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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie makes the point that many people define themselves by their work and by the stuff they buy with the money they earn at work -- and, in doing so, sometimes neglect more important things, including family and loyalty. The characters in this film learn a new set of values after being stripped of the jobs that are, initially, the core of their identities.
Positive Role Models
Some of the executives are notable for their loyalty to their employees, going out of their way to protect jobs and take care of their longtime colleagues. Others are smarmy corporate suits who are happy to take home a fat paycheck while laying off thousands of people in an attempt to boost the company's stock price. While it's clear that loyalty is to be valued, those who lack it still get rich. It's just business.
Violence & Scariness
One man, dispirited and depressed, throws rocks at his former office building.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman is briefly shown topless after getting out of bed; her naked back is also seen, as are shots of her putting on a bra. Couples are sometimes shown talking in bed, before or after having sex.
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Frequent language includes "s--t," "d--k," "f--k," and "motherf--ker."
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Products & Purchases
Many consumer brands are mentioned or appear on screen, including a Porsche and Titleist golf clubs. One of the film's key themes is the accumulation of expensive consumer products, and some scenes feature people talking about expensive purchases and planning shopping trips.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking. Several scenes take place in bars as disheartened, unemployed people drown their frustrations and are sometimes shown quite drunk. One character smokes occasionally.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this timely and topical drama -- which focuses on three executives who are forced to reexamine their values after losing their jobs -- is likely to be much more relatable for adults than for teens. There's also some mature content, including brief nudity, a lot of swearing ("s--t," "f--k," and more), and a good deal of drinking (including characters drinking to drown their sorrows). On the up side, characters who are initially invested in the material comforts of an increasingly upscale life learn that loyalty to friends and family is more important than pride. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A deeply empathetic film about men and women left unmoored after losing their jobs, it hits the right note. Hollywood sometimes glosses over the true impact of real-life struggles in the service of entertainment; THE COMPANY MEN, thankfully, does not. It tells a story that -- though nearly too tragic yet very familiar -- still needs to be told. Watching it is a sobering experience (and, it has to be said, pretty depressing).
Everyone in the cast plays it right, striking a strong balance between maudlin and true. Affleck begins the movie with a strut and ends it humbled but still standing, and Jones manages to stay sympathetic despite playing a character who, for the most part, is financially untouched by the winds of change. But it's Cooper who's most troubling, standing in for those who are truly devastated. The film may have its inadequacies -- a grating obviousness, for one -- but it's a triumph, nevertheless, for a movie about defeated times.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.