This Means War parents guide

This Means War Parent Guide

If neglecting your duty to intercept an international arms dealer to squander government personnel and resources on a personal agenda is funny then "This Means War" should be hilarious.

Overall D+

Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) is debating between two men of interest in her life. What she doesn't know is both are CIA agents that have been assigned as partners. When the boys (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) discover they are dating the same girl, the battle is on to see which one will win her love.

Release date February 17, 2012

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

Why is This Means War rated PG-13? The MPAA rated This Means War PG-13 PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action. Edited For Rerate After Appeal: Originally rated R for for some sexual content.

Run Time: 98 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

If neglecting your duty to intercept an international arms dealer and instead squandering government personnel and resources on a personal agenda is funny, then This Means War should be hilarious.

Hot on the trail of a Russian mobster named Heinrich (Til Schweiger), CIA agents FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy) share more than a common work goal. The pair, who survived a botched mission in Afghanistan, have become good buddies as well. But all that changes when they discover they are dating the same woman. Suddenly Heinrich is all but forgotten while the confirmed womanizer FDR assumes he can easily outplay his partner Tuck who hasn’t dated since his divorce. Although they agree to let the best man win when it comes to love, each resorts to using highly sophisticated agency surveillance equipment and officers to spy on the other’s activities—some of which get a little steamy.

Meanwhile, having not one but two guys (whose friendship she is unaware of) after her is almost more than nerdy product tester Lauren Scott (Reese Witherspoon) can believe. A little unsure on the dating front, she seeks advice from her friend Trish (Chelsea Handler) who makes matrimony and married sex look as inviting as a root canal. Still the chance to live vicariously through Lauren is enough to keep Trish dishing out relationship suggestions—most often with plenty of sexually charged dialogue and innuendo.

However for a film aimed squarely at women who would kill to find themselves in a similar predicament, this production contains plenty of brutal fistfights, explosive encounters and gunfire that result in death or injury. (Maybe that is to mollify the men who get dragged into this movie for date night.) Previously rated R for sexual content, the script also includes frequent and descriptive suggestive dialogue and innuendo, along with some depictions of sexual activity that not only glamorize casual sex but also crude sexual humor.

Unfortunately these government agents spend too much time lying about themselves and playing down right dirty with each other to be entertaining for long. And while the battles wage on the screen, it soon feels like it is the audience’s intelligence that is under assault in This Means War.

Directed by McG. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Tom Hardy. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release February 17, 2012. Updated

This Means War
Rating & Content Info

Why is This Means War rated PG-13? This Means War is rated PG-13 by the MPAA PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action. Edited For Rerate After Appeal: Originally rated R for for some sexual content.

Violence: Numerous characters are shot and killed. Several characters are shot in the leg to keep them from running away. Others fall to their death, are blown up or choked with a phone cord. Characters repeatedly engage in hand-to-hand combat, sometimes resulting in bloody injuries. Guns are frequently used. A man is threatened during police questioning. A man shoots at a surveillance plane and blows it up. A dog attacks a man’s face. A character viciously plays a game of paintball that involves children. One man is shot in the groin. Two children exchange punches in a martial arts class. A man deliberately hits another in the stomach, causing extreme pain. A character is shot in the neck with a tranquilizer gun. Characters break into a woman’s home and listen in on her private conversations using unsanctioned methods and government equipment. Men lie about themselves. Cars crash and explode killing the occupants. Two men commandeer a car. Excessive property damage is shown without consequences.

Sexual Content: Characters talk frequently about sexual activity, often using crude innuendo and descriptive suggestive dialogue. A woman drapes her leg over a man before kissing him. Couples kiss passionately as they undress one another. A woman is seen in her underwear. One scene implies a couple has sex. Men, who are manning surveillance cameras, watch. A partially clothed couple engages in sexual activity. A woman in seen in a bikini. Several pole dances at a strip club are shown. A woman suggests having sex outside of her married relationship. A man confesses to his past dalliances. A tag on a dating service suggests a woman is open to many kinds of sexual relationships.

Language: The script includes a strong sexual expletive, a crude hand gesture and frequent crass terms for human anatomy or sexual activity. Correct anatomical terms are also used in discussion about male anatomy. Profanities, scatological slang and terms of Deity are used as well.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Alcohol is present in numerous scenes including in a bar, over dinner, at a strip joint and in a nightclub. A woman refers to her “special milk” and later admits it is vodka in a child’s sipping cup. A man pretends to be drunk. A woman comments that she needs a joint.

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This Means War Parents' Guide

Does the property damage seem less important since there are no consequences shown for it? How would employers likely view these men’s actions when it comes to misusing company property and personnel?

How are both men dishonest with Lauren? What do you think about her decision to use sexual relations as a tiebreaker? Should that be the ultimate deciding factor in a long-term relationship? Which one of the men kept his gentlemen’s promise? What does that say about him? What does it say about the other man? What are the most important qualities when it comes to building trust in a relationship?

Why might this film have more appeal to women than men? How does a female fantasy film differ from a male fantasy film?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of This Means War movie is May 22, 2012. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: This Means War

Release Date: 22 May 2012

This Means War releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following bonus extras:

- Extended and theatrical versions of the film

- Alternate Endings (with Optional Commentary by Director McG): Warehouse Alternate Ending, Alternate Ending #1 and Alternate Ending #2

- Bachelorette Party

- Uncensored Gag Reel

- Deleted Scenes (with optional Commentary by Director McG): Trish & Lauren Chat / Shooting Range, Jonas’ Funeral, Post Pizza, Ex-Girlfriends, Visiting Joe and Lauren Freaking Out

- Alternative Opening Concept (Previews with Optional Commentary by Director McG)

- Audio Commentary by Director McG (standard and extended versions)

- Theatrical Trailer

Related home video titles:

Chris Pine plays another cocky womanizer in Star Trek. Tom Hardy takes on the role of a gambler in Inception. And Reese Witherspoon is the romantic interest in Sweet Home Alabama, and Water for Elephants.