not for kids
Violent, stupid, offensive, unfunny "true crime" story.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pain & Gain is a vulgar, violent action comedy from Transformers director Michael Bay. The movie -- which was inspired by a real-life kidnapping, extortion, and murder -- is filled with shooting, chasing, fighting, and blood, as well as more gruesome, torturous images like barbecuing severed hands to remove the fingerprints. Sexuality is also prevalent in the movie; there's some female toplessness and comical sex, and women are treated as dumb sex objects. One character is a drug addict who tries to recover but fails; he's shown snorting cocaine, with results that are played for humor. Language is extremely strong and frequent, with constant use of "f--k," "s--t," and more. The fact that these greedy characters and their illegal, brutal plans are treated with humor makes this movie very iffy for just about any audience.
- Families can talk about Pain & Gain's violence. How is it depicted? Is it gross? Funny? Does it seem over-the-top or inappropriate?
- How does the movie portray women? Are they judged by their body type? Are there any positive female role models here? Stereotypes?
- How does the movie view male body image? Is it positive or negative?
- Are there any examples of bullying in the movie? Where and how?
- What's funny about dumb criminals?
The good stuff
Messages: The entire movie is about greedy characters who are trying to get ahead in the world by doing illegal things. Though there are consequences for their actions, the movie tries to make these activities look like fun (or at least funny). The movie also makes fun of large women, treats most other women as sex objects, and includes other stereotypes.
Role models: The main character decides to go after what he thinks he deserves in life. But that decision involves all kinds of illegal and shady activities. He bullies others into joining him, and he even bullies several kids while playing basketball. Another character starts out reformed and religious but winds up a murderer and a junkie. Even the movie's victims, the supposedly law-abiding citizens, are awful, hateful people.
What to watch for
Violence: Characters are kidnapped and beaten up. There are several attempted (but failed) murders. A character is blown up in a car and then run over (he survives). Other characters are tortured (pliers to the nose, burning, more), killed (either by accident or on purpose), and have their bodies dismembered. Their hands are cut off and barbecued (!) to remove the fingerprints. There are several fight scenes with punching and blood. One character is slammed with a barbell weight, and another is squashed under a weight (lots of blood is shown). There's a chase and a shootout, and a character loses a toe. Cruelty/yelling between characters.
Sex: Several topless women are seen in a club scene. The main character has (comical) sex with a woman against the back of a car (no nudity shown). A character's stripper girlfriend is portrayed as kinky. A warehouse filled with sex toys/objects is shown. A character tries to masturbate (under his clothes) to a porn tape (nothing graphic shown). Women are generally treated as dumb sex objects, shown in tight exercise outfits. Lots of skimpy outfits (both male and female) in gym scenes. A character struggles with impotence as a result of the steroids he takes. A T-shirt with the Penthouse magazine logo is shown.
Language: Language is extremely strong and nearly constant. Words include "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," "c--k," "c--t," "d--k," "balls," "ass," "a--hole," "bitch," "t-tty," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "crap," "vagina," "penis," "homo," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), "oh my God," "whore," "slut," "turd," and more. Some disparaging remarks based on race.
Consumerism: Characters shop at a Home Depot, twice. A character wears a Nike tank top. The Penthouse logo appears on a shirt.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the main characters is a recovering cocaine addict who relapses and starts snorting cocaine again. His problem is treated comically. Characters inject steroids at the gym to build bigger muscles. The main characters kidnap a man and force him to drink alcohol. Characters also occasionally drink wine and smoke cigars.
Fan Reviews provided by
I need to get a pump. by bcjmunroe
Just saw this movie and it was a good time. No - it definitely won't win any awards and no you probably won't feel inspired to bring peace to the world but if you like dark comedies then you are going to laugh so hard you'll wish you never stacked on an extra set of crunches before seeing it. I am telling you right now watching Dwayne Johnson act like he is coked out of his mind was well worth the price of admission alone. I know your thinking; "but wait Chris I thought it was based on the true tragic events of kidnapping, extortion, and murder"...well you are 100% correct and still I laughed so much my cheeks hurt. The woman reading this would probably like to also hear mention that Wahlberg pays homage to his roots (Calvin)...LOL
The bottom line is this movie is very entertaining and I think I enjoyed the subtle dialogue and background chatter more than anything. Go see it with your friends you won't be disappointed I know I will be buying it for the home library.
Fact Stranger Than Fiction by MedRed
Michael Bay offers up a visual treat. The imagery is stunning and of course there is an explosion or two. The constant changes in first person narrative poorly ape Guy Ritchie's style. While there are references to the 90s, you don't get the feeling that the story actually takes place in the 90s. This movie is playful, but unfortunately, a lot of the funny scenes are executed poorly.
With the exception of Tony Shalhoub, the supporting cast far outshines the main characters. Wahlberg looks like someone trying to act and Dwayne Johnson could have been replaced by someone off the street reciting lines from a script.
The macabre, true life story and Michael Bay's flashy film making helped this movie to exceed my low expectations despite the poor acting, blah story filler, failed jokes, and plot drag.
There are a few pictures of the real people at the beginning of the credits
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worst movie ever by sugarsweet281
I never write reviews, but I felt compelled to write this review after watching this horribly awful movie. DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE! It was that bad. Really. Save your money and time. The trailers for this movie make it look funny. It is not funny and only has slightly humorous dark humor at rare moments in the 2 hour+ long movie. I honestly could hear other people in the theater also commenting on how horrible the movie was while it was showing. A bad end to the night. Be warned
Pain and more pain by Suz3
Read sugar sweet review below. It's right on. I never review movies. We see everything. We went with college & high school sons. They hated it to. I love the rock and Wahlberg. I love edgy dark humor. This lacked both humor and talent. These two actors dropped to a new low by doing this movie. Not funny. No one laughing in the theater at all. I noticed because I chuckled once or twice and was alone. Save your $. Rent it if u must.
Pain, gain, & little to entertain by Deebie1975
If you've seen the hilarious clips then you've seen the movie. Was expecting an entertaining movie but it was more like a botched crime and cheesy adult entertainment flick. The movie was drawn out by at least an extra half-hour for a predictable ending. The film is based upon a true story which in part also left me feeling ill. This was someone's family crisis and murder made into a cringe-worthy comedy? Had I known this I probably would not have gone as I thought it was just about a scam gone wrong...not scam/murder. I also felt that it made Christianity seem like a hypocrisy...this annoyed me! I love Jesus but oh let me grill someone's hands and run over them? This is not how 'true' Christianity works. I feel Michael Bay fell flat on this production and he just needs to stick to robots if he can't come up with more than a flick filled with G-strings, pumped up meat heads, porn stars, botched murder crimes, and the not so original ' let's beat someone up with a *****.'
pain and gain by beebob4180
the rocks character is a bit strange, him as a cry baby type character was a bit far fetched ........ but its a true story and he was trying to portray the character, im just not used to him in this type of role......... he barely pulled it off .... but strange and at times funny .......... movie .......... ending typical since of course they get caught ........... but all in all was descent movie...........and love those muscleheads......... lol
Pain & Gain was definitely painful, but... by burkejen93
This would have been a great movie if it weren't based on a true story. Holy hell. I just can't believe this really happened. I literallly felt dirty watching it, and I am an adult. I would not want to see this again from a moral standpoint, but I am sure action movie loving guys would love to watch it.
More Laughs Than Expected by phoen6xxx
Call it a dark comedy but I call it an unexpected amount of fun. The story of three body builders who decide to take from the rich to give to the poor (themselves).
The comedic delivery from Mark, Dwayne, and Anthony was right on point. I pair this group in the same style as the guys from Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, and Hall Pass. From start to finish I found this movie hilarious. I liked that the previews didn't give too much away and there are a lot of unknown twists. However, if you were looking for something serious from Michael Bay, you will be disappointed.
Sure, a few of the reviews are harsh because a serious subject was treated in a humorous way. I for one can appreciate that between everything that's offered in the theaters. This movie was an enjoyable ride and a fantastic two hour much needed distraction from too much seriousness in the media and films. Thank you, Michael Bay!
Stupid Pain Without Gain!!! by pedsarq
This movie is full of stupid characters, committing stupid crimes, for stupid reasons. There are plenty of funny and ridiculous moments that will keep you entertained at times, but they're not sustained and it goes back to stupid quickly. There's a recurring reminder throughout the film that this movie is "based on a true story." So, I guess there really was someone out there who chopped off a dead victim's hands and grilled them in a hibachi BBQ to get rid of the fingerprints?! That's just a small sample of what to expect--and there's plenty more where that came from. This is also another one of those frenetic movies with non-stop dialogue. I mean, the script must be huge because there's a lot of talk in this movie, I mean a lot of talking! So, if you decide to see this movie from start to finish, you will become frustrated. My advice is to skip it, but it you go load up on popcorn to help pass the time.