Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Tower Heist

posted by Nell Minow
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content
Profanity:Some strong and frequent crude language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references, including prostitution, and crude humor
Alcohol/Drugs:Social drinking
Violence/Scariness:Mostly comic peril, crime, attempted suicide
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date:February 21, 2012
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content
Profanity: Some strong and frequent crude language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references, including prostitution, and crude humor
Alcohol/Drugs: Social drinking
Violence/Scariness: Mostly comic peril, crime, attempted suicide
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: November 4, 2011
DVD Release Date: February 21, 2012

If the Occupy Wall Street crowd decided to make it movie it would be “Tower Heist,” the story of 99%-ers stealing back from a 1% guy what he stole from them.

Alan Alda has a lot of fun playing a bad guy for a change, a Madoff-style villain named Arthur Shaw who takes a daily swim in his rooftop pool with an enormous painting of a hundred dollar bill along the bottom.  He lives in the penthouse of a luxury building in New York with an attentive staff under the perfectionist eye of building manager Josh Kovacs (Ben Stiller).   The employees entrusted him with their pension money and when he is arrested for securities fraud they realize that the money they saved and counted on for retirement has disappeared.  Luther, the doorman (Stephen McKinley Henderson) is so disconsolate he attempts suicide. And Josh is so frustrated and furious that he plots a heist to steal some of their money back, with the help of a lowlife neighbor named Slide (Eddie Murphy, who co-produced).  Josh has spent years protecting Shaw and the other wealthy residents of the building by creating an unbreakable security system.  And he has spent years losing to Shaw in their online chess game.  Will he be able to take Shaw’s king?


Co-scripter Ted Griffin wrote “Oceans 11″ so he knows that heist films depend on three things: (1) We have to be on the side of the thieves and it helps to have them steal from an arrogant bad guy.  Check.  (2) It has to be a challenge with some enormous logistical obstacles to outsmart.  Check.  And (3) there have to be some unexpected problems for our anti-heroes to solve as the caper is underway.  Check again.

It is a pleasure to see Eddie Murphy, who co-produced, funny again in a live action film, playing a character who might be an older, less smooth relative of his “48 Hours” Reggie Hammond.  Instead of trying to play all the parts himself, he blends into a top-notch ensemble cast that includes Téa Leoni as an FBI agent, Gabourey Sidibe of “Precious” as a maid who is handy with locks, an abashed Matthew Broderick as a failed Wall Streeter evicted from the building, and Michael Peña and Casey Affleck as accomplices. We could use a lot more Leoni (any movie could use more Leoni) and the conclusion feels awkwardly tacked on, but it is timely and fun.


Parents should know that this movie includes some strong and frequent crude language including sexual references and prostitution jokes.  The plot concerns theft including Madoff-style crook and there is some comic peril.  A character attempts suicide.

Family discussion:  Is it fair to steal from a thief?  What will happen to Josh?  What made Charlie change his mind?

If you like this, try: “The Italian Job” and “Who’s Minding the Mint?”

Previous Posts

Trailer: A Bigger Splash with Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, and Dakota Johnson
[youtube][/youtube] The lives of a famous rock star and a filmmaker, (Tilda Swinton and Matthias Schoenaerts) vacationing on the idyllic sun-drenched and remote Italian island of Pantelleria are ...

posted 8:00:25am Oct. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Adam LaVorgna of "Masterless"
Adam LaVorgna became an actor very young and was in the cast of the television series "Brooklyn Bridge" and "7th Heaven" before he was out of his teens. He loved the cast but he felt lost. He tried to use drugs to feel better and tried rehab ...

posted 2:58:01pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Lauren Bradshaw's "Martian"-inspired Google Searches
I love this wonderful article by my friend and fellow critic, Lauren Bradshaw, about the ten Google searches she made after viewing "The Martian." ...

posted 10:13:33am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Goran Visnjic of "The Journey Home"
Goran Visnjic stars in the family movie adventure The Journey Home, with Dakota Goyo as an Canadian boy who is determined to bring a polar bear cub back to its mother. The scenery is spectacular and the story is heartwarming and exciting. I ...

posted 8:17:43am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip: Golden Shoes
[jwvideo vid='KiRrH2Wm' pid='GvkPWNBE'] We are delighted to present an exclusive clip from the new family movie about soccer, "Golden Shoes." As long as he could remember, eight-year-old Christian Larou (Christian Koza) dreamed of being a ...

posted 8:00:46am Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.