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Thank You for Smoking Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… mostly-funny-but-still-soft … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Of all the funny things in Thank You for Smoking, and there are many, the most striking is Robert Duvall's absolutely mirthless laugh.

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The movie is amusing and clever but only skin deep. It lacks the acidity and rage of a satire such as "Network."

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Cynical and cheerily merciless.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The razor-sharp satire Thank You for Smoking is the wittiest dark comedy of the year thus far. It has appeal to all sides of the political spectrum.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Here is a satire both savage and elegant, a dagger instead of a shotgun.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Thank You for Smoking reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Mostly clever comedy about lobbyists. For adults.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes frequent use of the f-word (over 20 times). Lobbyists discuss their devious tactics and corrupt employers (firearms, alcohol, and Big Tobacco), comparing death tolls, diseases (fetal alcohol syndrome, cancer), and gruesome inspirations (the gun lobbyist was moved by the shootings at Kent State). Nick is kidnapped and covered with nicotine patches, landing in the hospital. Characters do not smoke on screen, but they do drink occasionally. Characters discuss sex and lust using slang; one sex scene. A primary theme suggests that lobbying is a form of lying to sell product and ideas.

  • Families can talk about Nick's relationship with his son Joey: How does the son challenge his dad's thinking? How does his admiration of his father make Nick question himself? How does the Marlboro Man serve as a kind of father figure for Nick, who sees in him a victim of the product he pitches?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Lobbyist defends his job as "talking for a living," arguing that he is only encouraging people to "think for themselves," but he is selling smoking; other members of the MOD squad discuss their selling of alcohol and firearms, noting the numbers who die from use of these products; senators are corrupt, as are the tobacco executives, and the reporter sleeps with Nick to get her story.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Bobby Jay's childhood flashback shows him with a firearm (he also describes his inspiration to support the NRA was hearing about the Kent State shootings; he wanted to be able to "shoot students"); TV image shows baby seal killed by whale; Sands of Iwo Jima scene shows John Wayne shot; Nick violently kidnapped and assaulted with nicotine patches.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sex scene, though shots frame bodies discreetly; multiple uses of the f-word to mean sexual activity.

  • language false5

    Language: Frequent use of the f-word (over 20 instances); multiple s-words, as well as "crotch," "ass," "assh--e," "damn," and "hell," and several slang references to male genitals and female body parts.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Major theme is advertising (as lobbying is a form of spin and contributes to advertising); Coke; Vermont state products (syrup, cheese); mentions of Red Bull, Marlboro Man, Kool cigarettes, MSNBC, Ford cars, Newsweek, Washington Post.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Though all about the cigarette industry and lobbying, the film shows no smoking; characters drink in restaurant; the senator keeps liquor in his desk; the captain drinks mint juleps; jokey references to drugs (crack, Colombian dealer); Nick is hospitalized following an overdose of anti-smoking nicotine patches.