A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The main takeaway here is that "violence begets violence," although the last person standing (who also shoots and kills) goes on to have a peaceful life with no consequences, according to the end narration.
Positive Role Models
Flawed characters who make iffy choices. The craftiest character is a 16-year-old girl, but she's also morally compromised. One character, Army officer Solomon, comes across as fairly level-headed and duty-bound, but even he's flawed and pays a cruel price.
All of the characters with agency are White men. The sole Black character is shot and killed partway through.
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Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Many bloody, brutal killings. Characters are shot in the head, stabbed, and have throats sliced. Blood spurts, pools of blood, and blood spatters. Minor characters are viciously mowed down by Gatling gun. Many dead bodies. Eye-gouging, bloody eye sockets. Man smashes woman's hand on dressing table; she briefly displays the bloody hand, missing a thumb. Hurled axe lands in character's back. Punching, fighting. Man rips woman's top off, roughly throws her down on bed. Dead fox in trap. Shrunken head. Displays of anger, rage.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sex scene shows one charater on top of another before they're interrupted. Fairly brief glimpses of naked breasts in more than one scene. Naked bottom seen briefly and out of focus. Kissing. Several women are sex workers.
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Strong language includes "f--k," "motherf----r," "son of a bitch," "whore/son of a whore," and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Background/social drinking in saloons. Pipe smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Last Son is a brutal Western about a man (Sam Worthington) who tries to kill all of his children to prevent a prophecy that one of them will kill him. Graphic violence includes guns and shooting, a Gatling gun, stabbing and slicing, many characters killed, dead bodies, blood spurts, spatters, and pools, eye-gouging, punching, a man ripping a woman's thumb off, and more. Characters are sex workers, and there's kissing, bare breasts/bottom, and an interrupted sex scene that shows one character atop another, with thrusting. Language isn't frequent but includes uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "bitch," and "whore." There's background/social drinking in saloons, and a man smokes a pipe. The movie makes good use of space, sound, and snow, but it's a little too predictable and confusing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This Western, which has hints of the Oedipus story, is elegantly composed and quietly paced, though the slower beats tend to work against the more predictable bits, as well as its confusing parts. The Last Son positively luxuriates in its Western setting and sounds -- the snow gradually falls and builds as the movie goes -- and it has some of the coolest cowboy costumes in a while. The pacing often lovingly emphasizes the movie's atmosphere. But at other times, it lets loose with a sudden surprise, such as a scene in a bar, when a loudmouth makes a rude comment about Cal's mother; we expect the typical punch in the face, leading to the typical barroom brawl, but instead, Cal stabs the man repeatedly, to stunned silence.
There are other surprises, too, as when characters whom we expect to survive are suddenly cut down. But the ending is far from a surprise, and, in fact, the movie telegraphs it so obviously and so far in advance that you have to wonder why. Other parts are just baffling, as when Cal creepily rips his mother's lingerie from her shoulders, revealing her breasts (it's Oedipal ... but why?). In another scene, Lamay -- who's more frequently referred to as "the Devil" -- lies bleeding and beaten by the side of the road, and comes face to face with Cal; the scene comes to nothing, but a few minutes later, the Devil is back up, setting traps and killing several people. All in all, The Last Son is great to look at but not so great to watch.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.