[Screen It]


(2000) (Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Mild Extreme Moderate Heavy
Moderate None Mild *None Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Heavy Minor Minor Moderate Heavy

Action/Adventure: A retired car thief must steal fifty valuable vehicles in seventy-two hours to save his younger brother's life.
Randall "Memphis" Raines (NICOLAS CAGE) is a former car thief who's approached by Atley Jackson (WILL PATTON), a former "business" associate, with news that Raines' younger brother, Kip (GIOVANNI RIBISI), is in deep trouble with Raymond Calitri (CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON), a notorious English criminal.

It seems that Kip has followed in his big brother's footsteps and, with the aid of his "crew" - Mirror Man (TJ CROSS), Tumbler (SCOTT CAAN), Toby (WILLIAM LEE SCOTT) and Freb (JAMES DUVAL) - promised Calitri they could deliver fifty various cars to him for export to places and people unknown in exchange for a $200,000 payment.

As such, Calitri threatens to kill Kip if Memphis can't boost the cars in the next seventy-two hours. Reluctant but realizing he has no other choice, Memphis agrees. Realizing his options are limited, he goes to see his former mentor, Otto Halliwell (ROBERT DUVALL), who's since gone straight and now refurbishes cars. Upon hearing that Kip's life is at stake, however, Otto agrees and they begin reassembling their old crew.

Among them is Sara "Sway" Wayland (ANGELINA JOLIE), Memphis' former girlfriend who's also since gone straight; Kenny (CHI McBRIDE) who's become a driving instructor; and The Sphinx (VINNIE JONES), a large and mostly mute man. With Memphis as their leader, the team begins staking out the various cars they must steal, but realize they can't tip off Detective Roland Castelbeck (DELROY LINDO) or his partner, Detective Drycoff (TIMOTHY OLYPHANT), who realize the former thieves are up to no good.

Waiting until the last night so as to keep as low a profile as possible, Memphis and his team set out to steal the fifty cars and get them to Calitri before the deadline, all while avoiding the detectives and other police who are soon hot on their tails.

If they're fans of someone in the cast, Jerry Bruckheimer films ("Armageddon," etc.) or action/adventure films in general, they probably will.
For violence, sexuality and language.
  • NICOLAS CAGE plays a retired car thief who reluctantly returns to his old profession to save his brother's life. Along the way, he steals many cars and briefly uses some profanity.
  • GIONVANNI RIBISI plays his younger, impulsive brother who's followed in his big brother's former footsteps and gotten himself into some big trouble. He also uses some profanity.
  • ANGELINA JOLIE plays Memphis' former business and romantic partner who helps out and briefly makes out with Memphis.
  • DELROY LINDO and TIMOTHY OLYPHANT play the two police detectives who try to catch Memphis and his gang in the act.
  • ROBERT DUVALL plays Memphis' former mentor who agrees to help.
  • CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON plays a British villain who threatens to kill several people if he doesn't get his cars by a certain deadline (and then tries to kill several people anyway).
  • Most of the remaining performers also play car thieves who get off scot-free in the end (other than one who's wounded by a cop's bullet).


    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).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this action-adventure film that's been rated PG-13. Several scenes involve people threatening or shooting at others with guns (one person is wounded and a little bloody), while others contain fighting (resulting in one death from a fall) and various amounts of damage to property. Some of those scenes may be tense or suspenseful to some viewers, although most of them are played out in an action-oriented fashion.

    Profanity consists of at least 34 "s" words, along with plenty of other expletives and colorful phrases. Some foreplay is seen (mostly from a distance) between a man and woman that includes partial nudity and other sensuality, while another couple briefly makes out in a car, and another scene includes just the pleasured sounds of a woman (over the phone) involved in some unknown sexual activity.

    The theft of cars is mostly made out to look easy, exciting and fun, and since all of the car thieves get away scot-free in the end (despite some harrowing moments), kids may be enticed to imitate that and a few other behaviors. As such, the car thieves have bad attitudes, as do other villains/criminals.

    A brief running gag involves some scatological humor derived from the need to retrieve some car keys from a dog that's consumed them. Meanwhile, some drinking occurs, one character smokes cigars, another makes a drug reference, and we briefly see some heroin that's discovered in the trunk of a stolen car (but isn't used). Should this summary not alleviate your concerns about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

  • A photograph shows Kip and another person with bottles of beer.
  • Tumbler and some of his young associates drink beer.
  • Kip cooks some food for Memphis and pours some of his beer into the skillet while doing so.
  • We see Sway working as a bartender in a joint where various people drink beer and drinks. After pouring a customer another shot of liquor, she drinks it instead (while contemplating Memphis' plea for her help).
  • Kip has a bottle of beer while Memphis carries a bottle of booze.
  • Mirror Man states that when they're done, among the several things he'll do is smoke a joint.
  • The men find that a car stolen by one of the young crewmembers has packages of heroin in the trunk (we see the packages as well as some of the spilled powder on the floor).
  • Some of the crewmembers drink beer.
  • We see several dead bodies in a morgue, but beyond being dead, they aren't bloody or gory.
  • A briefly running joke is about the men having to give one of their dogs a laxative after it's eaten three important car keys, and then following the dog waiting for it to do its business. Once it does, one of the young crewmembers retrieves the keys (neither is seen), a move that grosses out some local thugs.
  • One of the young crewmember's hands is bloody after he's been shot.
  • Memphis has a little bit of blood from his lip, as does Calitri later.
  • The car thieves obviously have both for stealing and often damaging other's cars (one could argue that some of them are doing it to save Kip, but most seem to relish the opportunity and enjoy the experience of doing so).
  • Calitri obviously has both for being a major criminal and threatening to kill various people throughout the movie.
  • Some local criminals threaten Memphis to stay off their turf.
  • A man working at a dealership sells special car keys to Tumbler in exchange for quick cash.
  • A cop lets some criminals go (although one of them saved his life, so that's his payback).
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • We see Kip being handcuffed to a car's steering wheel before the car is picked up by a lift and placed into a junkyard car crusher. Calitri threatens to crush him if Memphis doesn't agree to steal the cars (all while several of his cronies hold guns on Memphis). As the car begins to be crushed, Memphis hits one crony, grabs his gun and aims it at Calitri (the other men aim their guns at Memphis). With the car still being crushed, Memphis must quickly decide what to do.
  • Some local thugs open fire on Kip and Memphis' car, riddling it with bullets. They then chase the two through a neighborhood, repeatedly firing at them.
  • For those who don't like snakes, there's a scene where a large python crawls around the feet and then under the crotch of Mirror Man as he and The Sphinx try to elude police in a stolen vehicle.
  • A high speed car chase with several close calls and one long jump might be tense/suspenseful to some viewers, as might a later cat and mouse sequence involving people hunting or trying to avoid those hunting them in a warehouse (including a person nearly falling through some flooring and then barely hanging on to an edge).
  • Handguns/Shotguns: Used to threaten, shoot at and wound others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Knife: Carried by The Sphinx.
  • Brass knuckles: Used by a man to hit another man.
  • Phrases: "Deep sh*t," "Who gives a sh*t?" "Bad ass," "Saved my ass," "That's gonna suck," "Screwed up," "Inconsiderate little punk," "Old farts," "Wieners" (not referring to male genitals), "Faggoty," "I'm going to smoke you" (a gun threat), "Sucker," "Half-assed," "Screwed up" and "Boneheads."
  • Since the car thief scenes are made to look relatively easy (at least most of them) as well as fun and thrilling (and since everyone gets off scot-free in the end), some kids may want to imitate this behavior.
  • After stealing a Porsche, Kip briefly drag races another man on the street.
  • The Sphinx lights a rag running into a car's fuel tank to blow up that car.
  • We see that Kip has attached a car's axles to a tractor-trailer as well as a stationary object so that when the tractor-trailer drives away, the attached cables rip the car apart.
  • None.
  • A mild amount of action-oriented suspense music plays in several scenes.
  • Some songs on the soundtrack or that play in the background of scenes contained lyrics that could not be understood.
  • There's 1 possible "f" word and at least 34 "s" words, 23 asses (10 used with "hole"), 12 damns, 11 hells, 2 S.O.B.s, 4 uses of "G-damn," 3 of "God," 2 of "Jesus" and 1 use each of "Christ," "Jesus Christ," "Oh Christ" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • While calling up old associates on the phone asking for their help, Memphis gets ahold of one where all we hear over the phone is a woman's pleasured, rhythmic sounds from some sort of sexual activity (and Memphis comments, "You sound very busy").
  • We see the side of a nude body lying on a morgue table (but don't see anything explicit).
  • After putting on some lipstick, Sway teasingly tells Memphis that next time she'll pull out the leather, high heels and pink underwear.
  • While preparing to steal a car, Memphis and Sway spot the owner(s) and hide behind and then inside a car, waiting for them to go back inside their house (causing Sway to state, "C'mon, c'mon. Get it on. Get it over with"). As such, they (and we) see the couple making out (while standing and from a distance) and then of the man taking off the woman's top and pants. As such, we see her in her bra as well as most of her bare butt in her thong-like bottom. He then removes her bra (we see her bare back as well as several brief glimpses of the sides of her bare breasts.
  • During these shots, we see Sway asking Memphis which he thinks is more exciting, having sex or stealing cars. He thinks about it for a moment and then answers having sex while boosting cars. That, and the sight of the couple seems to get them aroused and Sway moves over next to Memphis, suggestively straddling the gear shift. They start making out and he makes some automotive-related innuendo. She stops, however, upon seeing the couple go inside the house. There, we see the man lie down on top of the woman on a bed, but the camera racks focus to the outside (thus they go out of focus) where we then see Memphis and Sway drive away in their car.
  • We see a young woman in her bikini.
  • Sway somewhat suggestively and playfully sucks Toby's finger.
  • Kenny smokes a few cigars.
  • Memphis (and briefly their mother) worries about Kip's safety and the two brothers have been estranged for the past six years.
  • That stealing cars isn't as fun, exciting and easy as it's made out in the movie, and that most car thieves don't get away scot-free like the ones here.
  • That Memphis stated that stealing cars made him feel better about himself (but that he stopped due to people being shot, killed or sent to prison).
  • The fact that Memphis and Kip didn't go to the police after agreeing to Calitri's demands (of course that would have made for a boring movie, but obviously would have been the smartest move, especially since Memphis had sworn off stealing more cars).
  • Kip throws a brick (or similar object) through a glass window to break into a car dealership. He then steals a Porsche and drives it through the large plate glass window to get out onto the street.
  • We see Kip being handcuffed to a car's steering wheel before the car is picked up by a lift and placed into a junkyard car crusher. Calitri threatens to crush him if Memphis doesn't agree to steal the cars (all while several of his cronies hold guns on Memphis). As the car begins to be crushed, Memphis hits one crony, grabs his gun and aims it at Calitri (the other men then hold their guns on Memphis).
  • A driving student accidentally backs into a car.
  • A local crime lord punches Memphis who punches him back. He then fights several other thugs who finally hold him back against a car allowing the crime lord to punch Memphis in the gut. We then hear The Sphinx break one of the thug's car windows and then light a rag going into the fuel tank. The car explodes and The Sphinx then approaches the crime lord, hits him, and then takes on the remaining thugs with punches and kicks to the groin. The final one tries choking The Sphinx who in turn grabs the man by his crotch and then punches him in the face. Several more cars then explode.
  • Some local thugs open fire on Kip and Memphis' car, ridding it with bullets. They then chase the two through a neighborhood, repeatedly firing at them (and apparently hitting a chicken or other fowl in one scene as a blast of feathers follows one shot).
  • We see that Kip has attached a car's axles to a tractor-trailer as well as a stationary object so that when the tractor-trailer drives away, the attached cables rip the car apart.
  • Some glass is broken to get into a car.
  • A man holds a gun on Donny while trying to steal his car. Donny then hits this man several times.
  • The Sphinx uses a HumVee to push a police car backwards down a parking ramp and eventually dump it over a several foot drop (those in the police car aren't killed or seriously injured).
  • A cop shoots at one of the stolen vehicles, injuring one of the young crewmembers in the backseat (we see blood on his hand). Meanwhile, a police car crashes during this car chase.
  • A bus runs into a police car during a chase and another police car crashes into a larger vehicle.
  • A large gas tank is punctured, and subsequently flies and darts across a dock, damaging anything in its path.
  • A swinging wrecking ball smashes into the side of a truck and blasts it through a concrete wall (but the driver doesn't appear to be seriously hurt).
  • Calitri punches Memphis while wearing brass knuckles.
  • Two men are knocked aside by a large construction "claw" just as they're about to shoot several other men.
  • Memphis punches and then repeatedly kicks Calitri. He then hits him with some wood furniture framing. In turn, Calitri grabs a gun and repeatedly shoots at Memphis.
  • A man threatens to shoot another man, but a third kicks the gun aside and knocks the first man over a railing where he falls through some glass many feet below and is presumably killed.

  • Reviewed June 6, 2000 / Posted June 9, 2000

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