You Kill Me



Dark hit man comedy mixes violence and humor.
  • Review Date: October 8, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

An alcoholic mafia hit man works to stay sober so he can "go back to work."


Lots of it, ranging from bloody to comic and back. Shooting with handguns and shotguns repeatedly produces bloody corpses (some multi-gun shootouts, some one-on-one battles); Frank's job at a funeral home has him working on corpses daily; ironic "romantic montage" has Frank teach Laurel how to assassinate with a knife (they practice on a watermelon); minor but loud car crash by drunk driver.


Flirting between Laurel and Frank; a woman appears briefly in a bikini; several discussions of Tom's homosexuality and someone's AIDS test; some mild kissing; Frank appears in his underwear.


Multiple uses of "f--k," plus other colorful hitman/gangster language, including "bitch," "s--t," "damn," "a--hole," "douchebag," "dick," "bastard," "c--k," and "c--ksucker."


Mention of Sony.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The protagonist is an alcoholic, so drinking and dealing with it are thematic: He appears dead-drunk at the start, attends AA meetings (which include discussions of other disorders, including eating), relapses (elaborate drinking with a stereotypical group of Irish family members), then recovers. Scenes set in bars. Frequent cigarette smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark comedy about a hit man features jokes about death, murder, and extreme violence. The main character's work entails shooting, throttling, and knifing victims, and a "war" between two gangster families leads to shoot-outs with loud weapons. The protagonist, who's an alcoholic, spends time in AA meetings, where discussions range from absurd to tragic to comic. Characters also smoke, drink, and use plenty of foul language. Luke Wilson co-stars, but this isn't a lighthearted movie.

Kids say

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What's the story?

After messing up on a mob-related killing, alcoholic hit man Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley) is sent to San Francisco to dry out. Set up with Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and a day job at a funeral home, Frank grumps his way through his recovery until he meets Laurel (Téa Leoni). Trading sardonic observations as he cleans up her stepfather's corpse, they find they share a certain wry pessimism and begin dating. When he brings her along to an AA meeting and confesses his profession, Laurel is briefly startled, as are Frank's sponsor, Tom (Luke Wilson), and the other attendees. But the group is supportive and decides to uphold AA's pledge of anonymity. Frank wonders about his place in the world. He's always considered himself a stoic man, good at what he does and not given to thinking about it, but he begins to believe he has options. But a lowlife named Dave (Bill Pullman), who's assigned to keep his eye on Frank's progress, tries to pull him back into the criminal life.

Is it any good?


You Kill Me slips in and out of generic expectations -- part romantic comedy, part mob thriller. Frank begins seeing that the way he and the guys do business isn't as effective as it used to be. When an associate observes, "It's like we don't exist anymore," Frank confirms with certainty: "We don't." It's no surprise when he eventually makes a right choice; despite the bloody violence of several scenes, the film's tone is sharply comic and optimistic. But Kingsley, at once intimidating and empathetic, is always a revelation.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how movies get viewers to feel empathy for characters like Frank who commit crimes for a living. Would you feel the same way about a real-life hit man? What's the difference? Is it OK to make light of killing and violence? Families can also discuss Frank's various afflictions. How might his work make him depressed? How do Frank and Laurel end up being the film's "moral center," compared to Frank's associates, who are more clearly mean, greedy, and vengeful?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 22, 2007
DVD release date:October 9, 2007
Cast:Ben Kingsley, Bill Pullman, Tea Leoni
Director:John Dahl
Studio:IFC Entertainment
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and some violence.

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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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Adult Written byMovieLover4Lyfe June 2, 2010
This is supposed to be a comedy, but I don't find it very funny...very violent though.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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