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Z for Zachariah | 2015 | PG-13 | - 6.4.5

After a nuclear event destroys most of Earth, a scientist (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a coal miner (Chris Pine) and a 19-year-old woman (Margot Robbie) seem to be the only survivors. The two men compete for the woman's attention in a dangerous love triangle clouded by nuclear radiation and jealousy. Directed by Craig Zobel. [1:35]

SEX/NUDITY 6 - A man and a woman lie clothed on top of a bed side-by-side and the man falls asleep, she gets up and leaves, walks to the bedroom of another man and he opens the door (we see his bare chest, shoulders and arms), they kiss passionately as she rubs his chest and abdomen (he is wearing sweat pants to the waist), he backs her up onto a sink, pulls her dress down quickly (we see bare shoulders and part of her stomach), kisses her and begins thrusting as she grimaces; he stops, they kiss again and the scene ends. A woman becomes drunk and asks a man to dance; they dance closely with foreheads touching, they kiss in close-up, the camera cuts to her bedroom where she removes her dress (we see her bra, bare shoulders and stomach), the man takes her by the arms, sits her on the bed and hands her the dress while saying that he wants to have sex with her, but sex will change everything and they have time to wait. A man becomes drunk, shouts at a woman, backs her against a wall and then hugs her; she escapes his grasp and the scene ends. On two nights we see a man and a woman sleeping clothed, side-by-side under covers. A woman hugs a man in friendship.
 A woman apologizes to a man for having sex with another man; he says it is all right. A man tells a woman that he loves her and she looks thoughtful, but does not reply. A man tells a woman that other people may show up at their farm; he seems to be implying that they might have a baby sometime and she does not understand. A woman asks a man about a possible wife and he replies that he is not married. An African-American man becomes angry with a white woman about a white man approaching her for sex and says, "Ya'll can be white people together."
 In a few scenes a woman is shown wearing a sleeveless shirt and shorts that reveal most of her legs to the upper thighs; two men each stare at her in different scenes and one man stares jealously at the other man talking to the woman in three scenes. In a dimly lit room at night, a woman with her back to the camera stands in a basin and scrubs her back with a scrub brush (we see back nudity and part of the back of her left breast). A woman sits on a toilet (we hear nothing) and stands, her wide dress' skirt covering her as she pulls up her panties (we see most of her bare legs). A woman scrubs the back of a man outside her house and we see his back. A man falls under the weight of a heavy Hazmat suit, removes it, and reveals tight-fitting astronaut-type long johns and the scene ends. Cartoonish images in a picture book depict Adam with ferns covering his crotch and a nude angel of indeterminate sex in the air is also seen. A woman wears a one-piece swimsuit as she swims in a pond; we do not see cleavage. A long shot shows a woman dive into a pond wearing a dress and two men dive in wearing their boxer briefs.

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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - Two men work on a waterwheel at the top of a waterfall where they must stand on large wet rocks; one man wears a heavy Hazmat suit as he climbs up and slips and the other man shouts and pulls a cable attached to the slipping man, saving him; the Hazmat man slips again and the other man saves him again, they stare into each other's eyes and the camera cuts to a farmhouse where the implication is that the man holding the cables let the other man fall to his death.
 A woman carries a rifle down to a road on her farm where she sees a man wearing a biohazard-radiation suit and he shouts and cries for joy when he finds clean air; the woman follows the man to a pond beneath a waterfall and watches him, as he stands in it, bare from the waist up until he falls down, ill and jabbering nonsensically until she points a rifle at him, lowers it and he points a handgun at her and fires, missing her; the woman tells the man to get out of the radiation-contaminated water and he startles, climbs out and scans himself with a Geiger counter that clicks loud and fast as he spits water toward the camera followed by watery yellowish vomit and she helps him to his handcart on the road, where she administers an anti-radiation injection (please see the Substance Use category for more details).
 A woman finds a man setting an animal trap and another man points a rifle at him and shouts as the second man follows the woman home; the man lowers his gun and uses a Geiger counter, finding that the new man has been exposed to radiation as the new man says that he felt weak and "puked" twice (we do not see this) but feels OK now. A man approaches a chapel where a woman sits, and then he disappears.
 Several scenes show a rural area in which homes, schools and a factory appear bombed out; we see broken bricks, debris and thick dust and all buildings appear abandoned, except a farmhouse where a young woman lives alone. A man wears an over-sized Hazmat suit and carries a Geiger counter as he pulls a large handcart the size of a small RV. A woman wears a rain poncho and a breathing mask as she sorts through an abandoned market and a dusty library; her dog appears healthy and we hear several kinds of birdcalls.
 A man suffering from radiation poisoning coughs and gasps in bed and has a nightmare at night that causes him to shake and hit the headboard against the wall as he wails. A man jabbers incoherently from radiation poisoning and a woman takes him to her farmhouse, places him under covers in a large bed and sponges his face with a wet cloth for a few days, also providing injections below the frame on two occasions; in a few more days, she holds him up as he walks and he progresses to pulling himself along wall moldings, using a cane and finally recovering fully.
 An African-American man becomes angry with a white woman about a white man approaching her for sex and says, "Ya'll can be white people together." A man yells at a woman that he does not need help all the time as he is recovering from an illness; she leaves. A man argues with a woman, insisting that they must tear down her family's chapel for boards to construct a water wheel for hydroelectricity production. A woman and a man argue about faith vs. science and neither will change his or her mind; later, she consents to tearing down a chapel and he builds her a smaller chapel in half of her barn, placing four pews and the former chapel organ in it. A man becomes angry and stares as another man rubs the shoulder and the top of the head of a woman friend and she gets up, stating that she is going to the restroom. A man tells a woman and another man that he and three other coal miners were in a mine waiting for radiation to dissipate above ground, when one of the miners "snapped" and tore two of the men to bloody shreds with his bare hands, killing them; the speaking man says he stared strongly into the mad man's eyes, making the killer turn around and leave the area, and he died three hours later. A man tells a woman and another man at dinner that on the road after a nuclear event, he met a sick 13-year-old boy who pointed a knife at him and then begged him to shoot and kill him; the man says he left the boy by the side of the road to die and he later tells the woman that the boy may have been her brother (she cries, but forgives the man). A woman tells a man that her family left her alone on a farm to go looking for survivors of a nuclear event and never returned. We hear that a nuclear event destroyed everything outside one particular farming valley and radiation remains in some water reserves. A man says that he and another man should bet on who killed a turkey and that the stakes should be their mutual female friend; the other man snaps around, staring at him and the first man laughs and says, "It's a joke." A man looks annoyed when a woman prays before eating dinner; when another man joins them for dinner and prays with her, the first man looks annoyed with her and laughs at the second man. A man tells a woman that his father was a preacher, like her father, but preferred women and liquor to preaching.
 Two men with shotguns find wild turkeys and we see and hear the flash-bang of gun shots in a close-up of a rifle barrel; the two men both shoot, one man kills a turkey off-screen and we see him carrying the body of the turkey (a ball of feathers and tail feathers) away from the camera. Two men prepare to shoot wild turkeys and one man stands a yard behind the other man (a dangerous position). A woman checks traps that are heavy stones held up by stocks and baited with berries; she finds a smudge of blood on one stick, but no animal. A woman catches a large fish with a hand net and it hits the ground, unmoving; we see the fish again after it is cooked and a man is eating it.
 A woman injects anti-radiation serum into a man's arm and he says that he must have an injection daily and that he is "Gonna die" (we see the long needle enter his arm and the scene ends); a woman gives a man an injection below the frame and a woman readies a gauze wipe before an injection that we do not see. A woman milks a cow and we see milk spurting into a bucket.

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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 2 scatological terms (one not fully enunciated), 2 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, stupid), 3 religious exclamations (God, Jesus, He Has A Plan).

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SUBSTANCE USE - A woman injects anti-radiation serum into a man's arm and he says he must have an injection daily (we see the long needle enter his arm and the scene ends), a woman gives an injection below the frame, and a woman readies a gauze wipe before an injection that we do not see. A man finds beer bottles and beer cans in wall-coolers in an abandoned market and the camera cuts to him as he sits on the floor appearing drunk and slurring his words, a man drinks from a bottle of beer and prevents a woman from taking it away from him, a woman unaccustomed to drinking drinks wine and giggles loudly and a man tells her that she should save the rest of the bottle for another time (she pours and drinks another glass of wine, giggling more), two men and a woman drink wine at dinner in a few scenes, and a woman asks a man to have a drink with her and he politely refuses.

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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Nuclear war, nuclear accidents and meltdowns, radiation sickness, mental illness, class differences, racism, chauvinism, faith, moral compromise, courage, sacrifice, relationships, love, respect, trust, jealousy.
MESSAGE - Jealousy will survive even a nuclear holocaust.
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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