[Screen It]


(2001) (David Arquette, Angus T. Jones) (PG)

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

Comedy: A bumbling and goofy postal worker suddenly finds himself taking care of a neighbor's child as well as a canine FBI agent that some miffed mobsters have targeted for a hit.
Gordon Smith (DAVID ARQUETTE) is a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service who dreams about his neighbor, Stephanie (LESLIE BIBB), when not fending off dogs along his delivery route and hanging out with his friend and fellow postal worker, Benny Washington (ANTHONY ANDERSON). With Stephanie heading out of town on business and her babysitter being late, Gordon offers to watch her son, James (ANGUS T. JONES), until the sitter arrives. Stephanie reluctantly agrees, and Gordon soon finds himself with more than he bargained for when the sitter calls and states that she's sick and can't make it.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, FBI agent Murdoch (MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN) is reluctantly watching as his canine partner, Agent Eleven, is taken off into the witness protection program. It seems that mob figure Sonny Talia (PAUL SORVINO) is upset that the proficient pooch foiled his latest criminal effort and permanently injured him, and has thus sent out his two goons, Gino (JOE VITERELLI) and Arliss (STEVEN R. SCHIRRIPA), to whack the dog.

Unbeknownst to Murdoch, the agent handling the protection program works for Sonny, and Agent Eleven barely escapes a run in with his armed henchmen. Seeking a place to hide, the dog spots Gordon's mail truck and zips into it, much to the delight of James who's accompanying Gordon on his route. The dog-fearing mailman obviously isn't happy about this, but after James starts crying when he plans to take the pooch to a shelter, Gordon reluctantly takes both the boy and his new dog home.

From that point on, and as Stephanie runs into various delays while trying to get back home and Murdoch tries to find his lost canine partner, Gordon and James try to get Agent Eleven to play and act like a normal dog, all while being unaware of his background or the mobsters' desire to find and do in the dog.

Since it features a dog, a kid and plenty of slapstick material, many young kids will probably want to see it.
For crude humor, language and comic violence.
  • DAVID ARQUETTE plays a goofy postal worker who agrees to watch James to impress Stephanie so that she'll go out with him. In doing so, he gets more than be bargained for as he must not only take care of James when Stephanie's return is delayed, but also Agent Eleven and the mobsters' attempts to kill the pooch.
  • MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN plays an FBI agent who's completely obsessed with the canine as he's his best friend and fellow agent.
  • LESLIE BIBB plays James' overprotective mother who runs into various problems and mishaps while trying to get home.
  • ANGUS T. JONES plays her son who wants to keep Agent Eleven has his pet and Gordon as his father.
  • PAUL SORVINO plays a mob boss who's so upset with Agent Eleven that he orders his bumbling henchmen, played by JOE VITERELLI and STEVEN R. SCHIRRIPA, to find and "whack" the dog.
  • ANTHONY ANDERSON plays Gordon's fun loving friend and fellow postal worker.


    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 summary of the content found in this PG-rated comedy that's aimed squarely at kids. Comic/slapstick style violence occurs in various scenes during the film, where characters (and sometimes animals) are knocked around, zapped or experience various pratfalls.

    This includes several scenes where dogs jump into and/or attack the villains, various instances of property being damaged, and several mafia types trying to catch/kill the canine protagonist (shooting at him with a gun in one scene), although everything's played for laughs. Those villains obviously have bad attitudes (again in comic form), while others have varying degrees of the same.

    Crude humor is present in the form of a character repeatedly stepping/slipping/falling into and then being covered with dog poop, other flatulence-related humor, and several references to a man's testicles being replaced by metal balls after the original ones were damaged/bitten off by a dog. Profanity consists of a few minor expletives, while some colorful phrases and certain behaviors might prove to be enticing to some kids to imitate.

    Beyond that, some adult-oriented, but non-explicit sexually related comments are made (that will go over most kids' heads), while a woman is briefly seen in a negligee of sorts while caressing a man (but nothing happens as he's too distracted to notice her coming on to him). Beer is briefly seen or referenced, and the main boy in the film is noted as being fatherless.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home - especially younger kids who will probably be drawn to it - we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in it.

  • We see some beer in Benny's refrigerator and later see some in the background of Gordon's place.
  • After telling Stephanie that he can watch James until the babysitter arrives, Gordon jokes that he and James (a boy) will kick back and have a couple of beers. After seeing her reaction to that, he then says that they'll just have one.
  • Sonny has wine with two women.
  • Although we don't see anything graphic related to this, a joke is made about the fact that Agent Eleven apparently bit (or bit off) one of Sonny's testicles, that's now been replaced by a metal ball bearing. A man then says that if they hadn't been able to save the other one (the word testicle is never used) that they would clack together (and uses two metal balls to demonstrate that). We then see Sonny walking gingerly from that and one of his cronies says that he only needs one (testicle), causing Sonny to tell him to give him his.
  • Benny jokes with James that if Gordon is in the bathroom longer than five minutes, that he should light a match.
  • We hear a dog urinating on a man's leg (after seeing it raise its leg).
  • We see Agent Eleven squatting down on the ground, relieving himself (although we don't see anything graphic). Gordon states that it's nasty and that he's not picking it up, and then after finding himself locked out of his place at night, he ends up stepping in the excrement, getting some on his slipper, then his hand, and then slips and falls in it (and we see some of it on his boxers). Moments later, he lands in it again (and we see it on the clothing on his back).
  • Stephanie catches a ride with a woman pulling an animal cart. Once inside the darkened cart, she lights a match to see what's in there with her and spots a zebra that lifts its tale and farts (and we see a brief fireball come out of the trailer as a result).
  • We hear a farting sound while Gordon and James are in bed (with them calling the other "fart-in-bed-achu") but then realize that it was Agent Eleven. We later hear another farting sound.
  • After Agent Eleven attacks Sonny again, the humans adversely react to the apparent sight of him with Sonny's testicle in his mouth (we don't see it). Later, we see him walking along and hear his metal testicles clacking together.
  • Sonny and his cronies obviously have both for being criminals and for wanting to kill Agent Eleven (the dog), but all of that's played in a comic/buffoonish type fashion.
  • Gordon encourages James to eat the sort of food he's not supposed to (sugary cereal, etc.).
  • An agent from the Witness Protection Program turns out to be working for Sonny.
  • Arliss refers to a woman as a "skirt."
  • We see a miscellaneous man steal a woman's purse in a park.
  • Younger kids who are afraid of dogs might not like some scenes where dogs chase and/or attack people (mostly played for comic effect).
  • The same holds true for a few scenes where people are shocked (all played for laughs, but younger kids might find it somewhat unsettling).
  • Gino and Arliss plan to drive up next to a van, whack (kill) the driver and then take care of Agent Eleven, but the pooch escapes before any of that can happen.
  • Assault weapons: Carried by FBI agents.
  • Handgun: Used by Sonny to fire at Agent Eleven.
  • Explosive: Detonated inside a training dummy by Gino and Arliss in an attempt to kill Agent Eleven (no one is hurt).
  • Handgun: Aimed by a cop at Gordon when he's acting crazy.
  • Handguns: Carried by Gino and Arliss as they hunt for Agent Eleven.
  • Phrases: "This guy's whack," "Screw(ed) up," "Get your butt over here," "You moron," "Skirt" (for a woman), "Screw this up," "Shut up," "Jeez," "I'm covered in caca," "Pissed off," "Retarded," "Nut" (crazy person), "Idiots," "Freak," "You greasy -haired reptile" and "You little punk."
  • Stephanie wears a midriff-baring top.
  • After talking about yoga, Benny tells Gordon that he can "pick up a five dollar bill with my butt." We then see him try to do this (clothed) and he does the splits over the bill, but then gets stuck.
  • After tasting the cereal that James usually eats (that apparently doesn't taste good), Gordon opens his mouth and lets a mouthful of it fall out, and then spits out the rest (all played for laughs).
  • Both Benny and Gordon break dance in a parking lot (flipping and spinning around on their backs, etc.) to impress some other men.
  • Locked out of his building, Gordon tries climbing up the downspout on the side of the building.
  • A pet store clerk has multi-colored hair and a nose ring through her nostril.
  • Riding in the back of Gordon's mail truck, James open the sliding door and begins throwing boxes of mail at the car driven by Gino and Arliss (all done on Gordon's order).
  • None.
  • A mild amount of suspenseful music, some of it action-oriented, plays in the film.
  • None.
  • At least 2 damns, 1 ass, 1 hell, 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "God" and "Oh God" as exclamations.
  • As a shapely woman walks by and he stares at her rear end, Benny makes a double entendre by stating, "This postman always delivers."
  • As James tells Gordon what his mom thinks of Gordon, he mentions several things and then adds that she says that he's only interested in one thing and "you're some kind of hound" (often associated with a slang term for female genitals, but that's only implied).
  • A woman with Sonny shows cleavage.
  • While trying to show Agent Eleven how to act a like a dog, Gordon does many stereotypical canine things. After showing that he can't scratch his head with his foot, he says, "I can lick my…" but catches himself before saying anything racy in front of James (meaning what sexual part of their bodies dogs can lick) and amends his statement to "my paw."
  • Murdoch goes to see a female associate of his who's obviously attracted to him and is wearing a cleavage-revealing negligee. She then caresses him in a sensual/caring fashion, but stops when she realizes he's only concerned about Agent Eleven and not at all with her.
  • We see Gordon wearing just a t-shirt (after his boxers are ripped from his body as he falls from a downspout). As he starts to act crazy in front of two police officers who've just arrived on the scene, the woman pulls her gun and aims it at him, telling him to raise his hands. As he does so, the t-shirt evidently rides up as that woman then stares at his crotch (we don't see it) and he quickly puts his hands back down.
  • Benny mentions something about there being no way that Gordon will be "getting jiggy" with Stephanie after all of what's occurred.
  • None.
  • We learn that Gordon was abandoned at a very young age.
  • We see that Stephanie is a single mother and James asks Gordon what it's like not to have a daddy (and Gordon replies that he doesn't have a mommy or daddy).
  • Kids wanting to take seemingly stray dogs home as pets.
  • Dogs used in police and government agency work.
  • The brief running joke about Sonny having metal balls replacing his testicles that Agent Eleven bit or bit off while apprehending him (in 2 scenes).
  • James not having a father and looking up to Gordon as one.
  • That being shocked/zapped isn't funny as it's presented in this film.
  • A bag guy purposefully drives a forklift - carrying a large metal crate/box - into a car.
  • Sonny fires his handgun at Agent Eleven (but misses). In response, Agent Eleven run and jumps on Sonny, biting him (and evidently bites off one of his testicles as we next see him in the doctor's office and there's talk of that).
  • A dog slides into a fence after Gordon waters/lathers up a sidewalk that the pooch slides on. Later, he blasts through a wooden fence as a dog chases him (we later hear the sound of that dog attacking him after he falls from a tree - but don't see any of the attack).
  • Sonny grabs one of his cronies by the clothing in a menacing/irritated way.
  • An explosive blows up a training dummy at an FBI training site (placed there by Gino and Arliss in an attempt to kill Agent Eleven - but they're unsuccessful).
  • Gordon loses control of his mail truck and knocks over a fire hydrant.
  • A person accidentally rolls something over Stephanie's foot at an airport (causing her great pain).
  • As Gordon tries to take Agent Eleven's electric shock collar off his own neck (that he put on while trying to show the pooch how to act like a dog), James picks up the TV remote control that just so happens to activate the shock collar. Consequently, Gordon is shocked many times (all played for exaggerated, slapstick comedy with sight of the electricity bolts) and zapped across the kitchen, with James then doing it on purpose until Gordon agrees that they can keep the dog.
  • Agent Eleven knocks down a purse thief and returns the purse to the owner. Gordon then goes up to this woman who's deaf, like her friend, and they can't understand each other (they want to say thanks and he thinks they want money from him since he didn't see the earlier part of the scene and thinks the dog was acting bad), and frustrations mount. As a result, one of the women pushes Gordon who then pushes her back and they then get into a comical pushing/smacking match (with the one woman throwing her purse at him as he leaves).
  • After trying to climb up a downspout that comes lose from a wall (trying to get into his apartment), Gordon falls to the ground with a thud. As he starts to act crazy in front of two police officers, the woman pulls her gun and aims it at him.
  • Arliss pulls a video surveillance camera from the wall in a pet store. As he and Gino then try to find Agent Eleven, the pooch suddenly runs at them with a pole (or something similar) in his mouth, clotheslining the two of them. As general slapstick mayhem ensues (Gordon knocking things over, having sea urchins on his clothed butt, etc.) James and Agent Eleven trip Arliss whose face lands in a birdcage (with the bird apparently biting his nose). Agent Eleven then pushes Gino back into a stack of cans, and then later bites into some gas-filled bubble wrap that's engulfed Gordon, sending him flying through the air like an escaped balloon, knocking over both Gino and Arliss. Agent Eleven then pushes over a shelf that lands on the goons and knocks over the adjacent shelves like dominos.
  • Agent Murdoch picks up a cop by his shirt while trying to get answers from him.
  • James stomps down on Gordon's foot when mad at him.
  • The mafia goons chase after James and Gordon in the latter's mail truck. Gordon then tells James to open the back of the truck and throw boxes of mail at the goons' car, which he does. During this, the mail truck drives through a fence. Once on foot, Gordon accidentally runs face first into a pole.
  • A small dog jumps on Arliss' back and hangs on with his teeth and more slapstick style mayhem ensues with Gino falling to the ground and then being smashed through a fence by a dog that slides into him. We then see Arliss repeatedly backing up into a tree, trying to get that dog off his back (we don't see the impact of the dog on the tree). When they all get back to Gordon's apartment, Sonny is there and he removes the dog from Arliss' back and throws it from the second story window (we don't see the impact, but later see that the dog is okay).
  • Agent Eleven jumps and bites Sonny on the arm. Sonny then picks up the electric shock collar and Gordon zaps him until he drops his gun. Agent Eleven then bites him in the crotch and blasts him backwards through a window (breaking it) and both fall to the ground again (we don't see the impact). The other small dog jumps on Arliss' back again and we then see the humans' adverse response to what's apparently Sonny's testicle in Agent Eleven's mouth (we don't see it).
  • Stephanie hits Gordon in the face with some laminated charts while mad at him.

  • Reviewed February 17, 2001 / Posted March 2, 2001

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