Parents' Guide to

The Survivalist

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Low-budget pandemic thriller has violence, language.

Movie R 2021 91 minutes
The Survivalist Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Female Star is a selfish killer

Spoiler Alert It's hard to like a heroine that deliberately kills the hero. You can forgive her for not knowing that she was a Carrier when she killed 20k people. Nobody wants to be experimented on, so you can forgive her for running. But it's hard to forgive her when she very specifically finds a man expecting him to protect her by risking his life and home, all the while knowing she is giving him the virus that will kill him.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This odd mixture of pandemic thriller and family drama tries its best to utilize its small cast, budget, and limited number of settings. Center stage of The Survivalist is a stand-off between an unlikely hero whose single-mindedness brings him face-to-face with a violent gang in the aftermath of a devastating virus. But with no real characterization, surprises, or set pieces, the main act of survival is the audience's in making it through a 91-minute runtime that's mainly about how badly a heavily armed group of opponents can shoot at each other -- and miss.

Rhys Meyers does his best to make Ben a relatable hero. But the storylines showing us his past and present never mesh in a way that tells anything interesting or unique about him. John Malkovich adds some of his usual sparkle to the maniacal Aaron, but like Ben, his backstory and grand plan are both so limited that it's difficult to care what happens to him. The movie's biggest misstep, however, is to barely include Sarah, the source of the main characters' conflict. It's a bit like watching The Girl with All the Gifts without the girl in it.

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