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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's fine -- even honest -- to tussle with your beliefs and to be weakened by sadness, fear, and anger. But you must ultimately have faith and act from a place of kindness and generosity.
Positive Role Models
Jesus is shown wrestling with devilish thoughts, but in an honest, forthright way. The family he visits is, at heart, a kind and generous one, even if they're hobbled by human frailty, anger, and despair.
Violence & Scariness
A man moves to strangle another; a character accidentally falls off a cliff and is shown bloodied and eventually dying. Jesus is shown on the cross, head bleeding from the crown of thorns, a gash on his side. Afterward, the camera zooms onto his hands, with holes where the nails were.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A character kisses a woman platonically. A woman is shown naked from the waist up, her long hair the only coverage for her breasts.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Wine offered during a meal.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Days in the Desert is an atmospheric drama starring Ewan McGregor. It imagines the final stretch of Jesus' time in the desert. The film is thoughtful and at times disturbing (a man is shown dying after an accidental fall from a cliff, and viewers see Jesus' final minutes on the cross, including close-ups on the nail holes in his hands afterward), which might make it a difficult to watch for younger viewers. There's no swearing or sex, though there is a scene of a woman who's naked from the waist up; her hair covers her breasts. The film examines the importance of faith in the face of feeling unsure of your beliefs. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
To tell a story that's been told so many times that it's as familiar as the audience's own breath in such a way as to leave viewers pondering, wondering, perhaps even speechless is to succeed. Writer-director Rodrigo Garcia manages such a feat with LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT. Set against an arid backdrop that's both stark and stunning, the film anchors the overwhelming massiveness of a subject like faith in a relatable story of a family on the brink of change: a mother is dying, a father is trying to come to terms with his impending loss, and a son mourns not just his mother but his inscrutable father -- as well as his future self, who longs to leave the desert for the city of Jerusalem.
At times, the dialogue sounds anachronistic, more A.D. than B.C., and it can be distracting. But strong performances and a compelling premise ultimately keep Last Days aloft.
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.