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Parents' Guide to

Lost Transmissions

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Mature tale of friendship, schizophrenia doesn't quite gel.

Movie NR 2020 105 minutes
Lost Transmissions Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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An earnest attempt to find empathy in a horrifying situation, this indecisive drama doesn't quite emotionally connect its two main characters. The scuzzy, brownish visual palette doesn't help much, either. Lost Transmissions starts well, and the characters are, by themselves, quite interesting. Their dialogue and the performances are naturalistic and charming, and it's easy to get behind them -- for a time. The movie is also bold enough to depict a platonic male-female friendship, with no promise of romance (nor threat of violence). But the movie sags under the weight of this question: How far would Hannah really go to help Theo? Is she doing it out of friendship or a feeling of debt?

It's never quite clear, and there's a constant gap in the story as a result. Moreover, the movie's depiction of the Los Angeles music industry never feels truly genuine. It feels a little fake, a little forced, especially when Hannah lands such a huge job in such a short time. As the pop star, the usually delightful Daddario gets very little screen time and has little to do other than imitate what someone thinks a pop star might act like. Finally, characters constantly flip-flop on issues like whether or not to stop taking medication (to remain "pure") and on getting, and giving, help. Ultimately, Lost Transmissions leaves a little too much hanging in the air to feel fully satisfying.

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