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Movie Review

The Mob has grown old and moved to Miami Beach. "OldFellas" Bobby, Bats, Brick and Mouth are geriatric gangsters trying to figure out what to do now that they’re eligible for senior citizen’s discounts (they never expected to live so long). To get a little fun back in their lives, and to drive away the influx of hated yuppie youngsters that has begun to invade their neighborhood, the quartet stages a grisly murder in the lobby of the Raj Mahal, a senior-citizen residence hotel. The man is already dead when they shoot him, but that doesn’t matter much when it turns out he is the elderly and senile father of a big-time Latin American drug lord. So in between ogling the nearly naked females who cavort on the beach, these old gangsters find themselves drawn back into the invigorating life they loved so much—drugs, guns, violence and death.

positive elements: Bobby regrets abandoning his family and not being there for his daughter as she grew up ("I put the wrong family first and ended up doing some time upstate"). He has since made it a personal quest to find his daughter and try to make it up to her somehow.

spiritual content: None.

sexual content: Three words: dirty old men. The Crew is chock full of lust, lascivious remarks, partial nudity and sex. Many of the film’s scenes take place in a strip club. That’s where Mouth meets a working girl named Ferris, who he pays for an ongoing sexual relationship (one elongated scene shows the two in bed together). Ferris spends most of her screen time clothed in underwear, sleazy street clothes or her "stripping costumes." Once, Mouth throws coins at a pair of topless sunbathers to get them to turn over so he can see their breasts. The startled girls oblige. A flashback scene shows Mouth sitting at a restaurant, receiving oral sex from two girls who are concealed under the table. Gay humor about Bats and Brick falling in love with each other caps the film right before the credits role.

violent content: These retired wise guys burn down a couple of houses, instigate a bloody final shootout with the drug lord and blow up a truck. Bats bludgeons a man with a baseball bat, and when his supervisor at Burger King reprimands him, he breaks his fingers. He even tries to hit a young woman when she innocently inquires about vacancies at the hotel. Bobby breaks a beer bottle over Bats’ head, drowns him in a toilet, then gives him mouth to mouth. An earlier altercation on a boat between he and Bats results in Bats falling overboard and drowning (he’s resuscitated in an ambulance). Violent threats, fist fights, chokings, hangings, shootings and other such violence are all routine. Not that any of it is serious. This is not The Sopranos. Everything here is a spoof, a joke or a gag.

crude or profane language: What’s a mobster movie without foul language, right? At least, that’s what the filmmakers obviously thought. One f-word and nearly 20 s-words are kicked around among streams of other profanities. On top of that, Jesus’ name is abused several times.

drug and alcohol content: Characters consume beer, wine and mixed drinks. Ferris and Mouth both smoke incessantly.

other negative elements: The four men in the Crew are shown urinating together on the beach. Later, viewers observe Bobby going to the bathroom in his apartment.

conclusion:"Tired, listless and anemic," writes Michael O'Sullivan in the Washington Post. I’d like to add to that, "rude, crude and useless." To producer Barry Josephson, however, there was a point to be made. "We’ve all seen the virile wiseguys of GoodFellas or The Godfather, but we never asked the question of what happens when these guys are past their prime." With the soaring popularity of Mob material on TV and on the big screen (thanks largely to HBO’s The Sopranos, lots of folks will stream into the theater wanting to find out what grumpy old men from the Mob really look like. Whether they get the joke or not, they’ll be in for an eyeful.

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Burt Reynolds as Joey "Bats" Pistella; Richard Dreyfuss as Bobby Bartellemeo; Dan Hedaya as Mike the Brick; Seymour Cassel as Tony "The Mouth" Donatoz; Carrie-Anne Moss as Detective Olivia Neal; Jennifer Tilly as Ferris "aka Maureen" Lowenstein; Lannie Kazan as Pepper Lowenstein


Michael Dinner ( )


Disney/Buena Vista



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On Video

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Steven Isaac

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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