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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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
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.
Violence & Scariness
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).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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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."
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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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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