Ringer, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -1

This comedy is about a guy named Steve Barker (Johnny Knoxville) who has been working at his job for a year and a half. After listening to some motivational tapes, he gets the courage to ask his boss for a promotion. After getting promoted, his boss asks him to fire the janitor who has five children. Steve feels so bad about it that he asks the janitor to work for him by taking care of his yard. After accepting the offer to work for Steve, the man loses his fingers while working on the lawn mower. Because he does not have insurance, Steve vows to get the money needed to save his fingers. Steves uncle (Brian Cox) is a gambler and comes up with a plan to win the money needed for the operation. His plan? Steve will pretend to be mentally disabled and enter the Special Olympics, and his uncle will bet against the current champion. Winning this bet and the Special Olympics, they discover, isnt a sure thing.

While not a philosophical film, it does raise an interesting question: Is it right to do wrong to do right? The films implied answer is yes. There is an element of compassion in The Ringer as Steve becomes attached to his new friends and wants to do more for them. He also recognizes that his behavior has been wrong but believes it is forgiven because of his good intentions. Several times, however, humor is used at the expense of those who are disabled the way they look and talk and their clumsiness. The filmmakers walk a fine line here, and some may find the film offensive for this reason alone. If that doesnt do it, the strong language should. This is not a great film but is moderately entertaining and brings some awareness to the disabled

Preview Reviewer: Alan Boyer

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 (10) times mild (hell 3, damn 1); moderate (b-tt 1, b-stard 1); strong (-ss 4)

Obscene Language: Several (7) times moderate (p-ss 1, scr-w 1, other 1); strong (f-word 1, s-word 1, finger gesture 1, pr-ck 1)

Profanity: Several (6) times moderate (G 5)

Violence: Few times mild (man falls on face, man slapped in the face); moderate (man violently hit several times by priest)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once mild (men dancing around wearing just a towel)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (men talk about never having sex or getting sex)

Drugs: Few times mild (smoking of cigars)

Other: None

Running Time: 100 minutes
Intended Audience: Young Adults and Up

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