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(2003) (Bob Dylan, John Goodman) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Moderate Heavy Mild Heavy
Mild None Minor Minor Heavy
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
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Drama: A promoter tries to stage a benefit concert for a troubled country but must deal with various obstacles and complications along the way.
In a non-specific time in an unnamed country, promoter Uncle Sweetheart (JOHN GOODMAN) is attempting to stage a benefit concert for that troubled country. Veteran TV producer Nina Veronica (JESSICA LANGE) is willing to help him, but doubts he'll succeed. While he strikes out with signing any other performers, he does manage to persuade iconic cult legend and recently released prisoner Jack Fate (BOB DYLAN) to headline the concert.

That raises the suspicions of cynical journalist Tom Friend (JEFF BRIDGES) who shows up on the scene with his religious girlfriend, Pagan Lace (PENELOPE CRUZ), only to run into interference provided by unabashed Fate supporter Bobby Cupid (LUKE WILSON).

As various characters -- including a mistress (ANGELA BASSETT), animal wrangler (VAL KILMER), soldier (GIOVANNI RIBISI) and political candidate Edmund (MICKEY ROURKE) -- enter and exit the scene, Sweetheart tries to pull off the benefit concert.

Unless they're fans of Dylan or someone else in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
For some language and brief violence.
  • JOHN GOODMAN plays the promoter who may be hoping to line his own pants with the concert's profits. He drinks, smokes and uses strong profanity.
  • JESSICA LANGE plays the veteran TV producer who doubts Sweetheart's chances of success and smokes.
  • BOB DYLAN plays the iconic cult star who's persuaded to headline the benefit concert after being released from prison.
  • JEFF BRIDGES plays the cynical reporter who hounds Sweetheart and others regarding the concert.
  • PENELOPE CRUZ plays his religious girlfriend.
  • LUKE WILSON plays an unabashed supporter of Fate's who runs interference against Friend.
  • ANGELA BASSETT plays a mistress.


    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 quick look at the content found in this satirical drama that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, a painting shows a bare-breasted woman, a couple is briefly seen fooling around, and a woman may be masturbating in one scene.

    Violence consists of several murders (only one has moderately bloody results), while some fighting, other contact and threatening with guns also occurs. Various characters have bad attitudes, while some drink and/or smoke.

    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.

  • Uncle Sweetheart drinks whiskey from a bottle that he carries around with him through much of the movie.
  • We see booze in a bottle and some glasses on a table.
  • Tom asks his editor what he's drinking and the editor replies that he's drinking his life away. He then shows Tom a bottle of booze and Tom later drinks from it.
  • Some people have wine as seen in an old home movie.
  • A man wants a refill in a bar and the bartender then gives him the entire bottle, saying it's on the house as he leaves.
  • People drink in a pool hall/bar.
  • Jack sings a song that has the lyrics about buying a jug of rum and giving his baby (wife/girlfriend) some.
  • Uncle Sweetheart has a bottle of whiskey.
  • Uncle Sweetheart drinks whiskey from the bottle.
  • Tom drinks.
  • A comment is made that Jimi Hendrix dropped "drug bombs" on his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
  • In an attempt to try to diffuse a situation, Uncle Sweetheart asks, "Who wants a drink here?" He then tries to give some to Pagan, but she declines the offer.
  • A mistress pours some alcohol for Jack and herself, but we don't see them drinking it.
  • Nina briefly has a bottle of booze in her hand.
  • Uncle Sweetheart drinks.
  • Uncle Sweetheart offers Pagan a drink again and when she refuses, he tries to force it on her.
  • Pagan drinks.
  • A person delivers a final, fatal blow to another (we don't see the impact, but do see blood splatter on the assailant and blood on the victim who then dies).
  • Various leaders of some sort have bad attitudes toward others, especially Nina who they occasionally threaten.
  • Some thugs threaten and then beat up Uncle Sweetheart.
  • Cupid isn't nice to Tom when he wants to see Jack.
  • Uncle Sweetheart offers Pagan a drink again and when she refuses, he tries to force it on her.
  • Nina lies about seeing a murder and frames the wrong person for it.
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" might also be unsettling or suspenseful to some viewers.
  • For those who don't like violence against animals, a man seems to kill a rabbit (just off camera), but we later see that the bunny is okay (and the killing was faked).
  • Automatic weapons/Handguns: Carried by various people, briefly seen being shot in news-style footage, and used to threaten or shoot others.
  • Phrases: "Shut the f*ck up," "Sack of sh*t," "Shut up," "Are we screwed, or are we screwed?" "Nuts" and "Balls" (testicles), "Who in the hell..?" "Sucker," "Chick" (woman), "I screwed up," "Ain't that a bitch?" "Whorehouse" and "What the hell is the difference?"
  • We see graffiti covering a wall.
  • Various miscellaneous characters have tattoos.
  • Jack appears to give Tom "the finger" while shaving.
  • None.
  • A minor bit of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • Jack sings a song that has the lyrics about buying a jug of rum and giving his baby (wife/girlfriend) some.
  • At least 1 "f" word, 3 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("screwed"), 5 hells, 2 asses (1 used with "hole"), 2 S.O.B.s and 1 use each of "G-damn," "God forsaken," "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • Uncle Sweetheart tells Nina, "You're not getting screwed, that's your problem."
  • We see a painting on a wall that shows a bare-breasted woman (it's more arty than explicit/graphic).
  • There's talk that the President rose from "cathouses" to where he is today.
  • A motel manager asks Jack if he'll be in the need of a woman for the night and after he explains he can get him any type, Jack says he's not interested.
  • A mistress enters a room (as seen through some adjacent window slats) and joins a man there. There's some brief passionate kissing and she then lies down on top of a man on a bed (both are clothed). Later, we see her leg up along his body, but they're interrupted before anything else happens.
  • We briefly see a woman in a leopard pattern bra.
  • A person comments that Vietnam was lost in the whorehouse rather than the battlefield.
  • It's possible that Nina might be masturbating in her trailer (as seen from the outside through its window). We see her somewhat pleasured/aroused facial expression while seating with her legs propped up (as the camera zooms away from her).
  • Nina shows some cleavage.
  • A mistress shows some cleavage.
  • A brief comment is made about the king of sexual revolutionaries (Hefner).
  • Uncle Sweetheart tells Tom, "I was selling porno books from my trunk before you were born."
  • Nina smokes around 10 times, while Uncle Sweetheart smokes a few times, Edmund smokes a pipe once and some miscellaneous characters smoke (one with a cigar). In addition, Jack asks Tom if he has a smoke and Tom says he doesn't.
  • Nina briefly mentions that she's divorced.
  • Jack's father is on his death bed and later dies.
  • The comments that: Life is like a taxi in that even if you're going nowhere, the meter is still running; Humans are masked and anonymous, and no one knows them, Animals know no fear as they don't know they'll die (which preoccupies humans' lives); the fact that it isn't easy being human; that people try to kill time, but that time ends up killing them; and that everything you do in life has a price and you either pay in front or on the back end.
  • A vision from the past shows an old time white performer in black face.
  • We see brief news-style footage of some people being hit, including one man who kicks another on the street. We also see some shooting of guns, but don't see the impact (if any).
  • A man (who wants money from Uncle Sweetheart) sweeps items from a desk or table, and then he and another man grab Uncle Sweetheart, throw him behind a desk and proceed to kick him repeatedly (we don't see the impact).
  • Armed men stop a bus and a soldier onboard gets out to confront them while carrying a machine gun. He pushes one of them, who pushes him back and a third man then shoots the soldier with a machine gun, killing him (no blood or gore and seen from the bus).
  • A man seems to kill a rabbit (just off camera), but we later see that the bunny is okay (and the killing was faked).
  • Some people grab a woman and man who were on a bed together, and then throw Jack down a flight of steps.
  • Uncle Sweetheart grabs Cupid by the shirt.
  • Nina briefly thrashes a phone in anger.
  • Uncle Sweetheart and Tom briefly struggle.
  • Jack pushes Tom back when the latter becomes too overbearing for the former.
  • We see brief, news-style footage of police hitting a man with their batons.
  • Men hold guns on Nina.
  • Uncle Sweetheart offers Pagan a drink again and when she refuses, he tries to force it on her.
  • Tom hits Uncle Sweetheart with something, knocking him to the floor. He then starts to strangle him. Jack then hits Tom and holds a broken bottle to him. Tom then holds a gun on Jack and Uncle Sweetheart, but Cupid then repeatedly hits Tom with a guitar.
  • A person delivers a final, fatal blow to another (we don't see the impact, but do see blood splatter on the assailant and blood on the victim who then dies).
  • A man holds Nina by the hair or back of the neck.

  • Reviewed July 9, 2003 / Posted September 5, 2003

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