Endless

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
Endless Movie Poster Image
Clumsy teen romance revolves around grief; drinking, drugs.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 95 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

We must keep living after we lose someone we love. But movie has inconsistent messages around driving after drinking.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Positive representations include ethnically and economically diverse characters and two interracial relationships depicted as loving and long-lasting. 

Violence

A car accident is shown a couple of times. Attempted suicide.

Sex

The plot revolves around a teen love story; kissing.

Language

Two instances of profanity: "ass," "f--ked up."

Consumerism

Apple products. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Heavy drinking among minors. Drinking leads to consequences. A grieving character turns to drugs; drug paraphernalia and bottles of alcohol scatter his room. Adults drink wine in a relaxing moment. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Endless is a teen romance with fantasy elements that deals with the afterlife: It centers on the idea that we're able to see, hear, and feel our loved ones after death. While main character Riley (Alexandra Shipp) says that her connection with her late boyfriend, Chris (Nicholas Hamilton), may be a coping mechanism for her grief and guilt, she scours the internet and finds stories and articles of others who've experienced something similar to what she's going through. A fatal car accident is shown repeatedly, including the characters' reactions until just before the moment of impact. Minors drink, and there's inconsistent messaging about driving under the influence. In another scene, a supporting character is high and has bongs and alcohol bottles scattered around his room. Suicide recurs as a theme (there's a scene of a suicide attempt), and while it isn't shown positively, it's not exactly shown negatively, either. Cursing is very infrequent, with single uses of "ass" and "f--ked up." Characters kiss, but nothing gets steamier than that.

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What's the story?

In ENDLESS, recent high school graduates Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) are madly in love, but they aren't on the same page when it comes to their future plans. On the night Riley gets accepted to a college on the other side of the country, a car accident results in tragedy -- but their connection mysteriously stays strong, even through death.

Is it any good?

Sloppy directing is the downfall of this derivative teen romance. From Topper to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir to Chances Are to Titanic, the idea that death can't conquer love is a romantic ideal that's always worth revisiting in film. But director Scott Speer's version is so ham-handed that it ruins the fun. The film quality is cheap, the performances from actors who've proved their chops elsewhere are made to seem amateurish, and, while credit will be given for paying homage to Here's Mr. Jordan, Endless steals awfully overtly from Ghost and City of Angels.

So much about the film is confusing. Just following the story is challenging: Many story points don't make sense, and it's all over the place when it comes to messaging. For example, a big point is made about Riley driving Chris home because he's drunk. A friend asks her if she's sure she's OK to drive, and Riley argues her sobriety by saying she had "two shots, two hours ago." Why have a teenager say she's been drinking if the point is supposed to be that she's sober? While one character suggests maybe Riley wasn't as sober as she thought -- a valuable idea to explore, considering the fatal accident that occurs while she's at the wheel --  it's instead taken as a hostile jab, and the idea is abandoned. This is just one of many, many beats that don't quite add up or that go unexplained. Endless isn't terrible, but it's not good. Still, even in its stumbling execution, the swoon-worthy romance between two movie-perfect teens may inspire wishfulness and a few tears.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about suicide and the way it's addressed in Endless. Do you think it's made to look appealing? When is it important to talk about mental health, especially if you're worried about a friend or family member? What resources are available to help?

  • How are race, money, and status portrayed here? Why is it important to have diverse representations in the media?

  • How are drugs and alcohol depicted? Is substance use glamorized? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?

  • Talk about the car accident: Do you think texting or alcohol played a role? If not, why do you think they included it?

  • Talk about your beliefs about death and the afterlife. Why is this a popular topic for film? How does Endless compare to other movies you've seen that deal with the subject?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love romance

Themes & Topics

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