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71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 143 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Thank You for Smoking is a fiercely satirical look at today's "culture of spin." The hero of the film is Nick Naylor (Eckhart), chief spokesman for Big Tobacco, who makes his living defending the rights of smokers and cigarette makers in today's neo-puritanical culture. (Fox Searchlight)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. A sly, smart and very funny caricature of corporate politics and image culture.
  2. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    88
    The first film in a long time with a true gift of gab. A lot of the time people actually talk fast in it. Its wisecracks actually crack wise.
  3. 83
    Much like his father Ivan (Ghostbusters), first-time director Jason Reitman has a broad, anything-goes comedic sensibility that allows silly gags and incidental humor to sneak in alongside the satirical barbs.
  4. 75
    It's got a bust-out performance from Eckhart that's worth remembering.
  5. 70
    As sleek, clever and cocky as its anti-heroic protagonist, Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), a hard-driving lobbyist for the tobacco industry who can turn the most unpromising PR quagmire to his own advantage with a few well-turned lies posing as rational argument.
  6. 70
    Thank You for Smoking is a nifty but slight movie. Some of the writing is obvious, and the dramatic structure is flimsy, if not downright arbitrary. But Eckhart, in a sure-handed performance, holds the picture together.
  7. 50
    For a film that's ostensibly about modern American society's love affair with addictive behavior – sex, drugs, rock & roll – its bark is much worse than its bite.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 57
  2. Negative: 1 out of 57
  1. Cables
    Apr 15, 2006
    10
    Lewis obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. This is one of the funniest movies i've seen in ages.
  2. JohnL.
    Oct 10, 2006
    10
    Wow what a movie! This was easily one of the best movies I have seen all year It was very smart and that seems to be lacking in movies nowadays...I
  3. KyleP
    Oct 18, 2006
    9
    Very witty, and very entertaining.
  4. MovieFan
    Apr 13, 2006
    8
    Solidly funny movie. Great satire. All performances were solid and on the mark. Not a bad job in the film. Nice twist at the end. Last movie Solidly funny movie. Great satire. All performances were solid and on the mark. Not a bad job in the film. Nice twist at the end. Last movie Katie Holmes made before becoming TomKat. People say she is throwing away her career. From her OK performance, it would seem that she didn't have much to throw. Nice eye candy, and that was about it. Would rec seeing it, would consider TIVO'ing it. Expand
  5. MattY.
    Aug 12, 2006
    8
    smart, funny and incredibly well written!
  6. MarcK.
    Apr 29, 2006
    7
    Wasn't sure whether to see this film, because although it got a high MetaCritic score, I typically don't like biting satire in Wasn't sure whether to see this film, because although it got a high MetaCritic score, I typically don't like biting satire in movies. However, I liked "Thank You For Smoking" exactly because it was NOT so biting! Had it's funny moments, but wasn't overbearing or condescending, like "Wag the Dog" for example, which is what I was expecting this film to be, and it thankfully was not. I was glad I saw it, and it's definitely worth a look. Expand
  7. 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 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. Collapse

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