Smokin' Aces

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Smokin' Aces Movie Poster Image
Chaotic, violent, and unoriginal. Not for kids.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Nearly all of the characters -- gangsters, federal agents, assassins, bounty hunters, bodyguards, and Las Vegas performers -- are greedy and brutal, betraying one another whenever possible. The single exception is an FBI agent, who pays dearly for his moral solvency.


Bloody, fast-cut, Guy-Ritchie-style violence: frequent shooting, strangling, stabbing, exploding, sticking with needles, dismembering, punching, kicking; ferocious elevator shootout between two is bloody and smoke-producing; assassin takes out targets with a long-range weapon; boy's display of his martial-arts skills leads to his sexual arousal (see above).


Repeated shots of women's bottoms and cleavage; passed-out prostitute shows her breasts in several shots; Nazi-punk assassin appears with his hand inside his pants, appearing to masturbate; "hooker" characters and references ("ho train," "skank ass"); sexual slang ("c--k," "bone," "p---y"); references to sexual acts (including "semen," "ejaculate," "jizz"); young boy has huge "hard-on" showing through his karate uniform; his grandmother keeps a dildo by her bathtub; addled male lawyer appears in women's lingerie (bra and thong).


Relentless use of "f--k" (over 100); frequent use of other profanity ("s--t," "bitch," "damn" ) and other language ("hell," "douche bag," "ass," "dick," "fag"); several uses of the "N" word, both as indications of camaraderie by African-American characters and as racist disparagement by white characters.


Set mostly in Vegas, film includes shots of neon signs (hotels, clubs).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots of cigarette smoking, drinking (wine, beer, liquor in glasses and flasks), and drug use (pills, marijuana, cocaine); Buddy does so much cocaine that he appears comatose (weepy/red eyes, unable to speak).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this fast-paced shoot-'em-up isn't for kids. While its combination of over-the-top violence and sardonic attitude produces a certain sort of humor, it's full of bloody injuries and destruction. Most of the characters -- assassins, law enforcement officers, gangsters, bounty hunters, and bodyguards -- are experts in lethal violence who use everything from guns and knives to explosions and disguises. Lots of smoking and drinking, and several characters do drugs repeatedly and excessively (mostly cocaine, but also marijuana and pills). Characters discuss sex, women wear revealing outfits and "play" prostitutes, a young boy develops a "comic" hard-on while showing off his martial-arts skills, and two of the assassins are lesbian lovers. Incessant swearing (over 100 uses of "f--k," plus other language, including the "N" word).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 18+-year-old Written byA Caring Mother May 10, 2019
Adult Written byJaclyn S. March 16, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byChris Crosby July 21, 2015

If You Can not handle the heat step away from the fire

This movie is fantastic and original with great acting and action and thrills all the way through. Now is it very appropriate no but the reason I am giving it s... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byStevie111 April 4, 2012

Very violent, lots of blood

This is a very good, although very mature movie. There is a bit of nudity, sexual dialog, and drug use. The violence is very bloody and graphic. Not for young k... Continue reading

What's the story?

SMOKIN' ACES revolves around a Vegas card trickster named Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven). An odious, self-absorbed, and emotionally weak Vegas "celebrity," Buddy's the sort of stereotypical character that other gangster/cop movies set off as secondary. But here, Buddy -- in a fit of fear for his life -- decides to give up his mob associates to the feds, which means he's now the target of any number of killers, all seeking the $1 million prize offered by aging mafioso Primo Sparazza (Joseph Ruskin).

Is it any good?

Repetitive and unsurprising, Smokin' Aces offers broadly differentiated assassins who compete with reckless, ugly abandon. This is the third film directed by Joe Carnahan (his last film, Narc, was a darkly evocative consideration of masculine intimacy and loyalties).

Its incomplete list of players doesn't quite indicate the pile-on of firepower that will converge for the final showdown -- not to mention the convolutions of plot that draw everyone to the same location (betrayals, mishaps, sinister designs, etc.). The movie careens along with a galumphing zip, unabashed about its lack of sense even as it sets up a "clever" payoff that's visible from a mile away. Most of the characters have just enough screen time to mouth off with some venom, then die spectacularly.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's multiple sets of partners (professional, familial, and romantic). How do these characters try to protect each other in the face of horrendous aggression? How does the film portray the FBI as being corrupt? How does the agents' corruption compare to that of the gangsters and assassins? How does the film pull together its many plot strands? Does the film offer any sort of commentary on action movie conventions in its excessiveness? At what point does movie violence get to be too much? Who's the judge of what's acceptable and what's over the top?

Movie details

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