OK for kids 14+
Brisk, fun heist movie has some language, sex talk.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this Ben Stiller/Eddie Murphy comedy appears to have been inspired by Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, it's not heavy-handed and is likely to appeal to teens who are fans of either of the stars or director Brett Ratner's action movies. Expect plenty of high-octane scenes -- car chases, a Ferrari dangling from 50 stories high, etc. -- as well as a fair amount of swearing (particularly "s--t"), product placement, and sexual innuendoes/references to sex. The characters' scheme is a crime, but they're presented as Robin Hood-esque in their motivations.
- Families can talk about the characters' motivations. Are they justified in wanting to get revenge? Is it ever justifiable to commit a crime to right a wrong?
- Does the movie seem skewed toward the perpetrators? Why? And should it be? Would you have as much sympathy for the characters if they were real-life people?
- How does the movie address class and race? Does it undermine stereotypes or reinforce them? Are the characters a realistic depiction of life in New York?
- Do you think people who commit Ponzi schemes start off expecting to defraud people, or do you think they accidentally end up in that situation when they take a big risk that fails? How should the legal system punish criminals who steal people's life savings?
The good stuff
Messages: The Robin Hood-esque main characters want to steal from the rich to give to the working class who have been hoodwinked by a finance mogul. While their means may not be legal, their intentions are good, and most of them seek nothing more than justice.
Role models: Kovacs is an idealist who wants to make things right when his entire staff is defrauded. He exacts revenge by committing a crime -- which the movie presents as justified since it's apparently righting wrongs. He treats his staff respectfully and is well-liked.
What to watch for
Violence: Cars careen through the streets of New York during a high-speed chase, and guns are fired. A woman rams a man with a utility cart, and a man vandalizes a car in rage. Characters cuss each other out, and one attempts suicide. But no one is seriously, physically hurt.
Sex: Frequent innuendo; use of sexual words like "screwing," "balls," "t--ties," etc. Some cleavage/women in risque clothing. Talk of making out and getting lucky. References to having sex, prostitution.
Language: Many uses of "s--t"; also "d--k," "son of a bitch," "prick," "a--hole," "ass," "hell," "banging," "damn," "goddamn," "oh my God," and more.
Consumerism: A fair amount of product placement and signage, including Canon, Playboy, Chase Manhattan, Ralph Lauren, Cuisinart, DeVry Technical Institute, and Nathan's hot dogs. One character is so ostentatious about his wealth that he has a rooftop pool made to look like currency and an expensive car displayed in his penthouse for show.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: A woman gets inebriated while at a pub with a guy she sort of likes. Some social drinking.
Fan Reviews provided by
Tower Heist: B by MattH306
Far from perfect, but worth the price of admission.
It is worth seeing!!! by NubianGoddess
I had low expectations for this film, because Eddie Murphy has not made a good film in awhile, but I was really impressed. This was a good movie!
Tower Heist kept us laughing from start to finish by pop-corn-enthusiast
I saw a preview of Tower Heist a couple of weeks ago, I imagine that the final editing might cut a few scenes. I love to laugh and never expect plausible scripts from a comedy, I'm in it for the laughs and Tower Heist delivered big time! Impressive all-star cast worked very well together, good chemistry, wonderful character development as the embezzled hotel employees plot to recover their retirement savings from a Ponzi scheme con artist, with help from a small time criminal, played by Eddie Murphy. Beautiful New York City location scenes, including fall colors in Central Park during the Thanksgiving Parade, this is a big budget comedy that spared no expense. The movie was well paced with a great score, and the plot and characters were engaging and humorous. Nearly any comedy reaches a point of improbability, I won't spoil the plot for you, but the entire film is very well produced and funny. Suitable for all ages, nothing scary (aside from the ugly truth of Ponzi Schemes).
Sticking it by La_Reina
Modern day Robin Hood with a twist. The actors have matured so there's not a lot of the slap-stick comedy, but still a good film. Not a lot of cussing, nudity or sex. Relevant for today considering the economy.
Could have been better---not that funny by nng
This movie was odd--it was a mix of stern seriousness, drama, and action with mild out of the box type humor- however it just wasn't that funny and definitely not as funny as it could have been. There were a few laugh out loud scenes, or even laugh scenes... the rest was more...meh, wtf...not funny, more, just kind of stupid and cheesy. None of the actors really brought anything great to the screen, except maybe eddie murphy, and the female safe opener...though murphy's thief character with the mix of 'criminal' in him was a little too real and a little less funny..matthew broderick's character was so boring plain and lame that it you forget how he was ferris bueller once...ben stiller seemed stiff and washed out and just not that funny...the hispanic guy- lame one liners and the affleck person- just too stiff as well- all the characters and actors just didn't work well together ie with the way the script was written. Also no real relation to the characters or emotion for them
Wait for Video by ladyvett1
Maybe my expectations were too high, but I thought this movie could have been much better and much funnier. Actually, I only laughed a couple of times. It started out kind of slow and never really picked up much speed. The only scenes that made me chuckle were the ones with Gabourney Sibide. Other than that, nothing. I am a true Eddie Murphy fan and have enjoyed most of his previous work, but his acting in the movie was overdone and forced. He didn't come across as a natural like he has in the past. He seemed to be trying too hard. This would have been a good rental movie at Redbox for $1, but paying $8-10 at the box office is a rip-off.
A True American Story... by Zahc Drave
The plot of this movie reminds me of all the Wall Street scandals where top level executives took advantage of their employees pensions and company money. In fact it hit close to home and was a vague reminder of how powerful CEOs can be, almost reminiscent of the Bernnie Maydof case. I love the comedic humor Eddie Murphy provides, and Gabrielle Sidebye continues to amaze me with her acting abilities.
A Good Solid Movie by misstezra1
Tower Heist started off a bit slow but quickly stepped up the pace once there was a plan of action. Great performances by pretty much all the actors especially Eddie, Gabourey, and Tea'. I rate this a must see movie!!!
Eddie Murphy is back! by amiller7650
It has been a long time since we've seen Eddie on the big screen, but he is a lot of fun in this timely film. I enjoyed the story and the cast, and I laughed out-loud several times. Alan Alda (love him) plays a character you love to hate, and Ben Stiller's character is a stand-up guy. The crew seem to enjoy themselves and the only thing missing is the out-takes, which would have been great given the comedic chops of the actors.
Tower Heist Rocked by xtine777
The movie was funny and intense. The writing was excellent, sharp, witty, clever and fun. It was a new story. One most people can relate to given the current economy. It wasn't predictable and all the characters were likable in some way. The ensemble cast was very good. Actors I never thought of working together had a great chemistry. It's not really for kids as it has mild language and criminal activity, but it's very clean for an adult movie. Go see it. It's pleasantly suprising.