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Movie Review

Bored with the drudgery and confinements of extreme wealth, Thomas Crown needs some excitement. He's an avid art lover, so he hatches a plot to steal a $100 million Monet painting from a New York art museum. After he succeeds, Catherine is called in by an insurance company to investigate. The balance of the film is filled with the two battling for superiority—mentally and sexually. Thomas loves the challenge of keeping her involved with him, yet off the scent; she loves the chase. Then they fall in love. The Thomas Crown Affair is a remake of the 1968 film which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.

Positive Elements: The futility of pursuing riches rings loud and clear. Sadly, once Thomas realizes this, he completely misses the larger point and turns his attention to illicit thrill-seeking and sex. Despite falling for Thomas, Catherine ultimately does the right thing and notifies the police when he tells her that he has stolen the painting and will be attempting to return it—unnoticed—to the museum. Then, when he steals another painting for her, she has it returned to the police.

Spiritual Content: None

Sexual Content: Gratuitous nudity spoils numerous scenes. Catherine appears topless three times. Her breasts are shown fully on each occasion. (in one scene, the cameras linger for quite some time). She has sex with Thomas hoping it will help her solve the case. Several sex scenes between the two are explicit (full nudity is displayed from several angles). Catherine wears a see-through dress to a social function, where the two dance in a very sexual manner. Nude statues and paintings adorn Thomas' home.

Violent Content: Remarkably restrained for John McTiernan. While the police are chasing the crooks who set up the robbery, Thomas trips one of the fleeing men. Guns are brandished by police.

Crude or Profane Language: About a dozen f-words and s-words along with several profanities and misuses of the Lord's name.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Thomas drinks wine to celebrate successfully stealing the painting. Wine is also consumed socially. A cigar is smoked. And alcohol is used as an aphrodisiac in one of the sex scenes.

Other Negative Elements: A life of crime is never a good thing. But this film glorifies it as adventurous and fulfilling. Even the police detective heading up the case isn't all that interested in catching the perpetrator because it was "just" art theft, not some other more "important" variety of criminal behavior. Moviegoers leave the theater with the message that if you're smart enough, rich enough and crafty enough, you can get away with anything.

Summary: An intriguing story. The Thomas Crown Affair could have easily been made as a "family-friendly" mystery/crime drama. But McTiernan instead saw fit to include gratuitous sex scenes, nudity and unnecessary profanity. Too bad.

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Pierce Brosnan as Thomas Crown; Rene Russo as Catherine Banning; Denis Leary as Michael McCann; Ben Gazzara as Andrew Wallace; Frankie Faison as Detective Paretti


John McTiernan ( )





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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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