Ladykillers, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

The Ladykillers is an edgy retelling of the 1955 criminal comedy by quirky directors Joel and Ethan Coen (Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou). A wordy criminal mastermind, Professor Dorr (Tom Hanks), leads his band of thugs (Marlon Wayans, J.K. Simmons, Tzi Ma and Ryan Hurst) in a plot to rob a New Orleans riverboat casino. The clever scheme involves posing as classical musicians and infiltrating the home of the elderly Mrs. Munson (Irma P. Hall). But instead of practicing music in her quiet root cellar, the thieves tunnel through the soft dirt to the casinos shore-side vault. But Mrs. Munson is curious and skeptical, and Dorrs unlikely crew repeatedly makes foolish and hilarious mistakes. When Mrs. Munson finally discovers the plot, she demands that Dorr and his friends return the money and join her at church. But they have other plans for the helpless old lady.

This is a story about poetic justice and providence. Though the Professors plan is well-conceived, there are stronger powers working against him as represented by a portrait of the long-deceased Mr. Munson that continually changes expression to communicate reactions to people and situations. Additionally, several unlikely events pile up to ensure that everyone gets what he or she deserves. Along with these Christian themes, the film engages a little subtle mockery, particularly evident as Mrs. Munson, an African-American woman, faithfully gives $5 a month to Bob Jones University, an institution that hasnt always been on the cutting edge of race issues. The film is often crude and contains grisly killings that are unsettling for a comedy. Overall, it has a wonderful comedic balance but unfortunately resorts to an almost constant barrage of objectionable language to accomplish it. This easily earns it an R rating as well as negative marks from Preview.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

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 (39) times mild (hell 4, damn 3); moderate (butt 1); strong (ass 24, bitch 6, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Many (97) times moderate (other 5); strong (f-word 74, s-word 16, other 2)

Profanity: Many (15) times moderate (OMG 1); strong (GD 14)

Violence: Many times mild (man falls out of tree and hits head, men threaten clerk with gun, man restrains attacker, woman throws hot coffee at man, men struggle, men threaten and shove one another several times); moderate (man loses finger in explosion and cat retrieves it, man accidentally shot to death, man accidentally shoots himself to death, man strangled to death, man accidentally hanged to death by his clothing)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (woman misunderstands a phrase to refer to unconventional sex); moderate (man gawks at womans rear, loudly comments on her figure and suggests she show him more; men discuss womans figure)

Drugs: Few times mild (smoking)

Other: Appropriate references to Jesus life and prayers, somewhat comical portrayal of Christian worship service, use of irony and comedy to surface racial issues, use of providential/poetic justice, flatulence of a couple used repeatedly for humor, portrait of man changes expressions implying other powers at work

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Youths and Adults

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