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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
You can learn to "become more human" through your connections to others. But this message is pretty flat in terms of the movie and the storytelling.
Positive Role Models
No characters are terribly admirable. They all lean toward violence, and they all "get away" with something in the end.
Except for Jane, all characters are White men. Despite being an android, Jane is at least self-aware and has a certain amount of self-respect and determination. But she does ask a man for help, and she uses violence to get revenge against an attacker.
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Violence & Scariness
Guns and shooting. Man shoots woman in head; she turns out to be an android (he cuts and peels back her scalp and removes some hardware from her skull). Woman shoots and kills male villain; bloody wound shown. Android slices own wrist; blood gushes out (bloody knife clatters in sink) and circuitry is revealed under her skin. Horrible patchwork "sculpture" made from "parts of victims." Woman seen in grainy video being gagged, asphyxiated with plastic bag, tortured, etc. Woman threatens man with shard of broken glass to his throat. Fighting. Hanged corpse. Blowtorch burning hand. Threatening voice messages. Cuts on face. Dialogue about suicide. Dialogue about customers paying for the privilege of abusing androids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Long shot of topless female robot. Shirtless male robot. Sexual situation (a paying customer spending time with female android, nothing graphic shown). Grainy video shows women undressing in a way that is intended to be seen as seductive. Strong sex-related dialogue.
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Several uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "hell," "sickos."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Pot smoking, cigarette smoking, social drinking (whiskey, wine).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Zone 414 is a sci-fi thriller about a private detective (Guy Pearce) who's sent to a special "city of robots" to find a missing girl and ends up helping a sentient android (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz). Expect scenes of graphic violence, including guns and shooting, deaths, android bodies being sliced open (with realistic blood shown), a horrible "patchwork" sculpture made from "parts of victims," grainy video footage of a woman being tortured (gagged, a bag over her head, etc.), and more. There's also dialogue about suicide and people who pay to abuse androids. Language includes several uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t." Characters talk about sex, and a topless female "pleasure robot" is shown for several long seconds, as is a shirtless male robot. Adults smoke pot and cigarettes and drink (whisky and wine) socially. It's a good-looking movie, but the familiar story has been told better many times before. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This good-looking sci-fi thriller has some fun set designs, but it also has a big "been there, done that" quality. Zone 414 borrows liberally from Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and Westworld, without adding any new themes or interesting characters. David Carmichael feels like he walked out of an old-fashioned hard-boiled detective novel, and Pearce plays him with one note: kind of an annoyed, impatient grimace. And Fimmel gives an odd performance while slathered in puffy age makeup. Meanwhile, Lutz can't quite intuit where to draw the line between Jane's android body and her developing emotions, and her character comes across as just lost. Zone 414 tries to engineer an emotional connection between the two main characters, and it fails.
Aside from a handful of interesting sets -- Jane's vast apartment, decorated with creepy busts and a crashed chandelier -- and intriguing locations (a boat yard?), the movie doesn't really establish what Zone 414 is actually like, how you get there, where it is, how big it is, or what goes on behind the scenes. Time seems different, too. After David spends the night on Jane's couch, the next scene takes place ... at night. (What did they do all day?) Not long after that, it's dawn again. Many of the problems of Zone 414 are no doubt due to a low budget, but other devices -- like twitching surveillance footage -- suggest a lack of inventiveness, too. This story has been told many times before, and much better.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.