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Parents' Guide to

Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island?

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Intense coming-of-age drama has drinking, nudity, cursing.

Movie NR 2019 93 minutes
Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island? Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+


Not for those who want a simple action plot. But a lovely reflection on growing up and addressing some of the twists one may face. Strong acting and realistically shot without the glamorization typical of movies.

Is It Any Good?

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

At first, this comes off as a decent-enough coming-of-age movie about four young adults who have lived and partied together. Something like Trainspotting (sans the heroin) meets The Real World. The characters are more or less familiar archetypes -- brooding writer, remorseful party girl, etc. -- who are clearly on the verge of changing more than just their place of residence. They all go out together for one last night of nightclubbing, boozing, and drug taking. It all seems familiar and safely within the purview of countless indie movies. But then, around the halfway point, the movie shifts into a dramatic turn -- explosive, uncomfortable, and thoroughly engaging -- and the expected becomes unexpected, intense, and gripping.

The movie is based on a play, and as it moves into the second half, it's easy to see the play's roots as the story relies on the incredible acting of the four lead characters. With less-skilled actors, Who Would You Take to a Deserted Island? could easily come off as mawkish and overblown, but the overall effect is like a tornado ripped through the apartment of the four lead characters, and the immediate aftermath is shocking in how everything seems to fall apart so quickly. And yet, unlike so many coming-of-age movies that make the dreams and ambitions of the characters into a zero-sum game of either pursuing one's dreams or else compromising with a dead-end job to make ends meet, the denouement offers a ray of hope that there is, in fact, a possibility for creative life after adulthood.

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