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Movie Review

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

MPAA Rating: R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Drama
1 hr. 41 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
June 22, 2012 (wide—1,400+ theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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What would people really do if humanity’s last days were at hand?

When does the Bible say Earth will be destroyed (burned up)? At the end of the Millennium.

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

SUICIDE—What does the Bible say? Answer

If a Christian commits suicide, will they go to Heaven? Answer


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the final judgment of God

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
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Are you going to Heaven? Are you SURE you know the answer this extremely important question? Or have you made some common wrong assumptions? Find out now!

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

Featuring: Brad Morris … Radio Announcer
Steve CarellDodge
Nancy Carell … Linda
Keira KnightleyPenny
Adam BrodyOwen
Derek LukeSpeck
William Petersen … Trucker
more »
Director: Lorene Scafaria
Producer: Anonymous Content
Indian Paintbrush
more »
Distributor: Focus Features

“Nice knowing you.”

Dodge (Steve Carell) is sitting in his parked car with his wife when he hears of NASA’s failed mission to destroy “Matilda”, an Earth-bound meteor that’s seventy miles wide. When the DJ confirms that the countdown is 3 weeks, Dodge’s wife abandons him and runs away. Lonely, Dodge befriends his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) who just broke up with her boyfriend and is remorseful about not being able to visit her family.

When Dodge receives a letter from his first love, he and Penny strike a deal. She will help take him to find his long lost love, and he will help her find an airplane ride to England.

An apocalyptic plot has been used abundantly, but this film provides a different approach. In a way, it’s a more candid look at what the reactions of different people would be, if the world were to truly end. Some are in denial, weeping hysterically, and some find the courage to be exceptionally bold. The characters of Penny and Dodge are well rounded and believable, and this is further enhanced by the capable acting abilities of Knightley and Carell. Though the film is well written, I personally felt the ending wasn’t as strong as it could have been and ended a bit cliché.

Objectionable Content

Some alcohol and drug use are shown. A few times throughout the movie, Penny smokes marijuana and says it’s the only thing that helps her sleep. During a party, someone mentions that they brought heroin and others say they want some. A father lets his young daughter drink alcohol and tells her to “get past the burn.” During a low moment, Dodge drinks an entire bottle of Windex and passes out.

There is moderate violence. A man lands on Steve’s windshield after committing suicide. Some riots are shown. A man hires professionals to help him commit suicide. He is shown being shot through the neck.

The profanity and vulgarity are heavy: OMG (10), “God” (6), “Jesus,” “Jesus Christ,” “damn,” “f” words (12), sh_t (7), and 1 as_. The vulgar terms p__y and d__k are used as well, collectively 4 times. There is some debauched talk throughout the film. A man tells Dodge that he’s been able to have sex with numerous women since they don’t care about STDs or getting pregnant. In graphic terms, the man asks Dodge if he wants to be in a threesome with him and another woman. After Dodge bids him farewell, the man says that he might see Dodge in an orgy. After kissing, Penny tells Dodge she wants him to be the last one she sleeps with. Though no sex scene is shown, afterward Dodge tells Penny he feels bad for taking advantage of her. She tells him that it was simply “end-of-the world sex” and not a big deal.

There is some additional sexual content. Some women wear very low-cut dresses. Penny and Dodge eat at an “overly friendly” restaurant. The waitress kisses both Dodge and Penny, and then proceeds to go underneath the table. After their meal, the waiters begin to kiss and touch each other. The wife of Dodge’s friend begins to kiss Dodge. When he stops her and comments about her husband, she somberly says that no one is anyone’s anything anymore.

Though the movie does have a high amount of objectionable content, I felt it somewhat accurately portrayed the different reactions people would have if a meteor were to truly obliterate the Earth. Some become amoral, and others resort to violence. Though religion was somewhat hinted at, the spiritual scene remains brief, but has its effect on the duo. Penny and Dodge happen upon people who were walking to the beach. Some enter the water, implying baptism. All the people are at peace and share picnics and smiles during a beautiful day.

I’m glad that the beach scene was included. Though brief, it helped show that not everyone would be negative, immoral, or fearful. One of the male characters states that life is meaningless, as if his destiny would end at meteor impact, thus resulting in his promiscuity and recklessness (Philippians 3:18-19). For Christians, however, we know that our destiny goes beyond death. In 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, Paul wrote:

“For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

I don’t personally recommend the film. Though well-acted, its objectionable content and overused plot device make it an easy movie to skip. I will say that the movie made me think of how Christians should not fear death, but some might even find it a blessing. It reminded me of when Paul wrote that he wished to be with Christ, but knew he was needed to spread the gospel (Philippians 1:21-24). Interestingly, even John wrote in Revelations:

“Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This was definitely an R rated movie for dialog and language, in particular. I went to see it with my husband, since our kids love Steve Carell and asked us to take them. We decided to go alone, first. Smart move! Our 14 year old… No way! Our 17 year old… probably on DVD, where we can discuss better and avoid some parts.

Steve Carell “s character is great, and that is what I enjoyed most about the movie. He is a stand-up man throughout, in the midst of a depraved apocalyptic setting. That part was cool, and I really found myself sympathizing with his character… (yes, I cried once)… but the depraved part definitely made us both uncomfortable being there. Fortunately, the movie moves away from that and does not portray it favorably. Still… R is the right rating.

Don’t take your young teens, it is not a comedy anyway. At home, on ClearPlay would be perfect, though. And, still, I liked the story for adult viewing.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Becky, age 46 (USA)
Positive—I saw this movie for the first time on cable today. I am NOT a big Steve Carrell fan, but the story looked interesting. And it shows how all kinds of people would react when the world will be destroyed in three weeks. They find bad people and strong people. Finally they find a long line of people crossing the highway to the beach beyond, where a minister is baptizing people. And the couple decide to get in line. Afterward they depart, but for the rest of the movie nothing bad happens any more. I thought this was an amazing, profound message to put in a movie these days. Submit your life to Christ, and everything improves! So the movie ends in a wonderfully positive way.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Jim, age 61 (USA)
Neutral—Saturday night my wife and I found ourselves unexpectedly alone. We went out to dinner and decided to go to the movies. I wasn’t crazy about seeing this movie, but as a Steve Carell fan, and, with not much else in terms of a “date night” movie to choose from, we decided to go in. The reviewer above summed it up pretty good. Most of the foul language and debauchery are shown maybe in the first third of the movie. There is no nudity, and other than kissing, all of the sexual acts are implied, rather than shown. As the two main characters get further away from everyone else in the movie, things tone down a bit.

There are a couple of surprising, violent scenes (mainly suicides). Steve Carell has a few funny moments, as only he can, but mostly this is a serious, slow moving drama. Overall, I found the movie to be pretty depressing, as I guess we would be if we knew the world was coming to an end soon. I wouldn’t recommend anyone see this in a theater. Judging by the lack of people in the crowd on a Saturday night, this movie will be on DVD soon, and even then, I only recommend it for people who like Steve Carell in his more serious roles.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Travis, age 38 (USA)
Negative—I went to this movie thinking it would be a funny night out and expecting to see some prepping or survival comedy. I was extremely disappointed! I could barely sit through the entire movie, and its vulgarity. The movie was not only filled with the f-word, but it was used in the most shocking and out of place moments, that I had a hard time moving on in the movie. It also suggested that at the end of the world drugs and alcohol were encouraged for both adults and children. Immoral behavior is nothing out of the ordinary, anyone can sleep with anyone. The only part that made me happy is when the main character refused the advances of his friend’s wife. Overall, a disgusting movie, and I cannot recommend to anyone.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Jessica, age 28 (USA)

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