Crimes of the Future parents guide

Crimes of the Future Parent Guide

A strange new twist on exhibitionists

Overall D-

Theaters: Living in a new synthetic environment causes side-effects in the human population. As bodies begin to mutate and adapt, performance artist Saul Tenser seizes the opportunity to put his own transformations in the spotlight.

Release date June 2, 2022

Violence D-
Sexual Content D-
Profanity D-
Substance Use B

Why is Crimes of the Future rated R? The MPAA rated Crimes of the Future R for strong disturbing violent content and grisly images, graphic nudity, and some language

Run Time: 107 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Human evolution has changed the future in unexpected ways. Pain has virtually disappeared, and some people are growing new and unidentified organs The absence of pain has enabled experimental and unpleasant explorations of the human body, including recreational and performative surgery. Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and his partner, Caprice (Lea Seydoux), are in the forefront of this gruesome artistic movement, with Saul developing odd new organs, which Caprice then tattoos internally and removes publicly as a form of performance art. Meanwhile, eight-year-old Brecken (Sozos Sotiris) has been murdered by his mother (Lihi Kornowski) for reasons that his father, Lang (Scott Speedman) is eager to expose. This strange new world, with such people in it, is an exploration of the nature of humanity, pain, pleasure, integrity, violence, vice, morality, and autonomy – all floating in an ocean of gore.

Whether or not you will enjoy - or, at least, appreciate – this production is depends on whether you view films as entertaining or artistic. This movie does not rely on conventional narratives or structures, but rather on an audience willing to think about the difficult ideas proposed through the “story”. My biggest problem with this structure was my erroneous assumption that the main plot, which determines the pace and ending of the film, was a subplot, more or less. So when that storyline wrapped up, I was baffled as the credits started to roll. Surely, I thought, this could not be the ending. It wasn’t until I was driving home from the theatre that I managed to shift the paradigm of what I thought the film was supposed to be and realized what was actually going on. The problem is that the big, showy, gross, and sensationalized parts of the film are, essentially, a contrast designed to explore and highlight the primary story. When the most impactful parts of the movie aren’t necessarily driving the plot, it’s easy for viewers to find themselves confused.

As an aside, I wouldn’t recommend looking into the 1970 David Cronenberg film also titled Crimes of the Future. Not only was it shot as a silent film with commentary added over top, but it is strangely focused on foot fetishes and pedophilia. Don’t ask me any further questions, I haven’t seen it, but I wouldn’t advise reading the Wikipedia entry either. Somehow, the 2022 film is the less strange of the two, which has to tell you something about the 1970 film, because this year’s movie is deeply, irretrievably weird. The Restricted rating is a pretty solid indicator that this is not for kids or almost all adults. Violence in this film is inextricably tied to sex and pleasure with pain – to the extent that anyone feels either. And it’s difficult to describe painless consensual activities as violence, but that’s not going to make any difference to you if you already spewed popcorn and diet soda on your shoes the first time someone got cut open for funsies. Which, fair warning, happens all the time. And that’s before you get to the performance art autopsy of an eight-year-old’s corpse, which was far more than I wanted to see.

I don’t know anybody I would actually recommend this film to, outside of a film studies class, because it really leans into an esoteric understanding of narrative and structure. If you’re not already watching David Lynch movies recreationally, Crimes of the Future is going to be a lot. Probably too much. Even I didn’t really enjoy the movie – it was more like browsing through a bizarre exhibit at a modern art museum. What I understood was interesting, but boy was it a weird, gross, messy ride.

Directed by David Cronenberg. Starring Lea Seydoux, Kristin Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, and Scott Speedman. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release June 2, 2022. Updated

Crimes of the Future
Rating & Content Info

Why is Crimes of the Future rated R? Crimes of the Future is rated R by the MPAA for strong disturbing violent content and grisly images, graphic nudity, and some language

Violence: Individuals are frequently cut open and operated on without extensive pain or blood, although internal organs are frequently seen and removed. A child is smothered to death with a pillow. Several people are killed with drills. A man is poisoned and dies.
Sexual Content: Several people are seen fully nude in sexually suggestive situations: full frontal female nudity is seen in several scenes. A woman is seen tonguing an open incision. A dead child is seen nude.
Profanity: There are three uses of sexual expletives as well as some scatological curses and crude anatomical terms.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adults are briefly seen drinking socially.

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Fans of this kind of movie will probably enjoy David Lynch films like Eraserhead or Mulholland Drive, as well as other David Cronenberg movies like The Fly or eXistenZ.

Those looking for unconventional films that are a little more approachable might enjoy Everything Everywhere All At Once, The Lighthouse, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Come True, Men, The Green Knight, Birdman, or Being John Malkovich.