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"SIMPATICO"
(2000) (Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy Mild Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Minor None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Moderate Minor Mild Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A trio of adults finds that they can't escape the wrongdoings they committed years ago when they were just three young friends.
PLOT:
Lyle Carter (JEFF BRIDGES) is a successful Kentucky-based horse breeder and trainer who seems to have it all. While his wife, Rosie (SHARON STONE), spends most of the time in bed, Lyle is a workaholic who's in the process of selling Simpatico, his Triple Crown winner that should fetch him several millions dollars.

Thus, when he receives an emergency call from his former childhood friend, Vinnie (NICK NOLTE), he isn't pleased. Although he's been taking care of the destitute boozer, Lyle is no longer close to the man. Yet, when Vinnie tells him that he's been arrested and that damaging information about a past indiscretion may come to light, Lyle boards the first plane and heads for Los Angeles.

There, Lyle discovers that Vinnie is still living in the past, repeatedly watching old home movies of Rosie and the two of them, particularly related to their big winnings at the track. Vinnie also tells him that a cashier at the local grocery, Cecilia (CATHERINE KEENER), had him arrested for stalking her, but upon meeting the woman, Lyle learns this isn't true.

He also discovers that Vinnie set him up, and is now traveling back to Kentucky in search of Rosie, his former girlfriend, as well as former racing commissioner Simms (ALBERT FINNEY), a man now living under an alias due to the trio previously ruining his life and career after he discovered them involved in a racing scam.

As Vinnie sets out to set matters straight and various flashbacks of Vinnie (SHAWN HATOSY), Rosie (KIMBERLY WILLIAMS) and Lyle (LIAM WAITE) provide facts detailing how they ended up in their current states, the three try to come to terms with their past indiscretions that have forever shaped and haunted them.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or of thoroughbred horse related material, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some strong sexuality, and for language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JEFF BRIDGES plays a successful horse breeder and trainer who allows his life to fall apart when past wrongdoings are brought back to life. He also uses strong profanity.
  • NICK NOLTE plays a destitute alcoholic who also uses some profanity while trying to make amends and/or seek personal vindication for past events.
  • SHARON STONE plays a damaged, reclusive woman (from past events) who drinks and destroys something near and dear to her to prevent others from having it.
  • ALBERT FINNEY plays another horseman, but one who's put his past - that included getting caught having sex with a young woman - behind him. He also smokes, cusses a bit and makes it quite clear just how attracted he is to Cecelia.
  • CATHERINE KEENER plays a woman who befriends the three major male characters in the story and briefly uses profanity.
  • SHAWN HATOSY, LIAM WAITE and KIMBERLY WILLIAMS play the three former friends in flashback who conspire to illegally fix horse races and blackmail a racing official by photographing him having sex with Williams' character. They also occasionally drink, smoke and cuss.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated film. Profanity is rated as extreme due to the use of nearly 20 "f" words, while other profanities and some colorful phrases are also uttered. A few sexually related comments are made, while black and white photos and some flashback footage show a man having sex from behind a younger woman (that includes movement but no nudity).

    That encounter is set up so that three young characters can blackmail a horse racing official (after they also fixed horse races) and other bad attitudes are present (in both flashbacks and the present). Some brief human on human violence is present, while a horse is shot dead in one scene. In addition, various characters smoke and drink, with one being an obvious alcoholic. All of that said, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Vinnie appears to be an alcoholic and we see him drinking booze from a bottle (that's he's eventually emptied via consumption).
  • Vinnie drinks in a bar, as do others.
  • A flight attendant asks Lyle if he wants a drink (he declines).
  • Vinnie drinks from another bottle.
  • In a flashback, people drink in a bar and both Vinnie and Rosie drink beer while Vinnie later drinks a shot of liquor.
  • Simms drinks in a flashback, as do others.
  • In a flashback, Lyle, Vinnie and Rosie drink beer while watching a horse.
  • Simms has a drink.
  • Lyle drinks in a bar.
  • In a flashback, Vinnie and Lyle drink.
  • Rosie pours herself a drink.
  • Cecilia drinks from Simms' flask.
  • Various people have drinks at the Carter estate.
  • Vinnie drinks from a bottle and later he and Lyle drink from a bottle.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a bit of a bloodstain on a bandage around Lyle's hand.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • The three main characters continue to hold onto their secrets and indiscretions from the past that involved a horse racing scam and blackmailing an official by photographing him having sex with a much younger Rosie (in a set-up).
  • In a flashback, we see Vinnie and Lyle trying to bribe Simms with a large sum of cash.
  • A character shoots a horse dead (before it's sold and most likely destroyed).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • A person prepares to and then does shoot a horse in the head with a handgun.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handgun: Carried around by Vinnie (and aimed at a home movie screen while he watches old home movies) and briefly aimed at Lyle when he first shows up.
  • Handgun: Used by a person to shoot a horse dead.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck?" "Sh*thole," "Screwing around" (sexual), "Screw around" (nonsexual), "Get the hell out of here," "My ass," "Freak," "Jeez" and "Screw you."
  • Vinnie throws his empty liquor bottle into his front yard. Later, he does the same with things from inside his home.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful/ominous music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 18 "f" words, 12 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("screw"), 2 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 3 uses of "For Christ's sakes," 2 of "Christ" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God," "Jesus," "Jesus Christ," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Cecelia initially tells Lyle that she and Vinnie are having an affair, but she later clarifies that by saying that it's not sexually based. Lyle questions her about that, however, asking that they didn't "screw around" or do some "heavy petting."
  • In the background of a shot, we see a male horse mounting a female horse for breeding purposes.
  • Some women in a bar show cleavage.
  • Thinking that Vinnie has set him up to be caught in a sexual act with Cecelia, Lyle states that she's not going to get him in the sack.
  • Asking about her and Lyle, Simms asks Cecelia, "Have you laid down with him? Have you done the down and dirty deed with him? Spread those magnificent thighs?" She says no to all of the above.
  • We briefly see non-explicit, black and white photos of Simms having sex with a woman in the past.
  • We see a flashback of Simms caressing a woman's clothed breast as he has sex from behind her (she's facing the camera and we see movement, but no nudity).
  • SMOKING
  • Simms smokes (cigars) at least five times (in both the present and flashbacks), while Rosie smokes a few times, Lyle smokes cigars with other men, Vinnie smokes in flashback, and various miscellaneous/background characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Lyle and Rosie's marriage clearly isn't strong, but we don't see them interacting.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • How the trio's bad/criminal behavior and actions of the past continued to haunt them.
  • Why a person shoots and kills a horse.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Lyle throws Vinnie up against a car and then briefly holds his forearm up against his neck.
  • Lyle throws and kicks things around inside Vinnie's small home.
  • In a flashback, Simms pushes Lyle back against a wall and then threatens him with a lit cigar.
  • Rosie points a gun at Vinnie.
  • A person shoots a horse dead with a handgun.



  • Reviewed February 18, 2000 / Posted August 22, 2000

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