Alfie

  • Review Date: March 13, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004

Common Sense Media says

Uneven movie about a charming cad has sexy stuff.
  • Review Date: March 13, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There are many directly stated messages about taking sex lightly and treating women deceptively, but these are subverted by the consequences characters suffer later.

Positive role models

Alfie is a charming rake who uses and mistreats women, but learns the error of his ways by movie's end.

Violence

There are a few scenes where an unstable girlfriend of Alfie's drunkenly breaks glasses.

Sex

Frequent sexual references and situations. Adultery, threesomes, offscreen abortions, and onscreen couplings between non-committed adults all make appearances. Nudity is surprisingly light, but there is one scene where a woman removes her top and struts around in panties while the audience sees her breasts. Women are ogled nearly nonstop by both Alfie and the camera.

Language

Some cursing: "That's bulls--t!" There are also lots of coarse jokes, such as when Alfie has problems getting an erection with a woman who sneers at him, "Peewee."

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alfie and other characters smoke cigarettes and sometimes marijuana; many scenes show characters drinking and acting foolishly or making bad decisions and blaming it on the alcohol. Characters have illicit sex under the influence of alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alfie is about a smooth operator who takes pride in using women sexually and then quickly discarding them. There are many, many scenes that are insulting to women and send negative messages about how to treat them. In addition to the messages about women, characters smoke, drink, and make awful decisions when drunk that they later blame on the alcohol. They also cheat on boyfriends and spouses, and one character gets pregnant and considers an abortion. There is some profanity, including one F-word and a few S-words; plus many coarse jokes. Sexual scenes are plentiful, though mostly discreet, though one scene includes a topless woman who walks around in underwear.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

In this remake of the 1966 Michael Caine classic, Alfie (Jude Law) is a British womanizer living in New York. Unable to commit to one woman, he breaks a lot of hearts. But then one of his lovers gets pregnant, and he appears to question his life.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers used to be married, and they used to make movies together (Baby Boom, the remakes of Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap). Now they're divorced, and they make movies separately. Hers: the very successful What Women Want and Something's Gotta Give; his: the less successful The Affair of the Necklace and now ALFIE. The two of them seem to be working through something, as both of their recent films were about the exact same thing -- the comeuppance of what we used to call a cad. This film may have had some therapeutic value for its director. Its value as entertainment and illumination is uneven at best.

The performances are all top-notch. Each of the women creates a full and complex character, especially Nia Long as the woman Alfie's best friend loves, Susan Sarandon as an older woman as predatory as he is, Marisa Tomei as a single mom, and Sienna Miller as a beauty whose instability is at first a turn-on and then a turn-off. The film's primary and very significant asset is Law, who's brilliant in the title role. He has to make us almost as charmed by Alfie as the women he goes after, even while he is confiding in us what he is really thinking. Very few actors can make an unsympathetic character so appealing or pull off a role that involves speaking directly to the audience, and Law is constantly ingratiating, fascinating, and even touching. That is less true, however, of the rest of the film. The movie feels as empty as Alfie's heart.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Alfie through time. Have you seen the original Alfie? How have our reactions to womanizing and drinking changed over time, if at all?

  • Do you think Alfie is a positive role model? Can someone be a role model if they make mistakes and then learn from them?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 4, 2004
DVD release date:March 15, 2005
Cast:Jude Law, Marisa Tomei, Nia Long
Director:Charles Shyer
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Drama
Run time:103 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexual content, some language and drug use

This review of Alfie was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe October 6, 2010
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Brilliant acting! Less than brilliant movie.

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