Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

This dark comedy is based on Chuck Barris autobiography, in which he claims that his job as raunchy television producer of The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show and The Dating Game was a cover for his night job hit man for the CIA. This hard-to-believe story of Barris (Sam Rockwell) follows him from his childhood through his angry teen years to his secret adult life. When he gets his big break in television, CIA agent Jim Byrd (George Clooney) approaches him to recruit him as an assassin. Barris is soon trained as a killer and eventually incorporates his killings into The Dating Game show, sending winning couples to locations like Berlin where he can kill his intended victims. Barris succeeds as a killer for about 20 years before a mole enters the picture. Barris must come to grips with the possibility that he may be the next dead one, and his life begins to fall apart. He must choose between two women: mysterious Patricia (Julia Roberts) who is a spy or overly understanding Penny (Drew Barrymore) who knows nothing of his secret life. Brad Pitt and Matt Damon make cameo appearances.

George Clooney does a commendable job in his directing debut, and the casting is sound and believable. But the subject the vulgar, sex-obsessed, selfish Chuck Barris is hardly big-screen material. Considering his character, his confessions are suspect. The film treats his murder missions nonchalantly, presenting them as dark comedy. One scene is devoted to screamed expletives. As an 11-year-old, Barris propositions an eight-year-old girl as she sits on the floor petting a puppy. His vulgar womanizing later in life is depicted as he vacillates between Penny and Patricia and has sexual encounters with other television network employees. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is full of bad language, sexual content, violence, rear nudity and drug usage. If you decide to see the film, afterwards you may feel the need to offer up some confessions of your own.

Preview Reviewer: Lynn Nusser
Miramax and Renaissance Films

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: Mild: Several times (hell and damn); Moderate: Several times (ass, faggot, queer)

Obscene Language: Many (70+) times (lots of F-words, slang words referring to genitals, S-word, BS)

Profanity: Several times (G, J, JC)

Violence: Several times (hitting, CIA gun training for purpose of killing, torture involving genitals, murder)

Sex: None

Nudity: Few times (girls in bikinis, girl in lingerie, naked Chuck Barris early in movie)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (necking in theatre, sex in shower, sexual sounds on The Dating Game, sex talked about and implied)

Drugs: None

Other: Alcohol usage, drug usage, smoking

Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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