Movie Review

Arthur

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for alcohol use throughout, sexual content, language and some drug references.

Reviewed by: Melissa Green
CONTRIBUTOR—first time reviewer

Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy Remake
Length:
1 hr. 50 min.
Year of Release:
2011
USA Release:
April 8, 2011 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: July 15, 2011
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures

drunkenness in the Bible

money

love

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

marriage in the Bible

Is formalized marriage becoming obsolete? Answer
Some people are convinced that traditional marriages don’t work and that this practice should be abandoned. What does the Bible say about marriage?

Featuring: Russell BrandArthur
Helen MirrenHobson
Jennifer GarnerSusan
Nick NolteBurt Johnson
Greta Gerwig … Naomi
Geraldine James … Vivienne
Luis GuzmánBitterman
more »
Director: Jason Winer
Producer: BenderSpink
Langley Park Productions
Morra, Brezner, Steinberg and Tenenbaum Entertainment (MBST)
Warner Bros. Pictures
Chris Bender … producer
Russell Brandproducer
more »
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

“Meet the world’s only loveable billionaire. No work. All play.”

Copyrighted, Warner Bros. Pictures

Russell Brand is the main actor in this movie. I have found the majority his other movies offensive and not morally appropriate for Christians. So when I went to see this film, I was already on guard.

This is a remake of the 1981 movie “Arthur” starring Dudley Moore, where the character is a rich young man who goes around town wasting money, has out of control behavior and is almost constantly drunk. In this 2011 version, Russell Brand is forced to change his behavior and stop his antics by his mother, or he will lose all of his money.

The language between Brand and most people he comes in contact with in this movie is generally vulgar and obscene. The sexual content is, also, heavy and made me very uncomfortable.

The acting is weak, and that is the least of the worries. I did not bring my children to this movie. I was surprised that there were younger children in the audience. If I had not been obligated to write this review, I would have walked out of this movie. The moral content is beyond offensive.

As God’s Word says, Matthew 5:28, “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Based on moral content alone, “Arthur” is definitely not a film worth seeing.

Violence: Minor / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—There is no doubt that this is a coarse film, but it is funny and more importantly, its central character redeems himself, he becomes a moderately serious person, he makes good choices in the end, he becomes a caring person, he aspires to Christian marriage, and the girl that he hurts is clearly painted as one who deserves it.

I prefer Dudley Moore to Russell Brand. I remember the original. But the old one is a far ore morally ambiguous film. I thought the acting was of a high standard—including Russell Brand. There was an offensive statement about Jesus” suffering on the cross in terms of the nails, but the comment was not conscious blasphemy aimed at destroying faith, unlike the boring and disgusting film—“Paul.”

This movie portrays the unsatisfying emptiness of casual sex and intoxication and the wrongness in trying to coerce marriage in a Christian church. My view is that the message from this film is basically a good one. Arthur’s love interest is portrayed as a good girl.

This is not a Christian film. It is a bawdy, coarse film, but where a person reforms and sees the light in terms of a better life, in my view the film is far better than much that passes for entertainment.

It shows that all the money in the world will not fill an empty soul. This film says caring for others will go a long way to filling an empty soul.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Blue, age 53 (Australia)
Positive—I was surprised the movie had a good message at the end. It was better than expected; yes, there was alcohol, because he was an alcoholic, but he overcame that in the end. There wasn’t that much sex stuff in the movie, it was cleaner then I thought it was going to be, and I think you have to like dorky actors to like his role in this movie. It was much better then expected.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—MT, age 36 (USA)
Positive—I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It is lighthearted and sincere, as well as funny. There are some sexual references, which I would not appreciate my 13 year old son watching, so I watched it alone. I didn’t see any real nudity that I can remember, except a photo of Russell Brand getting out of a vehicle in a kilt and revealing his undercarriage which was blurred out. This was really an attempt to show his personality. I thought the movie was really sweet actually and showed how important good parenting is, as well as taking care of those who we love. It also shows that it is better to be poor and happy, than rich and miserable. It is a sweet love story, in my opinion, a feel good movie I would watch again.

It can be hard to find a movie which has nothing to disapprove of, so unless it’s something really violent, overtly sexual or just plain wrong, it might be better not to take it too seriously or focus too much on a few negatives, as we may then miss out on the positive things to be gained.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Annette, age 41 (Canada)
Negative
Negative—I love a good clean comedy, but unfortunately we went to see “Arthur” about 30 minutes into this movie, my husband and I couldn’t take anymore. It is very much a B movie that happens to have some very talented actors who aren’t allowed to show their talent. The dialogue doesn’t seem to have any redeeming value at all and was just plain idiotic and the acting was so-so, I haven’t walked out on a movie in years, but fortunately they gave us tickets for another movie. Sad to say the movie should of never been made, or remade—whatever!
—Deborah, age 55 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I completely disagree with this review. To say the sexual content and language are “Extreme” is a huge overstatement. That’s putting it in the same category as Get Him to the Greek, which this is certainly not as offensive. I found the film really funny and lighthearted. I’m not sure why it’s getting so much negative feedback. I enjoyed it a lot.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Thomas, age 16 (USA)
Movie Critics

…It would be conventional to describe “Arthur” as a vehicle for the talents of Russell Brand, who plays the boozy billionaire of the title, but that would be to get it backward. Mr. Brand, with his stringy hair, stretched-out body and nutty British demeanor, is more like the beast of burden, charged with hauling this grim load of mediocrity to the box office.…
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times

…Add Arthur to the List of Needless Remakes… The biggest problem with “Arthur” isn’t even the acting, lackluster script or the total waste of decent talent like Mirren, Garner and Gerwig… It’s that it never needed remaking in the first place.…
—Christa Banister, Crosswalk

…when man is accidentally hit by nail gun, the title character jokes, “Nails made a hero out of Jesus so you could go with that”…
—Movieguide

The remake of “Arthur” may not drive you to drink, but it may send you hunting for the 1981 original to see why audiences loved it so much.… the movie is too long and lurches toward its conclusion, never consistently crackles with comic lines and wants to have it both ways by pandering for laughs with fisticuffs and a dubious disrobing and yet being politically correct.…
—Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

…fails… Overlong, overcast and a lot more politically correct than it lets on, this “Arthur” is on the rocks long before Last Call.
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

…“Arthur” staggers to stay on its feet… the movie falls so flat that, the compelling, human and funny scenes between Brand and Mirren make those other scenes feel even more flat by comparison.
—Sue Pierman, Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

…Conversation includes references to Arthur having sex with people he can’t remember the next morning, venereal diseases, nude sunbathing, throwing up or urinating on a sexual partner, visiting gay bars in Copenhagen and purposing marriage to “validate unwanted pregnancy.”…
—Paul Asay, Plugged In

…This “Arthur” is not as laugh-out-loud funny as the earlier one, its scene of a dinner in a staid hotel dining room isn’t as successful, and it doesn’t have as much fun with the father of the Naomi character. But the dialogue is well-written—witty and quick and not clunky.…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

…Russell Brand’s take on Dudley Moore classic is just a rough hangover… the movie fails: Aside from a handful of amusing riffs, the movie is about a joke machine who (literally) runs down the street in his underwear, not a flawed person running from himself. It’s hard to tell when this Arthur is drunk and when he’s not, because he is, always, as phony and as funny as a two-dollar bill.
—Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News