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Parents' Guide to

Zero Contact

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Language, suicide in pandemic-set sci-fi thriller.

Movie R 2022 97 minutes
Zero Contact Movie Poster

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This is an unsuccessful attempt to make a movie out of a Zoom meeting. Zero Contact, out of ambition, necessity, or both, tries to tell a story through film in the middle of the COVID quarantine, and it doesn't take long to see the limitations in the form. The "show don't tell" maxim is yet another victim of the pandemic, at least in this movie, and so much time is spent explaining backstories and relationships and all the things that were usually explained through action in the Before Time, it's easy to empathize with one of the characters who keeps walking away from the Zoom meeting to pour herself another glass of wine to get through it.

The limitations inherent in telling a story through film via Zoom meeting are obvious, and the attempts to get around this problem through the action that actually does take place don't really clarify the story. It's confusing. There are sci-fi words and terms like "dark matter" and "continuum" peppering the dialogue, something about time travel, attempts at humor via the 1970s soft-rock staple "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes. One of the more tense moments of the movie concerns one of the characters threatening to smash their computer with a bass guitar, and viewers can't be faulted if they entertain the idea of wanting to do the same thing to their screen out of the frustration of watching a movie that tries to do the best with what it has to work with in the middle of a global pandemic, but completely fails.

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