Parents' Guide to

Expired

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Futuristic sci-fi romance is a snore; smoking, violence.

Movie R 2022 102 minutes
Expired Movie Poster

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Australian writer-director Ivan Sep pulls off an unusual feat here: He's created an action movie you can fall asleep to. With subtitled poetic transitions, whispery voices, and slow deliberate movements, Expired is sci-fi ASMR. A butterfly is central to the plot, and it appears that Sep is creating an experience equal to watching that insect: It's a very beautiful, quiet, comforting experience -- even the assassinations have a calming effect. The issue with that approach is that there's a mystery at the heart of the plot, and by the time the reveal comes along, sleepy brains may not comprehend the magnitude of what's being expressed.

The film seems to be asking the question, What if we remade Blade Runner but made it less interesting? Expired's neon-drenched, Asian atmosphere with humanoid robots that seem a lot like replicants makes it impossible not to think of Ridley Scott's 1982 noir epic. Unfortunately, the last thing most moviegoers want is to watch a piece of work that constantly reminds them of a better piece of work. Messages are soft, and actors seem to have been instructed to perform without much emotion. Overall, there's just not much to take away. Like a butterfly, Expired captures your attention for a moment and then flutters away.

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