Rated X - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rated X Reviews

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August 28, 2008
A tragic story of moral bankruptcy and greed fueled by addictions. One of the more extreme "true crime" tales put to film. (The Mitchell Brothers' theater is still in operation today.)
August 21, 2008
those cigarettes aren't going to kill you brother, I am.
August 10, 2008
It was just watchable because the Brothers where in it...
August 4, 2008
Vähän yllätyksetön elokuva, mutta veljekset Sheen-Estevez ovat aika hyviä Mitchellin pornoveljesten osissa.
July 23, 2008
On paper this looks like a great idea - a film about the pioneer pornographic film-making brothers Jim and Artie Mitchell, starring film-star brothers Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez. There might well have been a great film made out of the story, but the finished product simply lacks a governing intelligence with anything dramatically exciting or insightful to say about the story.

Estevez directs from a script to which three writers are credited. The piece takes a very formulaic television bio-movie approach to its subject matter. We begin at the end, with Artie threatening to kill Jim, then zap back to their boyhood and then forwards in chronological order through their establishing themselves in the adult movie business, battling for their 5th amendment right to make and exhibit their films, hit big time with the feature Behind the Green Door, stand up to the mob, get over-ambitious in their film-making and fall to pieces through drinks, drugs and broken relationships. Jim manages to pull himself together but Artie goes off the rails, and ironically Jim ends up shooting his errant brother dead.

There's an attempt to show that the brothers learned the value of sorting out problems with a gun early on, although this is never linked to the wider gun culture in American (an approach which might have been intriguing). The final scenes are emotionally affecting but too much of the film plods by and left this viewer with a feeling that both the milieu had been better portrayed and the techniques better utilized before. The film lacks the epic feel of a descent into the pit which makes Boogie Nights so powerful; the flashy cutting, integration of music and showy set pieces all feel a bit second-hand - Scorsese, MTV, even Spielberg circa Jaws are referenced but apart from an impressive tracking shot following one of the wives from one brother in the swimming pool to another sniffing coke upstairs, nothing ever flies out of the screen - it remains steadfastly movie-of-the-week stuff.

The problem is perhaps ultimately in the subject matter: porn films have such a visceral effect with their meat shots and money shots that unless we are actually going to go there and see those things, it is very difficult to convey the intensity of the environment in a non-porn drama. Boogie Nights managed it through the quality and originality of the writing, acting and film-making; everything in Rated X is perfectly respectable (perhaps that is part of the issue?), but nothing really powerful or astonishing occurs. Nothing more is to be gained from the film than reading the short wikipedia entry on the Mitchell Brothers, and imagining better films like Boogie Nights and The People Vs Larry Flint.
June 23, 2008
Besides all the naked women and drugs use in this movie. The best part was when Emilio killed Charlie??s character at the end. And its based on a true story, so that makes it better.
June 12, 2008
This movie is well directed by Emilio Estevez and his chemistry with Charlie Sheen is great. I enjoyed watching it, although I'll forget it in about a week. The coke-addiction part could have been cut down though. Throughout the movie there is a great psychedelic score which helps the mood a lot.
½ June 4, 2008
Interesting Doc/Movie which didn't make it like "People Vs. Larry Flynt". Still worth a try if you like hippy nudity and some black humor also Charlie Sheen amazingly did an OK job.
May 12, 2008
do not watch this film if you just got out of rehab...just saying, is all...
March 13, 2008
depicts the dark worl behind porn and greed and is a genuinely good movie. Sheen is an underated genious! Anyone who watches 2 and a half men will tell you that. Estevez however, could do better. Well worth a watch.
½ February 6, 2008
awful boring crap. cant believe i managed to finish this...
February 4, 2008
sheen and estevez play great brothers
January 28, 2008
The story of the Mitchel Brothers. Emilio Esteves manages to make a movie about porno and murder boring. Watch "Boogie Nights", "People Vs. Larry Flynt" and "Wonderland" instead. Stinks of TV movie in the bad way.
January 23, 2008
freaky as hell.. but not bad at all
½ January 17, 2008
This wasn't a bad movie but it wasn't as good as it probably could have been.
Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez did good jobs as the Mitchell Brothers.
January 2, 2008
Really interesting film about two porno pioneers
November 16, 2007
This movie has been prohibited to sell in my contory in the past. I liked this movie.
October 7, 2007
If this movie were in the right hands it could have been turned into a great film. Unfortunately, Emilio "Men at Work" Estevez is the man behind the camera.

This movie has not one, but two great stories to tell: A) The rise of the now faded porn subculture of the 70's and 80's and B) The Kane and Abel tragedy that befell the Mitchell brothers.

And it DOES tell both those stories, but it's at such a completely rudimentary and sophmoric level that it's just completely meaningless.

I didn't know much about the Mitchell brothers before I watched the movie and by the end I managed to know even less. If Estevez wanted to make a biopic then he could have done a little more research on his subjects. The end result of "Rated X" just feels like a skeletal of any random "E! True Hollywood Story":

In fact, here's pretty much the entire movie summarized:
-Brothers are kids. They are close.
-Brothers grow up. Suddenly they're in the porn business.
-One brother has a bad coke problem, his marriage goes bad, and now he's paranoid and crazy and still has a coke problem.
-Brother shoots brother
-The End.

And that's basically it. A lot could have been branched off from all of those elements to create an engaging film, but nothing ever comes to. The movie is loaded with conflicts, but there's no development to any of them. It just declines into a generic mess of people snorting coke and acting crazy because their lives are so lost... If you're going to do something like this try expanding more on the "why" or "how they get there" aspects of it rather than just the problem itself. It makes for a piss poor film; biopic or otherwise.

To its credit, the movie is made watchable because of its inteptitude; especially on Charlie Sheen's behalf. Watching him overact doing his best "I'm a crazy destructive cokehead" role that he can muster is one of the funniest things I've seen recently. I can't imagine how hilarious it probably was when he was going through the same thing in real life. If filmed it probably would have been the best episode of "Two & A Half Men" ever.

Not only is it a poor execution of a great story, but it's also just a badly made movie in general. I won't go too much into it, but it's so full of holes and inconsistencies that you can devise one hell of a drinking game around it.

If you want to see a much better film concerning a similar subject then watch "Boogie Nights" or the "Taint" sketch from the fourth season of Mr. Show. Or even read Allan McDonnel's account of his time working for Hustler magazine in "Prisoner of X."
October 2, 2007
I liked Men at Work better.
September 30, 2007
Wasn't this a tv movie? It had some moments, but, come on - it's Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez!
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