Film Review: Thank You for Smoking

by Pat Johnson

How good is this movie? It's as good as the title, which is to say it is somewhat amusing and a one trick smoking pony. At times it borders on brilliant. I laughed out loud during several particularly biting bits of carcinogenic satire. However, this movie fails to maintain any of the momentum it accrues. In the end, it fails to be an effective criticism of the industry or an enjoyable movie experience. As my brother says, 'all the best bits were in the commercials.' While this experience is irritatingly common for many modern Hollywood movies, if you haven't seen the commercials (or don't remember them), the film still has something to offer. It does offer a 90-minute discussion of rhetoric and argument. While many people wouldn't necessarily call this a good thing, as a teacher I can't help but appreciate the depth of the exploration. Also, the cast members are all great (including all the big names).

So, I cannot recommend the film to anyone, which is sad. When it is at its best, the film is amazing. But the good parts can't make up for the lackluster presentation and jagged pace.

5 packs a day (out of 11)