Parents' Guide to

Last Words

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Mature sci-fi drama is a haunting tale of humanity.

Movie NR 2021 126 minutes
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This drama is a stark but artistic and haunting exploration into what life could be like if humanity gives into its worst impulses, leaving the survivors with only memories of a flourishing past. Even in its bleakness, Last Words still finds glimmers of hope in the form of community, a surprising pregnancy, and the film reels that make up the survivors' last words. The film that Kal takes on his journey is used to document the fact that people who loved and supported each other did, in fact, live. It's also a lesson to us in the real world to take advantage of what we have and to protect it while we still can.

Touray is moving as the solemn but emotionally present Kal. He meets his impossible task of living in a time of emotional darkness with brightness and curiosity. Even at a point that should be his most desolate, he manages to find hope and happiness, which is indicative of the human spirit at its best. Nolte, Stellan Skarsgård, and Charlotte Rampling also provide emotional support to the film as people who've seen it all and still manage to find happiness in their situations. The movie's most moving message, aside from its inherent warning to humanity to be better stewards of the planet, is the flip side of that message: It's entirely possible for humanity to come out on top because of our inherent longing to connect and empathize with one another. The film does have some moments that may leave viewers questioning its messages, such as a scene that plays out like a non-sexual orgy. But ultimately it makes the valuable point that it's our emotions that make us the masters of our destiny -- and it's our emotions that are our superpowers.

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