Reviewed by: Samuel Chetty
difficulties of being completely alone
results of nuclear war
difficulty trusting people
Is Ann an unwilling Eve who refuses to begin the humanity over again?
lust (WebBible Encyclopedia)
|Featuring:||Margot Robbie … Ann Burden
Chris Pine … Caleb
Chiwetel Ejiofor … Loomis
|Producer:||Lucky Hat Entertainment
|Distributor:||Grindstone Entertainment Group
Roadside Attractions, a division of Lionsgate Films
“Will the last man on Earth bring her hope… or death?”
“Z for Zachariah” takes place in a post-apocalyptic world with only a few survivors. The character Ann (Margot Robbie) is a young adult woman who has been living alone for about a year. One day, she encounters a man named John (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who has become very ill from exposure to radiation. Ann takes care of him, and he recovers. Just as a romance begins between the two of them, another man, Caleb (Chris Pine), emerges, and it becomes evident that a love triangle is forming.
The movie does a good job giving a sense of what it would feel like to be among the only survivors in the world. The music and acting give a strong sense of atmosphere. One noteworthy aspect of the movie is how, despite being a secular production, there is frequent discussion of faith in the dialog. Ann is a Christian, and she believes that God protected her through the apocalypse and has a plan for her life.
However, this is not a movie where all of the virtues and vices are apparent and deterministically lead to certain outcomes. There is ambiguity surrounding the motives behind some actions, and a variety of moral conclusions could be drawn from plot events. For instance, some audiences may view the story as showing the consequences of sexual immorality or making compromises with one’s faith-based conscience. However, other audiences may disagree with those assessments.
As for my overall thoughts about this movie, I think that viewers who are intrigued by post-apocalyptic scenarios or serious romantic dramas may appreciate this movie and find it thought-provoking. However, I am not sure that this movie’s appeal extends far beyond its genre, and I recommend viewer discretion due to the content issues described below.
Sexuality: One scene of physical intimacy that presumably involves sexual intercourse given that the man and woman are undressing. There is another scene of a man and woman in a bedroom with the woman scantily clothed, but it appears that sexual intercourse did not happen.
Language: f-word (1), d-word (3), s-word (2), h-word (1)
Alcohol Use: Three instances where characters drink alcohol excessively, leading to behavior such as silliness or aggression.
Violence: An implied murder. Characters discuss a deadly fight in the aftermath of the global catastrophe. ***SPOILER*** A character also confesses to having killed a man who was gravely ill and wanted to die.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…“Z for Zachariah” is not at all concerned with the panicky desperation of the newly primitive but what happens after comfort and routine has set in with this new world order. …
—Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
…The drama brims with religious allusion and questions of how faith manifests in a world without hope. …the film throws into relief the possibility that faith is the only way to survive. Yet, what that faith finds its grounding in—an all-knowing God, scientific reason or love—is ultimately up to you, when the time comes. [3/4]
—Julia Cooper, The Globe and Mail
…thoughtful dialogue and meaningfully performances… What’s more, it does not ridicule faith, or people of faith. …
—Phil Boatwright, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…A powder-keg plot setup triggers an underwhelming display of dramatic fireworks in “Z for Zachariah,” a postapocalyptic survival tale propelled by male/female emotional dynamics.…
—Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…a handsome-looking film… it doesn’t lack for provocative ideas, though it never digs quite deep enough into any of them. …ambitious but ponderous post-apocalyptic Genesis tale…
—Scott Foundas, Variety
…In the end, the filmmakers have simply warped O’Brien’s novel into a love triangle and how one man's wounded ego may or may not lead him toward vengeance. The emasculation that drives the plot in the end will ultimately take Loomis to church, and it’s delivered with a casual understanding that his fall would not have been possible if it wasn’t for a woman’s supposed indiscretions, which is at least in keeping with the spirit of the Genesis story that’s so clearly and risibly inspired the scenario. [1½/4]
—Ed Gonzalez, Slant magazine