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"SPACE COWBOYS"
(2000) (Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Action/Adventure: Having missed their chance in the late '50s, four retired Air Force pilots get another shot at heading into space as they're recruited in the present day to fix an arcane navigational system onboard a crippled Russian satellite.
PLOT:
In 1958, Frank Corvin (CLINT EASTWOOD) and Hawk Hawkins (TOMMY LEE JONES) were two competing Air Force test pilots who, along with the rest of their Team Daedalus crew -- Jerry O'Neil (DONALD SUTHERLAND) and Tank Sullivan (JAMES GARNER) - were prepared to be the first Americans in space. Unfortunately, NASA replaced the Air Force for such missions and a chimpanzee took the place of Frank and his crew.

Now, nearly half a century later, the Russian communications satellite Ikon is crippled due to a failure in its arcane navigational system. Since the satellite is too big to retrieve and return to Earth and its failure will reportedly cause chaos and maybe even civil war in that part of the world, NASA bureaucrat Bob Gerson (JAMES CROMWELL) and Mission Director Sara Holland (MARCIA GAY HARDEN) decide that their best bet lies with Frank who originally designed the system for Skylab.

Of course, Frank wants to know how his system got onboard a Russian satellite and he initially refuses the offer to help simply because he's never gotten along with Gerson. Even so, he eventually decides to help, but only under the condition that he and his original crew get to take on the task themselves. Gerson balks at the idea of sending untrained, senior citizens into outer space, but realizing he's running out of time before the satellite reenters Earth's atmosphere, he reluctantly agrees.

Frank then sets out to round up his old crew and quickly signs up Tank, who's now a Baptist minister, and Jerry, who's a structural engineer designing roller coasters. Hawk, a biplane pilot, is another story since he and Frank haven't spoken in twelve years, but the gruff old man eventually agrees.

The four would-be astronauts then arrive at NASA and despite the objections of shuttle flight director Eugene Davis (WILLIAM DEVANE) and their younger counterparts, Ethan Glance (LOREN DEAN) and Roger Hines (COURTNEY B. VANCE), who will accompany them on their mission, they begin their hurried one month of training. With time running out before the satellite literally falls from the sky, Frank and his crew find themselves confronting a series of obstacles that threaten to jeopardize their mission.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
While the middle to senior citizen aged cast might not draw them like they once did, the impressive list of performers here might be enticing to teens.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CLINT EASTWOOD plays a retired and standoffish, anti-establishment Air Force pilot known for not being a team player. That said, he leads his crew on a perilous mission and shows courage and intelligence while saving the day. He also cusses some and gets into a few, brief fistfights.
  • TOMMY LEE JONES plays his gruff and competitive counterpart who doesn't play by the rules, but also shows courage in helping solve the problem. He also uses some profanity.
  • DONALD SUTHERLAND plays another member of their crew who's known as being a ladies man.
  • JAMES GARNER plays a current Baptist minister who Frank recruits back into their team. He also briefly uses some profanity and drinks some.
  • LOREN DEAN and COURTNEY B. VANCE play their younger counterparts who aren't too happy to have a quartet of senior citizens fronting their mission.
  • MARCIA GAY HARDEN plays the mission director who uses some brief profanity and ends up falling for Hawk.
  • JAMES CROMWELL plays a belligerent and seemingly corrupt NASA bureaucrat who doesn't like Frank and has held a grudge against him. He also uses some profanity.
  • WILLIAM DEVANE plays the shuttle flight director who also uses some profanity and isn't crazy about the idea of sending four old men into outer space.
  • 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:
    The following is a quick summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated film. Profanity is rated as moderate due to more than 20 uses of the "s" word, while various characters utter other expletives and colorful phrases. One person makes a non-explicit, but sexually related comment on a TV talk show, while a flashback shows a man looking through a "girlie" magazine where we see part of the side of a woman's bare breast. We also see a brief shot of the four main characters' bare butts during a physical (during which the one known as a ladies man doesn't cover up his privates when a female doctor enters).

    Some perilous moments late in the movie might prove to be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers (and are accompanied by a moderate amount of related music), while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some of them briefly get into fistfights with others, while damage occurs to two spacecraft and a person sacrifices himself (and presumably dies from suffocation) to save others (but the actual death and/or suffering isn't seen). In addition, several characters drink beer while a miscellaneous one graphically vomits while on a spinning bi-plane ride.

    Should that summary not provide enough details for you to assess whether the film and its content are appropriate for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our more detailed content listings for specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Frank has a beer.
  • Hawk and Tank drink beer.
  • Hawk tells Sarah that he'd like to take her out for a beer and she replies that she'll need one. Then, as he and Frank go through a revolving G-force test, they agree that the first person to pass out buys the beer.
  • People have drinks in a bar including Tank who has a beer.
  • Hawk and Sarah have beer.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • One of Hawk's thrill seeking riders vomits a great deal inside the biplane they're riding in, covering Hawk's windshield (which he partially wipes clean with his hand). Back on the ground we see vomit on the rider's face as well as on the side of the plane.
  • We see some blood filling a vial (from a distance) as Hawk gives some during his physical.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Frank and Gerson don't get along at all with each other and makes no bones about it. In addition, Gerson lets Frank think he's going on the mission, but then plans on pulling the rug out from underneath him at the last minute.
  • Frank and Hawk don't get along at times.
  • Ethan disobeys Frank's orders.
  • The astronauts discover that they weren't told the exact truth about their mission and that Gerson may have been involved in that (his decree of innocence may be feigned).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Although it's not accompanied by suspenseful music, a scene set in 1958 in which Frank and Hawk's jet stalls and begins tumbling toward Earth (and they have to eject from it and one of them is nearly hit by a passing plane) may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • Scenes where the crew approach the satellite in outer space (and aren't sure if it has self-defense capabilities or not) as well as later ones when the shuttle and satellite are torn apart and damaged may be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • The same holds true for a spacecraft that appears to be readying itself to fire nuclear missiles at Earth while Frank and Hawk try to stop it, as well as the later, prolonged and perilous return flight of the crippled shuttle to Earth.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Nuclear missiles: Discovered onboard a spacecraft (but never used or detonated).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "You don't know jack-sh*t about..." "Bullsh*t," "Cocky little sh*t," "Sh*thouse," "Holy sh*t," "Sh*theap," "Bastard," "What the Sam hell does has that have to do with it?" "Put a sock in it, sonny," "Why the hell not?" "Holy cow," "Jackass," "Nuts" (crazy), "Snot," "I'll be damned," "Idiot," "Old farts," "Kick your ass," "Screwed me over," "Like a bat out of hell," "You bet your ass," "Screw up," "Pissed" and "Big ass."
  • Jerry fakes reading an eye chart during his examination by having memorized what others before him read aloud.
  • Hawk tells a story from his past about rolling a person down a hill in a portable toilet (described, but not seen).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • One character mouths the "f" word (used with "mother") but it's inaudible. Beyond that, there are least 23 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 27 hells, 16 damns, 14 asses (3 used with "hole"), 3 S.O.B.s, 5 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Jesus" and "Oh Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • During a black and white prologue set in 1958, we see Jerry looking through a "girlie" magazine. We then briefly see one of these women and see part of the side of her bare breast as she stands topless but facing away from the camera.
  • Finding themselves trapped in their garage, Frank starts acting frisky with his wife and places her on their washer telling her that he'll turn her through a few cycles. He then playfully kisses her while she comments on being trapped with a dirty old man (but they're interrupted before anything else happens).
  • During their physical, we see the bare butts of the various older astronauts. When a female doctor walks in, all but Jerry quickly cover their crotches. He just stands there and smiles at the doctor who briefly looks down at his crotch and then back at him with a knowing smile on her face.
  • After they're sent some Ensure as a gag gift, Jerry says that he normally drinks it and that it's good for his libido.
  • We see Hawk in just a towel (after Sarah walked in and saw him nude - but we didn't see that).
  • Hawk and Frank, still being competitive, ask a waitress which of them she'd take home, but she confuses that question with taking them to a home (as in a retirement home).
  • While showing the older astronauts the device used for urinating while in outer space, Hines tells them that one size does fit all (a genital size reference).
  • While on "The Tonight Show," Jerry replies to the comment that he's known as a ladies man. In doing so, he says that he's there to help a woman "discover her infinite supply of orgasms."
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Hawk briefly mentions that his wife died sometime in the past.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether NASA would allow such a crew to go on such a rescue mission (with 4 out of the 6 astronauts being senior citizens and only one month of training).
  • Why a Russian person (or someone who could read Russian) wasn't sent up with them to interpret any written language they would find on the satellite and its equipment and parts).
  • VIOLENCE
  • A jet crashes in the desert and is destroyed (we don't see the impact), but its two occupants are okay (they ejected earlier).
  • Frank (back in 1958) comes up and punches Hawk and the two then get into a fight.
  • Frank pushes a man in a bar and then once outside, punches Hawk. In turn, he then punches Frank and the two get into a tussle that then goes off camera (we see both of them the next day with black and/or swollen eyes).
  • Frank pushes Ethan back against a wall.
  • An electrical short shocks an astronaut and he's then hit by a large cable and knocked unconscious.
  • Both the shuttle and the satellite suffer damage as they're yanked apart.
  • A person sacrifices himself and presumably suffocates to death from lack of air (we don't see the death, but we later see the presumably dead body still in the spacesuit).



  • Reviewed July 30, 2000 / Posted August 4, 2000

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