Boiler Room Movie Poster Image

Boiler Room



Good but mature movie. Not for kids.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lots of bad behavior.


Some bar fights.


Sexual references, couple has affair, nothing shown.


Extreme, including racist, anti-semitic, and homophobic comments.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the primary reason for the R rating is very strong language, including racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-semitic epithets. Characters smoke, drink, use drugs, and beat people up. Two characters have an affair, though nothing is shown.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Seth (Giovanni Ribisi) wants two things very badly. He wants to make a lot of money quickly, and he wants the respect of his father (Ron Rifkin), a federal judge. Seth drops out of college to run a highly profitable business. His entrepreneurship and work ethic are impeccable. But his line of business -- a casino run out of his home -- is not. A casino customer tells him about a way to make a lot of money as a stockbroker. At a huge cattle call of an interview, Jim Young (Ben Affleck) promises that everyone who stays in their program will become a millionaire within three years, tossing the keys to his Ferrari on the table as proof. Seth signs up as a trainee at J.T. Marlin, a Long Island stock brokerage firm. Seth quotes a rap song that says that to make money fast "you have to have a jump shot or sling crack," and adds that for white boys, the equivalent of slinging crack is selling stock. And the stock he sells, like crack, provides a giddy, addictive high while it is destroying the victim's finances, and more. Seth finds that it can destroy the seller as well as the buyer.

Is it any good?


First time writer-director Ben Younger creates a realistically edgy world that runs on rap music and testosterone. Rival brokers taunt each other like Sharks and Jets in Armani suits. These are lonely, insecure, immature men. The ironically named Jim Young points out that at age 27 he is one of the oldest people in the firm. They travel in packs and except for Seth we never see them with families or on dates. They're like Long Island Lost Boys, in a perverse Never Neverland. Seth is drawn to this world in part because the masculine leadership and approval makes up for his emotionally absent father. But he is unable to turn away from his growing awareness that something is wrong and that J.T. Marlin is far more corrupt than his casino operation.

BOILER ROOM has one of the best scripts in many months. In one superb scene, Seth is so proud of his skill as a salesman that he coaches a telemarketer who calls to sell him a newspaper subscription. Younger has a fresh and clever take on things and his music video experience lends a raw, hyper, thrill-seeking tone to the movie. The young performers do very well, especially Vin Diesel as Chris and Nia Long as Seth's love interest.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how moral choices are made, how consequences are evaluated, and how difficulties in family communication can affect behavior outside the family. They might want to check out the film's Web site before seeing the movie, to familiarize themselves with terminology like IPO, cold call, and rip.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 18, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:July 11, 2000
Cast:Giovanni Ribisi, Nia Long, Vin Diesel
Director:Ben Younger
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong language and some drug content

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Adult Written byrichardb1 January 13, 2015

A realistic look at a high pressure telemarketing career.

As a professional telemarketer and owner of a Costa Rican call center, I can say that the image presented in the movie can represent a division 1 outbound telemarketer. Taking away the type of scam they were doing, anyone must admire the high energy, endurance and advanced rhetoric that a professional salesman can produce over the phone. It is a true character representation of a BPO calling floor. It is becoming a lost art. More people spend time texting rather than building rapport with clever and glib vocal presentations. The movie shows the connection between a talker and convincer. Finally, the topic that was not discussed during the movie was an attrition rate that a call center can produce. There are many stressful factors that can cause burn out and a final patience level that can break even the most seasoned telemarketer. Thank you for taking the time to read my review. It was an entertaining movie for the topic. Some BPO best practices for your review: The advanced bilingual telemarketing script will be transferred on to a second sheet known as a call map for easy call navigation, flow and enhanced training. Our call center managers use a straightforward flowchart to highlight critical decision points and familiar objectives during the structured telephone conversation. Acknowledging when they ask a good question is used methodically and is essential in promoting additional conversation or customer service support. Most salesman believe that fast talking is the way to close a deal. Yet, we encourage silence as very instrumental when used tactfully on the phone. Deliberate pregnant pauses are incorporated in our pitch and highlighted on the call map as an advantage for encouraging the client's participation.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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