Did You Miss the Most Shocking Film in Years?

Few ever talk about it, but this might be the most controversial movie in decades. The Nostalgia Critic looks at 2005’s Thank You for Smoking.

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

198 comments

  1. Updates seemed a bit late today, but better late than never.

  2. The most shocking film I ever saw was Pink Flamingos by John Waters

    • Pink Flamingos is easily one of my favorite films of all time. Sure it’s shocking as hell, especially that last scene, but it goes against the social norms and says fuck you to anyone who does not agree. It’s especially relevant to the 1970s, as it was a time where you could do a movie like this and not be shunned into oblivion.

  3. I missed it because it sounds fucking stupid.

    “We want to root for the bad guy because he’s likeable, charming, smart, loves what he does, is good at what he does, and has a moral center”

    Yeeaaaahh, Bull-fucking-shit. I don’t care how ‘likeable’, or ‘charming’ or any claim for ‘moral center’, he’s still an all around lying, manipulative, underhanded bastard that uses death as a promotion of a product. This is the equivilant of saying “Sasuke Uchiha is such a good character since he’s the cool looking bad boy! Oh don’t mind the attempted murder, international rule breaking, attacking of world leaders and their family and desertion! It’s just a part of his charm!”

    If you want ‘bad guy used as the main character’ done right, go read up on Death Note. Not this garbage.

    • And yet, Sasuke was pardoned for his crimes and lived happily ever after because in shonen manga, nobody ever gets severely punished for their crimes, right?

      • No, it’s because Sasuke Uchiha is the author’s Gary Stu and anyone with half a brain would be able to know for a fact that Kishimoto is a hack writer who can’t see the difference between “misguided” and “irredeemable”

      • Depends on how you define happy ending. Sasuke was pardoned but he then took off before his kid was even born and has spend the last decade in self exile as a dead beat dad with no friends or home.

        • No, Sasuke Uchiha left because he’s basically still in his “bad boy deserter” phase for life. Makes him a deadbeat dad too.

          • It gets worse when you find out the situation with Sakura and Sasuke’s daughter in a recent spin-off
            Say what you will about Naylor in thank you for smoking, he took care of his own kid and didn’t foist him on his ex-maybe-girlfriend. Who isn’t even the kid’s real mom.

          • You should really get your info straight:

            1. Sakura is Sarada’s mother. In fact she gave birth to her while journeying with Sasuke (Karin was there and kept the umbilical cord).

            2. Sasuke left because he was the only person in the world with the ability to find the threat to the world that Kaguya feared (namely beings capable of absorbing any chakra, no matter how powerful).

          • Oh, and Sasuke got pardoned because he helped save the world (and Kakashi and Naruto argued his case). Otherwise he would have been imprisoned for life at the very least.

      • Ummmm no that is evidence of how bad Naruto’s writing is.

    • I guess you don’t like Breaking Bad.

      • 1. I haven’t watched Breaking Bad, so I can’t comment on that

        2. From what I have heard, it sounds like it’s the “Death Note” path where the main character is never suppose to be treated like a beloved good guy. Again, I’ve only heard this as I have never watched the show.

    • Then you must hate Breaking Bad with a dying passion. You’re focusing on one element of the film that only exists to have a foundation to work off of. There is such a thing as a good character doing bad things, if you haven’t noticed. This film is trying to show the distinction between the way a person thinks versus what they actually do.

    • LOL at people talking about serious issues and cinema suddenly talking about fucking naruto

      • It’s not people, it’s mostly just this guy, at least on this site. He always shows up to rant about hating Naruto and how Final Fantasy 13, Bleach, or some other franchise with lanky, pretty characters are so much smarter than Western works. Most of those fandoms don’t actually think intelligence is measured in clothing models.

        • Oh shut the fuck up Cannedfury, nobody likes you nor do they want to hear from you.

          • TRIGGERED.

            Nobody = just you

          • And yet you responded to a post that never had anything to do with you.

            Looks to me like the person triggered is you SailorRustyBacon

          • Except it had everything to do with him, because you said “nobody”. IE, “everybody dislikes you” and he comes under “everybody”. Point is, you’re talking for people you don’t represent, and he wanted to call you out on it.

    • Well, at least you didn’t try to force in how Final Fantasy did it better this time, even if you found other ways to make Japan scoot a few inches away in embarrassment.

      The actual important part that flew over your head is whether the main character raises valid points and is convincing in his arguments. In fact, you’re using his single worst argument shown right in this review: bringing up unrelated nonsense and rambling about how it’s wrong so they’re wrong. If the movie’s so fucking stupid for mocking it as an obvious logical fallacy, what does that say about you?

      • Clearly you did not read what I said. Canned Fury =/= reading comprehension.

        It says that I’m clearly smarter than you and you have no argument.

        • Your arrogant deflection could use more cunt.

          Like myself! 😀 Seriously, just because someone calls you out on your butthurt fangasm about how whatever YOU like is ALWAYS superior and how your opinion is absolute de facto, that someone is instantly hated by EVERYBODY.

          Goddammit, learn how to digest some humble-ass pie, you raging FF nerd.

          • Oh shut the fuck up you nobody. You aren’t even part of this conversation. Cannedfury is nothing more than a troll who tends to grate on peoples nerves because he gets a kick out of it.

            Besides, this is coming from someone who uses a sailor scout icon for their avatar. I would not be talking about being superior if I were you dumb ass.

          • Why the fuck has such a simple idea gotten so distorted into you making it about something else.
            There is such thing as a likable villain who over comes the audience through charm or people doing bad things for good reasons, its demonstrated here and in many other films and media.
            You can easily argue against your point but this is just an opinion, like your view on the film is, the critic has only suggested these things but you can’t refute them completely there is at least partial truth to what he is talking about

          • I am a pretty bad troll, but what’s your reason to be even more grating and repulsive? Are you trying to ironically prove the movie’s point about charm? Because I’m no Aaron Eckhart, but I am flattered.

            Also, somebody called you arrogant and your response was to call them a nobody. You have a bizarre case of cartoon narcissism; a mythical punchline spoken of in tomes of webcomics and paid homage to on stage. Can you blame people for making fun of your thinking, especially when you make sure none of them can feel bad?

        • Heart-Lightning is secretly Donald Trump in disguise. Or at least that’s what I gather from reading these fucking comments.

          You’ll never win any argument by ignoring the legitimate points your opponents are making and telling them they have no argument when they clearly do.

        • Ha resorting to insulting someone based off their icon? Wow that’s not desperate at all. Plus your one to talk, your more annoying than most trolls here with your fanboyosm over final fantasy 13 and its atrocious main character that you base your online monkier around.

          • To be fair, people made fun of him for having an icon of anime bikini babes showing off breasts each bigger than their head. Granted the complaints only came when he began bashing entertainment as stupid and low class for resorting to sex appeal. There’s a lesson about his constantly touted standards in there somewhere.

    • You can be a good character without being a good person. And Eckhard played a great character. He almost always does. If you can root for the mass murdering villain of a movie why can’t you root for a charismatic buisnessman.

      • Yes, you can be a good character and be evil. What does that have to do with rooting for a mass murderer? If we root for him, it’s because, despite being a mass murderer, he’s accomplishing something good.

        Most of the time, that isn’t the case, so we don’t root for the villain. Well, except certain sociopathic people without a true sense of right and wrong who just go by their emotions.

        • “Well, except certain sociopathic people without a true sense of right and wrong who just go by their emotions.”
          “You can think an evil character is good. But to admire them requires you to admire what they do. And to root for an evil character means you have that same evil in you, and it’s only being restrained by society.”
          “The thing about Light is that he’s a part of us–we want to be able to kill off the bad people of the world. You can root for him because stopping the bad people is a good thing.”

          Please don’t murder us all in our sleep, replyman. We swear when we play as the bad guys in Star Wars games, we’re trying our hardest to lose.

    • You my friend sound like you’ve endured the bullshit of Handsome Jack.

    • Sooo if you admit that you never saw the film “because it sounded fucking stupid,” how do you have any authority with which to talk about what the script does with any of the characters? Making snap judgements about what a movie must be like isn’t the same as seeing it.

    • That may be, but the movie was STILL amazing. It’s a BRILLIANT film. That’s the thing. He’s charismatic, and he’s selling something that’s terrible for people. This movie didn’t make me want to go out and smoke because I know better, but it made me VERY aware of corporate motivation in so many ways. The villain is the hero, and for once, I LIKE it. You might be personally affronted at someone being a salesman in a movie, but until you’ve SEEN it, you really cannot judge it. It’s wonderfully framed, tense in the best moments, and in itself, comes off as a sales pitch for the movie, something that the very rare director can do.

      Besides the fact that you can like a character, admire that character, and still hate what they do. That is the amazing thing about the writing, and acting, in this movie. Give it a chance. You might surprise yourself.

      • THIS! This is seriously the best response I’ve read to his comment so far. But yeah, it really is unfair to decide an entire film is crap just because of scattered clips, what one person says about it and not actually watching it yourself.

      • You can think an evil character is good. But to admire them requires you to admire what they do. And to root for an evil character means you have that same evil in you, and it’s only being restrained by society.

        In fact, this aspect of admiration is used a lot by movies. He mentioned Fight Club. You found that you admired Tyler Durden, and then you realize how horrible he is, and thus that there’s an evil part inside of you that you keep constrained.

        Problem is, this film is pure propaganda. It leaves out the actual reason smoking is bad. It makes it into a choice issue without realizing that the problem with smoking is what it does to others. You have a right to your own body, but only your own body.

        It also misses that addiction inherently limits choice. Sure, a kid has a choice to start, but you don’t have nearly the same choice to stop.

        But you don’t hear the actual counterarguments in this movie. You hear the ones that can be refuted by the main character.

        • I agree with you. I remember, back at the time, the movie was presented to me as controversial satirical gem of the sort which sharpens one’s critical faculties. But I recall feeling that this latter part ended up being more flash and often, kind of hollow and superficial. Some okay points are made, I admitt; but the big misses are difficult to swallow.

          That having been said, I also remember it being worthy of the term ‘gem’ in more purely filmographic terms. And no no wonder: immense talent abounds, on all fronts. From direction and dp’ing, to acting, dialogue, score, editing and more).

          So, definitely recommended, but don’t expect it to sharpen your critical faculties for real. Instead, go into it with those already pre-sharpened, and rather, enjoy a decent and unique film, worthy of your time, but beware the misleading message. It lack subtlety that too crucial, for meaningful, quality-liberty.

        • Addiction doesn’t limit choice. In a recent study, when given the option between a dose of a drug and money or a coupon for a product, most chose the money or coupon.

          Addicts have the same decision making skills as anyone else, however the reason they rely on the substance may skew what they view as more or less important.

    • That is the entire point because the film is a SATIRE, and the main character represents a tobacco lobbyist. Doug didn’t really explain that part :/

      This is an amazing movie, but very much a satirical comedy that makes fun of the lobbying industry and how evil it is. I completely disagree with Doug on that, because it’s very obvious what the message of the film is.

    • Here’s the thing. You’re wrong because you’re trying to say “we can’t root for the clever, manipulative, death-dealing bad guy or you’re rooting for this specific antagonist” and then immediately going back to say “we should instead root for this clever, manipulative, death-dealing bad guy!”

      And since you’re wrong, that makes me right. Lol. I really need to see this film now.

      • The idea is that you can root for evil people who are doing good things, but you shouldn’t root for evil people doing bad things.

        The thing about Light is that he’s a part of us–we want to be able to kill off the bad people of the world. You can root for him because stopping the bad people is a good thing.

        But rooting for the main character in this film is saying there’s a part of you that wants to go around and manipulate people into doing things that will harm them. It’s rooting for a purely evil side of yourself–assuming you even have that side.

    • I dunno… I stopped rooting for Light fairly quickly. When it became apparent that he would kill off anyone who would oppose his claim for godhood through the Death Note, I immediately saw he was in it for the wrong reasons.

      Of course I would not feel bad if people didn’t need to pay taxes to keep murderers and rapists alive, but when it comes to rooting for characters, I don’t like to look at what they do, but instead -why- they do it. Take Daenerys from GoT as an example: I like her, because she clearly cares for the welfare of the common man, but her way of showing it and ruling politics are often terribly flawed. Thus I’m not saying she shouldn’t fix her way of doing things, but she seeks to do it for a good cause.

      Your example of Sasuke I agree with. He is a self-centered bastard who mostly just cares for his own ass and ambitions.

      But when it comes to your comparison between the main character of this film and Light… Well, this guy is clearly mischievous, but his conniving methods are used to help people choose. Light starts off as a chaotic good vigilante, but turns into “I AM GOD! EVERYONE WHO OPPOSES MY RULE WILL DIE!”

      Don’t get me wrong. I like the story of Death Note very much, and I like Light as a character, I just stopped rooting for him. I did remain entertained due to the sheer genius of his methods. I like watching carefully planned conspiracies reveal and unfold, and I really love a genius villain.

      Still didn’t keep me on his side though. Villain as the main character that I can root for all the way… I’d like to see that one day.

    • “I don’t care how ‘likeable’, or ‘charming’ or any claim for ‘moral center’, he’s still an all around lying, manipulative, underhanded bastard that uses death as a promotion of a product.”
      You have a worryingly black-and-white sense of morality. If you can’t even tolerate the ambiguity of fiction, your outlook on real life may be quite depressing.

      • That’s not what a black-and-white sense of morality is. What he’s saying is that none of his supposed good parts make up for how evil he is. That’s gray morality.

        There is no ambiguity here. The guy is a bad person. He has convinced himself that he’s doing good, which makes him even worse. He’s not like, say, Steve Jobs, who did some good but was also an asshole.

        And people who can’t capitalize or use the right form of “you’re” shouldn’t really lecture people.

        • “And people who can’t capitalize or use the right form of “you’re” shouldn’t really lecture people.”

          I’d say that people who use Ad-Homonym attacks on other people shouldn’t really lecture people, but that would be falling into the Fallacy Fallacy.

        • “…none of his supposed good parts make up for how evil he is. That’s gray morality. There is no ambiguity here. The guy is a bad person. … He’s not like, say, Steve Jobs, who did some good but was also an asshole.”

          You have no idea what gray anything is. In fact I’m starting to think you have no idea what the color gray is. It’s the one with no ambiguity, right? Because it can’t be like that other color with black but also some white in it.

    • You want a massive Karma Houdini in manga? Read “Fruits Basket.”

    • The only thing I can say (and is said before in all the rage text above), don’t judge it untill you’ve seen it. If you haven’t seen it, you can’t know what NS is talking about in his vid.

    • Are you really comparing Thank You For Smoking to some shitty generic anime? I mean, the movie isn’t a masterpiece or anything, but it deals with more thought provoking issues than which imaginary spiky-haired ninja wizard can fart out the biggest fireball.
      The point of the movie not really to root for the bad guy who just happens to be the main character. That’s not what this is about. The point is to see, and maybe even empathize with, different perspectives. Thereby growing as a person and re-examining our own values to better understand why believe what we believe. Why we feel what we feel. So many people go through life living in a bubble. Never thinking or reaching beyond the limited sphere of their own experiences. The shamelessly corrupt, cheerfully villainous values that this movie puts forth ARE shocking. They ARE offensive. Yet, they are presented in a clever manner. Stuff like this should be celebrated. Not because of the message it is ostensibly trying to convey, fuck no, the message is deliberate bullshit meant to make you angry. To challenge you, so that you think about your own beliefs and morals.

    • I was going to make a long-winded reply about how your idea of what makes a “good character” is terribly narrow, but everybody and their grandma has already called you out on it.

    • Light manipulated people for his own ends just as much as Naylor did, sir/ma’am and cared for none of them

    • Doug actually does a pretty bad job describing this film (compared to his other reviews anyway).

      Thank you for smoking isn’t at all about liking the guy even though he’s evil just because he’s charming or whatever. It’s not a “sasuke is so cool cus he’s emo” or even an “L is so cool because you can see his good intentions turn evil” (which actually seemed rather abrupt and disjointed in my opinion actually. The anime was awesome all around but L’s personal journey from morally ambiguous to evil was definitely NOT a highlight).

      Thank you for smoking isn’t about a manipulative guy who we root for anyway, it’s ABOUT manipulation, period. It’s about arguments, debate, popular opinion, etc etc. We aren’t suppose to “root” for the main character (although we may because he’s charming etc etc). It’s all about how tobacco companies and ANY organization manipulates facts and arguments for their benefit.

      The last bit about america is about freedom and choice and whatever is part of it, but it’s not an excuse for allowing cigarettes to exist. It’s simply to reinforce the point about manipulation. The only way to stop manipulation is education. Being smart enough to see through all this stuff. That’s why he’s willing to buy his kid cigarettes when he’s 18. If his kid is dumb enough to smoke after everything his father tried to teach him, he deserves to smoke and die from it. That is the point of it. The freedom argument is just more of his manipulation. It’s true that he supports freedom but that’s not why he’ll let his son smoke. He knows his son is smart enough not to. Therefore he can say anything he wants about letting him smoke to prove his point about smoking and still sleep soundly knowing his son’s not going to be a smoker.

      Overall it’s a very smart movie. That’s probably one of the reasons it didn’t do so well. It’s not exactly “shocking” because we know the movie isn’t really about promoting smoking. It’s pure commentary on the art of manipulation and argument. With no clear villains or heroes, it’s hard to be that popular. We really have no one to root for.

    • It’s actually not any of that at all. It’s a satirical movie that is playing the devils advocate to point out that yeah these things aren’t good. While also showing us that hey there is more to this than just a black and white situation and it’s not as simple as just saying “No more smoking anymore.”

  4. Doug, THANK YOU for spotlighting this movie! I only recently saw it a few months back and I have it on DVD, but it’s scratched. I will have to get another copy sometime because it is such a brilliant film!

  5. Great review, Doug. I absolutely loved this film.

  6. I saw this flick because of an unusual advertising tactic that piqued my curiosity. I was working in a casino at the time and I saw this little cardboard sign atop one of the slot machines. It said, “Thank you for smoking.” I did a double take and realized it was a movie advertisement, but for a second there I thought some crazyass was actually meaning to thank casino guests for smoking. Freaky!

    I remember seeing on ESPN some commentators using the same “choice” argument used in this movie. ESPN was going crazy over allegations that the NFL covered up findings that a prolonged career in football led to brain complications. Commentators said that even if it’s true that the game does this to a player’s body, football shouldn’t simply end because of it. At the very least, prospective players should be aware of the risk and choose accordingly whether the risk is worth to them or not.

  7. Yeah this sounded awful, I’m all for freedom to do what you want with your life and I get the message behind it but second hand smoke kills and that’s not something I want to deal with.

    • Actually, there is basically no proof of second hand smoking kills and it would be so difficult to actually prove. Don’t take everything they come up with for granted as not all of it has been proven even close to conclusively. In fact, in the last year I heard twice that some team was duplicating research to validate it, but times there was a lot of research where the result could not be duplicated and most likely a scam from the scientists so they could keep getting funding, they even did this with cancer research. And again, anything caused by second hand smoking can barely be proven unless we sacrifice some people for an experiment so we can be sure that’s the cause. Considering all the health risks in our daily lives, it could be anything, car exhaust for example.

      • >anything caused by second hand smoking can barely be proven unless we sacrifice some people for an experiment so we can be sure that’s the cause.

        That… is completely wrong. By that logic, we can’t prove that smoking itself kills people because we’d have to sacrifice people by forcing them to smoke to prove that it’s the cause.

        Instead of doing that, we study people that smoke to determine if they have a higher incidence of lung cancer. If they do and if that number attains statistical significance, then there’s a statistical link between smoking and lung cancer.

        The same can be done with secondhand smoke. Simply get groups of people that have been exposed to different levels of secondhand smoke and compare their likelihood of developing cancer. If one then finds that the people that have been exposed to higher levels of secondhand smoke (for instance, by living with a relative that smokes heavily indoors) also have a higher incidence of cancer, then there is a statistical link between the two.

        • That’s correlation, not causation. This is a basic principle of statistics: if we do not randomly select the sample, then there may be a shared trait that confounds the result. For example, in smoking, it may be that a high chance of an addiction to tobacco is on the same gene that increases cancer. Therefore, it would then be the gene increasing cancer and not the cigarettes killing the persons.

          In order to prove causation, and not just observe correlation, you need to create a controlled study, and control for those confounding variables. This means people would have to be sacrificed. However, the correlation is strong enough that it’s accepted that we may assume (though not strong enough for proof) that cigarettes and other tobacco products cause these diseases.

          • Correlation between second hand smoking and a number of pathologies has been at times found and at times not found with appropriate confidence levels. To study causation models are required. Animal models are being developed with the in mind (see the paper “Animal Models of Nicotine Exposure: Relevance to Second-Hand Smoking, Electronic Cigarette Use, and Compulsive Smoking”). However, the paper “Comparison of carcinogen, carbon monoxide, and ultrafine particle emissions from narghile waterpipe and cigarette smoking: Sidestream smoke measurements and assessment of second-hand smoke emission factors.” pointed out that there is plenty of evidence to ban waterpipes in public spaces due to the large carcinogens production. It has been proposed (can’t find a reference now) that second hand cigarette smoking would be dangerous due to the addition of water vapor by the first smoker lungs, that would incorporate particles and facilitate diffusion into second hand smoker lungs. Still not proofs, but i wonder what is wiser to do while we wait for them: ban public smoking or let it? In the second case, what if we get the proofs that second hand smoking is indeed harmful. It means we condemned an amount of people in the first place… I would suggest, in the ignorance we are now, to behave as we were in the worst case possible to minimize any possible side effect… But I understand that this is only one of the possible points of view.

  8. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Oh! I remembered the title but got the wrong guy(I thought it was from the guy who directed capitalism a love story). I’ve heard of the director beforE he directed the movie up in the air with George clooney and that one was pretty good but I haven’t seen any of his other movies. I think though why no one remembers this movie is because it was all the way back from 2005 but I do remember seeing the poster for the movie on Aaron eckharts rotten tomatoes it was one of the top reviewed movies he was in and another company that company 20th century fox copied the poster for there other comedy movie I’m not gonna mention the movie not even a cough cough then title. Though sometime I’ll have to check it out sounds like a movie that I would really wanna see cause it got award buzz.

  9. ThatManWithTheHeadband12

    Great Mini-Review, sucky title to disguise it as an editorial…

    • It’s not a review. A review discusses the pros and con’s of something. This is exploring the themes of the movie and attempting to analyze it.

      • No, it’s a review. He tells us that this is an underappreciated movie, and goes out to tell us why, and to suggest we watch it.

        • What you described would be an advertisement, not necessarily a review.

          He goes in depth on the theme and its presentation in the movie without mentioning much the acting, score, screenplay or other topics you would find in reviews.

          This video, like most of the editorials, is more of a study on an aspect found in pop culture, genre or a single movie. He does mention his own opinion (the movie is underappreciated and should be talked about), but it’s more of a footnote than the intention of the article, unlike the title would lead to believe.

  10. This movie sounds incredible. How could I miss something like this?

  11. Judging from the clips this look more like it’s a parody movie. As in the characters are such card board cut outs you aren’t supposed to take it seriously and know they are evil.
    It’s like Plankton from Spondebob. Sure you know he’s evil and you like the character, but that doesn’t mean you don’t know he’s evil or hate the things he does.

    • There’s really no evil people in the movie. They are all good people where most of the characters are doing bad things for their cause. Which they do in real life too, so there just normal people in those jobs.

      • That makes no sense. It’s what you do that defines you as good or evil. Doing evil things for your cause makes you evil. And, of course, the cause in question for most people in the movie is evil.

        • In fiction doing bad things makes the character a villain, not evil. There are characters doing good things but have evil characteristics or selfish intentions and vice versa. That’s why there are tropes called antihero and antivillain, respectively.

          Judging a character based on what they do instead of how they feel about doing it is a slippery way to see them. Follow it and you will most likely see the vast majority of generally accepted heroer turn out evil.

    • I don’t intend to sound insulting, but I would recommend getting more educated on this topic because in reality the heads of the cigarette companies behaved pretty much like villainous card board cutouts.

      For example, see http://www.who.int/tobacco/communications/TI_manual_content.pdf starting on pg. 10, but be careful as this is a bit of a depressing rabbit hole.

      Of course that doesn’t really mean the movie isn’t somewhat of a parody, but recollection is more so that is a parody in the same sense that old onion articles on certain topics have become painfully mostly true.

  12. Huh. This is really interesting.

    It definitely makes me look at one of Jason Reitman’s later films, “Young Adult”, a bit differently. At least, regarding what the director probably intended.
    The film is centered around this woman obsessed with her high school sweetheart, even though he’s married with a kid, she proves to be a really nasty and self-absorbed bitch who we’re apparently supposed to sympathize with, and it ends with a similar lesson of having the OPTION of being a horrible human being, which is what she chooses at the end.
    That doesn’t mean I actually like the movie now, as it still has screenwriter Diablo Cody’s fingerprints all over it and I have my doubts that it’s what SHE might have been going for.
    But with “Smoking”, “Juno”, and “Young Adult” there definitely is a non-conventional style with character and narrative that Reitman has developed for himself as a director. It’s not necessarily one that I would like to emulate, but there is something to admire and respect about that.

  13. please do escape from tomorrow for halloween!

  14. I saw this movie back in college and wrote a paper on it for my ethics class. My teacher, who was incredibly close-minded and hated whenever anybody said something that disagreed with her curriculum, didn’t like what I had to say. Boy, I hated that teacher.

    • While that’s possible, it’s also exactly what people tend to tell themselves as an excuse. You get a bad grade? It’s because the teacher is bad.

      So I’d suggest giving more evidence if you want to make your case. What was your argument from the movie? How did you support it? Did you actually, for example, think the message of the movie was that smoking is okay? If you did, then you missed the point–though, admittedly. that’s because they weren’t so good at presenting it.

  15. well i’m sold

  16. A movie that tells you about making choices in life, whether they’d be good or bad for you? Sounds interesting.

  17. Why was Devil’s Rejects in there on blatant shock value? Yes, the first 3/4’s of the movie is a grueling, shocking mess, but there’s more to it than that and even as a movie that’s looking to horrify you it’s a well constructed ride.

    SPOILERS if you haven’t seen it, but like Thank you for smoking, it gets you to sympathize with characters it gets you hated an hour earlier and goes above and beyond what it needs to as a horror film.

    • Oh god… I haven’t used this account in like 5 years. I saw my avatar and cringed so hard.

    • Before I start, I like “Devil’s Rejects,” but purely because it’s a gorey shock fest. I don’t know how you managed to sympathize with a gang of mass murdering psychopaths (nothing against you, it’s just a movie, after all), who were as monstrous in “Devil’s Rejects” as they were in “House of 1000 Corpses,” but Rob Zombie did a pretty lazy way of making them ‘sympathetic.’

      “Oh look, they actually care for each other and protect one another when they’re in danger, oooooh isn’t that precious? But wait! Now they’re on the road, all wounded and on their last stand; better play a cheesy redneck ballad and show fake home-camera footage of them acting like a normal family, ooooh isn’t this just an unfortunate turn of events for them?

      Yeah, no. I didn’t feel anything for those people when they got blown to smitheroons at the end of the film, no matter how much the music and fake homemade footage tried to tell me to feel sad. Kind of hard to feel for a dude that molests a woman twice his age with a pistol, an obnoxious girl who chest-stabs people and cackles obnoxiously while doing it… well, I did feel bad for Captain Spalding a bit, but mostly because he was fucking hilarious.

      And now I have to respond to your comment about your avatar: kek. Don’t worry, dude, we’ve all been there. Pretty sure some dead account of mine on Rooster Teeth has the album cover of a Tom Morello CD (guy who plays guitar for Rage Against the Machine wrote a bunch of super-corny super-liberal freedom fighter albums, all Woodie Guthrie and Pete Seger like).

    • I like Rejects in that it’s like this manipulative roller coaster. At first it starts out as this macabre balls to the wall action movie. Then we descend down into Rob paying homage to 70’s B exploitation horror movies. And then some how by the end of the movie…we are actually rooting for these horrible people.

      Like I take a step back and go awe that sucks they di- wait…one of these fuckers had a bed full of naked dead women in the beginning and cut a mans face off and tormented his wife while wearing it. FUCK THESE PEOPLE!
      People like to give Rob Zombie shit for not making actual scary movies but I like the mans style…at least with Rejects and Halloween.

  18. *music plays, Critic smiles*

    Uh-oh…

  19. In case my original comment doesn’t get shown. I’ll repost here:
    ————

    OHHH no.

    Oh no!

    Look. I LIKE the movie. Honestly, I do. Great performances. FANTASTIC.

    …unfortunately…I started to notice something when I began to rewatch it. A few…points…

    See if you can figure out what I’m getting at.

    Kid #3: My Mommy says smoking kills.
    Nick Naylor: Oh, is your Mommy a doctor?
    Kid #3: No.
    Nick Naylor: A scientific researcher of some kind?
    Kid #3: No
    .Nick Naylor: Well, then she’s hardly a credible expert, is she?

    …see the issue? No? Okay. Let’s switch out “Smoking kills” with “humans are causing climate change” or “Vaccines don’t cause autism”.

    NOW do you see the problem? The whole “The person who told you this isn’t in science or a doctor so they know nothing” fallacy. This kind of logic basically means that I can’t comment on WHETHER THE SUN IS THE CENTER OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM just because I’m not a scientist. It is really…damn…dumb. You do not NEED to be a scientist to address basic. scientific. FACT!

    But wait. It gets better.

    Nick Naylor: I’m sorry. I just don’t see the point in a warning label for something people already know.

    Most DIDN’T actually already know. See, the tobacco industry had put out BS research about the benefits and dangers of smoking, outright LIED about how dangerous smoking truly was, lied about secondhand smoke’s dangers, shall I go on? The point being that people DIDN’T really know just how dangerous smoking REALLY was because people like Naylor there were keeping real research from being done!

    Senator Dupree: The warning symbol is a reminder, a reminder of the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
    Nick Naylor: Well, if we want to remind people of danger why don’t we slap a skull and crossbones on all Boeing airplanes, Senator Lothridge. And all Fords, Senator Dupree.
    Senator Ortolan Finistirre: That is ridiculous. The death toll from airline and automobile accidents doesn’t even skim the surface to cigarettes. They don’t even compare.
    Nick Naylor: Oh, this from a Senator who calls Vermont home.
    Senator Ortolan Finistirre: I don’t follow you, Mr. Naylor.
    Nick Naylor: Well, the real demonstrated #1 killer in America is cholesterol. And here comes Senator Finistirre whose fine state is, I regret to say, clogging the nation’s arteries with Vermont Cheddar Cheese. If we want to talk numbers, how about the millions of people dying of heart attacks? Perhaps Vermont Cheddar should come with a skull and crossbones.

    …okay. First…thing’s…first. One, cheese is a kind of food. Food is a BASIC BIOLOGICAL NECESSITY. We need food to survive. We DON’T need cigarettes. We don’t need them to live the way we need food like cheese or other foods that have cholesterol! Cheese isn’t inherently dangerous! Cigarettes are.

    And TWO! Cigarettes kill more people annually than World War II did. More than AIDS, cocaine, heroin, alcohol, vehicular accidents, homicide and suicide combined.

    COM.BINED.

    And no, that ain’t me making s–t up. George Will, a conservative I RARELY like, made this point in 2009. Politifact looked it over.

    It’s completely true. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2009/jun/29/george-will/claims-smoking-kills-more-people-annually-other-da/

    So think about that. Cigarettes. A thing we DO NOT NEED TO SURVIVE…kills more people annually than who died in World. War. II.

    And as for that “cholesterol is the number one killer” thing? Okay, according to the CDC, tobacco, NOT cholesterol, is the leading cause of preventable deaths.

    http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/tobacco_related_mortality/

    But let me be fair. The film came out in 2005. What was it during that time? The leading cause of death?

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures%5Csu6304a2f2.gif

    …I’m sorry, but does it say “cancer” up there at the top of the chart? With heart disease much lower down? Yeah, even THAT claim is kinda CRAP.

    But what does the senator say?

    Senator Ortolan Finistirre: That is lu – . The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!

    THAT’S your big comeback to something that was PROVABLY WRONG at the time it came out?!

    Yeah. I’m sorry, but the film is pretty bull–t. I can’t just overlook this. I am calling bull–t on this film. So. DAMN. HARD. SCREW this film. Hard.

    • Once again, Doug fails at film analysis.

      Additionally, it’s being way too optimistic in general to not recognize that people can be stupid en masse. Not everyone has great parents who taught them well. And just like secondhand smoke, the stupidity of others can hurt and affect you. We’re not islands.

      • It’s very difficult to prove anything about second hand smoke. So not the best example, but your point is that choices should be taken away from everyone because there is a lot of stupid people? Why?? Typical solution, at least in America. Instead of trying to make the people less ignorant and not believe anything they are told by scientists, politicians and companies, they instead make it more comfortable to be ignorant, that away any of the afore mentioned can make you believe anything I guess. Yes, scientists lie too, they have funding to consider.

    • I am pretty sure that you missed the entire point of this movie. It isn’t an advertisement for smoking. Many people have actually said that it promotes anti-smoking. What it is, is a look at man who knows that what he is doing is wrong, but he does it anyway.

      The main character is clearly spinning facts and opinions to his best interest and even admits at the end that smoking does kill and that smoking companies may be responsible for the deaths caused by smoking.

      I have a feeling that you were too focused on the main characters “facts” to realise that the movie itself is neutral about smoking.

      • Except that Doug is saying it promotes smoking. He took it at face value, and argues this is a valid interpretation.

        His point is that DOUG doesn’t get what the movie is about. It’s why he thinks the movie is shocking.

        The movie is blatant propaganda that assumes its audience is smart enough to see the propaganda and ignore it. It refuses to hammer the point home, so you can come away like “All in the Family,” thinking the bad people are good.

    • lacking_psilosynine

      i also think doug missed some giant things about this movie; namely that nick is good at what he does. his arguments are more derailing and sophistry than substance. anyone who was on debate team in high school could take nick naylor to school. also, doug’s diatribe on the importance of choice really confused me, because senator finistirre and his ilk weren’t trying to take away anyone’s choice to smoke. not to mention doug was snowed by nick’s “it’s up to the parents” argument, which only works in a perfect world where every child has caring and informed parents.

      • Anyone who has seen even just a couple of these editorials knows that Doug isn’t a genius film analyst. He’s not even remotely a good one.

        Why Doug spends all of his time as the NC dissecting films (something he didn’t get popular for, nor is it something he’s good at) rather than making his comedic reviews (what he’s good at, or used to be).

        I feel sorry for the people who even take time to argue with NC’s stuff because obviously they’re putting more thought into these films than Doug.

        • I don’t see how every other week to fill time for the main reviews equates to spending all his time on the editorials. Also you completely failed to finish that sentence, but I can assume you were going to say it comfuses you. Even though the answer is obvious, he enjoys analyzing films, even if he is not the best at it and he makes no claims to be so, he merely wanted to stir on more discussion.

      • ” which only works in a perfect world where every child has caring and informed parents.” And at a time when the tobbacco industry was making up information parents would GIVE to their children, which they provably did, even IF the parents honestly care hard and want to do what’s right, they’d not really be ABLE to properly protect their children. Cuz the info they have would be a LIE, and they wouldn’t even know it!

    • 1. He’s talking to a kid. Of course he can convince him with that statement.

      2. If they didn’t know, they were pretty ignorant. A massive failure in the school system.

      3. We don’t need cheese either, it’s as much a luxury product as cigarettes. So the point is valid, when we put those danger stickers on cigarettes we should have put them on every dangerous product, like alcohol and products that increase cholesterol. Even though other products might not be inherently bad for us, the argument is more that the product is bad for you and the stickers have to tell people to make sure they know. So there should be a sticker on all products that has a risk that we cannot just assume people know as we must assume they know nothing of the dangers of any product.

      4. You can’t put a specific number on people that dies thanks to smoking. It’s not like smokers are registered users and it varies extremely how much they smoke, so it’s incalculable. And the scientists give cigarettes credit for more deaths than we can blame them for.
      The CDC numbers also includes second hand smoking deaths, as far as I know, it’s extremely hard to support the theory of second hand smoking, as they have to look at a whole life, of everything consumed, and conclude that being near a smoker is the cause. So those numbers can’t really be trusted either.

      5. True that cholesterol, not even then, is the number 1 killer. I couldn’t even find a number to go with the deaths as it seems high LDL cholesterol can give you heart diseases (like they claim second hand smoking can) and stroke, Which 73.5 million adults in the U.S. suffer from according to CDC. Low cholesterol can apparently also give you cancer. So yeah, like smoking there is a lot it can apparently cause, put they don’t put a number to how many dies of high/low cholesterol even though they can all be saved by eating healthier.
      Unintentional injuries is pretty high up on that chart btw.

      6. Yup, the cholesterol thing was bs, there is apparently no numbers to find. But that’s not really what the movie is about and it’s not trying to get you to smoke so who cares. But you did prove that smoking wasn’t the number 1 killer at that time, so he should have either said third or given the blame something else that increases chances of cancer. Products doesn’t cause cancer, they increase chance, you can still get lung cancer without smoking or being near a smoker you entire life. So smoke if you want to, just mind those who doesn’t like the smoke.

      • “2. If they didn’t know, they were pretty ignorant. A massive failure in the school system.”

        What part of “THE TOBACCO COMPANIES PUSHED BOGUS EVIDENCE TO COVER UP THE TRUTH” fails to register? Parents and schools COULDN’T accurately provide data cuz the data was manipulated and made up out of whole cloth by the immense tobacco industry. They bought off doctors for Heaven’s sake!

        3. “We don’t need cheese either, it’s as much a luxury product as cigarettes.” Food isn’t a luxury product. Something like CANDY is a luxury product more than cheese cuz it has no real nutritional value, get it?

        4. According to the CDC, more people in the United States die from lung cancer than any other type of cancer. ANY other type. And in 2012, 157,423 people in the United States died from lung cancer alone. And the overwhelming amount of that’s from whaaaaat? Smoking. And secondhand smoke’s dangers aren’t up for dispute. The Tobacco industry lied about THAT too, wanting to suppress the fact that since 1964, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. 2 and a half million people dead from secondhand smoke alone.

        6. Smokers were nothing but a-holes about their right to smoke. Entire airplane flights would be nothing but grey smoke, people coughing when they weren’t puffing, anyone who DIDN’T smoke mocked if someone asked them not to. And smoking was a right they weren’t entitled to have in the Constitution, bucko. It was a PRIVILEGE they EXPLOITED over others. Oh, I feel soooo bad for them. Boo effin’ hoo.

        • And 7. Let’s add the financial cost to the human cost. While the governments receive billions in tax money thanks to cigarette, the world pays much more in health care because of the diseases caused by tobacco.
          I got numbers from my country (France) in 2010 : gains 10,5 billions euros (taxes, premature deaths of retired people)
          Health cost : 120 billions euros!

          Let’s think about all the things we could have done with so much money. Even at the individual scale, a smoker will pay thousands of dollars per year just to buy cigarettes to enrich a bunch of *ssholes.

    • Eh… Doug is seeing something that isn’t there, in my opinion. This movie almost outright come out and say “if you actually smoke, you’re a very, very dumb person, as in, if someone said jumping out of a plane without a parachute is cool, you’d do it in a heartbeat, but please, go ahead, I will not stand in the way of your stupidity”.

      He didn’t notice that in the end trial he says he’d give his son a cigarette if he asked, but throughout the movie he shows that he’d make damn sure that his son knows that it would be a tremendously bad idea. The guy is hypocritical out the kazoo, he’s got no qualms in misinforming billions of people who kinda want to be misinformed, but he’s going to make damn sure his own son is not taken into his bullshit and knows damn well that what he’s selling is poison. AND THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT.

      • Yip. It’s propaganda that is supposed to be so blatant that you realize it’s bullshit. But the fact that Doug can miss the point so badly implies to me that it wasn’t that good.

        Unless, of course, he’s just blowing smoke and 100% gets that this is an anti-smoking movie. But then, why the fuck does he think it should be controversial?

      • Actually, I haven’t seen the movie, but just going by what you said and what the review showed, it’s not hypocrisy at all. The guy is actually practicing exactly what he preaches. He’s teaching his kid that smoking is bad (as he’s saying is a parent’s job). So he CAN say that if, when the kid is 18, he says he wants to smoke, the guy would buy him his first pack, because he’s done his job and taught his kid, so he can be confident that the kid will NOT make that choice in the first place.

    • If you think smoking kills many people, google how many die per year due drunkenness or straight up from alcohol-related health problems. And how many “just” end up in hospitals. Smoking is *HARMLESS* compared to that! and alcohol is too not essential to our survival. Hell, it isn’t essential even to our entertainment!

  20. Speaking of Fight Club, when are you gonna review that movie?

  21. Yes, I have seen that movie! I think it was in High School or something? I love that ice cream dialogue. The next scene his son eating vanilla! It seemed like you talked about your political views. I rarely see people smoking in real life and I thought that’s what you were talking about at first.

  22. since when in the fuck was Vermont well known for it’s cheese?? that’s Wisconsin! Vermont is famous for it’s ski resorts, farm lands, and above all, it’s hundreds of forest covered mountains. hell, it’s State nickname is the Green Mountain State! I mean yeah, there are plenty of dairy farms up there and it is where Ben & Jerry’s was founded, but cheese is not the first thing I think of when I think of Vermont….

  23. I’ve actually heard about Thank You For Smoking from the TV spots when it was being released in theaters. I didn’t really know anyone’s fascination about it, and the title sounds like it’s pro-smoking, and seeing Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue in the 3rd grade has kept me from smoking to this very day (no, I am not joking), but now that it’s spoken into much better detail here, I agree that it sounds like a really good film, and one I should be giving a watch sometime soon.

  24. Can you review 2002’s The Powerpuff Girls Movie?

  25. Sounds like a more dramatic version of “You Don’t Know Jack”, and we all know how many fools claimed Kevorkian’s death was ironic or hypocritical, simply because he exercised his right to choose, which was his whole message.

  26. Good movie, it points out the hypocrisy of the evil do-gooders who can justify any lie by telling us that it’s for the greater good.

    Looking forward to Nostalgiaween.

  27. Love this movie. I’ve never met anyone who knew about this movie. Such a shame.

  28. I’ve heard of the movie, haven’t seen it because I am deathly allergic to tobacco. PC is a form of pointless self censorship advocated by those who want to control how you think so as not to offend someone who wasn’t offended in the first place, and yes manipulating mass audiences is horrible, which is why none of the media can be trusted because there is just as much evidence of editing, lies, manipulation, and even stages reports being passed off as real by organizations such as MSNBC, Huffington Post, CNN, Washington Post, Salon, Think progress, live (anti)science, Take Part, Fox, NBC, Blaze, etc primarily in that order from worst offenders to least worst offenders but they are all guilty of it. The thing is that not all big business is bad, and not all people who claim to be fighting for you are good, there is a middle ground for example, Microsoft has stolen from millions and used it’s size to push others around, however they have also spent billions on child healthcare humanitarian efforts, and educating and advancing people living in near stone-age conditions to live better lives, the amount of good they have done actually outweighs the wrong they have done by a large margin. On the other hand you have Apple that has openly discriminated against and mistreated it’s own employees (The Reason Wozniak Left) stole and used it’s weight to push around others, and the most generous thing they ever did was lower the price on one of their obsolete and underpowered products to that someone could afford it without taking out a mortgage on their house, the amount of evil they have done far outweighs the mount of good they have therefore they are evil. Another example is AIG who has been jacking insurance rates through the roof while dropping coverage to next to nothing since Obamacare was passed, versus Ford who decided to stand on it’s own and has become one of the largest and most trusted auto manufacturers world wide with affordable vehicles. Lets look at non-corporations, many teachers nowadays are teaching revisionist history to push their own political agenda knowing full well that children are highly impressionable and if they can get them to believe a certain way during that period in their lives they will believe it for the rest of their lives, on the other hand you have teachers who actually want to teach and ge their students to learn and think for themselves. There are plenty of other examples Obama vs Bush Jr. where when you start to list off the things that make them monsters and start subtracting the ones that are lies and the ones that not their fault the list for Bush shrinks to one page but Obamas stays thicker than a ream of paper. There is a much closer one between Trump and Hillary however Trump doesn’t have a list of people he deliberately and directly killed making Hillary the winner there.

  29. I still find offensive things offensive. I mean, I’m all for gray characters but sometimes bad is bad. I remember when I heard about this movie coming out. I think I was in middle school and I was shaking my head even back then. In my opinion, the best gray character is Carrie Bradshaw. She has a lot of good qualities and a lot of bad qualities. Coincidentally, she smokes, too. LOL. Oh, also, I won’t be watching this movie. I like watching fun movies.

    I already watch Paw so yeah. 🙂

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