A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Unfortunately, no happy ending to make message a clear one about getting adequate help, but movie does stress importance of empathy, compassion, and communication and of being kind and generous with those in pain.
Positive Role Models
Beth is a kind, patient woman who listens to Scott throughout a night. She's willing to give her time and energy to try to keep him safe. She tries to encourage Scott to keep going forward. Scott is depressed, lonely, dependent on alcohol. He can't see the point in living without any family or love.
Violence & Scariness
Scott is clearly suicidal and angry; he yells a little at Beth but then apologizes. He discusses a terrible fatal accident that involved his child. Spoiler alert: Beth discovers that Scott was responsible for the crash because he was drunk driving. He also reveals that he's taken many pills. Eventually he dies as Beth hears the EMTs on the other side of the door trying to get inside his apartment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scott tells Beth about his attraction to a co-worker and his sex life with his wife. Nothing graphic, but there's discussion of hotness and sex.
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Occasional strong language includes several uses of "s--t," "f--k," "f--king," "ass," etc.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Scott has an alcohol dependency and is drunk for most of the movie. Spoiler alert: Toward the end, it's clear that Scott has taken a lot of pills and is beginning to feel woozy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Call is a low-budget independent drama about a man named Scott (David Wilkins) with suicidal ideation who tries to dial a crisis hotline but makes a mistake and ends up talking to a single mom (Sarah Booth) who's working the night shift as a janitor. The movie has gotten a lot of attention both because of its serious topic and because it's one continuous 77-minute shot that's depicted in real time using a split screen. Expect to hear strong language (especially "f--k" and "s--t"), as well as a brief discussion of a fatal car accident involving a child and another conversation about adulterous thoughts, sex, and attraction. Scott has an alcohol dependency and is drunk for most of the movie; pills also play a role in the story. Families who watch together will have plenty to discuss, especially related to the topics of mental health, suicidal ideation, and how to ask for help. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This immersive, innovative drama focuses intently on the hopelessness and loneliness of suicidal ideation and its relationship to substance abuse. Because Wilkins and Booth (who's married to the writer-director) aren't instantly recognizable actors and seem totally committed to their roles, there's a realism in Last Call that couldn't have been achieved if it had starred big-name actors. It's suspenseful, building the tension between the main characters as Scott makes more and more revelations that alarm Beth. Composer Adrian Ellis does a stand-out job with the score, establishing the mood and filling the drama like a third character.
There's considerably more movement and action in Beth's shots -- since she's at work -- than in Scott's, since he's mostly home drinking. Every now and then there's brief empty space as Scott, in particular, moves off-screen, but since viewers' eyes have the other shot on which to focus, it's not too off-putting. The parts of the film that have the most impact (aside from its dramatic ending) are Beth and Scott's conversations about their parenting struggles. Even though Beth isn't in the same kind of pain as Scott, she's also in a parenting crisis, because her son hadn't come home when he was expected to before she left for work. The two characters' unusual bond wouldn't work without their parenting stories, and that makes the third-act revelations all the more painful. This isn't an easy film to watch, nor does it offer a simple solution to the problem of suicidal ideation. And although Booth isn't Alfred Hitchcock, Sam Mendes, Mike Figgis, or Alejandro Iñárritu, kudos to his ambition and passion in making a one-shot film that's one long phone conversation.
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.