Assassination of Richard Nixon, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

Assassination is a tragic drama based on the events of 1974 surrounding the life and death of Samuel Bicke who felt President Nixon was the cause of Americas corruption. A mediocre salesman who can never keep a job, Bicke (Sean Penn) feels that the whole world is against him. His wife (Naomi Watts) has left him because of his failure to support his family. He is estranged from his brother (Michael Wincott) because of a failed business deal. And his new boss (Jack Thompson) encourages him to make sales by deceiving his customers. In a last ditch effort to secure his American dream, Bicke stakes everything on a business partnership with his best friend, Bonny (Don Cheadle), an African American. At first he is very hopeful for their success, but as bureaucracy and the prejudice of that day weigh against them, Bicke finally goes off the deep end, attempting an attack against the system.

The Assassination of Richard Nixon is a very dark film. Throughout, Samuel Bicke earns the viewers compassion, not so much because the world is against him as he supposes, but because he is clueless as to how to function within society while still preserving his personal ideals and dreams. In fact, much of Bickes appeal to the oppression against him is an excuse for his personal failures and timidity. Christian audiences should identify with Bickes dissatisfaction with the worlds system for it is imperfect and corrupt until king Jesus returns but should also abhor Bickes violent response to that dissatisfaction. They should likewise note the carelessness with which Bickes friends and family treated him in the midst of his emotional turmoil and be reminded of the importance of loving the struggling and downtrodden. In the end, however, Preview recommends that viewers avoid Assassination because of frequent vulgarities and one graphically violent scene.

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: Several (6) times mild (damn 3); strong (-ss 3)

Obscene Language: Many (17) times strong (f-word 5, s-word 11, other 1)

Profanity: Several (8) times strong (GD 5, J 1, JC 1, C-sake 1)

Violence: Several times mild (man is angry and points a gun at another man, man yells at woman and another man, man kicks trashcan); strong (man threatens people with gun and is shown graphically shooting another man to death at close range)

Sex: None

Nudity: One time mild (dancer shown with minimal covering on breasts)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (man discusses having an extramarital affair); moderate (man touches womans rear and makes crude comment)

Drugs: Few times mild (alcohol use)

Other: Depiction of social injustice, depression and poor coping behaviors; reference to Norman Vincent Peale and other positive thinking / self-help gurus

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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