[Screen It]

 

"FROST/NIXON"
(2008) (Michael Sheen, Frank Langella) (R)

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


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A TV host lands the opportunity of a lifetime when he manages to get former President Richard Nixon to agree to a number of TV interviews with him.
PLOT:
It's 1976 and David Frost (MICHAEL SHEEN) is the popular host of TV programs in both Australia and London who comes up with the idea of landing former President Richard Nixon (FRANK LANGELLA) for a series of interviews, what with some 400 million people having watched his resignation two years earlier. No one thinks he'll be able to pull it off, but legendary talent agent Irving "Swifty" Lazar (TOBY JONES) convinces Nixon with two reasons: He'll be paid a lot of money for his appearance, and he'll have the chance to repair his reputation. His current chief of staff, Jack Brennan (KEVIN BACON), agrees, viewing Frost as intellectually inferior to his boss.

With the agreement made, Frost assembles his investigative team, including his producer John Birt (MATTHEW MACFADYEN), TV newsman Bob Zelnick (OLIVER PLATT) and author/professor James Reston, Jr. (SAM ROCKWELL) who wants to use the interviews as the trial that Nixon (whom he despises) never had. For moral support, Frost has Caroline Cushing (REBECCA HALL), a woman he met on a flight and who he takes to meet Nixon for the first time, with both surprised by the man's charm and geniality.

After months of setting up and trying to sell the programming to pay Nixon's signing fee, Frost then begins the first of four interviews in 1977. Initially overwhelmed by the shrewd and manipulative politician, Frost must then regroup in order to accomplish his goal of getting the former president to open up about Vietnam and Watergate, and hopefully get a confession of guilt out of him.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're interested in the true life story and/or are fans of anyone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For some language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • FRANK LANGELLA plays the former President of the United States who's initially reluctant to do the TV interview with Frost, but then reconsiders when he's told how much money he'll be paid and how he could rehabilitate his public image. He's shrewd and manipulative but charming, briefly uses strong profanity, and talks of having had a drink or two before calling Frost on the phone.
  • MICHAEL SHEEN plays the charismatic and ambitious TV interviewer who comes up with the idea of interviewing Nixon and then tries to sell that concept to anyone who will buy and air it. Initially steam-rolled by the ex-President, he gathers his wits, does his research, and prepares to nail Nixon on Watergate and such issues. He smokes cigars, drinks some, apparently has had casual sex, and takes up with Caroline.
  • MATTHEW MACFADYEN plays Frost's producer who's the first to join his quest and then assists him with arranging and prepping for the interviews. He skinny-dips at the end of the film.
  • SAM ROCKWELL plays an author and professor who joins Frost's team in hopes that the interviews will serve as the trial that Nixon (whom he despises) never had. He uses strong profanity and drinks some.
  • KEVIN BACON plays Nixon's current chief of staff who's very protective of him and his reputation and thus wary of what Frost and his crew might have up their sleeves regarding the interviews.
  • OLIVER PLATT plays a newsman that Frost hires to help pull off the interview, although he initially thinks Frost is doing a horrible job. He uses some profanity and drinks some.
  • REBECCA HALL plays a woman who Frost meets on a plane and then accompanies him, presumably as his girlfriend, to meet Nixon and such. She drinks a bit.
  • TOBY JONES plays the talent agent who convinces Nixon that it would be a good idea for him to do the interviews with Frost.
  • 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 quick look at the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 4 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, as is brief and partially nudity (breasts and butt of a woman as she gets out of a man's bed, while a separate scene shows a distant view of full rear male nudity related to skinny-dipping).

    Some TV footage shows the aftermath of war, including brief views of dead and injured people. Various characters drink in several scenes, and smoking is also present, as are bad attitudes and various thematic elements regarding the true life elements presented in the film.

    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.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from camera flashes.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camera footage in the film, while there's also a spin-around camera shot.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We some champagne in a glass by Frost's bed.
  • Champagne is offered to Caroline on a plane, and Frost says one must drink water before having that. Miscellaneous people drink on that flight, as then do Frost and Caroline.
  • James and Bob have drinks at a party as do others.
  • We see liquor in a decanter in Nixon's place.
  • On the phone, Nixon tells Frost that he can probably tell the former has had a drink, adding not many, just one or two.
  • People celebrate with champagne.
  • Miscellaneous people drink in a club.
  • Nixon offers some Champagne to Frost and Caroline, but they decline that.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see TV footage that shows brief clips of a tank firing its gun, an aerial bombing run, a burning hut, dead people, a dead horse, injured and bloody people, and a dead body lying face down with bloody wounds in the back of the head and back.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • When it's mentioned that Frost nearly married Diahann Carroll, Nixon asks, "Isn't she black?" and when he's told yes, he replies with "Hmmm..."
  • To try to throw him off at the start of the interview, Nixon asks Frost about the latter's Italian shoes, commenting on them being effeminate.
  • To distract Frost right at the start of another interview, Nixon asks him about the night before, "Did you do any fornicating?"
  • Some may view Nixon's answers about Watergate, Vietnam/Cambodia and more showing him having a bad attitude about his choices.
  • Nixon defiantly telling Frost during the interview that when the president does something, that means it's not illegal.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • We see TV footage that shows brief clips of a tank firing its gun, an aerial bombing run, a burning hut, dead people, a dead horse, injured and bloody people, and a dead body lying face down with bloody wounds in the back of the head and back.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see members of an honor guard carrying rifles in TV footage.
  • We see TV footage that shows brief clips of a tank firing its gun, an aerial bombing run, and the aftermath of other presumably weapon-based violence.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: An incomplete "What the f..?" "Hey, f*ck off," an incomplete "Jesus F…" "We're gonna make those m*therf*ckers choke," "What the f*ck is going on?" "Give him a fucking message," "He's full of sh*t, man," "A lot of shit about…" "Slippery new bullshit," "He screwed anything that moved," "Did you do any fornicating?" "Those sons of whores," "I don't give a G*ddman about," "Blokes," "How incongruous," "The man's an idiot," "He will drive us all mad," "Tricky Dick," "So G*ddman handsome," "The poor little bitch was never the same" (said about a dog), "You G*ddamn media people," "If you screw us..." (nonsexual), "Please God no," "It's ballsy," "What the hell is Weedeater?" "Are you nuts?" "The smart asses," "To hell with it," "What the hell /is going on/are you talking about?" and "Sons of bitches."
  • We see a chained escape artist who's going to be lowered upside down into a body of water, but the scene ends before even the initial immersion part of the stunt.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 4 "f" words (1 used with "mother," and another 2 incomplete uses), 4 "s" words, 2 slang terms for sex (variations of "screw"), 1 using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 5 hells, 4 S.O.B.s, 2 damns, 1 ass, 3 uses each of "G*damn" and "Oh my God," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Christ," "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes," "Jesus Christ," "God," "My God," "Oh for God's sakes" and "Oh God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Frost shirtless in bed (the sheets just covering his crotch area and down as he answers the phone) while the woman there gets up, and we briefly see her bare breasts and a brief/partial view of her bare butt.
  • There's talk of G. Gordon Liddy and conspiracy to foster prostitution.
  • Playing Nixon in a rehearsal for the interview, Bob says that JFK "screwed" anything and everything that moved, and once had a go at Checkers (Nixon's dog), adding, "The poor little bitch was never the same."
  • We see Caroline in a backless dress that's also low-cut in the front, but we don't see anything explicit.
  • Caroline shows a little cleavage.
  • To distract Frost right at the start of another interview, Nixon asks him about the night before, "Did you do any fornicating?"
  • Nixon talks to Frost on the phone and tells him, "It's Friday night, you've probably got someone there you're...entertaining..." (presumably a sexual reference).
  • John strips down and runs into the ocean, and we see his full rear nudity, albeit from a distance.
  • SMOKING
  • David smokes cigars more than 5 times, while some miscellaneous characters smoke in a few scenes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Nixon states he lost two brothers to TB, and mentions Gorbachev talking of losing his father to cancer.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The historical accuracy and/or artistic license taken with the true story.
  • How Frost managed to get Nixon to open up and talk about matters he was previously tight-lipped about.
  • President Nixon, Watergate, his resignation, Ford's pardon of him, etc.
  • Frost commenting that success in America is unlike anywhere else.
  • Frost trying to market his interviews to networks and elsewhere, all to pay the fee being paid to Nixon for his participation.
  • Nixon saying he would not want be Russian, as you'd never know when you're being taped.
  • James wanting to give Nixon the trial he never had (through Frost's interviews).
  • Nixon talking about his sweating, including on his upper lip (in regards to the pending interviews and referencing his famous debate with JFK).
  • Frost asking Nixon why he didn't just burn the incriminating tapes, and Nixon saying that it was President Johnson who set up the recording system in the Oval Office.
  • There's talk of Vietnam and Cambodia and the polarizing effect of that war.
  • Nixon commenting that no matter how high you get, people still look down on you.
  • Nixon saying that he and Frost are the same, both looking for a way back into the limelight.
  • Nixon defiantly telling Frost during the interview that when the president does something, that means it's not illegal.
  • Nixon saying he made mistakes of the heart, and not of the head. He then adds (as a metaphor), that he gave them the sword, they stuck it in, and twisted it with relish, adding that he would have done the same. He then admits that he let the American people down.
  • VIOLENCE
  • We don't see any actual violence, but do view the aftermath of some in TV footage that shows brief clips of a tank firing its gun, an aerial bombing run, a burning hut, dead people, a dead horse, injured and bloody people, and a dead body lying face down with bloody wounds in the back of the head and back.



  • Reviewed November 28, 2008 / Posted December 19, 2008

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.