A Thousand Words parents guide

A Thousand Words Parent Guide

A picture might be worth a thousand words but this picture isn't worth the price of admission.

Overall C-

Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy) is a man with a golden tongue. But his words are about to cost him. After he lies to Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), the guru connects each of Jack's utterances with a leaf on a magic tree -- with fatal consequences when the last one falls.

Release date March 9, 2012

Violence B
Sexual Content C+
Profanity D+
Substance Use C

Why is A Thousand Words rated PG-13? The MPAA rated A Thousand Words PG-13 for sexual situations including dialogue, language and some drug-related humor.

Run Time: 91 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

A picture might be worth a thousand words but this picture isn’t worth the price of admission. Given society’s aversion to silence, the problem of verbal barrages is a great concept, especially when the chatter in this story also includes a fair amount of fabrication. But instead, the over-the-top script may leave too many viewers feeling speechless.

For one thing, the movie tries too hard to cram comedy (much of which relies on crass anatomical terms or sexually charged innuendo) and a sentimental spiritual message into a mere 90 minutes. To keep audience’s emotions in tune with the quickly changing mood of the film requires a heavy-handed musical score and meditative hallucinations.

At the helm of the story is Jack McCall (Eddie Murphy), a literary agent with an aversion to reading but a gift of gab. More than just a talent for twittering, he’s an overtalking tyrant who bullies people with his banal banter. However all the blathering comes to a stop when Jack meets Dr. Sinja (Cliff Curtis), a spiritualist who warns him about the power of words. Almost immediately a full-grown tree sprouts in Jack’s backyard and with each utterance he makes, one leaf falls off. To avoid a seemingly inevitable death, Jack zips his lips.

With Murphy’s tongue tied, the film resorts to exaggerated clowning for the camera and sight gags, one of which involves a woman (Kerry Washington) wearing a skimpy leather outfit and carrying handcuffs. Jack’s silence also intrigues a bulbous-bellied male who appears to be for hire and completely unnerves his assistant (Clark Duke) who feels compelled to confess all kinds of lewd behaviors when his boss remains tightlipped.

Although talk is cheap if one’s actions don’t shore up what’s being said, the final sugary scenes of this movie feel forced at best. Coming to terms with his past and recognizing his reliance on endless prattle may give Jack a better bridle on his tongue but his heart still doesn’t seem to be in his words.

Directed by Brian Robbins. Starring Eddie Murphy, Cliff Curtis, Kerry Washington, Clark Duke. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release March 9, 2012. Updated

A Thousand Words
Rating & Content Info

Why is A Thousand Words rated PG-13? A Thousand Words is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sexual situations including dialogue, language and some drug-related humor.

Violence: A man lies on numerous occasions. A character suffers injuries, some of which involve blood. A man is hit in the head with a flying toy. Characters wrestle and one man is knocked to the ground. A man punches another character in the head and knocks him out. A man falls off a ladder.

Sexual Content: A male prostitute makes suggestive overtures. A homosexual couple joins other dads in a children’s playgroup. A woman dresses provocatively in order to get her husband’s attention. Characters discuss all the places they have had sexual encounters. Sexual dialogue and innuendo is pervasive throughout.

Language: Frequent profanities, terms of Deity and crass anatomical terms are used along with a strong sexual expletive and a crude hand gesture.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink at a party and at home. A character walks around with a drink. A man drinks to excess and becomes drunk. References are made to illegal drugs and a character appears to be high on drugs.

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More parents' guide for A Thousand Words after the break...

A Thousand Words Parents' Guide

Is the saying “talk is cheap” true in this movie? What does Jack learn about the value of words? How does his experience with Dr. Sinja change the way he communicates? How does power appear to corrupt people?

What is the difference between telling someone you love them and showing them you do?

How does this movie portray women? How does Jack treat his wife? Do you agree with the attempts she makes to win him back?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of A Thousand Words movie is June 26, 2012. Here are some details…

A Thousand Word releases to home video on June 26, 2012, in either a DVD (+UltraViolet) or Blu-ray (+UltraViolet) package.

Related home video titles:

Another character toys with falsehoods in The Invention of Lying.. A cursed prince has to break the spell cast on him before the petals fall from an enchanted rose in Beauty and The Beast. And an unsuspecting businessman finds his future tied to magic plant in Jack and the Bean Stalk: The Real Story.