The Ladykillers

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Ladykillers Movie Poster Image
Some wicked pleasures for mature teens and adults.
  • R
  • 2004
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The main characters are criminals who lie, steal, and kill, all played for comedy. Some edgy humor.


Comic violence, many characters hurt and killed.


Sexual references.


Extremely strong language including n-word.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking, drug references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the main characters are criminals who lie, steal, and kill, all played for comedy. They drink, smoke, and use extremely strong language, including sexual references and the "N" word.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJim24 January 19, 2019
There’s language, that’s about it. Not worth watching.
Adult Written byProsaiche October 23, 2011

Time for you to rob the video store

I don't think anything was TOO bad for this movie. If anything, it's the language. Besides that, it is a good remake, and a great comedy for all ages.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byPaulHD January 28, 2014

Oceans 11 Meets Forrest Gump

This movie i really loved, Tom Hanks did a great job in this. If there was no f words this film would be pg 13 thats the only problem with the film.
Teen, 17 years old Written bycopperzinc April 26, 2009

What's the story?

In THE LADYKILLERS, Professor Goldthwait Higginson Dorr, PhD. (Tom Hanks), a man who dresses like Colonel Sanders but whose rhetorical flourishes are as tangled as a kudzu vine. Dorr rents a room from Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall) and tells her that he and his band want to use her cellar to practice their music. His real plan is to tunnel from her house to a nearby riverboat casino so that they can rob it. He puts together a less than crackerjack team, including experts in ordnance Garth Pancake (J.K. Simmons) and The General (Tzi Ma), Lump (Ryan Hurst), a big guy for the heavy lifting, and McSam (Marlon Wayans), a janitor at the casino. Mrs. Munson is an upstanding, proper church-going woman who may not understand the details of what is going on around her, but she knows right from wrong. She is as quick to insist on good behavior as she is to offer her cinnamon cookies. The fun is in seeing a sweet little "Land o' Goshen"-ing lady innocently foiling the plans of the would-be criminal masterminds.

Is it any good?

This lively film provides some wicked pleasures. Tom Hanks and the Coen brothers take the title and the concept from the 1955 English black comedy classic. They may miss the primary point (and joke) of the original, and they tone down their usual corkscrew dialogue and mordant humor, but it's still enjoyable. The Coens love characters who are sweet but not very bright, especially when they manage to foil characters who are crooked but not very bright. And Hanks likes to play against his type as the all-American guy we'd like living next door.

The movie is set in an idyllic Mississippi town somewhere between Mayberry and a Norman Rockwell painting and some time gently nestled between the Depression and hip-hop. The humor comes from a colorful assortment of injuries, ailments, and casualties, along with some choice dialogue. If the Coens and Hanks are a little too far outside the boundaries of their best work, their second-and third-best is also watchable, at least for those who find a professor with bad teeth and a big vocabulary, a dog with a gas mask, a cat with a severed finger, and a garbage scow with a dead body funny.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it is true that no one gets hurt when insurance pays for the stolen goods.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate