Parents' Guide to


By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Bleak sci-fi has constant threat, bloody violence, language.

Movie NR 2021 103 minutes
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Despite being mostly bleak and slow-burning, Wyatt Rockefeller's debut feature keeps the tension high and manages to illicit a sense of dread around every corner of the stark, claustrophobic setting. Though the landscape in Settlers appears to stretch out for miles, with nothing on the horizon but scorched rock, there's a constant sense that it is slowly closing in, bringing with it impending doom.

Prince, who was universally lauded for her breakthrough debut, The Florida Project, shows the same phenomenal talent here, stealing every scene with a magnetic presence far beyond her 11 years. Game of Thrones' Free takes up the mantel as older Remmy with ease later in the movie, offering a stoic elegance in the face of Ismael Cruz Cordova's brutish yet slightly ungraspable Jerry. Relying heavily on familiar genre ideas ­-- although happily so in the case of adorable Wall-E-style robot Steve -- and following a fairly predictable narrative, the movie doesn't particularly explore new frontiers. But what it does, it does well, cranking up the tension throughout and giving Prince's show-stealing performance plenty of oxygen to breathe.

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