Parents' Guide to

When You Finish Saving the World

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Frustrating mother-son dramedy has strong language, vaping.

Movie R 2023 88 minutes
When You Finish Saving the World Movie Poster: Finn Wolfhard in a beanie looking at Julianne Moore

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

great movie

Great movie for mother-son relationships

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This dramedy is more for parents than for teens; the former may appreciate it as a bit of a wake-up call, but it's still frustrating to watch. One of the truest moments in The Breakfast Club is when Ally Sheedy's Allison explains her inner turmoil with the line, "My home life is unsatisfying." When You Finish Saving the World feels like it could very well have been crafted around that piece of dialogue. Evelyn and Ziggy find their relationship disappointing. While viewers aren't privy to what's happened in the past, their conversations suggest that their communications breakdown is built on years and years of just not getting each other. When we meet them, they're barely trying anymore, and it becomes clear that Ziggy has failed to live up to Evelyn's expectations. As viewers, we want her to embrace him for the person he is. Instead, she starts mothering another teen living at her shelter. And Ziggy, who's a bit of a self-absorbed dip but also isn't unlike other kids his age, begins crushing on a girl whose worldview and political activism is similar to his mother's. It's ultimately a pretty depressing hour and a half. While viewers are left with a gasp of hope, it's not enough to compensate for all of the air that was sucked out of the room.

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