MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2 1/2

A trio of down-on-their-luck losers hope a momentary shift in lifestyle will bring them out of the depths of despair in this comical heist movie. The film is set in Jersey City, New Jersey, focusing on three unemployed friends who decide to make a brief foray into burglary. Ring leader Russ (Vincent Gallo) still lives at home with his mother and sister, along with a brother-in-law who happens to be a cop. Sid (William Forsythe), recently divorced, faces eviction from his apartment, which he shares with two smelly dogs. Jerry (Adam Trese) is a reluctant participant, but he needs to support his wife and young child. It turns out these would-be thieves are hopelessly inept, however. As the film opens they sledgehammer through a brick wall to get inside a jewelry store, only to discover they've invaded a pastry shop instead. Later they hatch a goofy plan to rob an armored car by putting a hole in its radiator, following the vehicle until it overheats before they strike with their toy guns. There are many humorous moments revolving around these bungling burglars, although their incredible stupidity does get overly absurd at times and lessens the film's believability.

The trio may be involved in criminal activities, but PALOOKAVILLE is surprisingly free of violent content. A guard dog attacks Sid as he's sabotaging the armored car with an electric drill. He's forced to kill the dog with that drill, but that activity occurs off-screen. There's gunfire when the armored car heist goes sour, but no one is shot. A grocery store manager makes uninvited sexual advances on Jerry's wife, who works as a cashier. Jerry walks in on this scene and beats up the manager. Russ is sexually involved with a teen-age girl next door, and she entices him by taking off her shirt and exposing her breasts. Sid also meets a young woman, and sex is implied once with each of these unmarried couples. Unfortunate language problems include multiple obscenities and over a dozen regular profanities. Like its lead characters, PALOOKAVILLE has too many moral and cinematic imperfections to win our recommendation.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
The Samuel Goldwyn Company, 10203 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90067-6403

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (13) times - Mild 5, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (47) times (f-word 31, s-word 13, other 3 including one obscene gesture)

Profanity: Many (14) times - All Regular (JC 6, J 4, G-d 3, for Christ's sake 1)

Violence: Few times, Moderate (gunfire, man assaulted, dog attacks man, dog killed off-screen with drill, explosion)

Sex: Implied twice, unmarried couples

Nudity: Once, explicit female breast nudity; Near nudity with woman in underwear

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Woman performs striptease for boyfriend, man makes uninvited sexual advance towards woman

Drugs: Smoking, alcohol drinking

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.