Thank You for Smoking

Rated 4.0

A tobacco lobbyist (Aaron Eckhart) skates through life glibly plying his unenviable trade, unfazed by those who label him “the yuppie Mephistopheles,” until he meets a crusading reporter (Katie Holmes) and learns the limits of his charm. Writer-director Jason Reitman’s first feature (adapted from Christopher Buckley’s novel) is a rare example of filmed satire—sharp, stinging and delicious (parody is much more common in movies, and probably easier to pull off). Having made only short films so far, Reitman handles the long form smoothly, well-served by his expert cast (Eckhart, Maria Bello, David Koechner, Sam Elliott and Robert Duvall; only Holmes seems in a little over her head). Granted, the movie skewers some easy targets—Hollywood, big tobacco and lobbyists—but its marksmanship is delightful.