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The Words, Photo Credit: Jonathan Wenk

Popcorn Rating


Movie Info


PG-13 for brief strong language and smoking


Drama, Romance


September 7, 2012


Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Ben Barnes, J.K. Simmons, Olivia Wilde


Brian Klugman, Lee Sternthal


CBS Films

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Review: The Words

Movieguide Magazine - The Words is about a struggling, aspiring writer, facing "getting a real job", who stumbles across the lost work of a real artist. Simultaneously, the writer is confronted with his greatest temptation and greatest insecurities.

The Words is a truly intriguing story crossing back and forth from the world of fiction to non-fiction.

Successful novelist Clay Hammond (Dennis Quaid) reads his latest work to an auditorium filled with fans. Following the public reading, Clay entertains a gorgeous intern.

Meanwhile, Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper) has spent the last two years writing his two novels, trying to become a great writer. At the end of his rope, Rory is forced again to borrow money from his loving father. Simultaneously, he's forced to confront the distinct possibility hat he may never be the great writer he dreamt himself to be.

Reluctantly following his father's advice, he gets a 9 to 5 job doing grunt work in a publishing house. Then, he marries his girlfriend. However, the challenge of "settling down" is still elusive.

On their Paris honeymoon, Rory purchases an old briefcase for his new job. Post honeymoon, Rory stumbles across a manuscript hidden in a flap of the briefcase. Like a genie out of a bottle, Rory comes face to face with a true work of art. He types the work into his laptop, ostensibly to "feel the words" as though they were coming from him. The entire manuscript copied, his wife stumbles across it and reads it. Thinking the writing is his, she immediately calls it the most "honest" work he's done. Thus, a momentary misunderstanding becomes an invitation to plagiarism. (For more of the plotline, go to

The Words has some structural problems. Also, the worldview is mixed, varying between morality and materialism. Nonetheless, the movie presents an insightful story within a story within a story. In fact, The Words is very enjoyable to watch, with wonderful performances throughout. Even better, the movie's objectionable content is kept to a minimum. So, MOVIEGUIDE® only advises a caution for children.

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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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