Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Movie Poster Image
Fast-paced romp has violence, gangsters, drugs.
  • R
  • 1999
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie laughs at the idea that characters can get involved with bad elements in the hopes of personal gain, fail miserably, and then count on dumb luck to get them out of potentially deadly trouble.

Positive Role Models & Representations

These characters are cool, funny, tough, and sometimes smart, but they're all members of the underworld. They work in shady businesses, acting on greed and violence to get their jobs done.


There are scenes of wild gun shooting, everything from antique rifles to automatic weapons. Many characters are shot and killed (others are wounded). There's copious amounts of blood. There are also fistfights and beatings, many threats, torture with golf balls, a man on fire, a man drowning, and a scene of a man punching a woman (though her face is obscured).


One of the gangsters works in a sex club. He's surrounded by things like paddles and dildos. Another scene takes place in a topless bar, with topless dancers out of focus in the background. Otherwise, there's sexual innuendo throughout.


Very strong language throughout includes many uses of "f--k," as well as "c--t," "p---y," "c--k," "s--t," "ass," "penis," "piss," "hell," "faggot," and "bastard," as well as "Jesus Christ." There are also many examples of British slang and insults like "wankers," "stupid cow," "bollocks," "dozy prat," "arsehole," and "wop bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Part of the plot involves stealing a huge supply of marijuana, and some of the characters are shown stoned. The heroes have a celebration in a pub; we see them drinking heavily in a montage, and then passing out. Many characters are seen drinking and smoking socially or in a background way. Cocaine is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels -- which is the directorial debut of Guy Ritchie -- is a complex, fast-paced, loony, British crime movie with lots of violence, including guns and shooting, blood, dead bodies, fighting, brief torture, and many threats. In one quick shot, a man punches a woman (though her face isn't shown). One of the characters works in the sex industry and we see various sex toys lying around his office. There's some brief, out-of-focus nudity, and plenty of innuendo. Language is very strong, with multiple uses of "f--k" and various other words, including English slang and insults. The plot involves marijuana growers and stolen drugs, and characters are stoned. Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in a social/background way, and cocaine is shown. The mood of this movie is light and fun, and it has a strong cult following, so older teens probably already know all about it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynovikevich.a February 21, 2021

Something fresh in the crime genre

The movie engages yourself from the first seconds and until the end. Quick and with a good sense of humour. There is no one main character which you would be ab... Continue reading
Parent Written byCazamic March 20, 2013

Stephen Marcus runs a Gangster Tour in London

I loved this film and recently took my kids on a gangster tour of London which actor as Stephen Marcus runs.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLeonvol February 6, 2021

The action of all actions

Fantastic movie that is funny. I saw it when I was elleven and I have no problems after that. But it has a positive massage that you shouldn’t gamble. The viole... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bySteropas January 6, 2018

What's the story?

Four Londoners (Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, and Jason Statham) save up their money to enter their buddy in a high-stakes poker game. Despite his skill at reading faces, he loses and they now owe a fortune to a tough gangster. They learn through their next-door neighbors -- whom they can hear talking through thin walls -- where they can find a huge stash of pot (and cash) with little or no security. They design a complex plan to steal it, involving a host of other gangsters and thugs, but of course everything goes wrong. It's then up to coincidence and dumb luck to save the day.

Is it any good?

This is an energetic, clever crime movie that looks into various little pockets of underworld life -- sex, gambling, drugs, and hired thugs -- and uses them all against one another. At the time, it looked as if Guy Ritchie were yet another opportunist cashing in on the Quentin Tarantino fever of the 1990s (and indeed, Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction were even more popular in Ritchie's home of England than they were in America). But in retrospect, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels turned out to be much more than that.

Ritchie's camera work is smooth and sprightly, and he has a definite rhythm for slang and profanity in his dialogue. He also has an eye for character actors, and at least two, Vinnie Jones and Jason Flemyng have gone on to interesting careers, while Jason Statham has become a full-fledged star. His way of diffusing violence with humor still definitely owes a little to Tarantino, but it works. Movie-savvy teens will likely be aware of the movie, since it's developed a cult following, but parents should be warned that the violence, though light in tone, is still intense.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. What is the tone of the violence? How does he diffuse the tension?

  • Are there any role models in this movie? Are the four heroes good characters, even though they do bad things?

  • Does this movie make crime look fun and/or appealing?

  • Why aren't there very many women in this world, or in this story? How are the few women treated?

Movie details

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