One Night at McCool's
By Nell Minow,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Disappointing, too violent, and not very funny.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Characters lie, cheat, steal, and kill. Many viewers will be offended by the portrayal of the priest, who munches on communion crackers and behaves in an overall un-priestly manner.
Violence & Scariness
Intense comic violence, characters killed, lots of blood.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many sexual references and situations, often graphic.
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Very strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drinking and smoking, scenes in bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has extremely strong language, vivid sexual references and situations, including S&M and oral sex, and explicit violence, some shown very casually. Major characters are killed and no one seems to care about it very much. The characters lie, cheat, steal, and kill. Many viewers will be offended by the portrayal of the priest, who munches on communion crackers and behaves in an overall un-priestly manner.
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Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL'S, femme fatale Jewel (Liv Tyler) is a con woman who will do anything and use anyone to get the only thing she cares about, a home of her own. She meets likeable bartender Randy (Matt Dillon) when he rescues her from an abusive boyfriend. Or so he thinks. After he brings her home and they have wild sex, she admits that it was all part of a scam, and that her boyfriend is on his way there so that they can rob him. But when she finds out that he owns the house, she switches gears, and before he knows what hit him, Randy has confessed to a murder he did not commit, lost his job, and gained a full-time, in-house decorating machine. Meanwhile, Randy's lawyer cousin Carl (Paul Reiser), is seduced by Jewel, and a kindly cop (John Goodman) sees Jewel as the sweet replacement for his late wife. Each of these three men recounts their involvement with Jewel to a slightly sympathetic listener -- the cop to a priest (Richard Jenkins); the lawyer to a therapist (Reba McEntire); and the bartender to a sleazy hitman (Michael Douglas).
Is It Any Good?
This black comedy about the different way that people can see the same characters and events is disappointingly uninvolving, too violent, and just not very funny. The movie attempts to derive some humor from the intersection and inconsistency between the various stories.
But one funny visual gag with a DVD and one funny joke about the Village People are not enough to make this movie worthwhile. Tyler certainly looks beautiful, especially when she is soaping down a dirty car in slow motion and soft focus. But she does not have the range to make Jewel interesting with any of the three men. And the movie never establishes its tone.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how different people see the same events and characters differently, and how they can best communicate their different views to each other.
- In theaters: April 27, 2001
- On DVD or streaming: October 9, 2001
- Cast: Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Reba McEntire
- Director: Harald Zwart
- Studio: USA Films
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence, sexuality and language
- Last updated: March 1, 2022
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