[Screen It]


(2001) (Ryan Phillippe, Tim Robbins) (PG-13)

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

Suspense/Thriller: A young computer programmer tries to figure out what's going on and then save his own skin when his dream job of working for a multi-billion dollar software company turns into something entirely different.
Milo Hoffman (RYAN PHILLIPPE) is a young computer programmer who, with his friends Larry Banks (TYGH RUNYAN), Teddy Chin (YEE JEE TSO) and Brian Bissel (NATE DUSHKU), is about to launch a start-up computer company. Yet, his and Teddy's programming prowess has garnered the attention of Gary Winston (TIM ROBBINS), the CEO of NURV, a multi-billion dollar software corporation.

While Teddy is against everything that Gary and NURV stand for, and Justice Department agent Lyle Barton (RICHARD ROUNDTREE) wants him to work for them against NURV, Milo accepts a job from them and moves with his girlfriend, Alice Poulson (CLAIRE FORLANI), to the company's Pacific Northwest campus.

Milo is immediately assigned to work on Synapse, NURV's latest digital convergence product that will tie together all communications devices around the world. With a deadline of just over a month to get Synapse completed, Milo and his fellow workers, including Lisa Calighan (RACHEL LEIGH COOK), put in a lot of time and energy into realizing Gary's vision.

Yet, not everything is as perfect as it might seem. After receiving mysterious bits of code and having one of his friends murdered, Milo begins to get a bit suspicious about Gary and his company. As the CEO's right-hand men, Phil (NED BELLAMY) and Randy (SCOTT BELLIS) and chief of security, Bob Shrot (DOUGLAS McFERRAN), begin watching his every move and equally become suspicious of him, Milo tries to figure out exactly what's going on and what to do once he figures that out.

Those who are fans of anyone in the cast or of computer/programming related material probably will.
For some violence and brief language.
  • RYAN PHILLIPPE plays a young computer programmer who's hired by a multi-billion dollar software company only to find that they're involved in various illegal/immoral activities. He lives with his girlfriend, uses some profanity (one instance of which is strong) and then sets out to figure out what the company is up to and stop them.
  • CLAIRE FORLANI plays his live-in girlfriend who becomes concerned with his seemingly paranoid state and harbors a secret from him. She briefly uses some profanity.
  • TIM ROBBINS plays Milo's new boss, the CEO of the huge software company who turns out to be a corrupt executive who will do or accept anything to get his product on the market.
  • RACHEL LEIGH COOK plays one of Milo's associates who befriends him when he becomes suspicious of their company and its leaders.
  • DOUGLAS McFERRAN plays the company's head of security who wants to figure out what Milo is up to. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • YEE JEE TSO plays Milo's friend and former start-up business associate who dislikes NURV and isn't happy that Milo has accepted a job with them.


    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 suspense/thriller. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Violence consists of several views of a person being beaten to death with a baseball bat (although without any blood/gore), some threatening with guns, a brief bomb explosion and some brief fighting/other physical contact.

    Some of those scenes may be tense or unsettling to viewers, as might more traditional, "he's going to be caught" suspense moments. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, we see a boyfriend and girlfriend in bed several times (but without any nudity or sexual activity), and various characters drink different forms of liquor in several scenes.

    If you're still concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone in your home, 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 the opening credits.

  • Teddy and Alice have what looks like beer.
  • Milo and some of his friends drink beer, with one of them stating that he needs another one.
  • In a TV news story about a programmer's death, we hear that alcohol and Prozac were in the guy's car.
  • Milo and Alice have wine in a restaurant.
  • People have wine/champagne at a reception.
  • Milo and Alice have wine with dinner.
  • Milo scratches his arm with a fork and leaves a few red/slightly bloody scratches.
  • Those involved in murder, stealing code and manipulating/deceiving Milo (and there are many of them) obviously have bad attitudes.
  • Those involved in the murder of an Asian programmer also wrote "Die Chink" on the wall to make the murder look like a hate crime.
  • Although he's doing so to find out what a corrupt company is up to, Milo illegally makes himself a copy of a security guard's pass card and enters buildings he's not supposed to.
  • Milo sees a report on Lisa stating that her stepfather molested her when she was a child.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may also be tense or unsettling to some viewers, as might the overall tone of the movie once the suspense/thriller plot kicks in during the film's second half.
  • As such, some might find scenes where it looks like Milo will be caught (breaking into computer systems/looking through Alice's stuff/sneaking into Gary's office, etc. with someone usually approaching him) or discovered (as he hides from various people) as suspenseful or unsettling.
  • Knowing that he's fatally allergic to sesame seeds, Milo frantically looks through some food that's been prepared for him and then worries about eating it after realizing that a bag of sesame seeds is now missing.
  • Handguns: Carried and/or used by various people to threaten others.
  • Bomb: Used to blow up a janitorial closet as a diversion.
  • Baseball bat: Used to kill someone.
  • Phrases: "You're f*cked," "I don't give a sh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Losers," "Shut up," "Pissed," "Nuts" (crazy), "Suck," "Bust my ass," "Screw" (nonsexual) and "You arrogant little bastard."
  • A person suddenly shows up at the window of Milo's car.
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("pr*ck"), 5 asses (3 used with "hole"), 1 damn, 1 hell, 2 uses each of "For Christ's sakes" and "God" and 1 use each of "Jesus," "Oh God," "Oh Jesus," "Oh my God" and "Swear to God" as exclamations.
  • We see Milo in bed with Alice under the sheets, but don't see any activity.
  • We later see them in bed again and she playfully asks Milo if he's going to keep working. He stops and they then kiss (he's shirtless, she's wearing a tank-top and their bottom halves are under the sheets) but the scene ends there.
  • Alice sits on Milo's lap at the dinner table (both are clothed), dips her finger into some sauce and suggestively sticks it into his mouth.
  • Alice shows a little bit of cleavage and we then briefly see her in her bra as she gets dressed.
  • None.
  • We hear that Milo's parents are dead.
  • The obvious similarities of Brian and his company, NURV, to Bill Gates and Microsoft.
  • Whether such computer companies can/should be viewed as monopolies and thus be open to antitrust proceedings and whether the code they've developed should be open for everyone to use or closed so that they can profit from it.
  • Brian's comments that when you're on top (as a business), people will attack the integrity of your product as well as throw out personal insults/attacks as well.
  • Whether a company such as the one portrayed here would go to such extreme steps to complete and deliver their product.
  • A man hits another man over the head with a baseball bat and then repeatedly hits him with that bat while another man smashes various pieces of computer & office equipment. While we see all of the latter, we don't see too many graphic instances of the former (of the actual impact). We later hear that the victim died from this attack.
  • A homemade bomb explodes in a janitorial closet as a diversion.
  • We see video footage (from a surveillance camera) of the above baseball bat attack that shows more impact of the bat on the victim (but without blood/gore). Later, we see more of the same.
  • Some thugs break the glass in a door to gain access into a building. One of them then holds a gun on Milo, who kicks a chair at him and then escapes, with both thugs briefly struggling with others and then chasing after him. During this, Milo kicks one of them down some stairs, while the other blasts through a window and knocks Milo back against a wall.

  • Reviewed January 8, 2001 / Posted January 12, 2001

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