A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The main character is a charming anti-hero who's manipulative, deceitful, and narcissistic. He's surrounded by people who either bend to his will or want to believe him for their own financial gain. Even his best friend -- a good, caring man -- is deceived by him and participates in his scam. Almost everyone pays a price for his/her iffy behavior, but that price is relatively small. No characters are portrayed as honest, moral, or corruption-proof.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is limited to an imagined sequence that includes one punch and one fall.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No overt sexual activity. Two scenes take place after sex has occurred; one includes a glimpse of breast. It's later discovered that in one instance the sex was paid for.
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Lots of swearing -- particularly "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
One shot of TAB cola.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Social drinking and smoking. Lead characters are drunk in several sequences. Main character is revealed to self-medicate with prescription drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that most kids and teens probably won't be interested in this sophisticated drama about literary fraud. Lying, criminality, greed, and other iffy behavior are treated with humor, and the man behind it all is portrayed as likeable -- even heroic -- in some instances. Characters break the law and hurt the people they love with ease and very little conscience, and there's lots of swearing and some drinking and drug use. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is an unusual outing for Gere -- there's no sly smirking here, just fine acting. Molina turns in a striking performance as well, and the two do great work together in all of their scenes. The supporting players, script, and overall production values are excellent, making THE HOAX an enjoyable, intelligent movie.
Working from a script by William Wheeler that relies on Irving's own account from his book The Hoax, director Lasse Hallström, successfully uses humor and complex, nuanced characters to bring Irving's brazen swindle to the screen. The film's second half -- in which Irving begins to come unglued as events catch up with him -- isn't as strong as the first. The moments that show his mind breaking down are brave, but they don't always live harmoniously with the rest of the movie's humor.
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Our Editors Recommend
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