Dual parents guide

Dual Parent Guide

The film feels completely monochromatic, lacking any qualities which would risk garnering the audience's interest.

Overall D

Limited theatrical release: When it appears that she's not going to die after all, Sarah has to duel her replacement clone to the death.

Release date April 29, 2022

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use C

Why is Dual rated R? The MPAA rated Dual R for violent content, some sexual content, language and graphic nudity

Run Time: 94 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Sarah (Karen Gillan) has been coasting by in life, seldom leaving her apartment, avoiding phone calls from her mother (Maija Paunio), and worrying about her increasingly distant boyfriend, Peter (Beulah Koale). But when she wakes up in a pool of her own blood, she finally sees a doctor only to discover that she has a rare and incurable disease which is all but certain to kill her. If she wants to spare her family the grief, she has an option: Sarah can have herself cloned before death, and her replacement can assume her life. After months of training her replacement, however, Sarah learns that she is not, in fact, dying, which opens up a far worse dilemma. The government doesn’t allow doubles to exist alongside the original but won’t immediately terminate the replacement either. Sarah is going to have to fight her double in a duel to the death if she wants to get her life back.

As with the other Riley Stearns film I’ve reviewed, The Art of Self Defense, this movie has a very robotic, deadpan style. I’m sure the director finds it amusing, but it has yet to get any less annoying for me. Capable actors like Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul disappear into a film which feels tonally monochromatic, lacking any qualities which would risk garnering the interest of the audience. If the characters are incapable of emoting or really expressing any interest in their own lives, I can’t see why I should care either.

I’m also not sure what genre the film is trying to be categorized as. There are strong science fiction elements, but it’s neither comedy nor drama, neither fish nor fowl. It’s just…a story. A weird, stilted story. There are elements which I suspect were intended to be funny, but which more often feel vaguely depressing or, more commonly, boring. If it were trying be a drama, I would expect some sort of human feeling to occur, but as it is, the film is an emotional Gobi desert.

If you’re one of the select few who have found the secret to enjoying these odd little films, you will not likely be put off by the occasional extreme profanities and graphic violence. However, I am certain parents won’t be thrilled with a scene five minutes into the movie which features the protagonist watching porn in her apartment. While it’s not visible, you can certainly hear more of it than you might like. For the rest of us, however, just skipping the movie altogether might be a wiser course of action. You could do something far more exciting with the time, like mow the lawn, or trim your toenails, or watch paint dry, maybe.

Directed by Riley Stearns. Starring Karen Gillan, Aaron Paul, Theo James. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release April 29, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Dual

Rating & Content Info

Why is Dual rated R? Dual is rated R by the MPAA for violent content, some sexual content, language and graphic nudity

Violence: People are struck with crossbow bolts and stabbed. There are references to and depictions of suicide. Corpses are seen. A character witnesses an autopsy. In a film, a man’s hand is mulched in a garbage disposal. A dog is killed with a crossbow. A character is poisoned.
Sexual Content: A character is seen masturbating to audible sounds from online pornography. A woman is seen from the shoulders up in the shower. A corpse is seen fully nude before autopsy. There are several scenes containing sexually explicit dialogue.
Profanity: There are six uses of sexual expletives, one use of scatological profanity, and infrequent mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking alcohol in moderation.

Page last updated

Dual Parents' Guide

Why does Sarah decide to clone herself? Would you make the same decision in her situation? Do you think a clone would fit seamlessly into her relationships?

What do you think of their government’s policy regarding original people and “replacements”? Do you think that the original’s rights should prevail or do you think both people should be allowed to live?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Fans of the director’s style should watch The Art of Self Defense. Those looking for a more emotional look at human cloning will find better options in Swan Song or After Yang. If you just like government-mandated duels to the death, try The Hunger Games.