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"THANK YOU FOR SMOKING"
(2006) (Aaron Eckhart, Cameron Bright) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A tobacco industry lobbyist tries to put various sorts of spin on the product he represents while dealing with people who are both for and against his efforts.
PLOT:
Nick Naylor (AARON ECKHART) is the Vice-President of Tobacco Studies, the main lobbying firm for the tobacco industry. Although divorced from his ex-wife Jill (KIM DICKENS) and barely around for his son, Joey (CAMERON BRIGHT), Nick's the best spin doctor in the business who firmly believes in the mantra that that if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.

When he's not commiserating with the other members of the M.O.D. (Merchants of Death) Squad -- alcohol lobbyist Polly Bailey (MARIA BELLO) and gun industry spokesman Bobby Jay Bliss (DAVID KOECHNER) -- Nick directly works for BR (J.K. SIMMONS) who gets his marching orders from the Captain (ROBERT DUVALL), the revered, big boss of the tobacco industry.

Nick's latest foe is democrat U.S. Senator Ortolan Finistirre (WILLIAM H. MACY) who wants to put more graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging. But Nick's more interested in trying to convince Hollywood super-agent Jeff Megall (ROB LOWE) to do more tobacco-related product placement in his movies, while also delivering a bribe to Lorne Lutch (SAM ELLIOTT), the original Marlboro man who's dying from a life of smoking. And then there's Washington Probe reporter Heather Holloway (KATIE HOLMES) who's set her sights on Nick, blinding him to her real agenda.

While dealing with all of that and getting to know Joey who's along for the ride and observes his dad at work, Nick does what he can to convince everyone that while cigarettes might be bad, it's up to the individual to decide if they're right for themselves.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The high profile cast might draw some, as might the satire angle.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For language and some sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AARON ECKHART plays the lead tobacco lobbyist, an expert spin doctor who's assigned to protect the industry's product. While working, he gets to know his son (who lives with his mother) better, has a torrid affair with Heather, uses strong profanity and must assess his life when things turn bad.
  • CAMERON BRIGHT plays his son who's initially worried about his father embarrassing him, but then becomes somewhat fascinated by what he does while tagging along and watching him work.
  • MARIA BELLO plays an alcohol lobbyist who regularly meets with Nick and Bobby Jay, drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • DAVID KOECHNER plays a gun lobbyist who's friends with Nick and Polly and drinks and uses strong profanity.
  • KIM DICKENS plays Nick's ex-wife who isn't crazy about Joey shadowing his dad and watching him at work.
  • WILLIAM H. MACY plays the democratic Vermont senator who wants to put more graphic warning labels on cigarette packaging. He uses strong profanity and is tense much of the time.
  • ROBERT DUVALL plays the revered, big boss of the tobacco industry who gets Nick to deliver a bribe to Lorne.
  • ROB LOWE plays a flamboyant Hollywood super-agent who meets with Nick about tobacco product placement in his movies. He uses some strong profanity.
  • KATIE HOLMES plays a reporter who ends up having vigorous sex with Nick and then runs his off-the-record comments in her story. She uses some strong profanity.
  • J.K. SIMMONS plays Nick's gruff boss.
  • SAM ELLIOTT plays the original Marlboro man who's dying from his earlier smoking and is none too happy to see Nick show up with hush money from the Captain.
  • 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 21 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. Sexually explicit dialogue is present, as are views of several sexual encounters (with movement and sounds). Some men try to kill another person via a nicotine overdose (placing such patches all over his body), but he survives and that's played for comedy, while footage from an old John Wayne movie shows the Duke's character being shot (in an old-fashioned way).

    While the film is all about smoking and the tobacco industry (and includes lots of dialogue as well as some songs about the act), we didn't note anyone actually smoking. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, while characters drink in various scenes. A few guns are seen, a boy finally spends time with his divorced father, while some thematic issues (including smoking and related illnesses including cancer) are 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
  • Regarding his ability to sway others with his spin control, Nick says he's like the guy who can pick up any girl, except that he's that guy "on crack."
  • We hear that Polly is from the alcohol industry, has a high tolerance for liquor, and started casually drinking at the age of 14.
  • Nick, Polly and Bobby Jay have drinks with their restaurant meal.
  • Miscellaneous people drink.
  • Nick and the Captain have mint juleps.
  • Senator Finistirre has a small liquor bottle on his desk.
  • The Captain tells Nick that sometimes he feels like a Columbian drug dealer.
  • Nick orders wine for Heather and himself.
  • The Captain has a mint julep.
  • Heather playfully imitates Nick, saying, "Don't do drugs -- smoke cigarettes."
  • Nick, Polly and Bobby Jay have drinks.
  • Polly and Bobby Jay have drinks.
  • We see a mint julep on a coffin.
  • Nick, Polly and Bobby Jay have drinks, as do others.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a samurai poster in Jeff's office showing blood spurting out from a sword impact.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Some viewers might not like Nick, his occupation (representing the tobacco industry) and his efforts to put a spin on the smoking controversy (some of which is included below), but that and most everything listed below is played for satire.
  • We see Nick on a TV talk show with a 15-year-old cancer victim who was a smoker (and is now bald). During the show, he spins the fault to those against smoking, saying they want the boy to die (since it will further their cause), while the industry Nick represents wants him to live as a customer.
  • Nick tells kids to think for themselves (mainly about smoking) and to challenge authority. He also says kids should find out for themselves if cigarettes are for them.
  • Nick's little lunch group (with a representative each from the gun and alcohol lobbies) is self-named the "MOD Squad" ("Merchants of Death").
  • Nick's comment that what makes the U.S. great is its endless appeals process.
  • Senator Finistirre refers to a teenager cancer victim as "cancer boy" and wants his assistant to get a "better" (meaning more sickly) choice next time for any TV story about smoking victims.
  • Nick sets off to bribe Hollywood producers into putting tobacco placement into their movies.
  • The Captain gives money to Nick for him to bribe the original Marlboro Man (who's not happy with the industry now that he's dying from using its products). Nick then subtly manipulates Lorne into taking the hush money.
  • A comment is made (about a good deed, and what sounded like), "That's mighty white of you boy" (said by a white guy to another).
  • On a TV call-in show, a caller states that they're going to kill Nick within the week. Later, people grab Nick and try to kill him via placing nicotine patches all over his body (mostly played for laughs).
  • Nick's comments on Polly and Bobby Jay's industries have low death rates compared to his.
  • Heather used Nick's off-the-record comments in her story about him, the industry and his fellow spin doctors/lobbyists.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Lorne aims a rifle at Nick when the latter shows up on his farm, but then lowers his aim when Joey appears.
  • On a TV call-in show, a caller states that they're going to kill Nick within the week. Later, people grab Nick and try to kill him via placing nicotine patches all over his body (mostly played for laughs).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see quick flashback scenes of Bobby Jay's gun past, such as carrying a rifle and then later a machine gun in the military.
  • We see a sign with what look like bullet holes in it.
  • Lorne aims a rifle at Nick when the latter shows up on his farm, but then lowers his aim when Joey appears.
  • Bobby Jay tries to give Nick a small handgun for protection, but Polly stops the transaction.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Are you out of your f*cking mind?" "You're f*cked," "F*cking non-profits," "After some cosmic f*cking," "What the f*ck are you doing here?" "It was some pretty f*cked up sh*t," "F*ckers," "We're f*cked," "You crushed the f*cker," "Bullsh*t" (also said as "BS"), "Falling like a sh*t from Heaven," "Well sh*t," "They ate that sh*t up," "Are you a t*t man?" "Bachelor in kicking ass and taking names," "I'm him on crack," "Get your ass back to D.C." "A complete asshole," "Where in the hell did you find cancer boy?" "Don't get screwed," "Dude," what sounded like "That's mighty white of you boys," "Damn straight I am," "Why the hell not?" "Shut up," "Lucky bastard," "Bitch," "Whore," "Tramp" and "You're the sultan of spin."
  • A person suddenly tackles Nick into a van where he struggles with that man and others who eventually bind him and then cut some of his clothes open (nothing explicit). They then place many nicotine patches all over his body, including his bare chest (to be "death by patch" -- but he lives due to being a smoker -- or so it's announced).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • There's an old period song ("Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette") during the opening credits (where various tobacco related graphics are seen) featuring smoking related lyrics ("smoke that cigarette to death," etc. along with a brief satirical bit about murder).
  • There's another old period song about smoking and smoke rings, etc.
  • A song twice includes the lyric, "I don't give a damn..."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 21 "f" words (7 used sexually), 7 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("c*cks*cker"), 7 for breasts ("t*t" and "t*ts"), 7 asses (4 used with "hole"), 4 damns, 4 hells, 1 S.O.B., 2 uses of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "G-damn," "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," "Good Lord" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Talking to Brad, his ex-wife's boyfriend, Nick says about his son, "I'm his father. You're the guy f*cking his mom."
  • Nick says that actress Carole Lombard was "pure sex" in her movies. He then says that with the right effort, they can put the sex back into cigarettes (meaning make them look sexy).
  • We see some cleavage in an overhead shot peering down on the woman.
  • A sexy flight attendant on a private plane purposefully bends over to show even more cleavage to men.
  • After playfully telling Nick that she wants to see where the devil sleeps (meaning him), we see the two of them having sex several times standing back at his place. We see movement (including him between her legs) and hear sounds, but don't see explicit nudity.
  • Talking in the hypothetical about cigarette product placement, Jeff comments on a yet-to-be-made movie featuring Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones where they finish ravishing each other's bodies and then smoke. He also comments on some "cosmic f*cking" between them in this sci-fi movie.
  • Sex is implied between Heather and Nick as we see the former in the latter's dress shirt (and we almost see the side of her bare butt, including when she straddles him on the bed).
  • Heather tells Nick, "I want to f*ck you while I watch you on TV." We then see a head and shoulders shot of her having sex on top of him and we see his facial reaction.
  • When Heather's story comes out about them and Nick, Polly and Bobby Jay realize what happened. Comments such as "He f*cked her," "He didn't f*ck her -- did you f*ck her?" are asked of Nick, with Bobby Jay mockingly answering for Nick by saying, "In passing." Nick later confronts Heather about this, saying, "I presumed anything said while inside you was privileged." She then tells him, "You wanted to f*ck."
  • A comment is made about floating nude copulating bodies (about the above movie).
  • Jill shows a little cleavage.
  • A comment is made about "t*ts" and "glorious t*ts."
  • A comment is made that having sexual affairs with members of the press is unfair.
  • SMOKING
  • Although the movie is all about smoking (with all sorts of dialogue about the act and the industry), we didn't note anyone actually smoking during it.
  • There's an old period song ("Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette") during the opening credits (where various tobacco related graphics are seen) featuring smoking related lyrics ("smoke that cigarette to death," etc. along with a brief satirical bit about murder).
  • We see footage from an old John Wayne movie where he asks for a cigarette and is then shot (in an old-fashioned way with no blood, etc.).
  • Nick says that actress Carole Lombard was "pure sex" in her movies. He then says that with the right effort, they can put the sex back into cigarettes (meaning make them look sexy).
  • Nick's comment that in movies of old, smoking and smokers were presented as cool, but that now it's only done by psychopaths and foreigners on film.
  • Bobby Jay says that Heather has "amazing t*ts." Polly is only slightly amused by this, and after Nick is asked if he's "a t*t man," he replies, "It depends on the t*ts." Polly then tells him, "Don't get screwed" (by Heather, meaning figuratively and literally).
  • Talking in the hypothetical about cigarette product placement, Jeff comments on a yet-to-be-made movie featuring Brad Pitt and Catherine Zeta-Jones where they finish ravishing each other's bodies and then smoke.
  • We see an old sign of the Marlboro Man smoking.
  • We learn that Lorne is dying from his past smoking and he comments that he didn't smoke Marlboros, but instead smoked Cools.
  • Heather playfully imitates Nick, saying, "Don't do drugs -- smoke cigarettes."
  • A person suddenly tackles Nick into a van where he struggles with that man and others who eventually bind him and then cut some of his clothes open (nothing explicit). They then place many nicotine patches all over his body, including his bare chest (to be "death by patch" -- but he lives due to being a smoker -- or so it's announced). He is later told that he can't smoke again due to the nicotine now in his system.
  • There's another old period song about smoking and smoke rings, etc.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • During a career day bit at school where Nick is the featured speaker, Joey (his son) says to himself, "Please don't ruin my childhood."
  • We hear that Jill is Nick's ex-wife and that Nick is the weekend guardian for their son.
  • Joey hears his mom arguing with Nick on the phone.
  • Although they're initially rather estranged, Nick and Joey somewhat bond during their trip to California where the boy watches his dad work.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The tobacco industry and smoking in general.
  • Lobbyists.
  • Spin doctors.
  • Product placement.
  • We see Nick on a TV talk show with a 15-year-old cancer victim who was a smoker (and is now bald). During the show, he spins the fault to those against smoking, saying they want the boy to die (since it will further their cause), while the industry Nick represents wants him to live as a customer.
  • Nick tells kids to think for themselves (mainly about smoking) and to challenge authority. He also says kids should find out for themselves if cigarettes are for them.
  • We see quick flashback footage of the Kent State gunman incident from 1970 (the chaos, etc.).
  • Nick's comment that what makes the U.S. great is its endless appeals process.
  • Nick's comment that if you argue correctly, you're never wrong.
  • We hear that Jill is Nick's ex-wife and that Nick is the weekend guardian for their son.
  • BR's comment that their job is almost done for them in that they represent an addictive product.
  • Nick's comment that in movies of old, smoking and smokers were presented as cool, but that now it's only done by psychopaths and foreigners on film.
  • Joey is wise about his mother and her behavior based on her failed marriage to his dad.
  • We learn that Lorne is dying from his past smoking.
  • Nick's comments on Polly and Bobby Jay's industries have low death rates compared to his.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We see quick flashback scenes of Bobby Jay's gun past, including a bullet grazing his sleeve (in combat - although no one else is seen).
  • We see footage from an old John Wayne movie where he asks for a cigarette and is then shot (in an old-fashioned way with no blood, etc.).
  • We see footage on TV of a killer whale thrashing and flipping a seal.
  • We see a samurai poster in Jeff's office showing blood spurting out from a sword impact.
  • A person suddenly tackles Nick into a van where he struggles with that man and others who eventually bind him and then cut some of his clothes open (nothing explicit). They then place many nicotine patches all over his body, including his bare chest (to be "death by patch" -- but he lives due to being a smoker -- or so it's announced). All of that's played for satirical laughs.



  • Reviewed February 3, 2006 / Posted March 24, 2006

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