Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
con men / grifters / masters of misdirection
lying and cheating for a living
stealing in the Bible
real world crime and other sins always have serioius consequences
Why is glamorizing sin and criminal behavior a bad practice?
|Featuring:||Will Smith … Nicky
Margot Robbie … Jess Barrett
BD Wong … Liyuan
Rodrigo Santoro …
Gerald McRaney … Ownes
Laura Flannery … Cheerleader
Adrian Martinez … Farhad
Robert Taylor … McEwen
Stephanie Honoré (Stephanie Honore) … Janice
Candice Michele Barley … Liyuan's Supermodel guest
Dominic Fumusa … Jared
Brennan Brown … Horst
See all »
|Producer:||Kramer and Sigman Films
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Nick is the master of deception. In fact, he runs an entire operation of 30 of the greatest pickpockets and thieves the world has ever seen. With a simple dose of misdirection, they can steal practically anything: watch, purse, ring—you name it. Nick has got it all… or so it seems.
See, there’s this girl, named Jess. She is aspiring to become a con-artist, too. After proving herself to Nick, she becomes a part of his team. But if there’s one rule in the art of conning, it’s to “never let your heart get in the way,” and let’s just say that Nick and Jess are, well, letting their hearts get in the way. To make matters worse, Nick attempts to con a man in Buenos Ares that lands him and Jess in hot water. It’s a story that begs the question: can you ever really trust someone or is trust just a trick of the mind?
“Focus” is brilliantly written. It’s a story of deception (shown, unfortunately, in a positive light) that uses the art of deception to tell the story. When I wasn’t marking my clipboard for offensive content, I was eagerly anticipating the next move, questioning what was on the screen. I kept asking, “Who was deceiving who?” Even in the moments where I sensed the answer, in the back of my mind, doubt crept its way back in, which is appropriate for what the film is trying to achieve
I was also impressed with the performances by Will Smith and Margot Robbie. These two characters have a real connection on camera, each character playing off one another. The character development in “Focus” is excellent and developed in an appropriate manner.
My primary concern with “Focus” is the level of offensive content. Even for an R rated film, the language was over abundant, inappropriate and just plain unnecessary. The sexual content is along the same lines, unnecessary in some areas. The chemistry between Nick and Jess would have just been fine without the sex.
So here is the content you should be aware of (please be aware that some of the content is graphic):
Violence: Nick and Jess’ lives are threatened in a couple instances. One involves a rear end crash, and another involves a person being shot in the chest (with blood shown). There is also some punching, choking and other rough handling of people.
Language: Extreme. There were over 100 uses of the f-bomb, h*ll (4), G*d-d**n (2), sh*t (20+), BS (4), Jesus’ names are taken in vain 7 times, God’s name by itself in vain 4 times, OMG (7). Other vulgar language includes s*ck (2), “grow a pair, ” d*ck (4), s*cking his d**k (1), pr*ck (3), balls (2), a joke about Australians, and various other vulgar sexual terms.
Sex/Nudity: Extreme. Nick and Jess are seen several times engaging in sexual intercourse (including humping), one character shows Jess a picture of his penis (we don’t see it, thankfully), Jess is shown in some very revealing nightgowns and bikinis, there is a scene of rear nudity, men are shown looking at women’s buttocks, and a scene involving a man in his underwear. “Focus” also contains heavy amounts of sexual dialog, including a comment about lesbianism, the phrase “hitting that,” comments made about female breasts, obscene uses of the word “pi*ker” (2), and references are made regarding oral sex.
I’m sorry to say that “Focus” has no redeeming morals that I can draw from.
Like I said, “Focus” is cinematically beautiful. It’s deceptive and constantly demands your attention to the screen and to take note of every moment. However, it is also very offensive. I really did want to recommend this film, because, cinematically, contrary to what I’ve heard other critics say, with some serious amount of editing of the content, this film is practically flawless. As it stands though, I don’t recommend it. The movie’s rated R for a reason (don’t expose kids). Heed the warning and find something more rewarding to do with your time.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.