Theatrical Release: September 15, 2000


Forty-two million in gold has been stolen from the Federal Reserve and only one of the thieves was caught. To catch the mastermind behind the heist of the decade, the U.S. Treasury Department is going to need fresh bait.

Landing in jail for a petty theft crime, Alvin (Jamie Foxx) finds himself sharing a cell with the incarcerated half of the pair of high-tech bandits responsible for the missing gold. Knowing his heart is about to fail, the thief gives Alvin a coded message concerning the whereabouts of the stolen gold. The investigator in charge of the heist sets Alvin free, but with designs on using the unsuspecting small time crook as bait to catch the psycho computer geek who’s searching for the missing loot.

Dove Review

Although Jamie Foxx has a likeable screen presence, reminiscent of an urban Bob Hope, complete with a fake bravado that quickly disappears whenever threatened, this cat-and-mouse action thriller mixes extremely violent images with its humor. In the opening scenes for example, the psychopathic villain executes two helpless guards. Then we cut to Foxx’s character making jokes about his inept efforts at robbing a fish factory. In nearly every instance, the film’s killings become inconsequential due to jokes made by either the lead or Doug Hutchinson, the film’s bad guy. Hutchinson plays his villain with a controlled malevolence, using a perfect vocal impersonation of a younger John Malkovich. But he’s in his own film. While Foxx jokes about sex, drugs and rock and roll, the antagonist brutalizes his victims with the same casualness as Hannibal Lecter. While Scorsese used humor to make violence palatable in “Goodfellas,” here it just further desensitizes the audience, as if the deaths of minor characters were insignificant.

There are some funny moments, but the film’s humor stems from crudity, abusive language and stereotypical portraits. And the action turns grim with its savagery. We are unable to award the Dove Seal to “Bait.”

Content Description

Sex: We see one sexual situation, which is overheard by others; crude sexual comments exchanged between the lead and his girlfriend.
Language: GD-2; J-3; C-1; F-45; MF-12; S-37; BS-6; A-6; SOB-4; several crude jokes about bodily functions.
Violence: Much brutal violence intermingled with humor; two helpless guards are executed by the villain; he then kills an innocent truck driver; a brutalized woman is seen dead; several Feds are killed in an explosion; a woman and baby are threatened; a time bomb is set to go off; a man is hit in the jaw, which sends him to the hospital; not much blood, but 10 dead bodies; 2 explosions; two car chases resulting in smash-ups; during a horse race, we see several horses stumble, with the jockeys thrown; the lead is threatened with torture
Drugs: A woman smokes marijuana; several adults smoke; two scenes feature drinking.
Nudity: None
Other: None


Company: Warner Brothers
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Producer: Sean Ryerson
Genre: Action
Runtime: 124 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright