a thief and they rob a store and then Barrow's vault.
  • Nick, shocked at what's happened, absentmindedly drives down the highway, through stops signs and red lights.
  • Another driver gives Nick "the finger" for driving too slow.
  • T. tries to carjack Nick's car.
  • T. gives Rig and Charlie "the finger" while Rig throws a lit cigarette at Nick (from car to truck).
  • T. does some exaggerated pelvic thrusting at Rig and Charlie (not sexual).
  • Nick repeatedly gives "the finger" to a security camera.
  • Nick returns to their hotel room to find that Rig and Charlie have tied T. to a chair that's perched on the balcony railing and is held there just by a sheet that's barely stuck in the balcony door.
  • None.
  • A scene or two have very minor suspenseful music in them.
  • None that we noted, but a few rap songs with indecipherable lyrics may possibly contain some.
  • At least 60 "f" words (12 used with the prefix "mother," and a slang term, "screwing" used sexually), 65 "s" words, 4 slang terms for male genitals (the "d" words) and 1 for female genitals (the "p" word), 18 "ass" words (3 using "hole"), 5 damns, 3 hells, 2 S.O.B.'s, 1 crap, and 3 uses of "Oh my God," and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes" and "God" as exclamations.
  • In a game of acting like they're having a breakup fight, Ann tells Nick that she's been experimenting with other men -- and women. She then says, "Antonio can do this thing with his tongue...William's "stem" is amazing...And as far as hands go, your father's are amazing..."
  • Philip has a fertility statue in his office that has a large, erect phallus.
  • Nick comes home and sees his wife having sex with another man. She's seen on top with some movement and some sounds, but no nudity is seen.
  • An older waitress' outfit briefly shows some cleavage.
  • T. asks Nick if he was giving his wife any "nastiness."
  • After accidentally firing a shot that grazes Nick's arm, T. says, "The gun just went off. I have that same problem in bed."
  • T. steals some clothing from a store that he then shoves down the front of his pants, giving him the exaggerated impression of having large private parts that others notice.
  • Rig and Charlie are seen in a strip joint where we see female dancers' exposed buttocks (they're wearing thongs).
  • Nick (who's been drinking) and a female acquaintance wildy make out in an elevator and she rips his shirt open. They then go back to her room where she disrobes down to her slip, and then her bra as she seductively dances for him. She then climbs on top of him and says, "I want you so bad...This is going to be a night you won't forget...Give it to me, Nick." He doesn't want to do anything, however, and the scene ends.
  • Rig is usually seen smoking a cigarette.
  • A guy smokes in a strip joint.
  • There are a few brief scenes where T. lies to his wife about what he's been doing (she doesn't seem to believe him) and most of his actions are shown to be directly related to him trying to support his family.
  • Stealing, and doing so to get quick access to money -- and how you usually won't get away with it like they do here.
  • There are some brief discussions of race and how T. (a black man) can't get a job because he's "not the right corporate color."
  • T. holds a gun to Nick's head as he tries to carjack him.
  • Nick sprays mace into T.'s face.
  • T. and Nick exchange punches to the face and gut as they fight over a credit card. A waitress then ends the fight by hitting both of them on the head with a heavy skillet. Later, Nick reaches across a dinner table and attacks T.
  • The owner of a convenience store shoots the side view mirror from Nick's truck and then chases after them, shooting out their back window (after T. has robbed him). A car chase then follows that ends with the owner's truck slamming into a police car just moments after another shot blasts through the police car's windshield.
  • Rig punches a store clerk in the face.
  • A store owner pulls a shotgun on Nick who then aims his gun at this man and takes away the shotgun.
  • Rig and Charlie ram Nick's truck and run it off the road.
  • Rig shoots Nick's truck with a shotgun and prepares to shoot Nick and T. after the two punch our guys in the gut and face. T. later accidentally fires a shot that grazes Nick's arm.
  • Charlie kicks a tourist from his car after they carjack it.
  • T.'s "mother" smacks both T. and Nick very hard on the face.
  • T. throws a rock through a glass window in an office building (to distract the guard).
  • Nick uses a large sword to cut off a statue's erect phallus.
  • Rig, Charlie and T. exchange gun shots at the other's vehicles.
  • Nick shoots a gun from Rig's hand.
  • A police officer smashes Rig against a car after arresting him.
  • Nick and T. fight in Nick's truck with punches and a head-butt thrown, and T. ends up falling from the moving truck onto the street.

  • Reviewed July 1, 1997

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