[Screen It]


(2000) (George Clooney, John Turturro) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Mild *Extreme *Mild Heavy
Mild Minor Minor Minor Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Moderate Mild Minor Moderate *Heavy

Comedy: Having escaped from a 1930s era chain gang, three convicts encounter various interesting people as they set out on a journey to retrieve a hidden treasure.
It's 1937 and Ulysses Everett McGill (GEORGE CLOONEY) is a silver-tongued, petty criminal who has convinced two other convicts, Delmar (TIM BLAKE NELSON) and Pete (JOHN TURTURRO), to escape from their Mississippi chain gang. After meeting a blind seer (LEE WEAVER) who tells them that they must travel a long and difficult journey before finding a fortune that won't be the one they're looking for, the three men set out for the treasure that McGill promised them and which reportedly will be at the bottom of a lake in four days.

As a solemn lawman, Sheriff Cooley (DANIEL VON BARGEN), pursues them, the three run into various interesting characters along the way. There's Tommy Johnson (CHRIS THOMAS KING), a young musician on his way to Jackson who claims to have sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for the gift of music. Then there's George "Baby Face" Nelson (MICHAEL BADALUCCO), a machine gun toting, manic depressive bank robber; a group of Sirens (MIA TATE, MUSETTA VANDER & CHRISTY TAYLOR) who seduce the men, and Big Dan Teague (JOHN GOODMAN), an unscrupulous, one-eyed Bible salesman.

Meanwhile, incumbent Governor Pappy O'Daniel (CHARLES DURNING) is in a heated campaign versus challenger Homer Stokes (WAYNE DUVALL), whose campaign manager, Vernon T. Waldrip (RAY McKINNON), is set to marry McGill's ex-wife, Penny (HOLLY HUNTER). With time running out and while dealing with all of those people and the various complications that come their way, the men discover that their quest has indeed changed into something else.

If they're fans of anyone in the cast or the films by the Coen brothers ("Fargo"), they might, but otherwise it doesn't seem likely that many other kids will want to see it.
For some violence and language.
  • GEORGE CLOONEY plays an escaped con (originally sentenced for practicing law without a license) who uses some profanity and commits other crimes while trying to get to his wife before she remarries.
  • TIM BLAKE NELSON plays a dimwitted criminal who escapes with McGill.
  • JOHN TURTURRO plays the third criminal in their party, another dimwitted man who's apparently seduced by a group of Sirens.
  • DANIEL VON BARGEN plays a solemn lawman who tracks down the three escaped convicts and nearly hangs them in one scene.
  • HOLLY HUNTER plays McGill's ex-wife who's about to remarry and isn't happy to see him again.
  • JOHN GOODMAN plays an unscrupulous Bible salesman and KKK member who robs McGill and Delmar (after beating them up).
  • CHRIS THOMAS KING plays a young man who reportedly sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for musical prowess.
  • CHARLES DURNING plays an incumbent politician who uses some profanity, smokes cigars, and isn't above taking advantage of political opportunities thrown his way.
  • MICHAEL BADALUCCO plays a manic-depressive bank robber who knocks off some banks and shoots his machine gun at both the police and cows (the latter of which he hits).
  • WAYNE DUVALL plays a corrupt political candidate who's running for Governor.
  • RAY McKINNON plays his campaign manager who's set to marry Penny and gets into a fight with McGill when that man tries to attack him.


    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).

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 rated comedy. Violence consists of people trying to harm others with machine guns and other weapons, and the threat of hangings and a lynching is also present. While no humans are harmed from that, one cow is shot and another graphically struck by a car. Other fighting also occurs. Some viewers might find some of those violent or potentially violent acts (a few of which have some bloody results) as tense or unsettling, but most are played in a comic or surreal vein.

    Profanity consists of a moderate amount of expletives and colorful phrases, while some brief, sexually related dialogue is present. In addition, several "sirens" in wet clothing act sensuously and attempt to seduce three men (apparently succeeding with one of them). Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes (including some racist KKK material), but much of that's also played for laughs/in a comic vein.

    Beyond that, some brief drinking and smoking also occur. Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home who wishes to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, a few moments of that occur during a thunderstorm scene.

  • A siren has Everett drink a great deal of what's presumably moonshine from a jug.
  • Big Dan has a beer next to him while eating.
  • Pappy and three men with him have drinks.
  • We see a cooked and skewered gopher (but beyond being somewhat charred, it's not otherwise gory or bloody).
  • We briefly see some bullet holes on a cow that George shoots with his machine gun, but it's not very graphic.
  • Delmar has some blood from his nose and mouth after being beat up.
  • We see that some law enforcement officials have strung up Pete, with one of them whipping him (we see some bloody cuts through the holes in his shirt).
  • Much of what's listed below is played in a comic vein.
  • The three convicts escape from their chain gang and during their journey they do the following: they steal a chicken from a local farm for food; Everett steals a pocket watch from Pete's cousin; they lie to a blind radio station manager about how many members are in their band (so that they'll be paid more); they steal a pie cooling on a windowsill (although Delmar leaves money for it); and they steal a person's car from a gas station.
  • Pete's cousin frees the three men from their shackles and gives them a change of clothes (but he also rats them out to the local law).
  • Some viewers may take offense at Everett's negative/sarcastic view of the religious forgiving of sin.
  • The same holds true for Tommy who states that he just sold his soul to the devil in exchange for a musical gift.
  • A blind radio station worker/manager wants to know if the three men and Tommy play any "nigger" songs and then says that he doesn't record any.
  • George Nelson not only is a bank robber and shoots at police with his machine gun, but he also shoots a cow just because he doesn't like them.
  • Big Dan claims to be a Bible salesman, but then turns out to be a con artist who attacks and robs Everett and Delmar. He also squashes a toad in his bare hand (that Delmar believed to be Pete).
  • Everett admits to lying to Pete and Delmar to make them escape from the chain gang and thus possibly incur several penalties, including up to fifty extra years in prison.
  • Members of the local KKK obviously have both, including a political candidate who appears to be their leader.
  • Some law enforcement officials ignore a pardon some men received and nearly hang them anyway.
  • Some viewers may find scenes listed under "Violence" at unsettling, tense and possibly even frightening, but most of them are played more in a lighthearted, comedic sense rather than one depicting harsh reality.
  • For those sensitive to violence to animals, in one scene, a man shoots at cows with a machine gun (and hits one) while a car graphically strikes another, and in another scene a man squashes a toad in his hand and throws its body into a tree.
  • We see that some law enforcement officials have strung up Pete, with one of them whipping him (we see some bloody cuts through the holes in his shirt). They then throw a noose over a branch and around his neck, but nothing else happens.
  • The sight of a large KKK rally and ritual and setup for the hanging of a black man may be unsettling to some viewers (the hanging never happens).
  • Some law enforcement officials appear ready to ignore a pardon and hang several men, and even have their graves already dug (but the men are spared via an unexpected occurrence).
  • Rifles/Shotguns: Carried by prison guards and local lawmen.
  • Rifle: Twice fired by a boy at the three men as they approach his father's house (he doesn't hit them, but comes close).
  • Machine guns: Fired at the three men by some local lawmen, and back and forth between George Nelson and the police (as well as by George at some cows and later into the air while robbing another bank).
  • Whip: Used to whip Pete on the back.
  • Phrases: "Nigger" (said by a white man when describing black music), "Hot damn," "Cracker," "Hell's bells," "Whore," "Shut up," "Who the hell is that?" and "Smart ass."
  • George opens fire on some cows with his machine gun (because he hates them more than cops).
  • The sudden sound of a gunshot might startle a few viewers.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • A song briefly mentions there being whiskey, while a song sung by three sirens has something to do with "You and me and the Devil makes three..." (but the context of that couldn't be ascertained).
  • At least 18 damns, 14 S.O.B.s, 12 hells, 2 asses, 14 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Jesus," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Oh Lord" and "Sweet Jesus" as exclamations.
  • The three men come across three sirens singing and sensuously doing the wash in a stream. While not scantily clothed, they're not fully clothed either and some of them sit with their legs spread (nothing is seen) while wringing out their clothes and playfully letting the water drip down onto their bodies and wet, clingy clothing (one of the women shows cleavage, another shows a great deal of thigh and the camera briefly pans down one of their clothed, but wet bodies). They then sensuously run some of that wet clothing across their clothed bodies, and then caress the men's faces.
  • Later, Delmar and Everett wake up separately, lying clothed but spread-eagled by the riverside. When Delmar then thinks that the sirens turned Pete into a toad, one of the men then comments that maybe Pete got what he deserved for "fornicating with some whore," and the other then replies that the two of them were planning on fornicating with the other women as well.
  • Pappy has a cigar, as do some of his assistants/advisors, while various miscellaneous characters occasionally smoke cigarettes, cigars and/or pipes.
  • We learn that Everett's wife, Penny, divorced him once he went to prison, is planning to remarry, and told her kids that a train hit their father. Thus, when they see him, they aren't quite sure what to think (none of it's played realistically, however).
  • Homer's "The Odyssey" (the work from which this film is loosely based).
  • The KKK.
  • Chain gangs.
  • George and Delmar end up being accidentally pulled off a train car when Pete can't get on, stumbles and thus pulls them off due to them all being chained together.
  • Some local lawmen find the three men in a barn and proceed to open fire on them with a machine gun (more to get them to come out rather than kill them). When that fails, they pour gasoline on the barn and ignite it with torches (while firing more rounds from their machine guns). Pete then throws a torch back out of the barn that ignites a trail of gasoline leading back to a munitions truck. It then catches on fire, and the munitions and machine guns inside it go off, riddling the truck with bullets, before it all explodes. A kid then drives through the barn door to rescue the men and then drives back through one of the burning walls.
  • Getting Everett to drive for him, George Nelson opens fire on the police trailing him with his machine gun. In turn, they return fire, but neither side is hit. However, George does open fire on some cows (we see bullets hitting one after he states that he hates cows more than cops) and a police car then graphically strikes another cow that's crossing the road.
  • George fires his machine gun into the air to get people's attention while robbing another bank.
  • Big Dan breaks off a large tree branch and then uses it as a club to hit Delmar on the head. Delmar then tries attacking him back, but Big Dan then repeatedly hits him with the large piece of wood. He then hits Everett in the face with the same, knocking him silly. Delmar then jumps on Big Dan's back, but the latter simply throws Delmar to the ground. He then squashes a toad in his bare hand and then throws its body into a tree.
  • We see that some law enforcement officials have strung Pete up, with one of them whipping him (we see some bloody cuts through the holes in his shirt).
  • Everett tries punching his ex-wife's fiancÚ, but that man ducks and then returns several punches to Everett's face. Everett tries to punch him again, but as they go out of the camera frame, we hear this other man delivering many more punches to Everett. We then see some man throw Everett out of the store and literally onto the street.
  • When upset with his subordinates/advisors, Pappy occasionally hits them with his hat.
  • Pete briefly attacks Everett (grabbing him and the two then roll down a hill) when he learns the truth about the treasure they've been seeking.
  • Although we don't seem them do it, the three men evidently knock out several KKK members in order to dress up in their robes and hoods (in order to free a black man about to be hanged). Once confronted, they then throw a confederate flag that nearly impales someone (the person catches it inches from their face) and then cut loose the line holding a burning cross upright, and it falls onto one of the Klansmen (we see it following toward him, but don't see the impact).
  • People in an audience turn on Stokes and throw things at him (not hurting him) when he reveals his true colors to them.
  • A sudden flash flood (from the purposeful apparent releasing of a dam) sweeps through a valley, washing away a cabin and possibly kills several people (although we never know one way or the other about any of that).

  • Reviewed December 11, 2000 / Posted December 29, 2000

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [Around the World in 80 Days] [Family Camp] [Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness]

    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,
    ©1996-2022 Screen It, Inc.