By Jeffrey Anderson,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Language, violence in ocean-set post-apocalyptic thriller.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Like many post-apocalyptic movies, this one has a clear message about how humans mess up the world in terms of climate change, pollution, and waging endless war. The movie seems largely hopeless that anything can change, but it does also offer a glimmer of hope.
Positive Role Models
No real role models. Characters argue and keep secrets from one another, and no one seems to trust anyone else. Occasional violence. There's fighting about whether they should do their duty and remain at their post or abandon it and go back to their lives, with no clear answer.
The movie has four characters. The capable lead is a White woman (Kate Bosworth); she's teamed with a Black man (Lucien Laviscount) and two White men (German-born Thomas Kretschmann and Martin McCann, who's Irish).
Inclusion information: Black actors
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Violence & Scariness
Huge cannon fired out to sea, exploding a vessel. Threatening with gun. Character shot in ear; blood spurt, bloody wound. Characters shot and killed. Waterlogged dead body with bullet hole in head. Character hit in face with gun. Character hit in head with fire extinguisher. Character punched in face. Man tries to choke woman; he slams her down, they struggle, and she subdues him with an elbow to his face. Outpost rocked by huge tidal waves.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters kiss roughly. A woman removes her shirt -- her bra is visible. Sex is suggested but not shown. Dialogue about sex ("you're an easy lay," etc.).
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Regular use of "f--k" and "s--t" throughout. Also "motherf----r," "a--hole," "goddamn," "idiot." "Jesus" used as an exclamation.
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Products & Purchases
A character keeps a Borg furniture catalog, tries to build his own chair, and quotes the Borg mission statement.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink hard alcohol in several scenes. One character gets very drunk and continues drinking, taking two bottles at a time from the galley. He's shown to be dangerous and unstable while drunk. (He's told to "sober up.")
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Sentinel is a low-budget post-apocalyptic thriller about a crew of four people stranded on a remote ocean outpost. It has its flaws, but it also has good ideas and interesting characters and is blessed with a terrific setting. There's plenty of violence, with guns, threats, shooting, and killing, as well as a blood spurt and a bloody wound, fighting, a man trying to choke a woman, characters getting hit with blunt objects, and more. Two characters kiss roughly and start to remove their clothing; sex is suggested. There's sex-related dialogue, too, in addition to the regular use of words including "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "goddamn," etc. Characters drink hard alcohol in several scenes. One gets very drunk and continues drinking, carrying two bottles at a time. He's shown to be dangerous and unstable while drunk. Kate Bosworth stars.
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What's the Story?
In LAST SENTINEL, it's the year 2063, and the entire planet has flooded except for two small continents, which are at war with one another. On a military outpost in the middle of the ocean, four people are stationed: Sgt. Hendrichs (Thomas Kretschmann), Cassidy (Kate Bosworth), Sullivan (Lucien Laviscount), and Baines (Martin McCann). Their two-year shift has been over for three months, but their relief has yet to arrive, and they've run short on supplies. One day they spy a boat on the horizon. It's abandoned, but it appears to have been their relief crew's vessel. Baines is able to get the boat running again, with the idea of finally going home, and Cassidy and Sullivan agree. But Sarge refuses to abandon his post and refuses to let the others go as well. The outpost houses a very dangerous weapon, and it must be protected at all costs.
Is It Any Good?
Small in budget but large in ambition, this futuristic, single-space thriller has a few bugs, but it also has interesting characters, a few intriguing twists, and a great setting. It's the ocean outpost that's the real star of Last Sentinel: It's a creaky, weather-beaten, tin-can tower with many corridors and rooms, including a secret workshop. Director Tanel Toom, who received an Oscar nomination for his very good 2010 short film The Confession, uses the space well while keeping the geography alluringly vague. The 117-minute running time may seem excessive for a B movie like this, but Toom uses the time well, to establish character interactions among the strong cast, to slowly build suspense, and to create more room to unveil the twists. There are some clunky, buggy parts, as if certain bits and pieces had been ruthlessly chopped out (perhaps the movie was shortened before release?), but Last Sentinel is of sturdy construction and very much worth a look.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Last Sentinel's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it exciting? Shocking? What did the movie show or not show to achieve this effect? Why is that important?
How is drinking depicted? Is it glamorized? Are there consequences? How does alcohol affect the Baines character?
What do post-apocalyptic movies have to teach us about the way things are now? What can we do now to help prevent a grim future from happening?
Do you think the characters should have stayed at their post or taken the boat and left, given that they had fulfilled their obligation? Why?
What do you think you would miss most about your life if you were a character in this movie?
- In theaters: March 24, 2023
- On DVD or streaming: March 24, 2023
- Cast: Kate Bosworth, Lucien Laviscount, Martin McCann
- Director: Tanel Toom
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 117 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: April 1, 2023
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