Parents' Guide to

The Last Bus

By Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Moving British drama about grief has some language and sex.

Movie NR 2022 86 minutes
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Is It Any Good?

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This British drama has such a tender, heart-warming premise, that is incredibly difficult not to be moved by it. In some ways, and despite being a live-action movie as opposed to an animated tale, The Last Bus draws comparisons to Pixar's Up. Be warned, Spall's portrayal of Tom, an elderly man traveling across the country to take his wife's ashes back to her home town, is going to make you cry.

But director Gillies MacKinnon and writer Joe Ainsworth perhaps just need to remember that sometimes, less is more. Some of the drama feels contrived, when there's more than enough already deriving from the profound, overriding narrative. Tom becoming a social media celebrity feels unnecessary and there's far too many horrible people that he encounters on his journey. While these objectionable characters are needed to highlight Tom's righteousness, there are more subtle ways to achieve this. There's also a needless addition of flashbacks, which brings little to the story. But Spall is brilliant, as always, in the lead role. He's so committed to his characters and brings so much conviction in his performances. And this role is no exception, with his portrayal elevating the material.

Movie Details

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