Miami Vice



Dark, violent update of TV series. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: December 4, 2006
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 135 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Cops and criminals corrupt; undercover cops lie for a living and kill many bad guys, but love their women.


Explosions, bloody gunfights (arms, chests, and heads blown off or open); fighting and stabbing.


Sex scenes show naked bottoms and breasts (two makeout scenes in showers); some kissing and slinky dancing.


Repeated uses of f-word and s--t; other obscenities and occasional slang for male genitals.


Mac powerbooks, allusion to Fed Ex.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Focus on drug dealers (mostly heroin bricks); protagonists drink liguor; secondary characters smoke cigarettes, cook meth, and drink liquor.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is not for kids. It's focused on cops undercover as drug smugglers: This involves lying, dealing with criminals, and performing illegal activities. The film includes frequent references to drug use and some images (crystal meth, cocaine, heroin). It also features brutal violence: gunshots blow through bodies, limbs, and heads, producing much blood. The effect is not cartoonish, but grisly and startling. Characters seek revenge, but don't always feel better when they achieve it.

Parents say

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What's the story?

MIAMI VICE opens on Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Rico Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) going about their local business: They're scoping a nightclub for smalltime thugs. Unexpectedly, they're called up to the big time, a multi-agency case that's gone terribly wrong. Summoned by a former associate (John Hawkes) whose family has been targeted by a group of drug dealers who call themselves the Aryan Brotherhood, the detective duo agrees to go undercover: They pilot expensive planes and those speedy boats that skip over the water, and cut deals with sinister Jose (John Ortiz) and his cold-blooded employer, Jesus (Luis Tosar). Undercover work wreaks havoc on their love lives: While Rico is in a committed relationship with fellow detective Trudy (Naomie Harris), Sonny is a swaggery player. His romance with Montoya's money launderer Isabella (Gong Li), initiated at a bar in Cuba, is rendered in impressionistic fragments.

Is it any good?


An action movie that's actually not very interested in action, Michael Mann's Miami Vice is mostly smart, occasionally slowed by clichéd plot turns. The film version is more violent and less upbeat than the 1980's TV series, exploring the ways that an expanding international economy of drugs, weapons, and money takes its toll on everyone, even those who try to fight back.

While the shift in focus to Sonny's involvement with Isabelle is actually brief -- the movie soon returns to its more regular business of shooting and dealing -- it reshapes what's at stake. Tubbs worries whether his buddy is in "too deep": "There's undercover," Rico observes, "and then there's 'Which way is up?'" This question of perspective is embodied by the elusive Isabella. While the movie offers the usual line-blurring between cops and criminals, her dislocation is never resolved.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the friendship between Crockett and Tubbs: Why do they support each other even when one thinks the other is going astray? Why does Crockett decide to help his criminal girlfriend escape? How do the various "sides" (cops, federal agents, and several tiers of criminals) distrust and betray one another?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 28, 2006
DVD release date:December 5, 2006
Cast:Colin Farrell, Gong Li, Jamie Foxx
Director:Michael Mann
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:135 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong violence, language and some sexual content

This review of Miami Vice was written by

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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; OK 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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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bymerlez April 9, 2008

not the TV show

This is very differant from the TV show other than the fact that the core characters feel very deeply about each other. I connected with them in this way and was able to really move through the story with them. Micheal Mann is a master at creating a mood and he does it well in this film. Very adult though, the sexual situations, although not gratuitous and out of place are not for those under 17.
Teen, 15 years old Written byTotally500 March 16, 2012

miami vice is not good

i didnt like this movie too slow and too serious
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written byRcS517 April 9, 2008


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