Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Movie review by Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 17+

Last-minute life lessons in poignant romantic dramedy.

R 2012 101 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 15+

Based on 10 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 15+

Completely unexpected existential dramedy blew me away

Between "Foxcatcher," "The Office," and now "Seeking," my respect for Steve Carell's range is huge. He meets somewhere in the middle here as Dodge, a kind of loser insurance salesman who isn't sure what to do with himself as the world's ending. He's not interested in sleeping with as many women as he wants or burning houses and killing people...he just wants to find the love of his life. Will he? You should answer that question by checking this movie out. He and Knightley's chemistry is dazzling, and the great script by Lorene Scafaria not only answers fun hypotheticals like "What would you do with only 21 days left on Earth?" and the debauchery that follows, but also real, probing questions that hit me like an early mid-life crisis! Though the subject matter is depressing (and there's no deus ex machina from the inevitable meteor) it truly gets you thinking about what's important in your life: who would you wanna talk to if you knew everyone was going to die? Hugely overlooked and well worth your time: it's not a hilarious, wacky comedy: more a quieter, contemplative dramedy.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 17+

Incredibly Moving and Fresh Adult Movie

Here's the unfairness behind the Hollywood system: a subpar movie like The Smurfs or Transformers will gross tens of millions dollars at the box office, and smaller, quirkier movies like Seeking a Friend for the End of the World will pass reasonably unnoticed. I'm not trying to slam the Smurfs or Transformers; those movies have their own dedicated fans. It's just that a movie as sensitive and insightful as "Seeking a Friend" comes along so rarely, it deserves to be a massive success when it does. The movie, which revolves around the actions of a man named Dodge (Steve Carell) when humanity is told it only has three weeks before the end of the world. Society instantly degrades and Dodge is surrounded by decadence and tragedy: his wife leaves him to be with her lover, his friends encourage him to gorge himself with drugs and meaningless sex, rioting and violence spread through the streets, and the body of a man who jumped from a building lands on Dodge's windshield. He finds meaning in making a deal with his neighbor, Penny (Kiera Knightley): if she drives him to reconnect with his long-lost love, he will provide means for her to spend her last days with her family. The two embark on a crazy road trip that ends, as promised, with the end of the world. This isn't one of those "oops, we're kidding, turns out the world won't end after all" type of movies. It's smarter and has more respect for its audience than that. By its end it has taken its characters on a splendid journey and revealed so much insight on life and love. The movie is for adults only. The early scenes (about the first half hour) are dark and depressing. When confronted by their impending doom, people go nuts. The body that falls on Dodge's car belongs to a man who jumped from a building. A married woman hits on Dodge, and a man encourages Dodge to take advantage of women due to them not caring about pregnancy, diseases, "d**k" size, or anything else. The man makes crude remarks about "raining p***y." A man encourages his elementary school aged daughter to chug a cocktail, telling her to "fight the burn." He also tells his teenage son "go f**k yourself." The movie contains about a dozen "f" words, most of which are used in that first half hour. The tone becomes more hopeful once Penny and Dodge embark on their journey. Along the way, they stop at a pub where it seems an orgy is about to begin (we see group kissing and caressing, but no sex or nudity. They leave before the orgy). A man who has paid an assassin to kill him unexpectedly is shot through the throat with blood splatter. Many characters, including Penny, use marijuana and appear to pop pills.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 22, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: October 23, 2012
  • Cast: Keira Knightley, Steve Carell
  • Director: Lorene Scafaria
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Romance
  • Run time: 101 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence
  • Last updated: March 31, 2022

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