User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 142 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 142
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  1. Lewis
    Apr 9, 2006
    3
    It sure doesn't hurt to have your multi-millionaire director/father behind when you direct your own first film. Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman) has concocted this weak, unfunny farce/semi-satire about a tobacco industry lobbyist. One would expect from liberal Hollywood types to depict a tobacco industry lobbyist as a churlish, mean-spirited ogre of sorts. But Reitman goes to the It sure doesn't hurt to have your multi-millionaire director/father behind when you direct your own first film. Jason Reitman (son of Ivan Reitman) has concocted this weak, unfunny farce/semi-satire about a tobacco industry lobbyist. One would expect from liberal Hollywood types to depict a tobacco industry lobbyist as a churlish, mean-spirited ogre of sorts. But Reitman goes to the other extreme--his man becomes much too sympathetic. And that also goes for the two other "merchants of death" pals (alcohol and gun lobbyists) that our "Hero" ('Nick Naylor) hangs out with in various dinner conversation scenes throughout the movie. Once you see the first of these dinner scenes, you've seen them all. They're very static and all three of our lobbyists (can you imagine this?) have hearts of gold (ugh!). The point is that lobbyists in real life have got to be a lot more complex and tougher than the light-weights shown here. The movie in fact is full of light weight characters. The boss at the "Academy of Tobacco Studies" curses a lot but he's lovable as is Robert Duvall's mentor, a 'been-around-the-block' curmudgeon. The movie starts very slowly and nothing gets going with the plot for about 30 minutes. The first major plot development (the first act) involves Naylor getting an appointment with a Hollywood super agent played by Rob Lowe. Naylor wants the agent to broker a deal with big name Hollywood actors to boost the tobacco's industry's image by having them smoke cigarettes again in the movies like they did in days of old. The idea is too ludicrous to be even satirical. Even so, given the initial set-up, I was expecting the story to involve some machinations in Hollywood but that plot line suddenly dries up. The next plot development is even more ludicrous: unknown anti-smoking activists kidnap Naylor, tie him up, place nicotine patches all over his body and leave him naked in the arms of Abraham Lincoln's statue at the Lincoln Memorial. Naylor's body becomes so toxic that the doctor at the hospital tells him he won't ever be able to smoke again. The mild satire of Rob Lowe's slick Hollywood super-agent, gives way to very low Three Stooges Farce in the 'second act.' The Third act involves Naylor's seduction by a Washington gossip reporter played by Katie Holmes. Inexplicably, Naylor reveals the secrets of his personal and professional life to the reporter who immediately skewers him in a gossip column. Naylor, who supposedly is a slick wheeler-dealer, suddenly is surprised by this supposed 'betrayal of confidence.' Could never happen! Another thing that really amazed me was the fact that Naylor is never shown smoking a cigarette throughout the movie. What a copout! Reitman wants it both ways: he's afraid of offending the anti-smoking crowd (so he shows no one smoking throughout the film) but depicts Naylor as a hero because he champions the view of 'freedom of choice.' The only real wit in the film occurs in the scenes between Naylor and his son who speaks like an adult and manages to get his comuppance on both the father and mother at times. Overall, this film trivializes the dangers of smoking by creating a sympathetic, stick figure tobacco lobbyist with a heart of gold. Expand
  2. Jan 25, 2015
    4
    Lobbyists represent everything that is wrong with our country. Instead of voting for the common good of the people, they are paid in voters and campaign contributions, to vote the way big business wishes them to vote. The result is laws that benefit the few and hurt the many. Thank You For Smoking takes an in depth look at one of these lobbyists, who works for big tobacco. In a satiricalLobbyists represent everything that is wrong with our country. Instead of voting for the common good of the people, they are paid in voters and campaign contributions, to vote the way big business wishes them to vote. The result is laws that benefit the few and hurt the many. Thank You For Smoking takes an in depth look at one of these lobbyists, who works for big tobacco. In a satirical way, the film shows how this man is able to achieve his companies goals through bending the facts, bribery, and out right lying in a way that is completely legal under our system of government. Aaron Eckhart is terrific, which will come as little surprise to many, however the film was anything but. Like most films, Thank You For Smoking has it's moments, but overall the film is one short scene that just repeats it's self over and over again. The situations are different and the players are different, but the arguments and agendas are always the same. After watching two hours of the same thing over and over again, I was more than done with this film. No matter how charismatic the actor may be, the fact is that what lobbyists do isn't terribly interesting. It's one meeting and argument after another and the film just completely runs around in circles. The film was critically acclaimed for Eckhart's performance, but nothing else. Some critics think that one outstanding performance makes a film worth seeing, but I don't. Aaron Eckhart is an outstanding actor, who has been great in many other films that are worth seeing. Thank You For Smoking is nothing more than an insult to the American people, that runs forty minutes too long, and just goes around in circles, it's not something I'd recommend wasting your time on. Expand
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 88
    Both sides of the political fence will feel royally skewered. All that's lacking is a warning from the Surgeon General: This film will make you laugh till it hurts.
  2. The movie is amusing and clever but only skin deep. It lacks the acidity and rage of a satire such as "Network."
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    70
    Playing a Big Tobacco lobbyist, Aaron Eckhart puts his golden news-anchor good looks and smooth conviction to better use than in any pic since his breakthrough film, "In the Company of Men."