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"MAX"
(2002) (John Cusack, Noah Taylor) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A Jewish modern art dealer befriends a troubled but impassioned artist and fellow war veteran by the name of Adolf Hitler.
PLOT:
It's 1918 Munich, and Max Rothman (JOHN CUSACK) is a one-armed war veteran and former artist turned modern art dealer. Married to Nina (MOLLY PARKER) but having a mistress, Liselore Von Peltz (LEELEE SOBIESKI), Max sells his goods from an old locomotive factory and has developed a rather lucrative business for himself.

One day he meets Adolf Hitler (NOAH TAYLOR), a discontented corporal who similarly served in Germany's unsuccessful WWI campaign and is unhappy about how things turned out for his country and himself. He's also an artist and Max sees potential in him, but finds his anti-Semitic rambling a bit disturbing, although he views him as harmless.

Captain Mayr (ULRICH THOMSEN), on the other hand, likes what he hears in Hitler's impassioned views about race and other issues, and wants him to take a course in propaganda. The troubled artist would rather paint, but Mayr suggest that the army could pay for his expenses and thus Hitler agrees.

As he and Max form an unlikely and tenuous friendship and working relationship, Hitler soon begins to realize the power of the combination of art and politics. Displaying early signs of what he'll eventually become, his involvement with Max could swing his life one way or another with the future of his nation and the world hanging in the balance.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're a fan of someone in the cast or "what if" historical dramas, it doesn't seem very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JOHN CUSACK plays a married, one-armed art dealer and war veteran who has a mistress and somewhat befriends the troubled artist, Hitler. He also smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • NOAH TAYLOR plays Adolf Hitler as a young and disturbed but impassioned artist and anti-Semite. He uses strong profanity.
  • MOLLY PARKER plays Rothman's wife who's aware he has a mistress.
  • LEELEE SOBIESKI plays Max's avant-garde mistress.
  • ULRICH THOMSEN plays the German military captain who sees some promise in Hitler being a master propagandist.
  • 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 brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 7 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also spoken. Some sexually related dialogue is present, while a marionette show simulates sex in a sarcastic fashion. The protagonist has a mistress and we see them after implied sex (and there's some passionate kissing), while various pieces of artwork show female nudity.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including anti-Semitism), while men beat one man to death (with bloody results) and another is beaten to a lesser degree. Various characters drink and/or smoke. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Max downs champagne in one gulp. Later, more champagne is served at an art show.
  • People have wine with a meal.
  • Various people have wine.
  • Max gives Hitler some money and tells him to get drunk and find a girl.
  • Liselore pours some alcohol onto the floor and lights it. She and Max then drink wine.
  • Max offers some champagne to some potential buyers.
  • Miscellaneous people drink and Max drinks a shot of liquor.
  • A bottle of liquor is passed in an auditorium.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man vomits.
  • A man has a little blood on his face after being attacked.
  • Max puts on some performance art where he's lowered into a gigantic meat grinder and real raw meat comes out the other end (but he's not harmed, it's just for showy shock).
  • We see blood from a man's mouth and nose as he lies mortally wounded in the snow from a severe beating (with blood around his head - seen from a distance).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • It's possible some viewers could view the film and filmmaker as having bad attitudes for "humanizing" Hitler (but the film does not portray him in a favorable light).
  • Liselore is Max's mistress (thus, he's cheating on his wife).
  • Some German soldiers make disparaging remarks about Jews.
  • Hitler comments that anti-Semitism should not be left in the hands of the individual, but rather the government (like public health or sewage). Such beliefs only grow stronger in him as the story progresses and as he delivers related impassioned speeches, etc.
  • During a propagandistic marionette show, a character comments that Jews only "f*ck" other Jews to keep their blood pure. As this is said, one of the male marionettes "lies down" on a female marionette (with simulated movement) as there's talk about an Aryan being seduced.
  • A man refers to the government as comprised of Jews, homosexuals and draft dodgers.
  • A person uses the term "faggots."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Soldiers suddenly grab a man, hit him on the head, and proceed to kick him repeatedly on the ground. We then see a close-up of the man's face as we hear the kicking. We then see blood from his mouth and nose as he lies mortally wounded in the snow (with blood around his head - seen from a distance).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We hear gunshots outside and then see people firing guns into the air during a parade.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "F*ck you," "Scare the f*cking shit out of them," "F*cking bitches," "Full of sh*t," "Sh*t houses," "In the sh*t," "What the hell does that mean?" "Intellectual wet fart," "Pissed off," "Bastard," "Take it in the ass," "I don't have a pot to piss in," "Bloody hell," "Turd," "Faggots" and "Whores."
  • It's possible some kids could imitate or adopt Hitler's ideology.
  • There's talk of some girl swallowing a tapeworm to control her figure.
  • Liselore pours some alcohol onto the floor and lights it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A person is suddenly grabbed.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 7 "f" words (1 used sexually), 7 "s" words, 1 possible slang term for male genitals ("d*ck"), 3 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 1 damn, 3 uses of "My God," 2 of "God" and 1 use each of "By God," "Jesus," "Oh God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A briefly seen painting shows a woman's bare butt. We also see a bare breast in the same context.
  • Liselore passionately kisses Max on her way out.
  • We see a bare butt in a painting.
  • During a propagandistic marionette show, a character comments that Jews only "f*ck" other Jews to keep their blood pure. As this is said, one of the male marionettes "lies down" on a female marionette (with simulated movement) as there's talk about an Aryan being seduced.
  • It appears that we briefly saw male full frontal nudity in some artwork.
  • Max and Liselore passionately kiss and she then makes some toast about "on top of me, below me and inside of me." She's then lying down in some lingerie where he kisses her and says he has to leave. She then helps him get dressed (thus implied sex).
  • It sounded like a sarcastic comment was made about telling someone not to "suck a d*ck."
  • As Max is lowered into a gigantic meat grinder in some performance art, we see him nude down to his hips.
  • Classic statues show bare breasts.
  • SMOKING
  • Max smokes throughout the film (around 20 times), Mayr smokes more than 5 times, Nina smokes several times and many miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Max's wife tells him she knows about his mistress, but little is made of that.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Adolf Hitler the man and the monster.
  • The historical accuracy of and/or artistic liberties taken with the material.
  • Amputees (Max is missing an arm, while another man is seen with no legs).
  • Affairs and mistresses.
  • Hitler's comment that anti-Semitism should not be left in the hands of the individual, but rather the government (like public health or sewage).
  • Propaganda.
  • Talk of pure vs. polluted blood.
  • A person comments that war is the hygiene of the world.
  • The comment that art plus politics equals power.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some men surround another person and kick him on the ground (we don't see the impact, but do hear the kicking sounds and see the victim afterwards).
  • Hitler violently thrashes around his artwork.
  • Soldiers suddenly grab a man, hit him on the head, and proceed to kick him repeatedly on the ground. We then see a close-up of the man's face as we hear the kicking. We then see blood from his mouth and nose as he lies mortally wounded in the snow (with blood around his head - seen from a distance).



  • Reviewed November 7, 2002 / Posted February 7, 2003

    Other new and recent reviews include:

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