What You Need To Know:
(B, LLL, A, Ab, M) Moral, non-religious worldview; 31 obscenities, 16 profanities & 9 vulgarities: one episode of minor violence (no blood); alcohol use (beer drinking); drug abuse mentioned but not depicted & almost everyone in the movie smokes cigarettes or cigars; one anti-God comment; and, one character admits to having had an abortion.
SMOKE is a gentle, low-key character study that focuses on the relationship between a cigar shop owner, one of his customers and a young runaway. Auggie Wren (Harvey Keitel) is the proprietor of the Brooklyn Cigar Company where novelist Paul Benjamin (William Hurt) buys his cigarettes. When Benjamin strays into traffic one day, he is saved by a young black man named Rashid. In gratitude, Benjamin offers him a place to stay for a few days. After Rashid’s departure, a woman comes to Benjamin’s door looking for her nephew, Thomas Jefferson Cole (AKA Rashid), who has run away. When Benjamin asks what may have caused Thomas to run away, she mentions that his father is back in town running a garage. Indeed, Rashid/Thomas finds the garage and watches his father work. The climax of this film, if there is one, is when Rashid/Thomas tells Cyrus that he is his son.
This is not a typical Hollywood drama. There’s no sex, no nudity and violence is non-existent. The characters are human, but their interactions are based on respect and concern for each other. The acting is good, but laid-back. There is only one morally-questionably issue in this film, and that is the implication that taking advantage of a situation can be good and honorable if the end justifies the means.