Picks and Pans Review: Thank You for Smoking

updated 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/27/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Katie Holmes

CRITIC'S CHOICE

COMEDY

Nick Naylor is about as self-confident as a fellow can get. "You know that guy who can pick up any girl?" he asks. "I'm him on crack."

Nick (Eckhart) is a smooth-tongued operator who suffers no guilt over being a lobbyist for cigarette companies. He is the hero, or antihero if you will, of Thank You for Smoking, a clever comedy that turns a knowing eye on the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., Hollywood and corporate America. It's only when Nick takes his young son along on a business trip that he begins to feel the slightest, barely discernible twinge of conscience about his job.

Writer-director Jason Reitman, who based his script on a novel by Christopher Buckley, has made a hilariously snarky, fast-moving film. Eckhart is perfect as the blow-dried influence peddler, while Holmes displays a smarmy charm as a duplicitous reporter who romances Nick. (R)

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