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"ALL THE KING'S MEN"
(2006) (Sean Penn, Jude Law) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A political demagogue rises to power as the governor of Louisiana, only to face those opposed to his policies as well as his own demons.
PLOT:
It's the 1950s and Willie Stark (SEAN PENN) is an unpolished but passionate minor politician who's most concerned with the local corruption that led to several children perishing from shoddy school construction. His actions are soon noticed not only by local newspaper reporter Jack Burden (JUDE LAW), but also political operative Tiny Duffy (JAMES GANDOLFINI) who dupes Willie into running for governor, all for his handlers who think they can control the neophyte. But when Willie gets wind of this from Jack and his own press attaché Sadie Burke (PATRICIA CLARKSON), he discards his prepared speech and speaks from his heart.

His demagoguery soon attracts growing masses of the disenchanted masses, which doesn't sit well with the rich or corporations who fear what his idealistic desires might mean for them. It's not long before the recently fired Jack becomes his right-hand man and follows him to the governor's mansion when Willie is elected. With him, Sadie, Tiny and bodyguard Sugar Boy (JACKIE EARLE HALEY) making up his core team, he sets out to change Louisiana politics, thus drawing the ire of retired but still highly influential Judge Samuel Irwin (ANTHONY HOPKINS) who calls for his impeachment.

Inexorably becoming seduced by the power of his seat, Willie assigns Jack to dig up whatever dirt he can find on Irwin -- who just so happens to be Jack's godfather -- in hopes of persuading him to change his stance. As Jack tries to do just that, he's reunited with his former childhood friends, siblings Anne (KATE WINSLET) and Adam Stanton (MARK RUFFALO), the now adult children of a former governor. As Jack's romantic feelings for Anne are rekindled and they discuss how Adam, a doctor, has changed, the balance of power in Louisiana politics remains in the balance.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Older teens might be interested, as might anyone who's a fan of someone in the cast, but that's probably it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For an intense sequence of violence, sexual content and partial nudity.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SEAN PENN plays an idealistic and passionate politician who rides his demagoguery into office as the Governor of Louisiana. Once there, he lets the position corrupt him, as he focuses on undermining Judge Stanton in hopes of circumventing his own impeachment. He drinks, smokes and apparently has a sexual thing with Anne.
  • JUDE LAW plays a reporter turned political cog for Willie who's assigned to dig up dirt on his own godfather, all as his romance for Anne is rekindled. He drinks and smokes.
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS plays his godfather, a principled former judge who doesn't like Willie or his policies and calls for his impeachment.
  • KATE WINSLET plays a former governor's daughter who's thrust back into Jack's life once their paths cross due to being involved with Willie. She drinks and smokes a bit.
  • MARK RUFFALO plays her brother, a doctor who's tapped to run Willie's new hospital, but holds a grudge against the politician and eventually takes matters into his own hands.
  • PATRICIA CLARKSON plays Willie's press attaché who isn't happy with how things are unfolding. She smokes some.
  • JAMES GANDOLFINI plays a political operative who tries to manipulate Willie for his own handlers, but then ends up working for him. He drinks and smokes some.
  • JACKIE EARLE HALEY plays Willie's solemn bodyguard who's always at the ready in case anything happens.
  • 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 drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of a number of mild expletives, while colorful phrases and some sexually related dialogue are also uttered. A woman is seen lying nude on a man's bed (her hands covering her breasts) but no sex occurs (although it's implied she later has sex with another man), while some scantly clad female performers are briefly seen (including one in the equivalent of a thong bottom).

    Violence consists of two people being shot to death (with rather bloody results and the possibility of being unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers), and a suicide occurs off camera. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while many characters drink and/or smoke (a lot of both). Some tense family material is present, as are various thematic elements.

    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.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's some occasionally bouncy handheld camerawork.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Jack and others have beer, with Tiny ordering beers all around, but Willie says he doesn't drink.
  • Jack has a drink.
  • Learning he's being used by Tiny and others, Willie (who earlier said he doesn't drink), guzzles down some liquor and is later seen passed out on the floor with a bottle in his hand.
  • Jack drinks.
  • Various people drink at Judge Irwin's home.
  • Jack drinks in a car.
  • Willie guzzles down liquor given to him by Jack.
  • Willie and Jack drink.
  • Willie has another drink.
  • Willie drinks.
  • Jack and Sadie drink.
  • Jack has a drink and Anne has wine.
  • Jack drinks and says he's drinking himself to death.
  • We see an old photo of Jack, Adam, and Anne drinking.
  • Anne has champagne in front of her.
  • Jack drinks.
  • Jack has a drink.
  • In a flashback, Jack states his mom is out with others for a nightcap.
  • Jack and his mother drink.
  • Judge Irwin has bourbon and offers some to Jack who declines the offer.
  • We see a drink in front of Adam.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear that a person committed suicide and then see the large blood splatter pattern on a wall from the unseen shot.
  • An assassin and his victim are both bloody after the former shoots the latter and he's then shot by a bodyguard. We also see their blood run through the cracks of a large seal that's carved into the floor, and those steams run together into a bigger pool (seen in close-up and then from an aerial view looking down on that and them lying there dead).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • With his power going to his head, Willie becomes more corrupt as the story progresses, including assigning Jack to dig up whatever dirt he can on Judge Irwin to try to blackmail him into recanting his call for the governor's impeachment. Jack then tries to do just that.
  • Those portrayed as trying to control and then shut down Willie are portrayed as having bad attitudes.
  • Willie says that a low bid for the building of a schoolhouse was thrown out due to "Negro workers" being involved. We then hear that it collapsed due to shoddy construction and that three kids were killed.
  • Tiny works as a political operative, slyly trying to get Willie to run for governor while acting as if he's his friend.
  • Jack gets some pressure by a superior at his paper (that's backing Willie's opponent) not to cover Willie so much. He's later fired from the paper.
  • About a young rich woman, Jack jokes that someone should marry her for her money and then drown her in the bathtub.
  • Willie uses the term "nigga" or "nigger" in general (not directed to any person in particular).
  • It's implied that Willie used Anne for sex.
  • An upset man assassinates a politician.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Sugar drives fast and swerves through traffic, twice nearly hitting oncoming vehicles.
  • We see an upset man approaching a politician through a crowd of people. He then pulls a gun and shoots the politician repeatedly (we see blood burst out from the back of the victim's clothing). A bodyguard then shoots the assassin repeatedly, but the latter manages to get off one last shot into his victim's side while lying by him on the floor. The bodyguard then shoots the assassin more times, killing him. Both men are very bloody and their blood runs through the cracks of a large seal that's carved into the floor, and their steams run together into a bigger pool (seen in close-up and then from an aerial view looking down on that and them lying there dead).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns: Used to kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Sugar is often seen with his handgun (wearing it, cleaning it, firing it in target practice).
  • Judge Irwin loads and fires a sort of miniature catapult, with the projectile hitting and breaking part of a chandelier.
  • We see a flashback to Judge Irwin and a boy hunting with a shotgun (no firing of it).
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "The slut on skates," "Piss-ant," "Cracker," "Better than a chance in hell," "(Two-timing/Old) Bastard," "Hell no," "Jackass," "He blew it to hell," "You don't know a G*ddamn thing," "Oh hell," "Sons of bitches," "Nigga" (or "nigger"), "Such a smart ass" and "State director of pimps."
  • Sugar drives fast and swerves through traffic, twice nearly hitting oncoming vehicles.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 6 hells, 4 S.O.B.s, 1 ass, 4 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Willie jokingly says something about making Jack the secretary of the bedchamber, adding something about the silky things left behind.
  • Hearing that Willie's wife is a teacher, Tiny makes some sort of jokingly inquisitive comment (possibly sexual - we couldn't understand it) about teachers.
  • A painting in the background of a shot appears to show a bare-breasted woman.
  • Willie and others watch some sort of female "entertainer" skating about in a bra and small panties (that are like a thong in the back as we see most of her bare butt). Later, Sadie is upset about this and refers to her as the "slut on skates."
  • About Jack's former fiancée, he comments on there initially being lots of tangled bed clothing.
  • Willie watches a somewhat scantly clad belly dancer type performer.
  • A comment is made about a person being the "state director of pimps."
  • In a flashback, Anne is back at Jack's place (his mom is out for the night). Her dress comes off (nothing seen) and we then see her lying on his bed, fully nude (with her hands covering her bare breasts and there are partial views of the side of her bare butt). We initially think that means they had sex, but we then learn they didn't (he saying he stopped because something they had would have been replaced by something else -- meaning a change in their relationship) and then see her getting dressed (no nudity).
  • About a job offer, Anne says Adam said he wouldn't be paid pimp to his sister's whore.
  • It's implied that Willie used Anne for sex.
  • SMOKING
  • Jack smokes more than 5 times, Willie (including a cigar), Anne, Tiny and Sadie each smoke several times, Adam, Sugar and Judge Irwin (cigar) each smoke at least once, and a number of minor and miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • We see an old photo of Anne smoking.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We see miscellaneous family members at a funeral for children killed in a school building collapse.
  • Jack talks to an old woman whose brother committed suicide in the past (not seen).
  • We an adult man's mother screaming and she yells at him that he killed his father (regarding a suicide). We then see the resultant funeral.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Demagogues and demagoguery.
  • Politics.
  • Corruption.
  • Remorse about the past and not following through on one's feelings.
  • Idealism.
  • Huey Long, the real-life politician from which the main character here is loosely based.
  • Willie says that a low bid for the building of a schoolhouse was thrown out due to "Negro workers" being involved. We then hear that it collapsed due to shoddy construction and that three kids were killed.
  • The comment that time brings all things to light.
  • The comment that power's in the hands of the powerless.
  • The comment that there's always a price for everything we do.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Sadie accidentally opens a door into Willie's head as he lies passed out on the floor (from drinking too much).
  • Tiny ends up falling off a stage and landing in a pigpen (he's okay).
  • Judge Irwin loads and fires a sort of miniature catapult, with the projectile hitting and breaking part of a chandelier.
  • We hear that a person committed suicide and then see the large blood splatter pattern on a wall from the unseen shot.
  • Anne slaps Jack and he then grabs her to control her.
  • We see that Adam's prized piano has been smashed (presumably by him).
  • We see an upset man approaching a politician through a crowd of people. He then pulls a gun and shoots the politician repeatedly (we see blood burst out from the back of the victim's clothing). A bodyguard then shoots the assassin repeatedly, but the latter manages to get off one last shot into his victim's side while lying by him on the floor. The bodyguard then shoots the assassin more times, killing him. Both men are very bloody and their blood runs through the cracks of a large seal that's carved into the floor, and their steams run together into a bigger pool (seen in close-up and then from an aerial view looking down on that and them lying there dead).



  • Reviewed September 12, 2006 / Posted September 22, 2006

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