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"AGAINST THE ROPES"
(2004) (Meg Ryan, Omar Epps) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A female promoter battles the odds and a sexist environment to turn a street fighter into a champion boxer.
PLOT:
Jackie Kallen (MEG RYAN) is a woman who doesn't get any respect for working in and being a life-long fan of the male-dominated world of professional boxing. While working with friend Rene (KERRY WASHINGTON) in the basement of the Cleveland Coliseum for Irving Abel (JOE CORTESE), Jackie has various run-ins with local boxing promoter Sam LaRocca (TONY SHALHOUB). After his boxer loses in a match, the testy Sam challenges her to do better and sells her the boxer's contract for a dollar.

Jackie takes the challenge, but discovers that the boxer is a drug-addict. During an ensuing, drug-related scuffle, however, she's impressed by the fighting moves of dealer Luther Shaw (OMAR EPPS). Against all common sense, she decides to pursue him as a potential client.

He initially blows her off, but seeing that he's facing a dead-end future, agrees to her proposal. She then brings legendary manager Felix Reynolds (CHARLES S. DUTTON) out of retirement to train the talented but green middleweight fighter, and even entices local sports reporter Gavin Reese (TIM DALY) to cover their story.

As Luther starts winning bouts and his and Jackie's fame increases, however, the two must deal with the effects of that as well as Sam doing everything in his power to stop them from succeeding.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're into boxing or are fans of someone in the film, they might, but it doesn't otherwise seem likely that too many kids will be interested in it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For crude language, violence, brief sensuality and some drug material.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MEG RYAN plays a female boxing aficionado and promoter who's determined to succeed in the male dominated sport by transforming Luther from a street fighter into a champion boxer. As she does so, she briefly lets her own fame go to her head and distract her. She uses profanity.
  • OMAR EPPS plays a former drug dealer who Jackie tries to transform into a legitimate boxer. He uses some profanity and initially has a bad attitude toward her and others. He eventually changes his ways, but then becomes upset when she changes hers.
  • CHARLES S. DUTTON plays a former boxing manager who Jackie lures out of retirement to train Luther. He then tries to mold him into a champion.
  • TONY SHALHOUB plays a fiery and sexist boxing promoter who uses profanity, drinks, smokes and is demeaning to Jackie and her quest to turn Luther into a legitimate contender.
  • TIM DALY plays the local sports reporter who starts covering Jackie and Luther but is then dismayed when she breaks her promise to him.
  • JOE CORTESE plays Jackie's sexist and demeaning boss.
  • KERRY WASHINGTON plays Jackie's coworker and friend who starts seeing Luther.
  • 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 drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 30 "s" words, while other expletives and plenty of colorful phrases are uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present as is a sexual gesture, while some women are seen in revealing or scanty attire (including a stripper) and a man is seen in small shorts.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while violence consists of fighting in and out of the ring. Some of that has mild bloody results, while several instances of imitative behavior are present. Various characters smoke and/or drink, while some drug paraphernalia is seen in a dealer's apartment and some drug related comments are made. Meanwhile some brief tense family material is present.

    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.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jackie tells Abel that (among other things) she's restocked his bar.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a bar, as does Gavin.
  • We see drug paraphernalia in a boxer's apartment (and one man may be doing some in the background). Both men think that Jackie and Rene are dealers (one asks, "Where's my rock, bitch?") when Luther then shows up. It's suggested that he's a dealer. Later, Luther refers to a boxer as a crack head.
  • Jackie asks Luther if he has time for a cup of coffee, a beer or a milkshake.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks in a strip club.
  • Sam has a drink and we see beer and other drinks at his table (where Jackie, Luther and another man sit).
  • A woman brings Sam a drink.
  • Gavin and others have drinks.
  • Miscellaneous people have drinks.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see some blood on a boxer's face in a stand poster promoting an upcoming fight.
  • Another boxer's promoter or manager gives Jackie some orange juice (spiked with a laxative or similar substance) for her to give to Luther. Instead, she makes a distraction and switches the juice with another glass, causing the opposing boxer to drink it. Later, during the match, the boxer has intestinal distress and we then hear a sudden sound of diarrhea as he stands in the ring (we don't see anything related to that). Jackie later tells Luther that it's her job "to see sh*t coming."
  • We see a little bit of blood on a boxer's face.
  • Luther has a swollen eye during a match.
  • We see some blood on a boxer's face.
  • Luther has a little blood on his face.
  • Luther has some blood from his nose and mouth during a bout.
  • Luther's boxing opponent has blood on his face.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Sam uses the term "faggots" to describe some characters.
  • Sam has a chronically bad attitude toward others, especially Jackie, and he belittles her in front of others.
  • A person refers to Jackie as the "Barbie doll with the glass balls."
  • Luther initially has a bad attitude toward Jackie despite her bailing him out of jail (he even calls her "bitch").
  • Luther initially has a bad attitude toward Felix, calling him "old man."
  • A boxer lecherously and rhythmically moves his hand in front of his crotch, aimed at Jackie.
  • Sam exerts pressure on others to prevent Jackie from setting up a boxing match for Luther.
  • Jackie confronts a married man in a strip club.
  • Jackie tries to lie to Abel about a medical procedure (when she's really going out of town with Luther for a boxing match), but he's on to her ploy.
  • Another boxer's promoter or manager gives Jackie some orange juice (spiked with a laxative or similar substance) for her to give to Luther.
  • Sam tries to plant doubts in Luther's head about Jackie's motivations.
  • Jackie makes a demeaning comment about Luther (trying to be funny) about teaching him the alphabet and only being up through the first few letters.
  • Jackie starts to let some of the publicity and fame go to her head. She then breaks a promise to Gavin regarding him having exclusive rights to her and Luther's story.
  • An HBO man asks Jackie, "Are you man enough?"
  • Jackie and Luther develop bad attitudes toward each other.
  • Luther's boxing opponent fights dirty during a match (delivering a low blow and head-butting him).
  • Sam yells out for his boxer to send Luther (who's black) "back to the ghetto."
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Luther fights several guys in an apartment, punching and kicking both and driving one back into a wall.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "If I say this sh*t is sh*t, it's sh*t," "Looks like sh*t," "Day old sh*t," "The sh*t your talking is crazy," "Bullsh*t," "Kicking the sh*t out of some guys," "To see sh*t coming," "Sh*t like that," "You ain't got sh*t," "Keep your sh*t together," "Can't say d*ck," "Pr*ck...ly" (said just like that), "Don't throw sex in my face unless you mean it," "Privates" (genitals), "A midget full of stupid," "Kick butt and break hearts," "What the hell happened?" "Faggots," "Who the hell /knows?" "Idiots," "Hootchie mamas," "(Let's) get the hell out of here," "Screw him," "He's a Polaroid, out of the picture," "Lazy ass," "Half-pint," "Barbie doll with the glass balls," "Kiss his ass," "You called me for a black-up," "Bitch(es)" (women and men), "That was off the hook," "Nut" (crazy person), "Nutty," "Thanks for the ride, bitch," "You know damn well," "Ass whooping," "He's da bomb," "Tired ass," "Are you nuts?" "Please don't screw me" (nonsexual), "Black ass," "I'll fire your ass," "The place is tight," "You would be dope," "Life's too damn short," "Bitching," "Nosey ass," "I work my ass off," "Get the hell out right now," "Sucker," "Whoop ass" and "I screwed up."
  • Luther has some tattoos.
  • Jackie pawns some of her possessions for money.
  • Jackie wears a midriff-revealing top.
  • A boxer lecherously and rhythmically moves his hand in front of his crotch, aimed at Jackie.
  • Another boxer's promoter or manager gives Jackie some orange juice (spiked with a laxative or similar substance) for her to give to Luther.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has several uses of the "s" word in it.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 30 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 1 slang term using female ones ("p*ssy"), 23 asses, 20 hells, 10 damns, 6 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Jesus" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Jackie shows some cleavage.
  • Gavin jokingly tells Jackie, "Don't throw sex in my face unless you mean it."
  • Jackie wears a short and tight-fitting skirt.
  • When Felix initially ties down Luther's arm as part of boxing training, Luther jokingly says, "I ain't into no S&M stuff."
  • When Jackie tells a facility manager that she wants practice time for Luther, he sarcastically tells her, "I want a blow job every hour on the hour." Jackie responds, "Is that why you're acting like such a d*ck?"
  • A boxer lecherously and rhythmically moves his hand in front of his crotch, aimed at Jackie.
  • In response to an unheard telephone conversation, Jackie replies that she hasn't thought about "strapping one on" (a possible sexual reference).
  • We see a scantily clad dancer doing her thing in a strip club.
  • A reference is made to "privates" (genitals).
  • We see Luther in small shorts during a boxing weigh-in.
  • We briefly see some scantily clad "round girls" in between rounds during a boxing match.
  • A reporter asks Jackie about a rumor regarding her posing for Playboy. She jokingly asks if she should and the male reporter says yes.
  • Renee says that she knows Luther well enough, prompting a concerned Jackie to compare that in a biblical vs. intimate sense.
  • Jackie shows some cleavage.
  • Jackie wears a leather top that's mostly open in the back and shows a lot of skin.
  • Some miscellaneous women show cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • Sam smokes cigars several times and Felix has one cigar, while others have cigars or cigarettes in a few scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jackie's father calls her (as a child) "a midget full of stupid."
  • Jackie states that her uncle died when she was just a kid.
  • Luther states that he didn't have parents as a child and that social services separated him from his brother.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Boxers and boxing.
  • Trying to make it as a woman in a male-dominated profession.
  • Jackie's father calls her (as a child) "a midget full of stupid."
  • Jackie pawns some of her possessions for money.
  • Luther states that he didn't have parents as a child and that social services separated him from his brother.
  • VIOLENCE
  • There's boxing violence during some practice.
  • Sam punches a promotional poster stand when upset with it.
  • We see some boxing violence during a match.
  • Luther fights several guys in an apartment, punching and kicking both and driving one back into a wall.
  • We see some boxing violence during a match.
  • Luther throws a chair in anger.
  • Luther's boxing opponent fights dirty during a match (delivering a low blow and head-butting him).



  • Reviewed January 15, 2004 / Posted February 20, 2004

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