Box art for Father of Invention

Father of Invention

comedy


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
    N/A
  • Audience Score
    27%

common sense

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

Light entertainment. Not completely awful, just dreadfully forgettable. Kevin Spacey's likability helps a lot as does Heather Graham's and Johnny Knoxville's but I don't expect to see any of them nominated for anything this year. The story itself isn't horrible either, it just doesn't seem to work, nothing really gels. I watched it on a plane so I didn't feel robbed but I'd be mightily miffed if I'd paid to see it.

- SirPant, Monday, July 16, 2012

2 stars

Light entertainment. Not completely awful, just dreadfully forgettable. Kevin Spacey's likability helps a lot as does Heather Graham's and Johnny Knoxville's but I don't expect to see any of them nominated for anything this year. The story itself isn't horrible either, it just doesn't seem to work, nothing really gels. I watched it on a plane so I didn't feel robbed but I'd be mightily miffed if I'd paid to see it.

- SirPant, Monday, July 16, 2012

3 stars

Cast:Kevin Spacey, Camilla Belle, Heather Graham, Virginia Madsen, John Stamos, Michael Rosenbaum, Johnny Knoxville, Craig Robinson, Rhoda Griffis, Anna Anissimova Director:Trent Cooper Summary: Robert Axle (Kevin Spacey) is a humble, if eccentric, genius whose flair for invention catapults him to fame, fortune and insufferable egomania, until a terrible incident involving one of his creations brings him crashing back to earth and into prison. Nearly a decade later, Axle is released, and he's determined to rehabilitate his reputation and rebuild his fortune. First, he has to convince his daughter that he's worthy of a second chance. My Thoughts: "A nice daughter and father dramedy. Not the best I've seen come from Kevin Spacey, but being a huge fan I'm down to watch anything he is in. I thought he did great with the material he was given. The relationship between Robert Axle and his daughter Claire is rough but has it's sweet spots. I actually really liked Heather Graham in the movie. She was very funny. Johnny Knoxville does great playing Oswald, a bit of an annoying character, but yet funny as well. Truthfully the movie really wasn't that funny, it was more of a drama to me, but it had it's moments. Worth seeing at least once."

- LWOODS04, Thursday, November 10, 2011