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"ROCKNROLLA"
(2008) (Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson) (R)

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 Minor None Mild Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Heavy Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Action: A missing painting ends up complicating a lucrative if corrupt business deal, all while involving a host of shady characters.
PLOT:
If someone wants to get a real estate deal put on the fast track in the London market, Lenny Cole (TOM WILKINSON) is the man to see. A major crime figure, he has his fingers everywhere -- most notably around his bribed insider, Councillor (JIMI MISTRY) -- and his team of enforcers, led by Archy (MARK STRONG), do his dirty work for him.

While his tactics usually involve manipulating and leveraging others -- such as criminals One Two (GERARD BUTLER) and Mumbles (IDRIS ELBA) who belong to a syndicate known as the Wild Bunch to which the likes of Handsome Bob (TOM HARDY) and Cookie (MATT KING) also belong, he has to be a bit more careful with Russian billionaire Uri Obamavich (KAREL RODEN) who wants to hurry his construction project through the approval process.

To get the seven million Euros Lenny says it will cost him, Uri turns to Stella (THANDIE NEWTON), an alluring accountant looking for some excitement in her life. The latter has her involved with One Two and she tips him off about the money transfer. When he and Mumbles steal that, Uri begins to believe that perhaps he shouldn't have loaned his lucky painting to Lenny and wants it back.

Unfortunately and initially unbeknownst to Lenny, his estranged stepson, strung-out rocker Johnny Quid (TOBY KEBBELL), has gotten his hands on it. But to complicate matters, he's supposedly recently died, news confirmed by Roman (JEREMY PIVEN) and Mickey (CHRIS "LUDACRIS" BRIDGES) who produce his music and run a local night club.

With Archy getting streetwise thug Tank (NONSO ANOZIE) to troll the streets for info about the painting, and Uri's right-hand man, Victor (DRAGAN MICANOVIC), keeping an eye on Stella and working to ensure his boss' next payment to Lenny makes its way through, the various characters' lives end up intertwined.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Guy Ritchie's previous efforts ("Snatch," "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels") and/or anyone in the cast, they might. Male teens otherwise seem a likely target audience.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For pervasive language, violence, drug use and brief sexuality.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering what occurs in the film (criminal behavior, murder, drug use and addiction, strong profanity, casual sex, etc.) it's doubtful many if any parents would consider any of the major characters as good role models for kids.
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 R-rated, drama/action flick. Profanity consists of at least 94 "f" words, while other expletives are uttered. Sexually related dialogue is present, as are some briefly seen sexual encounters (with movement, but the scenes are quickly cut, so no shot lingers for more than a second or so). There's some gay-related humor, the sight of a man's bare butt when he flashes it, and some scantly clad people.

Violence consists of people being killed or wounded by various means (mostly gunfire, and some of that occurs just off camera), people striking others, some torture for information, and the interruption of what appears is going to be a male gay rape scene.

Some of that has bloody results, and those scenes and some moments of potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for some viewers, but most of that's played more for hipness than tense realism.

Some of the behavior might be enticing for some kids to imitate. Various characters drink, several are noted as being drug addicts, and one briefly lights up a bong, while smoking (cigarettes, cigars) also occurs. Tense family material is also present.

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 concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that in a concert scene.

For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's bouncy camerawork during a foot chase sequence.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • The narrator talks about a "rocknrolla," saying it's not always the drugs, but is sex for some (as in the old saying about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll).
  • Johnny lights a bong with a handgun shaped lighter.
  • Lenny has some of Uri's whiskey, but the Russian says he doesn't drink and thus doesn't have any.
  • Lenny mentions Johnny and his "crack pipe."
  • We see a drink by Lenny.
  • Some characters drink on Uri's yacht.
  • Archy has a drink and offers one to Tank, but the latter says he doesn't drink before a certain time of day.
  • Mickey tells a rocker he already got him Johnny Walker and some pole dancers (not seen).
  • There's talk of Johnny being a junkie.
  • Johnny and his associate have drinks, as do others. When a stranger isn't looking, Johnny grabs and downs his drink. When that man complains and grabs a bottle as if to use on Johnny, the rocker menacingly displays a pencil as a weapon and that man and others back down.
  • Lenny has a drink.
  • Mickey and Roman have beer and then are handed a second round by their assistant.
  • We see people drinking at a party.
  • To prove he's tough and dangerous, Mumbles taps cigar ashes into a party host's champagne.
  • Cookie and others have drinks, and he talks about drug use, including his own with Johnny in the past (we see a flashback where both of them appear to be high, while we separately see footage of Johnny on his hands and knees, drooling, and appearing as if he's going to vomit, but he doesn't).
  • Johnny admits that he's a junkie and crack-head.
  • Johnny states he's clean at the end of the film.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • There's the comment "It will move like sh*t through a goose."
  • In a flashback, a high Johnny is on his hands and knees, drooling, and appearing as if he's going to vomit, but he doesn't.
  • Two Russian hitmen compare big and/or bad-looking scars on various parts of their bodies.
  • One Two has an abrasion on his head sometime after an accident. We then see the flashback scene where he's injured, and his head and face are quite bloody, which also holds true for a Russian hitman who's even bloodier (including down his bare chest, etc.).
  • When a goon goes to shoot him and others in an elevator, Roman grabs his arm. In the ensuing struggle, the gun goes off and shoots the other goon (we see blood splatter). More struggling ensues with Mickey joining in, with the first goon being shot (we see more blood splatter).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Lenny unofficially runs much of London as a crime lord, particularly in the real estate market where he channels money to the Councillor to speed up transactions, approvals and such.
  • Archy and his thugs carry out his commands, including the torture and murder of others.
  • Victor and other thugs serve the same purpose for Uri, who agrees to pay Lenny a bribe to get his construction contract put on the past track.
  • Lenny is anti-immigrant, and makes various related comments.
  • Stella informs One Two of when and where Uri's money will be transferred (so that it can be stolen).
  • With an implied threat of potential violence, One Two and Mumbles steal two businessmen's car and the bag they're carrying of seven million Euros.
  • There's homophobia and related attitudes from various characters, including One Two being upset upon hearing that Bobby likes him. One Two calls him a "f*cking homo," but then says there's nothing wrong with being a "poof," but adds that there will be plenty in prison where Bobby is headed so that should make him happy. Thinking that his friend will be going away for 5 years, however, he then asks what Bobby wanted to do with him, and we later see that it's just slow dancing at a gay club (although the film initially hints that it's something sexual).
  • We see a flashback to young Johnny rocking out, with Lenny then berating him for that, being a "f*cking reject" and a "fairy." Lenny smacks the boy around, and when the kid doesn't stop with the music, Lenny reenters the room and removes his belt, but the scene ends before we see anything else.
  • Johnny and his associate have drinks, as do others. When a stranger isn't looking, Johnny grabs and downs his drink. When that man complains and grabs a bottle as if to use on Johnny, the rocker menacingly displays a pencil as a weapon and that man and others back down.
  • To prove he's tough and dangerous, Mumbles taps cigar ashes into a party host's champagne.
  • Bob, who's gay, refers to a male party host who's obviously interested in him as being a "queen." That criminal lawyer agrees to give up info on an informant if Bob goes out with him.
  • Mumbles refers to Bob (to One Two) as a "poof," "flamer" and that it's "sausage and beans all day," and that everyone but One Two knew that.
  • Archy slaps Johnny and pushes him back against a wall. That prompts Johnny to say Archy would be good at running a gas chamber, mentions an SS emblem and does some mock goose stepping.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material, but most of that's played more for hipness than tense realism.
  • A bouncer won't let two junkies into a concert, eventually punching both to the street. Johnny then approaches him, acting innocent at first, but then repeatedly stabs the man with a pencil all over his body. He then kicks him on the sidewalk and repeatedly bashes him with a metal trashcan lid.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Machine gun/Knives/: Carried and/or used to threaten, wound or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Johnny lights a bong with a handgun shaped lighter.
  • Johnny holds two pistols, while his associate, Pete, holds a shotgun.
  • We see a flashback where young Johnny pulls Archy's gun from his clothing and playfully aims it at him. Later, in present day, he does the same thing.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Due to the occasionally thick accents and slang, some of the dialogue couldn't be understood. That said, we heard the following phrases: "You've been f*cked" (nonsexual), "Do I look like a f*cking immigrant?" "I'm the f*cking headmaster," "F*ck yeah," "Oh f*ck it," "F*ck off," "Dirty f*cking rat," "Who gives a f*ck what you think?" "A f*cking homo," "F*cking lady killer," "I'm f*cking sorry," "A f*cking surprise," "For f*ck's sake," "A f*cking reject," "F*cking hell," "I'll cut your f*cking tongue out," "What the f*ck /are you doing here/do you mean?" "Do you f*cking mind?" "I'll f*cking show him," "F*cking mutt," "How the f*ck do you know that?" "F*cking his life up," "Where the f*ck has he gone?" "You f*cking immigrant," "A f*cking demo," "Bon voyage and f*ck off," "Yes, you f*cking well will," "Don't f*ck about," "I'm not f*cking playing games here," "F*cked off," "F*cking hell," "Elvis f*cking Presley," "Put your f*cking hands up," "Flash f*cker," "It will move like sh*t through a goose," "Didn't give a sh*t," "No sh*t," "Don't give me that sh*t," "Dirty c*ck-sack," "Sausage and beans" (penis and testicles), "Bollocks," "Ladies" (said to men), "Greedy toads," "Naughty bastard," "Play him and send him to school," "Funny bastard," "Nothing wrong with being a poof," "Fairy," "Queen," "Flamer," "Big hungry bastards," "Slow down, Tinkerbell," "Shut up," "He doesn't have the balls or brains," "You yellow pile of immigrant piss," "The streets are alive with the sound of pain," "You insolent bastard," "You idiot," "You're madder than I am," "Don't be cheeky," "Shut it," "You poisonous little toad" and "Nutters."
  • Some of the action and stunts might be enticing for some kids to try to imitate.
  • We see Johnny shirtless, sporting various tattoos.
  • To prove he's tough and dangerous, Mumbles taps cigar ashes into a party host's champagne.
  • We see a shirtless hitman who sports tattoos.
  • One Two makes a taunting male oral sex gesture with his hand and mouth/cheek to taunt a Russian hitman. Later, when their fortunes are reversed, that hitman does the same back to him
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A large truck suddenly rams into a vehicle (seen from inside the latter), sending it crashing and turning over.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song has lyrics about a gun and using it in a threatening manner.
  • Other songs had lyrics that we couldn't fully hear and/or understand, thus presenting the possibility of them potentially containing objectionable material.
  • PROFANITY
  • Due to the occasionally thick accents and slang, some of the dialogue couldn't be understood. That said, we heard at least 94 "f" words (1 used with "mother"), 7 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck" and "sausage"), 2 bollocks, 2 hells, 1 damn, 1 wanker and 1 use each of "Oh God" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The narrator talks about a "rocknrolla," saying it's not always the drugs, but is sex for some (as in the old saying about sex, drugs and rock 'n roll).
  • We see Johnny shirtless, and his pants ride quite low (which also holds true for similar scenes listed below).
  • We see a very quick, overhead shot of a couple having standing sex (including thrusting movement and possible nudity and/or sounds, but it's a split-second shot).
  • One Two briefly flashes his bare butt toward others in the Wild Bunch.
  • Councillor likes a tennis player who shows some cleavage and makes a veiled sexual reference about liking him if he's a certain type of person.
  • Stella shows cleavage.
  • We hear that Bobby is going to jail the next day, so One Two says he's arranged a party featuring escort girls greased down for him. Bobby then says he doesn't want strippers, and instead wants One Two. That surprises, shocks and angers One Two who complains about Bobby being a "f*cking homo" and that they showered together in the past and thus Bobby saw his (but doesn't complete the thought). One Two then says there's nothing wrong with being a "poof," and that there will plenty in prison and thus Bobby will probably love it. Thinking that his friend will be going away for 5 years, however, he then asks what Bobby wanted to do with him, but we don't hear the answer at that point.
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage.
  • Mickey tells a rocker he already got him Johnny Walker and some pole dancers (not seen).
  • We see Johnny shirtless, sporting various tattoos.
  • When Roman and Mickey mention hearing that Johnny is dead (he isn't), Lenny doesn't believe that and sarcastically asks if they saw him dead with his "c*ck" in his hand.
  • We see a party where a "butler" answers the door wearing a jacket up top and boxers down below, a woman in her bra and panties rides piggyback on a guy, and a waiter is seen shirtless.
  • We see shirtless male rockers.
  • Mumbles refers to Bob (to One Two) as a "poof," "flamer" and that it's "sausage and beans all day," and that everyone but One Two knew that. He then asks, "Did you suck his..?" with One Two then asking the same of Mumbles who then says One Two must have touched it. We then see a flashback to what One Two and Bob did, and that was slow dance at a gay bar or similar venue.
  • We see a shirtless hitman who sports tattoos.
  • One Two makes a taunting male oral sex gesture with his hand and mouth/cheek to taunt a Russian hitman. Later, when their fortunes are reversed, that hitman does the same back to him.
  • We see Johnny shirtless.
  • When One Two says he's going to bed, Bob playfully asks if he can join him, with One Two then slapping him for that.
  • We see quickly cut, separate views of One Two and Stella's faces as they have sex (expressions and sounds), followed by them lying side by side in bed (no nudity, but she shows some cleavage and he's shirtless).
  • The two Russian hitman quietly enter One Two's place as he listens to loud music via headphones with his eyes closed. One holds a large knife at his throat when they make their presence known. Later, when Archy and his goons arrive, they find the door open, the music blaring, and both thugs dancing and prancing about in their underwear while One Two is gagged and tied face-down on the bed. We then hear the sounds of Archy and/or his goons presumably shooting those two thugs dead.
  • We see One Two doing more slow dancing with Bob at the gay bar/venue (during the closing credits).
  • SMOKING
  • Lenny (cigars), Stella (cigarettes) and Johnny (cigarettes) each smoke more than 5 times, Archy, Mumbles (cigar) and Councillor (cigar) each smoke at least once, and various minor and miscellaneous characters smoke in several scenes.
  • We see cartoon images of several characters (in the opening credits) with cigarettes.
  • To prove he's tough and dangerous, Mumbles taps cigar ashes into a party host's champagne.
  • Johnny imparts some cigarettes equal life metaphors about a pack of cigarettes.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Stella mentions being in a marriage of convenience to a homosexual lawyer.
  • We see a flashback to young Johnny rocking out, with Lenny then berating him for that, being a "f*cking reject" and a "fairy." Lenny smacks the boy around, and when the kid doesn't stop with the music, Lenny reenters the room and removes his belt, but the scene ends before we see anything else.
  • Johnny asks his associate, Pete, if the latter's father molested him (Pete just mentions tickling).
  • Lenny shoots and wounds Johnny, his stepson (no blood).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The comment that greed is blind and doesn't know when to stop.
  • Drug use and addiction.
  • Criminal behavior.
  • The commercial real estate business.
  • Johnny turning out the way he did partly due to the way Lenny treated him.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Lenny falls backwards out of his office chair when he realizes that Uri's loaned painting is missing.
  • Archy gets a subordinate to strike another subordinate for making a stupid comment to Lenny. That progresses from a slap to a backhand and such, with Archy then showing how it's really done and he strikes the third man quite hard with a backhand to the face.
  • We see that Archy and his goons have two young men bound and gagged to chairs. After Lenny comments on the crayfish in an unseen container, one of those young men is hoisted up and lowered into it (we don't see the contact with the water or crayfish). The man is then pulled up, all panicky with a crayfish or two still on him, with Lenny demanding info from him.
  • We see a flashback to young Johnny rocking out, with Lenny then berating him for that, being a "f*cking reject" and a "fairy." Lenny smacks the boy around, and when the kid doesn't stop with the music, Lenny reenters the room and removes his belt, but the scene ends before we see anything else.
  • A bouncer won't let two junkies into a concert, eventually punching both to the street. Johnny then approaches him, acting innocent at first, but then repeatedly stabs the man with a pencil all over his body. He then kicks him on the sidewalk and repeatedly bashes him with a metal trashcan lid.
  • A large truck suddenly rams into a vehicle (seen from inside the latter), sending it crashing and turning over. One Two then uses an ax to break through the window and reaches in to take a bag of money, but the man inside grabs and yanks him down inside the vehicle where struggling ensues. Mumbles sprays something onto everyone inside it and then pulls One Two out, puts him in their car, and tries to drive away, but one hitman then dangles through the open driver's side window. That cause Mumbles to drive through a storefront's plate glass windows. That's followed by One Two punching one, a Russian shooting his machine gun at them, but Mumbles hits that man over the head with a baseball bat. Other hitting follows, while One Two grabs the machine gun and shoots the smaller hitman who's armed with large knives (seemingly killing him, although we later see him alive, wearing a bulletproof vest). The bigger hitman then grabs One Two, with one of the latter's associates hitting the thug with a golf club. They then try to escape in a car, with the smaller hitman then hopping on the car and repeatedly stabbing his large knife down through the car's roof. One Two then purposefully crashes their car to throw that guy off, and they then try to flee, with the injured hitmen still coming after them (One Two, Mumbles and Bob) all fleeing in opposite directions. Mumbles ends up slapping the larger, exhausted hitman, but then flees into a tunnel when the smaller one shows up. We then see the silhouette of One Two hitting that man on the head with a large board before fleeing (that hitman is alive, albeit bloody).
  • Lenny pushes Councillor back against a wall and apparently grabs him by the clothed testicles (not seen) to get his point across to him.
  • Victor repeatedly hits Lenny with a golf club and then kicks him on the ground. We later see Lenny in the hospital and then a wheelchair, stating his leg was broken in four places.
  • When One Two says he's going to bed, Bob playfully asks if he can join him, with One Two then slapping him for that.
  • The two Russian hitman quietly enter One Two's place as he listens to loud music via headphones with his eyes closed. One holds a large knife at his throat when they make their presence known. Later, when Archy and his goons arrive, they find the door open, the music blaring, and both thugs dancing and prancing about in their underwear while One Two is gagged and tied face-down on the bed. We then hear the sounds of Archy and/or his goons presumably shooting those two thugs dead.
  • Lenny slaps one of his subordinates.
  • Archy slaps Johnny and pushes him back against a wall.
  • Lenny shoots and wounds Johnny (no blood).
  • Archy slaps Lenny when he learns the truth about him.
  • In an imagined scene, one of Lenny's goons shoots Johnny, Mickey and Roman dead. The bodies are placed in a car, gasoline is poured on it, and that's ignited, resulting in a fire and explosion.
  • When a goon goes to shoot him and others in an elevator, Roman grabs his arm. In the ensuing struggle, the gun goes off and shoots the other goon (we see blood splatter). More struggling ensues with Mickey joining in, with the first goon being shot (we see more blood splatter). Johnny then asks for the gun and shoots two more thugs dead when the elevator door opens. Another goon then aims his gun at them, but One Two hits that man over the back of the head with a large piece of wood, knocking him out.
  • Lenny is hoisted up in his wheelchair and then lowered down into crayfish infested waters, but we don't see the impact.
  • It's implied that Uri has a person killed for crossing him.



  • Reviewed October 27, 2008 / Posted October 31, 2008

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