I Think We're Alone Now

Movie review by
Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
I Think We're Alone Now Movie Poster Image
Strong language, drinking in post-apocalyptic drama.
  • R
  • 2018
  • 93 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No message is particularly clear, but you could argue that the movie is saying something about people needing other people in positive ways.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Del is smart and self-sufficient. Grace is bold and feeling.

Violence

A fatal shooting with little blood. Evidence of a young woman being subjected to an experiment against her will. Many desiccated dead bodies, but they're not shown in great detail.

Sex

A couple kisses, then makes love (not shown).

Language

A few instances of "f--k" and its variants, plus "ball sack." The word "s--t" is written on a T-shirt.

Consumerism

Plenty of brands are shown in a supermarket, but none in particular is promoted.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Fairly frequent post-apocalyptic drinking, including to excess. Grace's age isn't established, but she seems to be a teen, and she drinks a fair amount.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that I Think We're Alone Now is a post-apocalyptic drama about two characters (Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning) who connect some time after an unknown calamity has made just about everyone else on Earth suddenly drop dead. There's some strong language (including a few uses of "f--k") and drinking, sometimes to excess and some of it possibly by a teen. Desiccated dead bodies are shown (not in detail), and there's also a fatal shooting, with little blood. Characters kiss, and sex is implied but not shown.

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What's the story?

In I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW, it's some time after an unknown calamity has caused just about everyone on Earth to suddenly drop dead. An intelligent, taciturn man named Del (Peter Dinklage) putters about his town. He cleans houses, buries corpses, and generally restores order. Then a young woman named Grace (Elle Fanning) shows up and doesn't want to leave.

Is it any good?

This post-apocalyptic drama is two acts of a moody character study and one act of a different kind of film that clashes with everything that came before. For the most part, it's a well-made story about a man who's closed off what's left of the world and a young woman who fell out of it. Unlike most movies set after "the end of the world," survival isn't an issue in I Think We're Alone Now; Del is doing just fine, thank you. Hordes of leather-clad Mad Max-style fugitives aren't threatening to kill him and eat the fish he catches whenever he likes in the town's picturesque lake. He's simply putting his limited world (his town had only 1,600 residents before they all died) back together by day and sipping wine and reading at night. Grace's intrusion is more of an inconvenience than an earth-shattering event.

So for about three-quarters of the movie, viewers leisurely observe these two, watching their relationship develop. Then a less-involving movie comes out of nowhere and smacks of "message" storytelling not otherwise present. The hard left turn is particularly problematic because it raises serious questions about circumstances viewers had been asked to simply accept before. That said, the performances are fine (Paul Giamatti and Charlotte Gainsbourg also appear), and the atmosphere set by award-winning cinematographer Reed Morano in her second directorial feature is calm and engaging. And there are a few touching details in the script, such as how Del retrieves family portraits from each house he cleans of the dead. But because the stakes don't seem very high until the ill-fitting third act, I Think We're Alone Now doesn't end up being very memorable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of post-apocalyptic stories. How does I Think We're Alone Now compare to others in that category? How is it different? Is it more or less compelling than what you usually see?

  • Did you believe the development of the main characters' relationship?

  • Do you consider anyone here a role model? Why or why not?

Movie details

For kids who love dramas

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