The Lookout Movie Poster Image

The Lookout



Twisty heist flick is saved by star's performance.
  • Review Date: August 13, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bank robbers are brutal and deceptive; Chris is confused and makes bad choices -- he eventually saves his friend's life, through violent means. Farm workers are generically referred to as "Juan and Ramone."


Brutal car accident (auto hits a combine full-speed) is repeated in flashback and is increasingly bloody and/or violent each time; hockey game flashbacks are abrupt, slamming, and fast-cut; Chris' father keeps guns at home; shootouts are rough, with bloody injuries.


Chris comes on to his counselor ("I thnk about f--king you"); sex sounds heard from another room; a couple of brief naked-bottom shots (one man, one woman); Luvlee seduces Chris (she pulls up her nightgown and puts his hand on her); sexual slang ("did you get a hummer?", "getting blown," "bone"); conversation about Luvlee's work as a stripper.


Several uses of "f--k," as well as "ass," "s--t" (sometimes with "bull"), "damn," "prick," "hell," and "bitch."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette and marijuana smoking; drinking in a bar and at home; Gary and Chris' father both get visibly, obnoxiously drunk; Chris is on meds; Gary uses an asthma inhaler; Lewis describes his experience cooking meth (the fumes blinded him).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although younger viewers might be drawn to this film by star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, it features bloody, harrowing violence, lots of swearing ("f--k" and then some), and brief sexual imagery. A car accident is repeated from different angles throughout the film, and flashbacks showcase the aggression of hockey in short, handheld takes. But the goriest violence involves shootings (with handguns and shotguns) that result in bloody bodies. There are some brief glimpses of naked bottoms and other sexual scenes and characters drink (some to drunkenness), smoke cigarettes and pot, take prescription pills, and talk about meth production.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Four years after a fatal prom-night accident, once popular athlete Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) struggles just to get through his days. When erstwhile exotic dancer Luvlee (Isla Fisher) and a crew of aspiring bank robbers led by young thug Gary (Matthew Goode) recruit Chris, they give him what he thinks he's lost since the accident -- masculine community and sex with a girl -- as well as a break from his routine. Apparently lacking the capacity for self-reflection on top of everything else, Chris signs on.

Is it any good?


As viewers are steps ahead of Chris by definition, THE LOOKOUT's approximation of his self-storytelling method reveals itself right away. Gary and Luvlee are untrustworthy schemers, affiliated with a very grim-looking shooter named Bone (Greg Dunham, channeling Lance Henriksen), and true-blue Lewis is not only nosy and protective, but also vulnerable and loyal. None of this would be surprising in the standard heist movie, and it's not here.

This means that Gordon-Levitt has a lot of work to do, convincing viewers that Chris is processing his ordinary experiences in an extraordinary way. For the most part, he's up to it. Chris' awkward gait and puzzled face make his former life look long-lost and his current life nearly unfathomable. Until the movie loses its own way (a bloody retribution resolution falls flat), this young actor makes Chris' erratic efforts to read himself and his world look engaged and engaging.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether anyone in this movie can be considered a role model. Does Lewis provide a positive model for Chris? What about Chris' own father, who refuses to help him? Can what happens to Chris be considered a metaphor for how people change after high school? How does the movie compare his former happy life with his current limited and depressed existence?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 29, 2007
DVD release date:August 14, 2007
Cast:Isla Fisher, Jeff Daniels, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Director:Scott Frank
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language, some violence and sexual content.

This review of The Lookout 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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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 12 year old Written byMomNom February 7, 2016

Engrossing Story of Choice and Consequence

I strongly believe that Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Leonardo DiCaprio are the two best actors of my generation, and The Lookout is a stellar example of Gordon-Levitt's remarkable talent. At first glance, the story appears straightforward: a young man who has suffered a traumatic brain injury is targeted by a local thug to be used by his crew and assist in a bank heist. But what takes this story from good to great is it's characters. (Saving to add more later...)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written bywonder dove September 8, 2012

Awesome film - just loved it!

I didn't know about this at all until recently, after watching several trailers it definitely caught my eye. I absolutely loved this film from start to finish! Never a dull moment, never boring. Very entertaining with a great storyline. I have to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is perfect in every way. I loved the atmosphere of the movie, it deals a lot with peer pressure and regret, it also has it's humorous side. Really liked Jeff Daniels role as Chris' blind friend - he kept things real and interesting. There is violence with a car crash leaving a character with a brain injury and killing his friends. Lots of shootings with gore. Violent acts. Thieves hold someone hostage. Lots of peer pressure, lying and betraying. Sexual content includes nudity (a guys butt shown and girls butt shown when she's laying in bed. Making out and touching. Two very minor/brief off-screen sex scenes which show nothing. Also some sexual language, one of which a woman writes "I cant' believe I f-ed Chris Pratt" in his notebook. Bar scenes with drinking, some marijuana use and an asthma inhaler used. I would highly recommend it to mature 16 and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byadiokid September 2, 2011

Contains Bank Robbery

The good role models is everyone helps Chris after being injured in an accident that leaves him mentally handicapped; he also moves on, but flashbacks to his accident get progressively bloodier. There is a man and a woman nude, and Christ makes sexual cracks; along with these cracks of sex there is extremely questionable language. He is convinced into drinking by others who drink. Part of the plot is robbing a bank.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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