Shoot 'Em Up

  • Review Date: January 2, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Over-the-top action with guns, guns, and ... guns.
  • Review Date: January 2, 2008
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 87 minutes

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The hero is stoic and virtuous -- and a killing machine; the villain is snarly and underhanded; a politician is hypocritical.

Violence

Many, many guns. They're shot, thrown, exploded, bought, brandished, compared, cleaned, heated to burn someone, and arranged into grand traps. Lots of loud gunfire, shooting in motion (sliding, falling, leaping, flipping), car crashes, bloody bodies dropping, blood spurting and oozing, and lasting wounds, scars, and bruises with bloody bandages. At one point, carrots are used as weapons (jammed into eye sockets/through skulls). A man is tortured by having his fingers broken (very visibly) and threatened with a scalpel to the eye. Fights include kicks, hits, punches, falls, head-butts. First scene shows a mother giving bloody birth, after which she's shot dead. The baby is frequently in danger (thrown, shot at, hidden, used as jokey prop, left in traffic); at other times, Smith teaches him the parts and uses of a handgun.

Sex

Repeated female nakedness, particularly breasts (on both live women and dead ones). Frequent references to and images of prostitutes (brothel doorways show various sexual acts, including a woman's naked bottom, a "school girl" performance, and a dominatrix whipping her client). A woman performs oral sex on a client in an alley (viewers see where her head is positioned). An elaborate, comic sex scene has the woman moaning ecstatically as she and partner are shot at and assaulted (no explicit body parts are seen, but nudity is clear, as is the activity). Various colorful phrases (e.g., "nothing like a good hand job," "phallic mumbo jumbo," "you should see me spell my name in the snow").

Language

Some clever use of language ("F-U-K-U" in spelled out in shot-out neon signage), plus a range of spoken/yelled vulgarity, including "f--k," "s--t," ""ass" (also with "hole"), "damn," "hell," "bitch," "p---y," and "rat bastard."

Consumerism

Cars (BMW), mentions of NBC and the Discovery Channel.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Hertz takes a combination of vodka and Tylenol; reference to morphine.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this over-the-top, gun-focused action movie brims with wild violence and its effects. Much of it is presented in a comic, cartoonishly excessive way, but characters are still left torn, bloodied, bruised, and broken. Violent acts are mostly shooting-related (one particularly extreme sequence features characters shooting at each other during a fall from an airplane), but there are explosions and car crashes too -- all with painful-looking results. Sexual content includes references to the heroine's work as a prostitute (she's introduced in brothel), plus shots of naked breasts and cleavage, and a prolonged sex act during a violent assault. Language is quite salty (primarily variations on "f--k") but probably not as plentiful as you'd expect -- mostly because so much of the screen time is spent shooting instead of talking.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Mr. Smith (Clive Owen) delivers a baby during a shootout and ends up the infant's guardian when the mother (Ramona Pringle) is killed. Super-skilled (he was trained by the U.S. military in his secret past), intensely focused, Smith is determined to save the baby, though he knows nothing about how to feed or clothe it (he uses newspapers for diapers and a dirty sock for little Oliver's head). He enlists the only lactating woman he knows, a prostitute named Donna Quintano, or DQ (Monica Bellucci). More worldly wise than her valiant ex-client, DQ goes along for the ride, falling in love with Smith and little Oliver on the way.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Outrageous and antic, Shoot 'Em Up simultaneously spoofs and pays homage to everything from Bugs Bunny to Indiana Jones and James Bond. Smith is so fast and furious during his always-triumphant encounters with bad guys that he's deemed a "wascally wabbit" by the malevolent Mr. Hertz (Paul Giamatti). The pair's antagonism escalates exponentially, accompanied by all manner of gunplay and wild stunts. As Hertz puts it, the back and forth turns into "tit for tat," with each shoot-out, car chase, and torture scene a means for one side or the other to get even.

Of course, no such balance is possible. Every violent act leads to more violence. While the acceleration is demented fun here, the broader context is dire -- as indicated by what turns out to be the villains' awkward motivation: their work for a cadaverous-looking gun manufacturer (Stephen McHattie) and a corrupt U.S. senator/presidential candidate (Daniel Pilon). Both are involved in an imminent decision concerning gun control, but really, they're just distractions from the film's main business, which is shooting and more shooting.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's cartoonish approach to violence. How does seeing the kind of extreme violence typical of Looney Toons shorts translated to live-action affect your opinion of both approaches? Is animated violence easier to stomach than its real-life counterpart? Why or why not? Why do we as filmgoers like to see things go bang and blow up? What are the consequences of violence in real life? What messages is the movie sending about guns and "gun control"?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 6, 2007
DVD release date:January 1, 2008
Cast:Clive Owen, Monica Bellucci, Paul Giamatti
Director:Michael Davis
Studio:New Line
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:87 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:pervasive strong bloody violence, sexuality and some language.

This review of Shoot 'Em Up was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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  • 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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Kid, 11 years old March 8, 2009
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

SHOOT CLIVE SHOOT

CLIVE OWEN IS AWESOME IN ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT MOVIES EVER. LOTS OF SEX AND SWEARING BUT THIS FILM IS FUNNY YET VIOLENT AT THE SAME TIME IT'S A SPOOF OF ACTION FILMS ASWELL.
Teen, 13 years old Written byEntropy November 20, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Shoot Em Up!

The Title says it all, this movie is non-stop shoot em up throughout! It was an interesting experience to say the least. The plot was almost nonexistant, but the action made up for it. People are killed in so many crazy yet awesome ways. There is some pretty bad language, and a brief nudity scene while they walk through a nightclub. However, It was very entertaining to watch, and will provide nonstop laughter the whole way through!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bySuperJoe April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

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