Smokin' Aces Movie Poster Image

Smokin' Aces



Chaotic, violent, and unoriginal. Not for kids.
  • Review Date: April 16, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

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).

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).

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?


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

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.). Repetitive and unsurprising, 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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:January 25, 2007
DVD release date:April 17, 2007
Cast:Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta, Ryan Reynolds
Director:Joe Carnahan
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong bloody violence, pervasive language, some nudity and drug use.

This review of Smokin' Aces 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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Adult Written bydarthsitkur May 11, 2013


smokin aces was badass, it had lots of intense action, and i LOVED the last 4 and a half minutes where the penthouse gets attacked, THAT WAS SO RIDICULOUS!!!!!!!!!! lol
Written byAnonymous February 8, 2013

All 5 on the Contents and it's a no for me.

Smokin' Aces has Violence, Sex, Language, and Drinking, Drugs & Smoking all 5. I'm giving this an NC-17. Plus my Personal Rating NC-24. I don't want to see this film at all.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
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 kids or teens. Know your teen. The language is also very strong,Overall this is a good action movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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