[Screen It]


(2000) (Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo) (R)

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

Drama: When her aimless, drifter brother returns home for a prolonged visit, a seemingly conservative sister finds her world unraveling and turned upside down.
Although they're siblings, Sammy (LAURA LINNEY) and Terry Prescott (MARK RUFFALO) couldn't be more different. Sammy still lives in her late parents' home in Scottsville, New York, has a longtime job as a lending officer at the local bank, and has done a good job of raising her eight-year-old son, Rudy (RORY CULKIN), by herself.

Terry, on the other hand, is an aimless drifter who's traveled across the country getting in and out of trouble as well as prison. Despite his problems, Sammy still loves her brother who's come back home for a prolonged visit and hopes that he and Rudy might bond in a familial way.

Her attention, however, is split between him and Brian (MATTHEW BRODERICK), her new, perfectionist boss who's driving everyone at the bank crazy. Although she immediately butts heads with him and is considering a recent marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend, Bob (JON TENNEY), Sammy finds herself oddly drawn to Brian. As she tries to sort out her romantic and professional lives, Sammy must also contend with Terry's inconsistent and unpredictable behavior and his influence on Rudy.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, it's not very likely.
For language, some drug use and a scene of sexuality.
  • LAURA LINNEY plays a single mom who's trying to do her best raising her eight-year-old son. She's not perfect, however, and has sex with both Bob, her boyfriend, and Brian, her married boss, occasionally smokes and briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • MARK RUFFALO plays her aimless brother who's a drifter who occasionally gets into trouble with the law, smokes joints and cigarettes, and uses strong profanity.
  • RORY CULKIN plays Sammy's eight-year-old son who's curious about his father and bonds with his uncle Terry.
  • MATTHEW BRODERICK plays Sammy's boss who begins an affair with her despite the two not initially getting along and him being married and about to be a father
  • JON TENNEY plays Sammy's amiable boyfriend who sleeps with her and asks for her hand in marriage.


    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 R-rated drama. Profanity is rated as extreme due to the use of at least 15 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Two characters are briefly seen having sex in a motel (with movement, but no nudity) and other sex is implied/suggested. Some of that involves a woman (who's just received a marriage proposal from another man) having an affair with her married boss who's about to become a dad. Other bad attitudes are also present.

    Various characters drink and smoke, while one of the main ones also occasionally smokes pot. Violence consists of a fight (with slightly bloody results) and an off-camera car crash that kills two parents and thus orphans their two children. Other tense family moments include some brother/sister conflict and a boy being curious about his estranged and deadbeat father who wants nothing to do with him.

    Should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for 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.

  • Sammy has wine.
  • Sammy and Bob have wine with dinner.
  • Terry smokes a joint before meeting Sammy.
  • Terry and Sammy have wine with dinner.
  • Terry drinks in a bar as do others and he later enters Rudy's bedroom at night and may be somewhat intoxicated (but we're never sure).
  • People in a pool hall drink.
  • Sammy and Bob have wine with dinner.
  • Terry smokes a joint.
  • Sammy states that she could use a beer and Brian replies that he could use a tranquilizer at the end of their workday. They then have beer and shots served to them (we see them drink the latter) in a restaurant where others drink.
  • Terry asks Sammy if she wants to smoke some pot. She says that she doesn't, but then asks if he has some. We then see Terry smoking a joint.
  • Bob has a beer with dinner.
  • Terry drinks a beer.
  • Brian has a beer.
  • Terry drinks beer.
  • We see a little bit of blood on Sammy's leg after she falls down and cuts herself.
  • Terry has some blood on his lip after getting into a fight with a man whose face is somewhat bloodier (and he has some blood on his hand as well).
  • Brian is somewhat of a demanding, inflexible boss who arrives in his new position and immediately ruffles feathers. He also begins and then continues an affair with Sammy (thus cheating on his pregnant wife).
  • She then also has a bad attitude for having that affair with Brian, knowing that he's married, is about to be a father and is her boss, not to mention that she's dating Bob.
  • Some viewers may take offense to Terry stating that he doesn't go to church because it's ridiculous, primitive and a fairy tale.
  • Terry takes Rudy to a pool hall at night without Sammy's permission or knowledge, tries to keep it a secret from her, and then gets mad at Rudy when he thinks the boy snitched on him (he didn't). Later, he won't take Rudy fishing because of Sammy arranging for the local priest to talk to Terry.
  • Terry takes Rudy to see his father without Sammy or that man's permission and then gets into a fight with that man.
  • A scene where Rudy's father pushes Terry who then punches him back in return may be a bit unsettling/disturbing to some viewers. The two then get into a scuffle where they fall to the ground and Terry repeatedly punches this other man until both are a bit bloody.
  • Handgun: Worn by the local sheriff.
  • Phrases: "F*ck(ed) up," "Bullsh*t," "I don't give a sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "(You are an) idiot," "Shut up," "Get off my ass," "You suck," "Pain in the ass" and "What the hell are you doing?"
  • Although we don't see anything, we hear that Terry's girlfriend tried to kill herself.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • At least 15 "f" words (1 used sexually), 14 "s" words, 3 slang terms using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 4 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 hells, 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., 3 uses each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • We see Sammy and Bob under the covers at his place (no nudity or activity), suggesting that they had sex.
  • We briefly see Sammy in her bra as she gets undressed.
  • Brian and Sammy make out in a car (but we don't see anything else). Later, however, she tells Terry, "I f*cked my boss." The next day, and realizing they mistake they made, Sammy goes in to talk with Brian, but they end up making out again (this time up against a wall). It's then implied/suggested that they had sex in his office as she comes out somewhat disheveled looking (adjusting her clothes, her shirt is wrinkled, etc.).
  • After Brian calls Sammy at home, late at night, we see the two of them in a motel having sex on the bed. We see part of her bare back as she moves on top of him (the shot is from directly behind them), but there's no explicit nudity and no related sounds.
  • Sammy goes to see her priest and wants to know about the church's position on fornication and adultery, and then states that maybe it was better when the Church would scream at you for "having sex with your married boss."
  • We see Brian and Sammy in bed again after sex (we see his bare chest, but the sheets cover her). When she states, "this is incredible," she quickly follows it with "that's not what I mean" when she sees his boastful reaction.
  • We see Brian and Sammy under the covers again (but no activity or nudity).
  • Terry smokes at least 10 times, Sammy smokes a few times and various miscellaneous/background characters also smoke in a few scenes.
  • Sammy and Terry had to deal with losing their parents at a young age, and we briefly see some grieving family members at a funeral (that all takes place at the very beginning of the film, in the past).
  • We learn that Sammy's husband is out of the picture and not at all active in her or Rudy's lives. Rudy is curious about his father, however, and Terry eventually takes him to meet the man who wants nothing to do with his son.
  • Sammy and Terry have some strained sister/brother moments.
  • The way in which brothers and sisters can be so different from each other.
  • Losing one's parents.
  • Sammy's affair with Brian (her married boss who's about to be a dad) and her participation in it despite not getting along with him and already having a boyfriend who's just proposed to her.
  • Estranged and deadbeat fathers, their kids who are curious about them, and the single parents who try to raise those kids.
  • Although we don't see anything, we hear that Terry's girlfriend tried to kill herself.
  • Although we don't see the impact, there's no doubt that a large truck crashes into a car carrying Sammy and Terry's parents, killing them.
  • Sammy throws some laundry at Terry while upset with him. Later, and still frustrated, she violently knocks things from her nightstand and kicks them on the floor.
  • Rudy's father pushes Terry who punches him back in return. The two then get into a scuffle where they fall to the ground and Terry repeatedly punches this other man.

  • Reviewed October 20, 2000 / Posted November 17, 2000

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