A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Facing impossible odds requires courage and perseverance. Compassion, courage, and empathy allow you to see the value and beauty in capturing the story of humanity. There's hope in even the darkest circumstances.
Positive Role Models
Kal expresses curiosity about the world around him and uses that curiosity to fuel his courage, perseverance, compassion, and courage. 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. Shakespeare, Batlk, and Zyberski also share empathetic relationships with each other, Kal, and the other survivors.
Aside from main character Kal (Kalipha Touray), most of the cast is White, which doesn't feel authentic, even in a post-apocalyptic story. But Kal is the lead, and the story is told from his perspective, so viewers do empathize with his journey the most. Intersex character Dima is described as a "self-pollinating flower." This description is used as a positive aspect of their representation, but the film does make a point of showing Dima's genitalia in what could be taken as a gratuitous or exploitative choice, since it doesn't add anything beyond shock value.
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Violence & Scariness
The film is set in a post-apocalyptic world, which could upset some viewers, but the terrible events that led to it aren't shown.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Scenes from a pornographic film. A scene with a character fondling their genitalia. Scenes with male and female genitalia and nudity.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents should know that Last Words is a haunting post-apocalyptic sci-fi film about one man's journey to find other humans on Earth and document their stories on fim. While themes include the value of courage, perseverance, compassion, and empathy, it could be upsetting for viewers who are anxious about the environment or other humanitarian issues (i.e. nuclear war). Mature content includes nudity (male and female genitalia) and scenes from a pornographic film. Kalipha Touray and Nick Nolte star. 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 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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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.
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