I Love You Phillip Morris Movie Poster Image

I Love You Phillip Morris



Wacky but mature comedy examines a love with no limits.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 98 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although it's arguably heartwarming to see the lengths that Steven will go to for the love of his life, ultimately the movie sends the message that you can do anything in the name of love -- even lie, cheat and steal.

Positive role models

Con man Steven is charming, successful, and completely without scruples or guilt. He will lie to anyone if he thinks it will get him something he wants, and he usually pulls it off. He’s fun to watch, but he's anything but a role model.


A car accident and a violent prison beating, both of which leave their victims bloody and battered.


Some brief nudity, including naked men seen from behind in a shower and a man’s nude backside during sex. There are also several sex scenes, both gay and straight, that don’t include nudity but do feature very obvious thrusting. Also obvious suggestions of oral sex and lots of suggestive dialogue.


Frequent language includes "f--k," "s--t," “bulls--t,” “ass,” “p---y,” "c--k," "hell," "crap," "damn," "oh my God," "goddamn," “whore,” and "d--k." Many scenes also include explicit sexual dialogue and some disparaging comments about homosexuals.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking at parties and restaurants; a man is shown with a drink poolside.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this based-on-a-true-story black comedy centers on a man (played by Jim Carrey) who leaves his family and becomes an unapologetic con man to support a self-indulgent life of shopping, partying, and sex. He eventually lands in prison, where he falls madly in love with a fellow male inmate. While there’s little nudity (some glimpses of male backsides), there are several highly suggestive sex scenes -- both gay and straight -- and lots of explicit language, including "f--k," "s--t," and some homophobic slurs. The main character's devotion to his object of affection is clear, but the often criminal lengths he goes to for love hardly qualify him for role model of the year.

What's the story?

In this comedy inspired by real-life events, Steven Russell (Jim Carrey) is a not-so-happily married gay cop who decides it’s time to be true to himself after a car crash. His exit from the closet isn't exactly subtle: He leaves his wife and kids, takes up with a hot Miami guy, and goes on a spending spree fueled by purloined money. Eventually he lands in jail, where he falls madly in love with the titular Phillip Morris (Ewan McGregor), a gentle soul of an inmate, for whom Steven will do anything. When they’re separated from each other and put in different prisons, Steven begins a seemingly endless loop of bailing the pair out of jails under false pretenses, conning an entire company to fund their lifestyle, landing in the slammer once more, and skipping out again. Love knows no bounds -- literally.

Is it any good?


Loopy, frenetic, sometimes annoying, but impressively inventive, this film should be re-titled What I Did for Love -- because that’s exactly what it’s about. The movie showcases Carrey at his zany best (minus the excessive facial tics). Here he’s loose and kinetic, springing between plot points like a man with nothing to lose and all to gain, which is apropos considering the material. You can’t take your eyes off him, even with the charming -- though underdeveloped, character-wise -- McGregor by his side.

Nevertheless, it would be better if the story wasn't quite so slack and untethered; with a tighter script and more delineated arc, I Love You Phillip Morris would be so much easier to love. As it is, it’s an entertaining, albeit aimless, diversion.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that the movie is based on a true story. Do you think it's all accurate? Why do you think filmmakers might decide to change certain parts of fact-based stories?

  • Do you think Steven Russell’s actions, including stealing and deception, demonstrate real love? Parents, talk to your teens about your own family's values regarding sex and relationships.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 3, 2010
DVD/Streaming release date:April 5, 2011
Cast:Ewan McGregor, Jim Carrey, Leslie Mann
Directors:Glenn Ficarra, John Requa
Studio:Roadside Attractions
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexual content including strong dialogue, and language

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Teen, 15 years old Written byCorinaEverett June 22, 2014

Mature but Moving Movie

This movie is my absolute favorite and I'm only 15. There are many things that could be considered inappropriate such as swearing and sexual content but it isn't as if your child doesn't here things like that from other children at school anyway. Besides this, it is a very moving romance story that had me both laughing and crying at times. If your child is mature enough to watch this film, I would highly recommend it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byEulalie44 August 5, 2011

Don't hesitate to learn something about your kids.

I think that even though I haven't seen the movie, that the parents should make the final descision. Also, I have a slight bone to pick with the people who think that their 14 or 15 year old kid should be encouraged that this is wrong, therefore they should not model their own relationships after it. I don't speak for teens, but I can say for sure that teenagers will be so enchanted with this movie, they will immeadiatly want to model their lives after it. As I said, it is the final decision of the independent parents on whether they want to miss a fun dramedy that is one of the few movies that does not portray gay people as a one-liner-cameo or a joke to laugh at.
Parent Written bydarianr July 11, 2011

Funny, but racy

Pretty funny, based on a true story, but it's for mature audiences only. This is basically Catch Me If You Can but about a gay con man. I think it's strange that people have a problem with the fact that he's gay or the sex scenes, which mostly aren't bad at all, but don't seem to have a problem that he is also a liar and a compulsive thief.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking