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Alpha | 2018 | PG-13 | - 1.6.1

Set about 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, a kind-hearted teen hunter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is injured and left for dead by his tribe. In pain and alone he is nevertheless determined to survive the cold wilderness and when he finds an injured wolf (Chuck the Wolf) separated from its pack the hunter gains a skilled and brave ally. Also with Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Natassia Malthe and Leonor Varela. Directed by Albert Hughes. All dialogue is in an unknown language with English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:37]

Alpha SEX/NUDITY 1

 - A young man under water exposes bare chest and back while water bubbles covering the groin and hips; he climbs onshore and we see him wearing a skimpy loincloth. A young man wears a loincloth as he sleeps and a shirtless man is seen as another person tattoos designs on his bare back, hands and head.
 Two men touch their foreheads to their wives foreheads to say goodbye.


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Alpha VIOLENCE/GORE 6

 - In ancient Europe we see blizzards, packs of wild animals, and rugged prehistoric hunters. We see two spouting volcanoes, one shooting large clouds of smoke into the air, the another spewing lava in the distance. Wolves howl in the distance several times.
 Several hunters around a campfire hear a big cat screech as we see it walk across the foreground, and then it runs and grabs a man away, him eating off-screen with loud crunches and human shrieking; the scene cuts to morning where a man builds a short monument from rocks. A bison charges a teen boy and knocks him down and grabs him in its teeth while another man throws a spear into the animal's back, but the bison tosses the boy over a cliff and the scene freezes (the scene replays later), followed by the boy shouting in fear and losing a handhold and falling against the rock wall until he hits a ledge and is unconscious; an older man cries at the edge of the cliff and then builds a small monument from rocks and we see skeletons of bison at the bottom of the buffalo jump. Two snarling wolves approach a teen boy who runs while limping and a wolf pack chases him up a tree and he kicks one wolf away (it collapses).
 Several hunters beat two teen boys with their fists in a blurry background shot: we can see fists hit bodies and hear several grunts (one boy ends up with some blood on his nose in a closer shot).
 A teen boy lying on a ledge has a bloody nose and mouth and a large buzzard lands on him and pecks his mouth until the boy wakes up, smashes the bird's head on the rock wall and tosses it to the ground, but we do not hear it hit; the boy grunts and shrieks in pain from an injured leg as he slides over the ledge and holds on, inching down the wall, but by night a heavy rain causes a river to form below and we see large bolts of lightning and hear thunder as the boy loses his hold and falls into the water; the boy awakens the next day in mud where several bison skeletons are stuck and we see his swollen and discolored foot when he removes his boot; he places his ankle between two large rocks, twists and screams as he straightens the ankle and then uses two thick sticks and a leather tie to brace the leg so that he can walk with a limp. A teen boy sees a wolf pack eating a bloody animal and runs toward them but falls through ice and is trapped; he pounds on the ice with fists and a stone knife while a wolf paws at the ice from above, the boy drops the knife, grabs it again, cuts a hole in the ice, reaches an arm out and the wolf grabs his sleeve and pulls him out; the boy shivers, builds a fire and sleeps, waking with a cough that causes him to spit blood into his hand and later into some snow.
 A hunter throws a spear into a young deer from a cliff; the animal falls and other hunters climb down as a man tells a teen boy to use a stone knife and cut the animal's throat but we see the animal's scared eyes as it screeches and the boy cannot kill it, so the man slits its throat below the frame and the scene cuts to night, when the hunters eat cooked meat from the animal. A teen boy kills a hare with a rock below the frame silently and the scene cuts to the boy handling the hare (likely skinning it although we see no blood) and the scene cuts to the boy as he slaps the wolf away for trying to steal meat and it whines; the boy eats some bloody raw meat making the wolf wait, and later gives it some cooked meat. A wolf catches a large wild boar (without visible blood), and later catches a large fish out of a river. A wolf chases two boars, one of which knocks a teen boy down, but the prey escapes. Two dozen hunters charge a herd of bison causing a stampede and the men throw long spears into the ground to turn the herd toward a cliff for a buffalo jump; many bison nearly fall scratching rocks and dirt from the cliffs while others fall from the cliff to the ground with loud thuds from an aerial view. A young man and a wolf walk slowly through several harsh snowstorms and deep snows, the wolf collapses and the young man carries it as hyenas chase them and the boy and wolf hide in a cave with the wolf snarling at the entrance; a saber-toothed cat enters and fights with the wolf, while the young man shoots an arrow into the cat's chest to kill it and the wolf takes a few steps and collapses, with long red slashes across its face and shoulders that the young man cleans and he roasts cat meat for food.
 A teen boy finds a wolf lying on the ground with a long red gash on one front shoulder and tries to stab it with a spear but cannot do it; the wolf snarls at him when he gives it water, and he later ties its mouth shut with a leather strip, it whines and the boy carries it to a river and washes its wound as hyenas chatter nearby, and the boy takes the wolf to a cave, places some maggots on the wound and he and the wolf eat other maggots. A young man carries an injured wolf until he reaches his small home encampment and he and the wolf collapse in the center of the village; a man and a woman bring them into a tent where a female shaman lays hands on the wolf, looks at its moving back legs, reaches below the frame and raises up a wolf pup with slightly wet fur, followed by another pup (we later see five pups).
 A large wolf snarls and approaches a teen boy and a wolf at a campfire; the second wolf follows the large wolf into the wilderness and the boy cries himself to sleep and startles awake after a dream in which his mother and father cry and scream over his death in the wilderness. A teen boy finds a monument built for him, shouts, and kicks the stones off a cliff.
 On a journey to a hunting ground, men find several pillars built from stones to mark the way; one man says they are on a Sacred Path and we see an antelope skull on top of a column of flat stone and a bison skull on top of a short pile of rocks in a cave.
 A man sits in front of a tent in a blizzard and we see that he is frozen. We hear that a man's son died while on a hunt. A woman says her son may die, but her husband says the son is brave and will return home. A man nicks his finger on a newly sharpened stone spearhead to test it and we see a little blood.
 A teen boy eats a long wriggling worm, smashes a buzzing fly on his chest and swallows it. Hunters find a mass of black ooze and their leader smashes some in his hand, smells it and says it is bison dung; the men smear it all over their faces and beards. A woman sticks her finger into a bowl of blood and paints lines on two teen boys' noses and then the boys drink some of the blood. A hunter looking for prey swallows three large ants on his hand. Large buzzards peck at a carcass in a background shot.


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Alpha LANGUAGE 1

 - Exclamations (you stink). | profanity glossary |


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Alpha SUBSTANCE USE

 - A teen boy makes a cooked paste of bush leaves and applies it to a swollen foot, and a man pours a pouch of red dust over the site of a death.


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Alpha DISCUSSION TOPICS

 - Courage, determination, seeking honor, survival, danger, fear, injuries, death, ingenuity, prehistoric life, female shamans, ancestor worship, communications through dreams, becoming a man, training wild animals, hunting for food.

Alpha MESSAGE

 - Empathy for other creatures leads to confidence and courage. Prehistoric humans made alliances with wolves, training them to help hunt for food.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.



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PLEASE DONATE

We are a totally independent website with no connections to political, religious or other groups & we neither solicit nor choose advertisers. You can help us keep our independence with a donation.

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Become a member of our premium site for just $2/month & access advance reviews, without any ads, not a single one, ever. And you will be helping support our website & our efforts.

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