Parents' Guide to

Young Ones

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Downbeat, futuristic sci-fi has uneven story, characters.

Movie R 2014 100 minutes
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Writer/director Jake Paltrow (Gwyneth's brother) comes up with an intriguing setting for YOUNG ONES: a futuristic farmland in which water has become the top commodity. Details include government-issued food packs and washing dishes with dirt. Like the superior Mad Max and The Rover, it's not so far out that it seems irrelevant. But into this backdrop he plunks a tired old crime story about an interloping stranger who fools almost everyone with his deceptive charms, adding nothing fresh to it.

The balance is all off. Flem seems outright villainous at all times, making Mary unsympathetic. Then Jerome becomes far too crafty far too quickly. A would-be romance is added and forgotten, and the fascination with the robot donkey never really pays off. Perhaps worst of all, there's no real connection between the characters' interactions and the futuristic setting. What happens to them has little to do with water. Overall, Young Ones is a bit of a drip.

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