[Screen It]


(2002) (Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville) (R)

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

Drama: Various low-income family members deal with the issues and strained family dynamics in their lives.
Phil Bassett (TIMOTHY SPALL) is a pessimistic and depressed cab driver who doesn't make enough money driving passengers to pay off Neville (GARY McDONALD), his stern boss. Phil's attitude is no surprise considering that he lives in a London housing complex with his emotionally distant wife, Penny (LESLEY MANVILLE), nursing home worker daughter, Rachel (ALISON GARLAND), and unemployed, obese and constantly angry and belligerent teenage son, Rory (JAMES CORDEN).

Penny works in the local grocery store with her good friend, Maureen (RUTH SHEEN), a single mom who has to put up with her angry daughter, Donna (HELEN COKER), who's just discovered she's pregnant by her emotionally and physically abusive boyfriend, Jason (DANIEL MAYS).

When those two break up, Donna's promiscuous neighbor, Samantha (SALLY HAWKINS), quickly moves in on Jason. Her father, Ron (PAUL JESSON), works with Phil, while his wife, Carol (MARION BAILEY), is a constantly drunk alcoholic.

As the various family members simply try to get by in their lives and deal with their individual family dynamics, a sudden shocking event has a great impact on some of them and their outlook on life and each other.

Unless they're fans of someone in the cast or director Mike Leigh's films, it's probably not very likely.
For pervasive language and some sexuality.
  • TIMOTHY SPALL plays a pessimistic and depressed cab driver who's not happy with his life, marriage or hostile son.
  • LESLEY MANVILLE plays his wife who's dissatisfied with him and her life in general. She briefly uses strong profanity.
  • ALISON GARLAND plays their quiet daughter who works in a nursing home.
  • JAMES CORDEN plays their unemployed son who's mean and disrespectful to them and everyone else. He smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • RUTH SHEEN plays Penny's best friend, neighbor and co-worker who must put up with her daughter's surly demeanor and abusive boyfriend.
  • HELEN COKER plays her belligerent daughter who smokes, ends up pregnant from her abusive boyfriend, and has a bad attitude toward her mom.
  • DANIEL MAYS plays her physically and mentally abusive boyfriend who got her pregnant, demands that she have an abortion, isn't nice to others, and uses strong profanity.
  • PAUL JESSON plays Phil's fellow cabbie friend who smokes, drinks, makes up a lie about his car accident, and uses strong profanity.
  • MARION BAILEY plays his alcoholic wife who's always drinking and/or drunk, and uses strong profanity.
  • SALLY HAWKINS plays their promiscuous teenage daughter who has sex with Jason, is fed up with her family, and uses strong profanity.
  • GARY McDONALD plays Phil's boss who smokes and uses strong profanity.


    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 R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 113 "f" words, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Some explicit, sexually related dialogue is present, as are two sexual encounters (one with under the covers movement and sounds and another with nudity - bare breasts - and making out). One teenager ends up pregnant (and her abusive boyfriend threatens that she has to have an abortion, but that doesn't occur).

    Other bad attitudes are present, including a host of teenage kids being mean and disrespectful to their parents. Other tense family material is present, including a couple whose marriage has faded and results in a verbal fight. Various characters smoke and/or drink, with one woman being a constantly drunk alcoholic.

    Violence includes a young man hitting various people and a boyfriend roughing up his girlfriend, while an obese young man has a heart attack (but survives). Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • Ron and Phil have beer.
  • Phil mentions a passenger being drunk.
  • After Penny states that she wants to go for a walk, Phil offers to take her out for a drink but she declines the offer.
  • Carol is an alcoholic who's always drinking and/or drunk every time she's seen.
  • Ron drinks a beer.
  • A guy in Phil's cab has a bottle of liquor in his hand and he appears drunk.
  • Rachel's older coworker asks if she drinks lager (she says she does) and says that a couple of pints will do for him (but no drinking occurs).
  • Maureen and Penny have beer while Carol, who's quite drunk, has a drink as all three are in a bar (where others also drink). We then see them having more of the same and Carol later collapses while drunk (but is okay).
  • Phil has a beer.
  • Carol is drunk and we then later see her drinking liquor straight from the bottle.
  • Carol and Ron are drunk and we see a bottle in his hand.
  • Phil has a beer and offers one to Penny but she declines.
  • We see a large bruise on Donna's leg (from where Jason apparently hit her before - but we don't see that incident).
  • A worker tells Rachel that a patient has defecated ("number twos") on the carpet, but we don't see anything.
  • We see that a guy who likes Samantha has carved the letter "S" into his chest (rather large and somewhat bloody - but we only see the results and not the actual act).
  • Phil tells a story about some young girl in his cab commenting on the grandmother farting and Phil says he had to roll down the window.
  • Ron makes up a lie about how the back of his cab was smashed (he backed into a pole but says that a woman hit him).
  • Penny doesn't respect or treat Phil nicely and is critical of him.
  • Rory has a bad attitude toward everyone (particularly his mom to whom he's quite mean and disrespectful) until late in the film.
  • Donna has a bad attitude toward many people as well, including her mother.
  • Samantha has a bad attitude toward her parents and goes after Donna's boyfriend (and apparently has sex with him) after he storms off following a fight with Donna.
  • Jason physically and emotionally abuses Donna and tells her that if she doesn't have an abortion (she doesn't) that he's going to leave her.
  • A French woman has a bad attitude toward Phil.
  • Scenes where Jason gets rough with Donna and acts volatile toward her and her mother might be unsettling for some viewers.
  • Rory collapses from having a heart attack while alone in a courtyard (but is later okay after Maureen comes to his aid).
  • None.
  • Due to some occasionally thick accents, some of the dialogue could not be understood. That said, we did hear at least the following phrases: "I don't f*cking believe it," "F*ck off," "F*cker," "(For) F*ck's sakes," "F*cking wanker," "F*ck that," "F*cking come here," "I don't give a f*ck," "F*cking pervert," "Is that what you f*cking want?" "It's none of your f*cking business," "You don't give a sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "D*ckhead," "Bitch," "Smacked up the ass," "He's a tosser," "Shut up," "Lazy cow," "Bloke," "Piss(ed) off," "Bloody hell" and "Bastard."
  • We see that a guy who likes Samantha has carved the letter "S" into his chest (rather large and somewhat bloody - but we only see the results and not the actual act).
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Due to some occasionally thick accents, some of the dialogue could not be understood. That said, we did hear at least 113 "f" words, 7 "s" words, 8 slang terms using female genitals ("c*nt" and "p*ssy"), 4 slang terms using male genitals ("c*ck" and "d*ck"), 5 slang terms for sex ("shag" and "do it"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts"), 4 wankers, 3 bollocks, 3 asses, 3 hells, 1 crap, and 1 use each of "Christ," "Christ Almighty," "For God's sakes" and "God" as exclamations.
  • Samantha shows cleavage in her low-cut tops and wears small cut-off jean shorts. She also comes on to or sexually flirts with any young man she encounters.
  • A young woman in Phil's cab shows a lot of cleavage.
  • Jason stands before Donna who's in some sort of black negligee that occasionally shows parts of her panties. He's a bit rough with her as he partially stands between her legs (although she somewhat seems to like what he's doing, or is just tolerant of it). He calls her a "c*cktease," and moments later we see that they're under the covers moving about. We hear sexual sounds and see movement, but she stops him. He angrily wonders if she doesn't like how he's "doing it," and she replies that she doesn't want to "lie down with you." He then starts to leave, she says she wants to talk and he replies that he doesn't want to talk, but instead wants to "shag." She then admits that she's pregnant by him (despite being on the pill).
  • Upset at Donna for not wanting to get an abortion, Jason says that he got some "p*ssy" in a bathroom, comments on the woman's "t*ts" and "ass" and says that she gave the best "blowjob" he's ever had (and 10 times better than Donna's ever given).
  • Carol shows cleavage.
  • Two young women in the back of Phil's cab talk about one's nipple, but we don't see anything (as the view of that is blocked by the front seat).
  • Carol comes on to a man while drunk in a bar and rubs his clothed butt.
  • Samantha flirts with some guy who's been hanging around and he tries to kiss her. She then says that she can touch him, but that he can't touch her. He agrees, but after she kisses him, he tries to force himself on her. She pushes him away and angrily storms off.
  • After Maureen acts upset about Donna being pregnant by Jason after only knowing him for a short while, Donna asks her mom how long she knew Donna's biological father. She replies, "Five minutes."
  • Jason angrily tells Donna that she was the "worst shag" he's ever had.
  • We see a topless Samantha straddling Jason who's sitting upright in a parked car. We see her bare breasts and them kissing and her kissing his bare chest (it's implied that they have sex).
  • Rachel's older coworker seems to be inviting her back to his place (possibly to fool around), but she doesn't respond.
  • Ron, Donna and Neville each smoke several times, Jason and Rachel's coworker each smoke once and several miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • Phil and Penny's marriage and family are dysfunctional for most of the film. None of them are happy, they bicker and/or are mean or distant to each other, and then face Rory having a heart attack and its repercussions on them finally get their feelings out in the air (in a several-minute verbal fight that greatly upsets Rachel).
  • Samantha isn't happy with and doesn't get along with her parents.
  • Donna has a bad attitude toward her mom (who manages to put on an air of being chipper toward her).
  • Rachel's older coworker states that he was married for four months.
  • A passenger in a cab mentions that she's divorced.
  • Strained family relationships.
  • Abortion.
  • Heart attacks (especially in younger people).
  • Phil's comment that life is lonely and that you're born and later die alone.
  • We see Rory briefly beating on another young man.
  • Jason is a bit rough with Donna as he stands before her as she sits on a bed (although she somewhat seems to like what he's doing, or is just tolerant of it). He slaps her face, she slaps him and he slaps her back (he also points out a large bruise on her leg that he caused). He then grabs her by the back of her hair and pushes her around.
  • Jason comes around to confront Donna and there's some brief pushing between him and Maureen (he also slams the door open when she tries to close him out).
  • From a distance, we see Rory hitting and kicking at another young man who strikes back at him. Rory then starts having a heart attack and that boy and others run away.
  • A car suddenly backs in front of another car that then slams into it (the drivers and passenger are okay).

  • Reviewed October 22, 2002 / Posted November 1, 2002

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