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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Friends should stick together. The world should prevent the coming environmental disaster.
Positive Role Models
Ali is a charlatan charismatic cult leader who is in it for the money and power. His wife enjoys being the spouse of the "esteemed leader." Three teenage girls rebel against a dangerous authority.
Violence & Scariness
A general air of menace pervades a community. A man sends a rapist to attack his new bride. She knocks him over the head with a vase to end the attack. A girl feels guilt about causing a car accident because she was kissing her boyfriend, the driver, at the time. A youth is beaten for disobeying cult rules. The leader uses common cult techniques of isolating teens from their families and friends to create unity and identity with the cult. Teens are reported to have gone mysteriously missing. A couple's infant died. A baby is born prematurely in a car. A girl's bruised legs are shown to indicate her husband beats her. A woman is nearly forced into polygamy.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teens' "raging hormones" and sexual urges are mentioned. Girls wonder aloud if sex with their assigned husbands will hurt.
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"F--k," "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," "hell," and "damn."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A World Without is a dystopian nightmare set in the year 2030, when a post-pandemic world is coping with the social, economic, and environmental mess that resulted. In Indonesian with English subtitles, the movie reminds young people to take responsibility for the world that's coming by speaking up and taking action rather than hiding away in a cult-like a haven that falsely promises love, success, and stability. The cult targets 16-year-olds ill-equipped to detect corruption, fraud, and lies. A woman narrowly escapes rape by her husband's friend. A woman is nearly forced into polygamy. A youth is beaten for disobeying cult rules. Teens are reported to have gone mysteriously missing. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bastard," "bitch," "hell," and "damn." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A World Without loses the plot so often, presenting so many illogical and absurd developments, that the movie wrestles itself into laughable absurdity despite a promising set up. Clearly no one involved with the script thought this through. The Light is trying to save the planet, creating solid married couples dedicated to quick procreation and promotion of the Light's cosmically responsible message. So why is the Light's main business a cosmetics company? An obsession with superficial beauty is the way to heal the planet? Yes, 20 percent of the profits go to charity, but how does plowing resources and efforts into a makeup firm represent doing good in a devastated world? Media manipulation plays a role. A teen is tapped to follow the leader around with her video camera for a puff documentary. The more the girl sees, the more she suspects something fishy. The secret method for matching teens with their "guaranteed" soulmates is rickety, an arbitrary two-minute decision made by a small clueless committee.
Nothing here remotely represents the way humans feel or behave. A girl is devastated to learn her husband loves another and moments later, in a major emotional disconnect, is gleeful that she's pregnant by him. A wealthy donor asks Ali to find a bride for his handsome son, who is not a member of the cult. The son seems thrilled. Why can't a rich young man who looks like a movie star find his own wife? And instead of having sex with his wife, he arranges for her to be raped? What does a wealthy donor get out of supporting the cult? Perhaps a sequel will reveal all.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.