Parents' Guide to

Exit Plan

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sedate mystery romanticizes suicide; gun violence.

Movie NR 2020 90 minutes
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The rise of suicide tourism is a ripe subject for a debate-goading film, and writer Rasmus Birch's enigmatic approach provides material that will last for days. But the approach to the subject matter seems very iffy for teens, a population that's seen an alarming and significant spike in suicides in recent years. In establishing the allure of an assisted suicide facility, arguments that support electing to end your life are presented as alarmingly rational -- including the idea that a pill or injection can allow someone to finish their "journey" with an "honest and beautiful ending."

Aside from the chilling worries about unintended consequences, Birch and director Jonas Alexander Arnby's film is like a less interesting Memento or Inception, a mystery in which the audience is trying to figure out what the protagonist is learning through the roadblocks of false realities. Presented in flashbacks and altered realities, it's confusing. It's also quiet and tortoisely slow, and the ending isn't firm -- it's up to viewers to decide. That's going to turn off most teens, but if they're on board to sit through the slow parts, the movie's surrealist approach and beautiful production design (Arnby started his film career in the art department) make for an active brain experience: a guessing game that forces audiences to confront their own opinions about life and death.

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