[Screen It]

 

"MATCHSTICK MEN"
(2003) (Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A neurotic con man must deal with discovering that he has a 14-year-old daughter all while trying to pull off his next job with his partner.
PLOT:
Roy Waller (NICOLAS CAGE) is a single, self-employed man who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and agoraphobia. Nevertheless, and with the help of medication, he's been wildly successful at his job that just so happens to be conning people out of their money.

When a shortage of pills sends him off the deep end once again, his partner in crime, Frank (SAM ROCKWELL), suggest that he see a psychiatrist. Roy then reluctantly meets with Dr. Klein (BRUCE ALTMAN) who uncovers that Roy was once married and could very well be the father of a 14-year-old. Upon Roy's urging, Klein agrees to call the ex-wife and find out. He then gives Roy the news that schoolgirl Angela (ALISON LOHMAN) is indeed his daughter.

The two soon met, with Roy both scared and excited to meet her, while she seems to enjoy his various tics and neurotic behavior. It's not long before she convinces him to tell her what he does for a living and he's soon teaching her the tricks of his trade. That eventually involves them and Frank trying to dupe Chuck Frechette (BRUCE McGILL) in a currency exchange con.

Yet, with Roy's paternal instincts taking over, he soon begins to think about quitting, a thought that exposes him to far more trouble than he ever imagined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of someone in the cast, director Ridley Scott, or con-related films, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For thematic elements, violence, some sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Final characteristics are not noted below to preserve the ending of the film for viewers.
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a neurotic con artist who's made a lot of money conning others out of theirs. He chain smokes, uses profanity, suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder, is agoraphobic and has his world turned upside down when he meets his 14-year-old daughter for the first time.
  • SAM ROCKWELL plays his con artist partner who smokes, drinks, uses profanity and sets up their latest job.
  • ALISON LOHMAN plays Roy's independent, 14-year-old daughter who smokes and drinks (once each), uses some profanity and wants to learn her dad's tricks of the trade.
  • BRUCE ALTMAN plays Roy's new psychiatrist who tries to help him get over his various neuroses.
  • BRUCE McGILL plays a man who's trying to pull off an illegal currency transaction with Roy and Frank, unaware that they're planning on conning him.
  • 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 mostly lighthearted drama that's been rated PG-13 where not everything that occurs is ultimately the same as it initially seems. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some brief, sexually related dialogue is present and a few scantily clad women are seen, as is a man's bare butt (very briefly).

    Violence includes a shooting with slightly bloody results, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. That includes those who con others out of their money, something that some kids might be enticed to try to imitate. Various characters drink and/or smoke (one does the latter throughout much of the film). Thematic issues involve various neuroses, some tense family material and some brief underage drinking and smoking.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, some of that occurs in a scene set in a strip club and later in a hospital.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Roy admits that he wasn't sober a lot in the past.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a club, including Frank who has a beer, while Roy may have an alcoholic drink.
  • Angela has a beer in front of Roy (who doesn't think she should be having one at her age).
  • Frank has a martini while Chuck has wine.
  • When Roy gets mad at her for being out without him knowing where she was, Angela states that she didn't drink or get high.
  • Frank and Chuck have drinks.
  • Angela tries to get a drink at an airport bar as part of a decoy ploy.
  • We see a beer bottle near Frank.
  • Roy makes martinis for Frank and himself.
  • Frank tells Roy, "One of these days I'm gonna get you drunk."
  • Roy has a frozen drink.
  • We see a bottle of wine on a table.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A man holds a gun on Roy and Frank (who spits out some blood, has a bloody lip, and has some blood on his shirt).
  • We see blood on a person's hand after they've been shot.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Most ever major character is involved in conning others in various ways and for various reasons (usually for self-profit), although they and other actions ultimately aren't the same they initially seem.
  • Some people double-cross others.
  • Angela rifles through Roy's belongings when he's not there and then leaves his place a mess.
  • Some viewers might not like when Frank rhetorically asks, "Does the Pope poo in the woods?"
  • Chuck agrees to exchange American dollars for illegally obtained British pounds.
  • Roy teaches Angela how to pull off a con (but tells her she must give the money back).
  • We hear that Angela has previously been arrested for shoplifting.
  • Angela states that some man in the past tried to grope her chest.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • An angry man hits Roy's car with a briefcase and then repeatedly grabs at Angela as Roy tries to drive away. The two then end up in a slow parking ticket line and get nervous as the man races up toward them from behind.
  • A man holds a gun on Roy and Frank (who spits out some blood, has a bloody lip, and has some blood on his shirt). That man then throws something that hits Frank on the head.
  • Angela holds a gun on a person in a brief standoff that ends with it going off, wounding that person (we see blood on their hand).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Seen and/or used to threaten and shoot others. See "Violence" for details.
  • We see that Roy has a gun hidden in his place.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Are you a f*cking quack?" "You've got to be sh*tting me," "Cut the sh*t," "(No) bullsh*t," "Holy sh*t," "Not scared sh*tless," "Piece of sh*t," "Whack jobs," "Bitching," "What the hell?" "I feel like a chick" (woman), "Sucker," "Shrink" (psychiatrist), "Does the Pope poo in the woods?" "Jackass," "Where the hell were you?" "Jeez," "Screw that up," "Chicks dig it," "Hell of a bargain," "Sucks," "Pissed," "I screwed it up," "Jerk" and "Screwed" (nonsexual).
  • Some of the cons (calling people with prize announcements, forging a lottery ticket and placing it as a lucky discovery so that the "winner" withdraws money from an ATM to pay you their half of the "winnings," etc.) might be enticing for some older kids to imitate.
  • After Roy tells Frank to wipe off the phone after using it, Frank mockingly wipes it on his clothed butt and crotch (just to goad Roy).
  • Angela has ice cream for breakfast and briefly smokes and drinks a beer (in other scenes).
  • Frank gives "the finger" to someone. Later, Angela gives "the finger" to someone else as part of a decoy move.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Angela surprises Roy at a door.
  • We see a quick view of a man punching another man in the face.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None that we heard, but some songs have lyrics that we couldn't hear/understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially having objectionable lyrics.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (with another possible one), 16 "s" words, 3 hells, 1 ass (used with "hole"), 1 S.O.B., 4 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh God," 2 uses each of "Jesus," "Jesus Christ" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "For God's sakes," "God," "My God," "Oh Jesus Christ" and "Oh Lord."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Roy tells Dr. Klein that his former wife's "bud in the oven" could have been from anybody.
  • We see a muscular female stripper in a small bikini hanging upside down on a stripper's pole. We then see other scantily clad women in this club.
  • Trying to make Roy teach her a con by stating what she's done with boys (to embarrass him), Angela says that she's done stuff with boys that would make him throw up. She then says that some guy pushed her up against a bed and took his hands (but doesn't finish the story as Roy agrees to teach her something).
  • Although it's hard to tell if he's being serious or just yanking his chain, Frank makes various homosexual allusions toward Roy. That includes him saying that he's in love with him and wondering if that turns him (Roy) on. Later, Frank tells Roy, "One of these days I'm gonna get you drunk."
  • We see a brief shot of Roy's bare butt as he walks off in a hospital gown that's open in the back.
  • Angela shows cleavage in a low-cut top.
  • SMOKING
  • Roy smokes more than 20 times (sometimes in quick succession in montages), Frank, Chuck and Klein (cigar) each smoke several times, Angela smokes once, and some miscellaneous characters smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Roy was once married long ago and Roy tells Dr. Klein that his former wife's "bud in the oven" could have been from anybody.
  • Some tense family scenes arise when Roy tells Angela that she must leave and for her never to call him again.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Agoraphobia.
  • Con artists.
  • Roy's comment that he's a con artist and not a criminal (he says that his victims give him their money).
  • Seeing psychiatrists.
  • Strip clubs and people who go to them.
  • Roy admits to thinking about suicide.
  • Roy admits that he dropped out of school.
  • We hear that Angela has previously been arrested for shoplifting.
  • Angela states that some man in the past tried to grope her chest.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Note that not everything listed below is ultimately the same as it initially seems.
  • Angela throws a bar glass to the floor as part of a decoy ploy.
  • An angry man hits Roy's car with a briefcase and then repeatedly grabs at Angela as Roy tries to drive away. The two then end up in a slow parking ticket line and get nervous as the man races up toward them from behind.
  • A man holds a gun on Roy and Frank (who spits out some blood, has a bloody lip, and has some blood on his shirt). That man then throws something that hits Frank on the head.
  • Angela holds a gun on a person in a brief standoff that ends with it going off, wounding that person (we see blood on their hand).
  • We see a quick view of a man punching another man in the face.



  • Reviewed September 8, 2003 / Posted September 12, 2003

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Collateral Beauty] [La La Land] [Manchester By The Sea] [Rogue One: A Star Wars Story]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.