Box art for Father of Invention

Father of Invention


Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey), an eccentric inventor turned egomaniacal infomercial guru, loses it all when one of his inventions maims thousands of customers. After 8 years in prison, Axle is ready to redeem his billion-dollar empire.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 13
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Awful Kevin Spacey comedy has strong language, no laughs.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this independent comedy follows Kevin Spacey as a disgraced inventor of infomercial goods. There's nothing particularly compelling in the plot to attract younger audiences, although some teens might be interested in seeing MTV star Johnny Knoxville or Joe Jonas' ex Camilla Belle. There are some mature themes in the movie -- about fraud, parent-child relationships, money squandering -- but the sexuality is limited to a couple of kisses and references to lesbian sex and second husbands, and the language is standard PG-13 fare like "a--hole" and "s--t." There aren't too many life lessons to be learned, but on the bright side viewers will be very unlikely to buy anything "as seen on TV" in the near future.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how consumerism is depicted in the movie. Do audiences really need the items Axle was creating? How does he convince them to buy the stuff? Do we do that in our own lives as shoppers?
  • What is the movie's message about balancing work and family? How did Axle's first try at success affect his relationship with his daughter? How does he change after his release from prison?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

2 stars

I am not sure what to say... someone wrote that ""Father of Invention" proves strikingly uninventive" and that summarizes the lot! Doesn't matter how good Kevin Spacey was, or the impressive cast including Johnny Knoxville, Craig Robinson, and Virginia Madsen... even they could not save such a bad screenplay and shaky directing by Trent Cooper! It was watchable but even after finishing watching it, you'll still feel empty like in the middle of it... it was a movie about nothing special... actually I could not even say what was the movie about... sorry... some kind of relationship fixing or something like that as I could guess?! Don't waste time!

- panta2, Friday, February 10, 2012