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Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Lots of sex, gore in unusual tale of dreams and visions.

Movie R 2021 92 minutes
Siberia Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Sure to alienate casual viewers, this challenging, searching, strange odyssey may ensnare those who know their psychology or are more than passingly familiar with the work of director Abel Ferrara. Siberia -- not to be confused with the 2018 Keanu Reeves movie -- is the sixth collaboration between Ferrara and Oscar nominee Willem Dafoe; their intense, interior working relationship has Dafoe often playing on-screen surrogates for Ferrara, with their shared experiences shaping the stories. (Their last film was the more cohesive, emotional Tommaso.) This one, inspired by the writings of Carl Jung, is bizarre, often shocking, and sometimes absurd.

While many of Ferrara's films sneak in strange, startling moments that could almost be dreams or nightmares, he's essentially a realist, typically dabbling in scuzzy, urban landscapes and characters who've truly tasted of life. So he can't quite pull off an entire movie's worth of dream state. Even though many of the film's images are quite affecting, there's too much structure in Siberia, too many sharp angles. It doesn't flow as truthfully as, say, a David Lynch movie might. Yet the connective thread is Dafoe, with a fully committed, earnest performance of a man seeking compassion and understanding. It's a most unusual journey, and a mostly rewarding one.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: June 18, 2021
  • On DVD or streaming: June 22, 2021
  • Cast: Willem Dafoe , Simon McBurney , Dounia Sichov
  • Director: Abel Ferrara
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong sexual content, nudity/graphic nudity, some disturbing violence, and bloody images
  • Last updated: April 1, 2023

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