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"STEAL THIS MOVIE!"
(2000) (Vincent D'Onofrio, Janeane Garofalo) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A 1960s era activist finds himself the target of government scrutiny when he and others go to extreme measures to protest the war in Vietnam and other issues of the era.
PLOT:
It's 1977 and former counterculture hero and famed protestor Abbie Hoffman (VINCENT D'ONOFRIO) has been "underground" for five years. Sensing that he's running out of places to hide, he calls journalist David Glenn (ALAN VAN SPRANG) to do a story on him, hoping to expose what he claims is the government's various measures to harass and/or silence him.

Interviewing Hoffman, his wife Anita (JANEANE GAROFALO) and his lawyer Gerry Lefcourt (KEVIN POLLAK), Glenn begins to piece together the protestor's life, from his involvement in registering African-Americans to vote to his various protests of the Vietnam war with fellow activists Jerry Rubin (KEVIN CORRIGAN), Stew Albert (DONAL LOGUE) and Tom Hayden (TROY GARITY).

As the events chronologically unfold through flashbacks, we see Hoffman becoming more influential and powerful, all of which brings about close government scrutiny under various Presidential administrations. When their measures eventually force him to go "underground," he loses physical contact with Anita and their son, becomes increasingly paranoid and eventually meets Johanna Lawrenson (JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN), whom he takes as a lover.

With the years passing, Hoffman tries to lead a normal life under the assumed name of Barry Freed, but he can't suppress his activist roots and longings. As Glenn's story is eventually published, Hoffman must decide how he wants to live his life.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Since few probably know who Hoffman was, it's not very likely unless they're interested in that political era and/or are fans of someone in the cast.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language, drug content and some nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • VINCENT D'ONOFRIO plays an activist who uses guerilla theatrics and disruptions to make his point while opposing various issues. He also smokes pot and regular cigarettes, sleeps around on his wife, uses strong profanity and becomes increasingly paranoid, all while proclaiming that he's saving his country.
  • JANEANE GAROFALO plays his wife who supports Abbie and then tries to raise their son without him. She also deals with the government's continued harassment, and uses some profanity. She briefly smokes pot.
  • KEVIN POLLAK plays Hoffman's attorney who's reluctant to disclose too much information to a journalist.
  • JEANNE TRIPPLEHORN plays a woman who becomes Abbie's girlfriend during his "underground" days, initially unaware of who he is or that he's already married.
  • KEVIN CORRIGAN plays another activist who uses some strong profanity.
  • DONAL LOGUE plays one of Hoffman's friends and fellow activists who cusses and smokes pot.
  • TROY GARITY plays another activist.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity is rated as extreme due to more than 40 uses of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrase are also present. Various characters smoke pot and regular cigarettes/cigars, others drink, and we briefly see bags of cocaine.

    Several sexual encounters are implied, some sexually related dialogue is present and some non-related nudity is seen. Violence consists of various people getting into fights or being struck by police while protesting, resulting in some bloody moments. Those protests and/or the government's actions to quell them, along with other behavior (including affairs), may be seen by some/many viewers as demonstrating bad/disrespectful attitudes, while the means of protesting may prove to be enticing to teens interested or involved in such matters.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Various characters smoke pot outdoors in the past.
  • A character mentions various things being "free," including dope.
  • Various characters smoke pot again.
  • Hoffman and Anita have wine, she mentions she's drunk, and he then lights up a joint and both he and Anita smoke it.
  • We see that various activists have been smoking pot while watching a film about Vietnam.
  • Anita has wine in the present.
  • In voice over, we're told that Abbie and Anita included joints in their wedding announcements sent to strangers (and we then see various people opening those invites and finding the joints, and then some smoking them).
  • Abbie and Stew smoke joints.
  • Abbie states that George Washington once grew pot.
  • We see what's presumably an imagined commercial of Abbie and Anita doing a beer commercial.
  • An undercover government agent gives Anita a bag of drugs to give to Abbie, but she smells the setup and throws it away instead.
  • We see Hoffman and others smoking joints while we hear that the government used drugs as an excuse to bust him.
  • We then see bags of cocaine being weighed (with Hoffman as a buyer/seller).
  • People have drinks at a party.
  • Abbie and Johanna have wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Hoffman's has some blood from his mouth down to his chin (and on his hand) after being in a fight.
  • We see brief archival footage of what's presumably a child war victim with scars on their face.
  • Several people who've been struck by police batons have blood on their faces.
  • We see cops repeatedly punching Abbie's face until it's quite bloody.
  • We see the urine streams from both Hoffman and his son as they urinate outside.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some may see Hoffman's antics and approach at protesting as having both types of attitudes (including making a mockery of the courtroom and/or wearing an American flag shirt), while others will see the government as having both for their tactics in harassing Hoffman, Anita and others.
  • A miscellaneous white character refers to blacks as "niggers" and is otherwise bothersome to Hoffman and his fellow activists.
  • There's some recreated President Nixon dialogue that has him commenting about "Jew boys."
  • Anita states that Abbie started hanging out with the counterculture groupies (and thus apparently cheated on her).
  • An undercover government agent gives Anita a bag of drugs to give to Abbie (to later frame him), but she smells the setup and throws it away instead.
  • Although he and Anita haven't seen each other for years due to him going underground, he cheats on her when he starts having an affair with Johanna. We later see that Anita has slept with another man.
  • Abbie tells his son that he's throwing rocks "like a girl" (telling him that so that he'll change and not be teased by others).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Some may view scenes listed under "Violence" as tense or unsettling.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Water pistols: Used by Hoffman and another man in a mock holdup on a bus.
  • Bomber: Archival footage shows a bomber dropping bombs (but we don't see their impact).
  • Various guns: Carried by soldiers/cops and used to control and/or threaten protestors.
  • We see some brief archival footage of explosions in Vietnam.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "Get the f*ck out of here," "F*ck the war," "F*ck 'em," "Get me the f*ck out of here," "Bullsh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Scared sh*tless," "Sucks," "Piss off," "Tight ass," "Niggers" (said by a white person), "Commie loving idiots," "Hell no, we won't go," "Laid" (sexual), "Stick it where the sun don't shine," "Ass whipping," "Chick" (woman), "Bastard," "Shut up," "I don't give a damn," "Pissing," "Jeez" and "Screw him."
  • The movie could inspire teens to go to extreme measures to protest any number of causes important to them.
  • Hoffman and another man do a mock robbery at gunpoint prank on a bus with realistic looking water pistols.
  • Hoffman teaches/shows his son how to urinate outdoors.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some viewers may find that the '60s era protest songs that play on the soundtrack don't mesh with their beliefs/stances.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 42 "f" words (4 used with "mother," 1 used sexually), 24 "s" words (1 written), 1 slang term each for male and female genitals ("d*ck" and "p*ssy"), 23 hells, 7 asses (2 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 1 S.O.B., 5 uses of "Oh my God," 4 of "G-damn," and 1 use each of "Christ," "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Jesus," "Great God Almighty," "Good God" and "God forbid" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Hoffman makes a reference about something going on "since people f*cked in caves."
  • Hoffman and Anita are interrupted while kissing by a phone call from a radio deejay. Hoffman briefly speaks to the deejay but then says he has to go because "I'm about to make love, not war." They then kiss again and it's implied that they have sex as we see them together the next morning.
  • Abbie tells someone, "The war's over. Get some ass." He later tells a young soldier that when he was eighteen, he was out "trying to get laid."
  • A character comments that they need love, joy and sex.
  • We briefly see a black and white photo of Abbie and Anita (who wears a mask), standing together nude outdoors (we see her bare breast and part of their bare butts).
  • We briefly see a bare-breasted woman who has paint on her breasts (to "cover" the nudity).
  • Anita tells Abbie that if he comes to bed "it will be really fun." We then see them kissing and he climbs in bed with her (clothed), but the scene ends there. We then see them in bed under the sheets, presumably after sex.
  • We see another bare-breasted woman who has paint on her breasts and Abbie kisses up the front of her chest (and then just kisses her).
  • We see high up the upper side of a woman's thigh as Abbie kisses her while standing up against a wall (and her dress is pulled up).
  • Abbie (and the camera) focus on Johanna's body as she bends over and washes something. It's then implied that they have sex as we see her getting dressed, but he then begs her to stay and she does (and they kiss some more in bed, but there's no nudity).
  • We see that Anita has apparently had sex with another man (who we see in bed asleep - no nudity).
  • We briefly see what looks like the bottom part of Hoffman's bare butt.
  • SMOKING
  • Abbie smokes around 15 times (several times with a cigar), Anita smokes once and various miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • When Abbie decides to go underground, that puts a strain on his relationship with Anita (especially when years later he starts dating Johanna despite still being married to Anita). It does the same for their son America (who doesn't initially know Abbie is his father, but increasingly dislikes the absent one he's never met).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy of this film in portraying the life and times of Abbie Hoffman.
  • The way in which Hoffman decided to protest various issues.
  • The drug use in the film.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A cop hits Abbie on the face with his flashlight.
  • We see some archival footage of police/authorities using fire hoses on people.
  • A man grabs and punches Hoffman several times, causing others to push, punch and kick each other.
  • We briefly see cops/soldiers struggling with protestors.
  • A soldier repeatedly hits Hoffman after he climbs up a wall toward him.
  • After being corralled behind a fence, protestors try to push that fence down until tear gas is shot into their vicinity.
  • We see some brief archival footage of explosions in Vietnam.
  • A cop hits Stew who then falls off a statue to the ground. We then see "real" and archived footage of cops hitting others with their batons.
  • We see cops repeatedly punching Abbie's face until it's quite bloody.
  • Cops pin Hoffman to the floor during a drug raid.



  • Reviewed August 18, 2000 / Posted August 25, 2000

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