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"SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS"
(2006) (Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Heder) (PG-13)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A mild-mannered meter maid ends up battling his more experienced teacher for the girl next door when he takes a class that he hopes will build his self-confidence.
PLOT:
Roger (JON HEDER) is such a mild-mannered NYC meter maid that he often pays for those he tickets to avoid confrontations with them, something that his boss Sergeant Moorehead (LUIZ GUZMAN) and others find amusing. It also means he can't get up the nerve to ask out his pretty neighbor, Amanda (JACINDA BARRETT), whose acerbic roommate Becky (SARAH SILVERMAN) doesn't even try hiding the fact that she doesn't like him.

Based on that and a kid dumping him as his "big brother" sponsor, Roger has a breakdown, thus causing an acquaintance, Ian (DAVID CROSS), to give him the number for a school that can help people like him, stating that he benefited from it. Thus, along with fellow students including Walsh (MATT WALSH), Eli (TODD LOUISO) ad Diego (HORATIO SANZ), Roger ends up in a self-confidence class run by Dr. P (BILLY BOB THORNTON) and his aggressively angry assistant, Lesher (MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN).

Demonstrating no sympathy for these "losers," Dr. P and Lesher set out to teach Roger and the others how to be self-assured, not put up with others, and get the girl, all without caring how they're perceived. As Roger progresses through the course, he thinks he's getting the hang of it. That is, until he learns that Dr. P is also putting the moves on Amanda. Hoping to intervene before it's too late, Roger then sets out to defeat his teacher at his own game.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the film or goofy comedies, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language, crude and sexual content, and some violence.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • JON HEDER plays a NYC meter maid who's lacking in self-confidence, particularly when it comes to asking out Amanda. After enrolling in Dr. P's class, he finally does so, but must then battle him for her affection. He drinks some, including getting drunk in one scene.
  • BILLY BOB THORNTON plays the school's acerbic instructor who belittles his students to break them down before building them up. He uses strong profanity, drinks and tries to steal Amanda away from Roger, including doing various things to undermine or otherwise make his student look bad.
  • JACINDA BARRETT plays Roger's pretty grad-student neighbor who agrees to go out on a date with him, but then seems to fall for Dr. P when he puts the moves on her as well.
  • MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN plays Dr. P's hulking and mean assistant who puts their students through the paces. He uses some profanity.
  • MATT WALSH and TODD LOUISO play other students in Roger's class.
  • HORATIO SANZ plays another student, a henpecked husband who wants to gain self-confidence.
  • SARAH SILVERMAN plays Amanda's roommate who doesn't like Roger and makes that perfectly clear.
  • LUIZ GUZMAN plays Roger's boss at the parking enforcement office who isn't above laughing with others at his employee's misfortune.
  • 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 comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are used. Sexually related dialogue is present, some men are seen in their underwear several times, a male instructor draws a female breast as inspiration for his male students, and a photo shows two lions mating.

    Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while a repeated "joke" suggests that a male instructor raped his male students (or at least has done so to others in the past). Comedy-based violence includes people striking or otherwise contacting others in various ways, as well as some thugs shooting at the protagonist.

    Some of that behavior (and the intended, self-assured bad attitudes that are being taught) might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Some smoking and drinking occur, including by the protagonist who passes out from doing too much of the latter.

    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
  • We see the students and others drinking beer in a bar where Dr. P drinks straight liquor.
  • Lesher and a student have wine during a dating simulation.
  • Roger and Amanda have wine on their date. Later, he drinks straight from the bottle and is falling down drunk. She asks if this is the first time he's been drunk and he replies, "Are you kidding? and that he's been drunk every week since he was eleven. She then helps him home and puts him to bed in that state (nothing sexual).
  • Dr. P and Amanda are offered champagne on their flight (he accepts, she declines).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Dr. P shows photos of lions to the class for inspiration, and one shows a lion biting into a zebra's neck (with a little resultant blood).
  • We see one male student urinating in the woods (we see his urine stream).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Everything listed below is played for comedy.
  • Some tough-looking guys turn menacing toward Roger after if he gives them a parking ticket. They then shoot at him and then make him pay for their ticket and their mental duress of thinking they shot him.
  • We see Roger in just his t-shirt and briefs back at headquarters as he tells Sgt. Moorehead that some thugs took most of his clothes. Another meter maid guy then walks in, somewhat dressed similarly, mocking Roger's misfortune (both he and Sgt. Moorehead laugh about that).
  • Ian states that he's dating "two Asian chicks" simultaneously as a result of Dr. P's program.
  • Dr. P and Lesher treat their "students" badly (trying to break them down before building up their confidence, etc.).
  • Some viewers might not like Dr. P using terms such as "Retards," "You guys are a bunch of retards" and "He spent three years in the 'tard hutch."
  • When Roger's beeper goes off, his co-worker mockingly asks about Roger, "What, is he a pimp now?"
  • Instructed to be confrontational and then signaled by a beeper to do so, Roger takes a desert from a coworker who gets mad and shoves him backwards, with Roger then trying to do the same back to him (we next see the coworker holding Roger upside down, dunking his head into a toilet). We then see a montage of the other students having to do the same. One grabs a stranger's violin and smashes it to bits, another pushes a bowl of Jell-O into an older patient's face, one confronts and then slaps a gang-banger on the subway, and another smashes a windshield with a bat.
  • Lesher captures three male adult students, and we later see that he has them stripped down to their underwear, bent over and with their hands tied behind their backs (there are comedic references to rape later in the film, but we don't know if that's what did or was going to happen here).
  • Becky (Amanda's roommate) doesn't like Roger and makes that well known.
  • Following Dr. P's class advice, Roger repeatedly lies to Amanda on their date (about his life and more).
  • To try to be dangerous on their date at a restaurant, Roger steals a bunch of lobsters and then sets them free in the ocean or river leading to it.
  • Some thugs try to intimidate Roger when he confronts them wanting his stolen shoes back, but nothing else happens as the young men's mother or guardian reprimands them.
  • Although he claims he's doing so to help Roger in building his backbone, Dr. P hits on and then pursues Amanda, knowing full well that Roger is interested in her (and thus tries to cheat on his wife - who's never seen -- in the process).
  • Dr. P lies to Amanda about being a surgeon and of his wife being deceased.
  • When Becky sarcastically reacts to Roger wanting to take Amanda to a musical, she says she wouldn't call that the theater. When asked what she would call it, she replies, "Gay."
  • When Roger asks for the other student's help in dealing with Dr. P (saying he'll deal with Lesher himself), Eli says that Lesher might rape him (Roger). The others are upset about bringing that up, suggesting that a scene listed above was about just that.
  • We see that Dr. P has set up Roger to make it look like he raided Amanda's place, stalker-fashion, by spray painting things on her walls and "Suck me" on her dog (two of his students posing as cops did the latter).
  • Roger learns that Dr. P has penned a love letter from him (Roger) to Sgt. Moorehead, stating his gay love for him (as a way to get him fired, which then occurs).
  • Roger's co-worker mocks him for being fired, prompting Roger to push that guy over a desk to the floor.
  • A former student (now a recluse) asks Roger about Lesher, "He raped you, didn't he?" (Roger says no).
  • Eli and Diego impersonate federal agents trying to convince/coerce a woman to print out a flight's passenger list for them.
  • Roger boards a plane illegally (diving under the closing hatch door) to try to stop Dr. P from flying off with Amanda.
  • We see that Becky and Diego are together at the end of the film, and she meanly congratulates him for being fat (in the grocery store, after he adds another item to their cart) and wonders if he wants a fat medal for that.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Everything listed below is played for comedy.
  • Some tough-looking guys turn menacing toward Roger after if he gives them a parking ticket. Scared, Roger gets into his little meter maid cart and tries to drive off, with both men kicking it and one then pulling out his handgun and shooting out two of the tires. Roger faints, and the two men think he was hit by a ricochet, but then see he's unharmed. Roger then pays for their ticket and ponies up more for their mental duress of thinking they shot him.
  • Some thugs try to intimidate Roger when he confronts them wanting his stolen shoes back, but nothing else happens as the young men's mother or guardian reprimands them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • A thug fires a handgun at Roger for him giving the thug and his friend a parking ticket.
  • Dr. P, Lesher, and the students shoot each other with paintball guns (at close range).
  • A former student holds a gun on Lesher after kidnapping him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Get the f*ck out of here," "The sh*t's humiliating," "Time you got your sh*t together," "None of you are worth sh*t," "You got to be sh*tting me," "It was a sh*t job anyway," "Sh*t-hole," "I want the t*t," "What, is he a pimp now?" "If you get any ass out of this, I'm a miracle worker," "Little ass," "Chicks," "You asshole," "Next time use your damn brain," "Are you a loser?" "Retards," "You can't help yourself cuz your self sucks," "Nuts," "What the hell /are you doing/is he doing?" "Swirlee" (being dunked headfirst into a toilet), "You guys are a bunch of retards," "Ladies" (said to men), "Balls" (testicles), "Oh hell no," "Fell into a pile of ass-whooping," "Before I beat the black out of you" (said by a black woman to her son), "Dude," "What the hell's going on?" "Dumb ass," "Moron," "That sucks," "Dahmer" (what Becky keeps calling Roger, jokingly thinking he's a mass murderer), "Watch your ass," "Suck me" (seen painted on a dog), "Idiots," "Why don't you shut the hell up?" "I'm everywhere...I'm like the wind" (tauntingly said by Roger while wiggling his fingers and making some wind noises), "Hell on Earth," "Bull-crap," "Jerk," "Oh, damn," "Suck it, you're busted," "He spent three years in the 'tard hutch," "Who's the lion now, bitch?" (said to a man) and "Do you want a fat medal?"
  • Some kids may be enticed to imitate the "self-confident" behavior on display here.
  • Instructed to be confrontational and then signaled by a beeper to do so, Roger takes a desert from a coworker who gets mad and shoves him backwards, with Roger then trying to do the same back to him (we next see the coworker holding Roger upside down, dunking his head into a toilet). We then see a montage of the other students having to do the same. One grabs a stranger's violin and smashes it to bits, another pushes a bowl of Jell-O into an older patient's face, one confronts and then slaps a gang-banger on the subway, and another smashes a windshield with a bat.
  • Characters shoot each other at close range with paintballs as part of a training exercise.
  • To try to be dangerous on their date at a restaurant, Roger steals a bunch of lobsters and then sets them free in the ocean or river leading to it.
  • We see some miscellaneous graffiti.
  • We see that Dr. P has set up Roger to make it look like he raided Amanda's place, stalker-fashion, by spray painting things on her walls and "Suck me" on her dog (two of his students posing as cops did the latter).
  • Roger learns that Dr. P has penned a love letter from him (Roger) to Sgt. Moorehead, stating his gay love for him (as a way to get him fired, which then occurs).
  • A miscellaneous person has some tattoos on their arm.
  • Eli and Diego impersonate federal agents trying to convince/coerce a woman to print out a flight's passenger list for them.
  • Roger faints and falls backwards to the floor, but is just faking it.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of action-based and some playfully suspenseful music is heard in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some songs had lyrics we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus offering the possibility of them potentially containing objectionable content. That said, we did hear several uses of "hell" in one song.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 12 "s" words, 5 slang terms for breasts ("t*t"), 13 asses (4 used with "hole"), 12 hells, 6 damns, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 10 uses of "G-damn," 7 of "Oh my God," 2 each of "God," "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ" and 1 used of "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Roger walking toward the camera in a t-shirt and briefs, with the bulge in the latter seen in close-up.
  • We see Roger in just his t-shirt and briefs back at headquarters as he tells Sgt. Moorehead that some thugs took most of his clothes. A male coworker then walks in, somewhat dressed similarly, mocking Roger's misfortune (both he and Sgt. Moorehead laugh about that).
  • Dr. P draws a sketch of a breast (an upside down "U" with a nipple on the end) in class to represent what the guys want, and the term "t*t" is used several times (as in "I want the t*t"). We also see one of the students drawing the same in his notebook.
  • Dr. P shows photos of lions to the class for inspiration, and one shows a male lion mounted on a female one while mating.
  • When Roger's beeper goes off, his co-worker mockingly asks about Roger, "What, is he a pimp now?"
  • Lesher captures three students, and we later see that he has them stripped down to their underwear, bent over and with their hands tied behind their backs (there are comedic references to rape later in the film, but we don't know if that's what did or was going to happen here).
  • During a dating practice session, we see Dr. P's blackboard where the written subject header is "From the bar to your bed" (including lines about lying, acting dangerous, etc.). Dr. P then sarcastically says that if any of them "get any ass out of this," he's a miracle worker.
  • Roger and Amanda kiss on their date, but nothing else happens as he's intoxicated.
  • About their training (above) and just a general comment, Diego states, "I want the t*t."
  • We see that Dr. P has set up Roger to make it look like he raided Amanda's place, stalker-fashion. Amanda states that all of her underwear was stolen, with one student -- who's acting like a cop -- asking if she can describe them (naming different styles). Becky says she could describe hers, but then adds, "Oh yeah, I don't wear any."
  • Roger learns that Dr. P has penned a love letter from him (Roger) to Sgt. Moorehead, stating his gay love for him (as a way to get him fired, which then occurs).
  • We see Roger's bare chest when his shirt is opened (in a nonsexual context).
  • We see Roger in just some small and tight swim trunks as he goes swimming.
  • Onscreen wording comments on what happened to Roger and it states that he had sex for the first time in his life (with Amanda).
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous person smokes a cigar, while another does the same with a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Amanda tells Roger that her father walked out on her and her younger brother when they were little (Roger says that same happened to him, but he's lying).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Dr. P's philosophy of how to be a winner in life and regarding getting women.
  • Roger is involved in the Big Brothers program (but learns that the boy he helps doesn't want him in that role anymore).
  • Dr. P's comment to his students: "Never be sorry."
  • Dr. P's analogy for his students that lions don't ask for things they want or need, they just "take it."
  • There are various implications that Lesher raped some of the male students (or at least some in the past, as this is commented on several times).
  • VIOLENCE
  • Everything listed below is played for comedy.
  • Some tough-looking guys turn menacing toward Roger after if he gives them a parking ticket. Scared, Roger gets into his little meter maid cart and tries to drive off, with both men kicking it and one then pulling out his handgun and shooting out two of the tires. Roger faints, and the two men think he was hit by a ricochet, but then see he's unharmed.
  • Ian informs Roger that the father of his 9-year-old charge (in the Big Brothers program) was shot through the heart (we don't know if that's true or not).
  • Dr. P hands one student's PDA to Lesher who throws it onto the floor, causing it to break apart.
  • Dr. P shows photos of lions to the class for inspiration, and one shows a lion biting into a zebra's neck (with a little resultant blood).
  • Instructed to be confrontational and then signaled by a beeper to do so, Roger takes a desert from a coworker who gets mad and shoves him backwards, with Roger then trying to do the same back to him (we next see the coworker holding Roger upside down, dunking his head into a toilet). We then see a montage of the other students having to do the same. One grabs a stranger's violin and smashes it to bits, another pushes a bowl of Jell-O into an older patient's face, one confronts and then slaps a gang-banger on the subway, and another smashes a windshield with a bat.
  • Dr. P has the students participate in a paintball game exercise, but without any of the protective gear. When one brings up the rule about minimum safe distances, Dr. P shoots him at close range with a paintball. The rest then open fire on each other, with many shooting Roger in the crotch, causing him to double over in pain. During this, Lesher grabs one by the throat, while another student shoots a third who's urinating (hitting him in the face).
  • Lesher captures three students, and we later see that he has them stripped down to their underwear, bent over and with their hands tied behind their backs (there are comedic references to rape later in the film, but we don't know if that's what did or was going to happen here). Roger then shows up and shoots Lesher in the forehead with a paintball, sending him crashing to the ground.
  • Dr. P slaps Roger on the face.
  • Roger faints and falls backwards to the floor hard.
  • During a dating simulation, Lesher pushes a student backwards out of his seat.
  • With both vying for Amanda, Roger and Dr. P end up playing tennis doubles with her and Becky (men against women). Roger then purposefully serves hard into Dr. P's leg, and during a volley, he whacks him on the head with his racket while trying to hit the ball. He then purposefully serves into Dr. P's head, and then rushes and tackles him to the court where the two struggle. While storming off the court moments later, he hits a ball-serving machine that shoots a ball out that strikes Dr. P in the crotch, doubling him over in pain.
  • We see that Dr. P has set up Roger to make it look like he raided Amanda's place, stalker-fashion, with two of his students posing as cops. One briefly struggles with Roger while arresting him. That results in Roger falling and smashing backwards through a glass coffee table (while cuffed). Later, he shoots pepper spray or something similar into Roger's face in an elevator, but then all of them react to the stinging sensation in their eyes and stumble out of the elevator.
  • While ticketing Dr. P's car, Roger tries to break the headlight with his flashlight (to create another offense), but can't get it to break.
  • Roger's co-worker mocks him for being fired, prompting Roger to push that guy over a desk to the floor.
  • A former student grabs Lesher from the backseat, holding a cloth over his mouth and nose that then renders Lesher unconscious. We later see that he has Lesher bound and gagged in the backseat as he drives. Even later, that student flies Lesher to a remote place, holds a gun on him, and then says he's giving him a head start to run away (his hands bound). Lesher tries, but ends up tumbling down a hill (we read that he was never seen again).
  • Roger runs into and through various people while racing through an airport to get to a plane.
  • Knowing Roger has faked fainting, but needing to act like a doctor, Dr. P calls for the defibrillator (putting a passenger's dirty sock into Roger's mouth). He then slaps Roger's face (faking trying to rouse him), and nearly uses the charged paddles on Roger, but Amanda learns the truth and punches Dr. P in the gut. That causes him to lower the paddles that then shock him in the crotch before dropping them down onto Roger's bare chest, shocking him.



  • Reviewed September 12, 2006 / Posted September 29, 2006

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