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"THE LADYKILLERS"
(2004) (Tom Hanks, Irma P. Hall) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A group of unlikely con artists and criminals must decide what to do with an older, churchgoing lady when she stumbles upon their scheme of robbing a casino by tunneling from her cellar to its vault.
PLOT:
Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr (TOM HANKS) is no instructor, but rather a conman and criminal who's determined to rob the floating Bandit Queen casino boat. The only problem is that its daily take is stored in a highly secure vault in the counting house located onshore.

Rather than go through the front door, however, the professor has decided to tunnel his way to riches and thus rents a room from Marva Munson (IRMA P. HALL). She's an older and sweet churchgoing lady who's complained so many times to Sheriff Wyner (GEORGE WALLACE) about so many trivial matters that he no longer pays her any heed.

Dorr easily convinces Marva that her cellar's earthen walls are acoustically perfect for his band to practice their gospel-inspired, baroque music. Among the players is Gawain MacSam (MARLON WAYANS), a casino custodian who will be their inside man; the stoic General (TZI MA) who has experience with tunnels; munitions expert Garth Pancake (J.K. SIMMONS) who brings in an outsider, Mountain Girl (DIANE DELANO), for help; and Lump (RYAN HURST), a somewhat dimwitted football player who will serve as their muscle.

Using a host of lies and distractions to keep Marva in the dark about their scheme, the team sets out to tunnel to the vault, break-in, and make off with the loot. When Marva stumbles onto their plot, however, the group must act before she turns them in to Sheriff Wyner. From that point on, they decide they must silence her lest their plan go awry, all of which leads to a series of unexpected, black comedy repercussions.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast or films from the Coen brothers, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language including sexual references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TOM HANKS plays a con man who fools Marva into believing he and his friends are musicians when they're really criminals who want to rob a casino vault. He constantly lies to her about their activities and then decides she must be killed in order for them to get away with their plan.
  • IRMA P. HALL plays an older and very religious woman who agrees to rent a room to Dorr but then becomes increasingly suspicious of his and his "band's" activities.
  • MARLON WAYANS plays a casino custodian who signs on to Dorr's team to help rob the casino by being the "inside man." He uses strong profanity, threatens people with guns and doesn't get along with Pancake.
  • J.K. SIMMONS plays the munitions expert who gets tired of Gawain, fights with him and uses strong profanity. He also suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
  • TZI MA plays the near silent and stoic General who constantly smokes and is involved in the crime.
  • RYAN HURST plays the dimwitted football player chosen by Dorr to be their enforcer.
  • DIANE DELANO plays Pancake's girlfriend who assists him with his munitions.
  • GEORGE WALLACE plays the town's sheriff who's grown tired of Marva and her complaints.
  • 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 R-rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 78 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Several instances of sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) are also present, while the camera briefly focuses on a woman's clothed rear.

    Violence consists of several purposeful and accidental deaths, all presented in a black comedy fashion. An explosion results in a bloody hand and severed finger, while various characters attempt to kill an older woman (which leads to their own demises) and some threatening with guns occurs.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some imitative behavior is present, one character smokes throughout the film and some crude humor occurs. 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
  • Dorr and his team celebrate with champagne.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Pancake holding his hand that's very bloody (with blood dripping down from it) after an explosion wounds him and severs a finger (we see the severed finger in the cat's mouth).
  • We hear intestinal rumbling sounds from Pancake, and he then states that he has Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He then goes on about that (saying he met Mountain Girl at a related conference) and after leaving a bathroom, he states, "I feel 30 pounds lighter."
  • We hear more intestinal rumbling sounds from Pancake.
  • About a distantly heard explosion, Gawain jokingly asks a guard, "You just fart?"
  • A man drinks water from a drinking glass containing Marva's dentures (some viewers will react to that in gross disgust).
  • We see a cat holding a severed human finger in its mouth.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • All of the following is played in a black comedy fashion.
  • Dorr constantly lies to Marva about who he is and what he and his "band" will be doing.
  • We see a dog that's had a gas mask placed over its head for a TV commercial. The pooch eventually falls over to the floor due to suffocation, prompting a man to attempt CPR on it (played for laughs -- some viewers might not find it funny).
  • Gawain and his friend try to rob a store and one of them calls an Asian clerk "Dragon Lady."
  • The General smokes in Marva's house after she tells him that's not allowed.
  • Dorr and his team rob a casino counting house of more than $1 million and try to get away with it, even trying to persuade Marva to be part of it (albeit unwittingly).
  • Some viewers might not like Gawain wearing a hat that reads, "Jesus is my homeboy."
  • Gawain keeps referring to Mountain Girl as Pancake's "bitch." That prompts Pancake to get mad at him and the two briefly go at it with Gawain then pulling and holding his handgun on Pancake.
  • Gawain bribes his former boss to get his job back.
  • When the team learns that Marva is on to their plan, they decide they must murder her to keep her from going to the sheriff (all played in a black comedy fashion), with Gawain saying they could "bust a cap in that old bitch's head."
  • One of the group members tries to steal all of the money from the others.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • As Marva talks to the portrait of her husband, some suspenseful music plays, a candle flame flickers and the cat reacts (but it's only Dorr at the door).
  • Pancake discovers that a timer attached to an explosive is stuck with 14 seconds left. It then suddenly resumes its countdown and he races to get out of the tunnel. He nearly makes it and the resultant explosion blows him out from it and into Marva's cellar (all played for comedy).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Used to rob, threaten and accidentally kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Explosives: Used to blow up various things during the criminal plan.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck /are you doing/are you talking about?" "Let me in m*therf*cker," "A fat m*therf*cker," "F*cker," "F*ck up," "F*ck you and your Swiss miss," "I don't give a f*ck," "Shut the f*ck up," "Well, f*ck man," "Bullsh*t," "Niggers" (said by both Gawain and Marva), "Kiss my ass," "Dawg," "Squeaky ass," "What's up, my nigger?" "What the hell is this?" "Hey butt-head," "Get your ass off the field," "Dragon lady" (what a robber calls an Asian clerk), "You brought your bitch?" "Bitch" (said many times), "Sorry ass," "Shut your G*ddamn mouth," "Up yours," "You're damn right," "Whore," "Tight ass," "Jackass," "Nubby" (a person who's lost a finger), "Crapper," "Nut sack" (scrotum), "Punk," "My ass," "Kick your ass," "Bastard" and "You stupid boy."
  • The group - and especially Dorr - make up various lies (that generate laughs) to cover their real intentions.
  • We see a dog that's had a gas mask placed over its head for a TV commercial. The pooch eventually falls over to the floor due to suffocation, prompting a man to attempt CPR on it (played for laughs -- some viewers might not find it funny).
  • Dorr and his "band" play pre-recorded music to make it sound like they're practicing.
  • When needing to hide the cigarette he's smoking, the General manages to flip it back into his mouth (still lit) without using his hands.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song had lyrics about "body bags" and uses the word "ass." Other lyrics couldn't be heard or understood, thus offering the possibility of them potentially containing other objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 78 "f" words (23 used with "mother" and 2 used sexually), 15 "s" words, 6 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 1 each with female genitals ("p*ssy") and breasts ("jugs"), 28 asses (2 used with "hole"), 5 damns, 4 hells, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 17 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use each of "Oh my God" and "Swear to God.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Gawain equates Lump's musical playing to being as good as "p*ssy" (that prompts Marva to slap him for using such language).
  • When Marva shows Dorr a woodwind musical instrument that her late husband carved, Dorr asks a question that sounds as if he's wondering whether her husband was ever "blowing the chauffeur" (but he's using a word for a musical instrument that sounds like that other word). She reacts adversely until he explains the meaning.
  • The camera focuses in tight on a woman's shapely rear end in tight fitting pants (representing Gawain's point of view). He then makes some sexual comments about that.
  • When commenting on Pancake losing a finger in an explosion, Gawain talks of John Wayne Bobbitt having his "d*ck" cut off, sewn back on, and then being in porno films (where Gawain says he's seen him "f*cking the bitch all sorts of ways").
  • Sexual comments are made about "f*cking a girl," "ride your ass" and something about "stick my d*ck."
  • SMOKING
  • The General smokes around 20 times, and when he needs to hide the cigarette he's smoking, he manages to flip it back into his mouth (still lit) without using his hands.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Marva's husband has been dead for 20 some years.
  • We see a flashback to Gawain's mother slapping him when he's just a boy (played for comedy).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Trying to get away with crime.
  • Black comedy material.
  • Pancake (who states he worked on the Civil Rights movement) tells Gawain (who's black) that with equal rights comes equal responsibility (about killing Marva).
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played in a black comedy fashion.
  • Dorr climbs a tree and then out onto a branch to retrieve Marva's cat, but the branch breaks and he crashes to the ground (but is okay).
  • We see a dog that's had a gas mask placed over its head for a TV commercial. The pooch eventually falls over to the floor due to suffocation, prompting a man to attempt CPR on it (played for laughs -- some viewers might not find it funny).
  • We see the point of view of Lump playing football and being the recipient of various harsh blows that knock him to the ground. We then see his coach hit him.
  • Gawain and his friend hold handguns on an Asian clerk and then the General in a store. The General is unfazed and grabs Gawain by the nostrils (one finger in each). He then slams Gawain's head down onto a counter. The woman then throws hot coffee into the friend's face.
  • Gawain equates Lump's musical playing to being as good as "p*ssy" (that prompts Marva to slap him for using such language).
  • Gawain keeps referring to Mountain Girl as Pancake's "bitch." That prompts Pancake to get mad at him and the two briefly go at it with Gawain then pulling and holding his handgun on Pancake.
  • In showing that a block of C4 explosives is harmless when by itself, Pancake slams a hammer down onto it. The scene then switches outside of the house where we hear the cellar explosion and see some of the results on the house (nothing damaged up top).
  • Pancake discovers that a timer attached to an explosive is stuck with 14 seconds left. It then suddenly resumes its countdown and he races to get out of the tunnel. He nearly makes it and the resultant explosion blows him out from it and into Marva's cellar (all played for comedy).
  • We see a flashback to Gawain's mother slapping him when he's just a boy (played for comedy).
  • Marva repeatedly hits Gawain with a large pillow, eventually flooring him.
  • Gawain and Pancake push each other.
  • Two men struggle, a gun is pulled, more struggling ensues and we hear the gun go off, resulting in one of the men being dead (played for comedy and no blood).
  • On several occasions, recently dead or murdered people are dropped from a bridge and down onto a passing garbage barge.
  • One of the group members strangles the other to death via a rope or cord. It's implied that he kills another person as well.
  • A man trips, falls down some stairs and ends up dead.
  • A group member holds a handgun on another and pulls the trigger, but it doesn't go off. He then turns the gun around, looks at the barrel and the gun goes off (we don't see the impact or any blood, but do see his body fall from a bridge down onto a garbage barge).
  • The head of a statue hits a man on the head, causing him to fall over the side of a bridge. His coat catches beneath it, but he then slips away and falls a great distance to a garbage barge below him (we don't know his fate).



  • Reviewed March 22, 2004 / Posted March 26, 2004

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