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"ARTHUR" (2011)
(2011) (Russell Brand, Helen Mirren) (PG-13)


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


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A spoiled man-child must choose between a poor and unlicensed tour guide and a rich but ruthless businesswoman, all with his access to his family's vast fortune at stake if he chooses the former over an arranged marriage with the latter.
PLOT:
Arthur Bach (RUSSELL BRAND) has never worked a day in his life, but he has more than enough money to entertain his whims and desires, such as dressing up as Batman and Robin with his personal driver, Bitterman (LUIS GUZMAN). His antics, many of which involve some sort of drunken behavior, are a constant embarrassment for his mother, Vivienne (GERALDINE JAMES), who runs the company business.

As a result, she decrees that he must marry ruthless businesswoman Susan Johnson (JENNIFER GARNER) -- daughter of blue collar construction magnate Burt Johnson (NICK NOLTE) -- or lose access to the family's nearly billion dollar fortune. Arthur hates the idea, but his lifelong nanny, Hobson (HELEN MIRREN), thinks it might make him grow up.

Things get complicated when he runs into Naomi Quinn (GRETA GERWIG), an unlicensed Manhattan tour guide who lives in Brooklyn with her father and dreams of writing children's books. He's charmed by her attitude and behavior and quickly falls for her, but doesn't inform her that he's already engaged to Susan. From that point on, he must decide which woman and thus future lifestyle to choose.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Brand and his style of comedy, anyone else in the cast, or maybe even the original film, they might show some interest.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language and some drug references.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • RUSSELL BRAND plays a rich and spoiled man-child who's never had a job but has always had access to his family's nearly billion dollar fortune. Often intoxicated, into casual sex and with no issues spending, giving or throwing away money (often in extravagant excess), he finds himself in a romantic quandary. While he's fallen for Naomi, if he chooses her over Susan in a marriage arranged by his mother, he'll lose access to the family's wealth. He uses some profanity.
  • HELEN MIRREN plays his lifelong nanny, a prim and proper woman who puts up with his shenanigans without blinking an eye. While her behavior and attitude would seem to suggest otherwise, deep down she really cares for and loves him. She uses some profanity.
  • GRETA GERWIG plays an unlicensed tour guide operator and aspiring children's author who ends up caught up in Arthur's whirlwind personality and spending sprees. She finally falls for him, not realizing he's engaged to Susan.
  • JENNIFER GARNER plays a ruthless businesswoman who wants to marry Arthur in an arranged marriage only to gain access to his family's money and the social status that comes with their name. At one point, she drunkenly tries to seduce him.
  • GERALDINE JAMES plays Arthur's estranged mother who's embarrassed enough about his behavior that she blackmails him into marrying Susan or risk having his access to the family's money cut off.
  • LUIS GUZMAN plays Arthur's driver who often ends up being dragged into participating in his employer's various wild antics.
  • NICK NOLTE plays Susan's dad, a blue collar construction man turned wealthy executive who isn't pleased with her arranged marriage to Arthur, but goes through with it due to the money involved. He threatens Arthur in one scene and briefly uses profanity.
  • 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 PG-13 rated comedy. Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue and humor are present, while promiscuousness is heavily suggested, a woman is briefly seen on top of a man in bed, another suggestively dressed woman sexually comes on to him in another scene, a man is seen in just his briefs in public, and a photo showing a man's bare crotch has been pixilated.

    A person is accidentally injured by a nail gun and then threatens the "shooter" with bodily harm, while there's some punching and striking/hitting of others, mostly played for comedy. There's a little bit of blood as a result of some of that, and a few moments as well as an illness and related death could be unsettling to some viewers.

    Various scenes feature drinking and drunkenness, while some drug-related comments are also made. Bad attitudes are present, including some brief racism, while various bits of behavior could prove enticing for kids to imitate. 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 from camera flashes.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see close-up views of mini bottles of liquor as well as a flask being prepared in conjunction with Arthur's Batman costume. We then see him drinking from a glass and he's later intoxicated when he and Bitterman are pulled over by the police (Bitterman is driving and has, as far as we know, not been drinking). One of the cops tells Arthur that the latter is drunk again, with Arthur stating that no, he's remained drunk since their last encounter.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • We see various passed out and/or asleep people in Arthur's manor after a night of partying, and some have bottles with or by them.
  • Hobson mentions Arthur's champagne spree from the night before and takes a flask away from him.
  • Arthur pours vodka for himself in his mom's office and then has more.
  • After bumping into Naomi, Arthur asks her where someone can get a drink, but she thinks he's homeless and gives him some change.
  • While sparring with Evander Holyfield, Arthur tells Hobson to refresh him (Arthur), so she squirts a water bottle into his face and eyes. He reacts adversely, saying that's vodka, but then mentions some got into his bloodstream so not all was lost.
  • Burt says that Susan turned a crack house into a condo, with Arthur stating he did just the opposite.
  • Arthur orders vodka while Susan has wine in a restaurant.
  • Arthur guzzles down the contents of his flask.
  • Arthur and Naomi have champagne in front of them.
  • Naomi and Arthur have wine or liquor in her place. Talking about their pasts, he states he didn't drink as much when he was a boy and playfully asks about her in such regards.
  • Responding to criticism of her not being spontaneous, Susan shows up at Arthur's place, intoxicated and prepared to seduce him. When she mentions she had two, he wonders if that was drinks and she indicates it was bottles. He then says she's now in his area of expertise.
  • Arthur and Naomi share a flask.
  • Arthur tries to get a retail job, but drinks from a flask at the register. He later drinks from the same in a costume.
  • Hobson refers to Arthur being hung-over, and he comments that he may have to be more sober to have a job.
  • At an AA meeting, a man mentions selling his stuff for some "junk" and running over his mother while drunk. Arthur states the meeting makes him want to drink more and that if he ran over his own mother, he'd be celebrating with booze.
  • Arthur drinks from a flask in a car (not driving).
  • Arthur tells Hobson that if she could do the drinking for him, he have his drinking problem cracked.
  • Arthur has a drink and is drunk.
  • Arthur has some champagne.
  • Arthur has a drink at Susan's bridal shower where the women have champagne.
  • Arthur pours booze into a tea cup and is intoxicated later, including at a party (seen in sped-up footage, with him moving in slow motion through that) where others hold drinks and he carries a bottle. Later, he shows up for his wedding drunk and drinks from his flask.
  • At an AA meeting, Arthur comments on being sober for the past six months.
  • When Arthur tells a metaphorical story about a princess not wanting to be with a prince due to the latter's problem with "candy," a young girl asks if he means drugs and then asks if that's meth or crack.
  • BLOOD/GROSS STUFF
  • After Arthur accidentally shoots him with a construction nail gun, Burt then walks out from behind some plastic, with one nail in his arm (no blood) and one in his shirt (a little blood).
  • A person comments that something "tastes like sh*t."
  • Arthur serves Hobson some food, but then tells her not to eat any as is might have some blood (his) in it (none is seen).
  • Arthur has a bloody lip after Susan punched him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • With Bitterman driving, he and Arthur flee cops in the latter's Batmobile. That results in a cop car hitting some trash cans or the like, then a street sign, followed by Bitterman crashing the Batmobile into the famous Wall Street bull statue.
  • Arthur bails out everyone in jail with him (some may view that as a bad attitude).
  • Hobson goes through a young woman's purse and discovers she was trying to steal something from Arthur (after a night of partying and fooling around).
  • Arthur spies on others with binoculars, making snarky remarks about them, including spotting the lesbian version of Simon and Garfunkel (we see two women walking along who have a resemblance to the recording artists).
  • Vivienne refers to President Obama as the "coffee-colored" gentlemen running the country.
  • Vivienne blackmails Arthur into marrying Susan, saying he'll lose his $950 million if he doesn't.
  • Arthur outbids another man at an auction and then bids against himself, driving up the price just for the heck of it. He doesn't seem to do this to be mean, but rather just because it's fun.
  • Arthur bids for President Lincoln's inaugural clothes and then wears them out into public.
  • We learn that Naomi is acting as a tour guide without the proper license and she then flees from the police when they find her doing that again.
  • When Hobson meets Naomi for the first time, she says she isn't the first woman who walks the streets that Arthur has taken a liking to.
  • Arthur picks up a construction grade nail gun, aims it at his own face and pulls the trigger, but it's not on so nothing happens. He then attaches the compressed air hose and starts shooting all around an indoor construction site. Burt then walks out from behind some plastic, with one nail in his arm (no blood) and one in his shirt (a little blood). Knowing he's come to ask for permission to marry Susan, Burt grabs Arthur's head and forces it down toward a spinning table saw blade, saying it has a moisture-based emergency shut off. He wants Arthur to stick out his tongue to activate it, so a scared Arthur does just that, and the blade does drop away just in time.
  • About having accidentally shot Burt with a nail gun, Arthur states that nails made Jesus a hero (some might not like that joke).
  • Susan admits that she wants to marry Arthur for his family money as well as the social status that would accompany that.
  • Susan warns Arthur that her father will "cut off your balls" and she hits him with a riding crop.
  • Arthur tries to get a retail job, but drinks from a flask at the register. He later drinks from the same in a costume.
  • Arthur makes some jokes about a bald guy he spies on, including that the moon is following Naomi and that the man is "lunar."
  • At an AA meeting, a man mentions selling his stuff for some "junk" and running over his mother while drunk. Arthur states the meeting makes him want to drink more and that if he ran over his own mother, he'd be celebrating with booze.
  • Vivienne tells Arthur he should marry Susan but cheat on her with the "nobody from Queens" (referring to Naomi).
  • Hobson states that a "little tart" like Naomi could save Arthur a fortune in prostitutes.
  • After Arthur objects to his own marriage, Susan punches him into her father's arm who then holds him for another wanted punch, but Vivienne tells them to step down. Susan then says that all she needs "is your G*ddamn last name!"
  • When Arthur tells a metaphorical story about a princess not wanting to be with a prince, a young boy shouts out, "What a bitch!"
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Arthur picks up a construction grade nail gun, aims it at his own face and pulls the trigger, but it's not on so nothing happens. He then attaches the compressed air hose and starts shooting all around an indoor construction site. Burt then walks out from behind some plastic, with one nail in his arm (no blood) and one in his shirt (a little blood). Knowing he's come to ask for permission to marry Susan, Burt grabs Arthur's head and forces it down toward a spinning table saw blade, saying it has a moisture-based emergency shut off. He wants Arthur to stick out his tongue to activate it, so a scared Arthur does just that, and the blade does drop away just in time.
  • Some viewers might be disturbed by Hobson being seriously ill.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Hobson dies in her sleep, with Arthur waking up (in a chair by the bed) to discover that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Let's cut the bullsh*t," "Tastes like sh*t," "Balls" (testicles), "Wash your winky," "Another pampered pr*ck," "When will my testicles get a rest?" "My father will cut your balls off," "A little tart like that would have saved you a fortune in prostitutes," "Listen up, you pampered pr*ck," "He's like a ship without an anchor," "Coffee-colored gentlemen," "You are a vile spendthrift," "It's the blind leading the drunk," "Bloody hell," "Would you tell me what the bloody hell is going on?" "I thought I might be able to bugger it out," "Snobson," "Bugger," "Get out," "For the love of God," "It's primpalicious," "Primpanzee," "Freak out," "Oh bollocks," "He's lunar," "You're just Mary Poppins in menopause," "For the rest of my bloody life," "Isn't it wicked?" "It's time to man up," "All I need is your G*ddamn last name," "She's bloody evil" and "What a bitch."
  • Some kids may be inspired to imitate Arthur's behavior, antics and/or lifestyle.
  • Arthur hands out money to strangers.
  • Arthur spies on others with binoculars, making snarky remarks about them, including spotting the lesbian version of Simon and Garfunkel (we see two women walking along who have a resemblance to the recording artists).
  • While sparring with Evander Holyfield, Arthur tells Hobson to refresh him (Arthur), so she squirts a water bottle into his face and eyes. He reacts adversely, saying that's vodka, but then mentions some got into his bloodstream so not all was lost.
  • Arthur picks up a construction grade nail gun, aims it at his own face and pulls the trigger, but it's not on so nothing happens. He then attaches the compressed air hose and starts shooting all around an indoor construction site. Burt then walks out from behind some plastic, with one nail in his arm (no blood) and one in his shirt (a little blood). Knowing he's come to ask for permission to marry Susan, Burt grabs Arthur's head and forces it down toward a spinning table saw blade, saying it has a moisture-based emergency shut off. He wants Arthur to stick out his tongue to activate it, so a scared Arthur does just that, and the blade does drop away just in time.
  • Trying to embarrass Susan in a restaurant, Arthur loudly gargles in front of others.
  • Arthur tries to get a retail job, but drinks from a flask at the register. He later drinks from the same in a costume.
  • Arthur has Hobson don a Darth Vader mask and voice imitator, and state "Wash your winky."
  • To prove he doesn't need his family money, Arthur strips down to just his boxers (and nearly removes them, but thinks better of that) in the church. He then travels to Naomi's place in that state, seen out on the sidewalk in just those boxers.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 "s" words, 5 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck" and "winky"), 1 for breasts ("t*tties"), 3 hells, 2 buggers (1 possibly used sexually), 1 bollocks, 5 uses of "Oh my God," 2 of "Oh God" and 1 use each of "For the love of God," "G-damn," "Jesus" and "Oh Jesus."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see Bitterman in some small shorts while dressed as Robin (as in Batman & Robin), with some of his belly exposed.
  • After Bitterman crashes Arthur's Batmobile into the famous Wall Street bull statue, it partially collapse down onto the car, with Arthur commenting on why the statue needs testicles and close he is to the "balls."
  • Coming out of jail with other people he bailed out, Arthur tells one man he'll see him at the cockfight and then says it better be what it seems.
  • We see various passed out and/or asleep people in Arthur's manor after a night of partying, as well as a passing painting of Arthur, clothed, by a woman on all fours, dressed in some sort of cat outfit, with his hand on her back -- this is seen again several times). Hobson walks among the people and drops some lingerie down to one such woman. She then walks into Arthur's bedroom to find a young woman on top of him in bed (he's shirtless, she's wearing a dress shirt and panties). She quickly scampers off him, with Hobson picking up the young woman's bra and telling her not to allow Arthur to get too used to her breasts, saying he has an addictive personality and that she had to deal with him in his early years (which Arthur denies). Hobson also erases some party photos on the woman's camera (including that of Bitterman playfully pretending to want to lick Arthur's exposed nipple) and then wonders if the woman, who gets up (thus allowing a partial panty view), will be leaving with someone or if she'll just be getting into any car that comes by.
  • We see Arthur's bare chest as he sits in a bubble bath. Hobson then comes in and tells him to wash his "winky," due to not knowing what sort of exotic wildlife the party woman he was with was harboring between her thighs.
  • Susan tells Arthur that he's the only man she slept with who then left her (versus, presumably, the other way around).
  • Arthur's mom shows him photos of his past partying, including being with some young "women" (he states they told him that they were 18 and that they were men, adding that's a horrible way to find out that). We then see a still photo of Arthur holding something up to his own chest like small breasts, as well as getting in or out of a car, with his legs spread and a blurred out section over his otherwise apparently bare crotch.
  • Vivienne shows Arthur news clips and such touting Susan, with Arthur saying he has a video of her that would knock his mom's socks off (presumably meaning a sex video). About his mom pressuring him to marry Susan to solidify their business, Arthur says he always thought marriage was to validate pregnancy. He then reluctantly agrees (to keep his fortune), commenting on Susan's velvety mouth that's like a sexy clown mouth.
  • After hearing Naomi give a tour guide talk about the ceiling in Grand Central Station, Arthur tells her he has a wonderful one above his bed, but he means that literally and not as a sexual come-on (although she takes it as the latter).
  • Trying to get Naomi off the hook with the cops, Arthur pretends they're engaged and passionately kisses her. He then lies that their first date was in Grand Central Station and that they run nude through the concourse.
  • When Hobson meets Naomi for the first time, she says she isn't the first woman who walks the streets that Arthur has taken a liking to.
  • About Naomi (who isn't present), Arthur says (to Hobson) that she's like Hobson, but with a greater potential for sex.
  • About an indoor construction site, Arthur jokes that it reminds him of a gay club he once visited in Copenhagen.
  • About Susan's dark side, Arthur states he thought he might be able to "bugger" it out of her. Trying to avoid having to marry her, Arthur states he likes other girls, with Susan saying she does as well, adding they should invite them over. Still desperate, Arthur goes off to the kitchen and makes some comment about "t*tties," while he then plants a big kiss on an older woman and jokes about her being pregnant.
  • Susan passionately kisses Arthur.
  • Referring to Arthur, Naomi tells some kids that sometimes statues come down off the wall at Grand Central Station and go to strip clubs. About rose petals he's placed around a dinner table in the middle of the now empty floor, she jokes that she's not getting naked for that.
  • Not knowing Naomi's mom died the year before and playfully responding to her wording, Arthur jokes about the mom being naked in the house.
  • Burt lifts Arthur by his clothed crotch up onto a horse, behind Susan. She then takes off, jostling Arthur up and down, prompting him to ask when his testicles will get a rest, first from her father and now the horse.
  • Susan warns Arthur that her father will "cut off your balls" and she hits him with a riding crop.
  • Responding to criticism of her not being spontaneous, Susan shows up at Arthur's place, intoxicated and prepared to seduce him. She removes her overcoat to reveal her in some lingerie (a metal corset and such, but nothing explicit beyond some cleavage). Arthur then comments on her posing suggestively, and we see her on all fours on a bed. She then tears open his shirt and comments on being a sexy kitty who needs her whiskers cleaned. She's on top of him and strikes him with a riding crop. He tries to get away, and she pulls his pants off (revealing his briefs). But his floating bed's magnets attract her metal corset and yank her up off the floor to that. As he leaves, he asks Hobson if she can take care of the half-naked woman attached to his bed.
  • Arthur jokes to Naomi that he sunbathes in the nude.
  • Arthur and Naomi passionately kiss.
  • Arthur and Naomi briefly kiss on his bed, clothed.
  • Pretending to be Arthur at an AA meeting, Hobson comments on going to bed with three European women and vomiting on two and losing bladder control on the third. She then asks the question of him being alone in bed, wondering that venereal disease he just caught.
  • Arthur tells Naomi that his marriage to Susan would be sex-less. As he tries to leave, he goes into her closet by accident and comes out with what looks like her bra over his shoulder (by accident).
  • We see Arthur's bare chest in his bubble bath.
  • Hobson states that a "little tart" like Naomi could save Arthur a fortune in prostitutes.
  • At Susan's bridal shower, Arthur does various jokey singing bits, including about him being castrated.
  • Susan opens a bridal shower gift of some see-through lingerie.
  • Arthur has Hobson don a Darth Vader mask and voice imitator, and state "Wash your winky."
  • We see miscellaneous cleavage at a wedding where Arthur points out that he slept with three of the bridesmaids, but doesn't know which ones (but adds something about that being statistically.
  • To prove he doesn't need his family money, Arthur strips down to just his boxers (and nearly removes them, but thinks better of that) in the church. He then travels to Naomi's place in that state, seen out on the sidewalk in just those boxers.
  • At an AA meeting, Arthur comments on a prostitute from his past.
  • Naomi passionately kisses Arthur.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Vivienne is embarrassed in public by Arthur's drunken arrest elsewhere.
  • Vivienne blackmails Arthur into marrying Susan, saying he'll lose his $950 million if he doesn't.
  • Naomi states her mom died last year, while Arthur says his dad died when he was a boy, when his dad was just 44 (adding the question of why take care of yourself).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Drinking, drunkenness and addiction.
  • Vivienne blackmails Arthur into marrying Susan, saying he'll lose his $950 million if he doesn't.
  • Arthur stating that money is present to buy happiness.
  • Burt going from a blue collar guy to a construction magnate, but that not being good enough for Susan in the social eyes of her peers.
  • At an AA meeting, Arthur comments on being sober for the past six months.
  • VIOLENCE
  • With Bitterman driving, he and Arthur flee cops in the latter's Batmobile. That results in a cop car hitting some trash cans or the like, then a street sign, followed by Bitterman crashing the Batmobile into the famous Wall Street bull statue.
  • Hobson punches Arthur with a boxing glove, knocking him to the canvas.
  • Arthur picks up a construction grade nail gun, aims it at his own face and pulls the trigger, but it's not on so nothing happens. He then attaches the compressed air hose and starts shooting all around an indoor construction site. Burt then walks out from behind some plastic, with one nail in his arm (no blood) and one in his shirt (a little blood). Knowing he's come to ask for permission to marry Susan, Burt grabs Arthur's head and forces it down toward a spinning table saw blade, saying it has a moisture-based emergency shut off. He wants Arthur to stick out his tongue to activate it, so a scared Arthur does just that, and the blade does drop away just in time.
  • Susan warns Arthur that her father will "cut off your balls" and she hits him with a riding crop.
  • While trying to seduce Arthur, Susan whacks him with a riding crop.
  • Arthur falls down some steps in a large costume that seems to soften the impact of the tumble.
  • After Arthur objects to his own marriage, Susan punches him into her father's arm who then holds him for another wanted punch, but Vivienne tells them to step down.



  • Reviewed April 4, 2011 / Posted April 8, 2011

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