Parents' Guide to

Steal This Movie

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Abbie Hoffman biopic is unsatisfying.

Movie R 2000 107 minutes
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This movie may be very confusing for anyone who does not remember the 1960s, and teens who want to see it may need some background. This biopic adopts a Citizen Kane-style structure, with a journalist interviewing Hoffman's associates to determine whether he was crazy or a victim. The conclusion seems to be that he was both. It might have worked if the film had been frustrating in the way that the peace movement or the 60's as a whole were frustrating. But this movie is unsatisfying for a far more mundane reason -- a script with a wavering point of view.

While sympathetic to Hoffman's efforts, the story is balanced enough to show parallels between Hoffman and his enemies. Ultimately, though, Steal This Movie is as unsatisfying as its snippets of classic rock song covers -- it never really tries to show how truly revolutionary Hoffman's ideas were.

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