Finch parents guide

Finch Parent Guide

Oddly enough, this post-apocalyptic film manages to be both sweet and heartfelt.

Overall A-

Apple TV+: Having survived the apocalypse in an underground bunker, an engineer (played by Tom Hanks) creates a robot to look after his dog once he's gone.

Release date November 5, 2021

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity C+
Substance Use B

Why is Finch rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Finch PG-13 for brief violent images.

Run Time: 115 minutes

Parent Movie Review

The future is bleak: A massive solar flare has destroyed the planet’s ozone layer, leaving much of the world severely irradiated and uninhabitable. Finch Weinberg (Tom Hanks), one of the few survivors, must wear a UV protection suit to scavenge food and supplies for himself and his dog, Goodyear. He’s also been working on an incredible invention, an android with the capability to learn, develop, and most importantly, take care of Goodyear if anything happens to Finch. Now Finch will have to accelerate his plans. Five major storm cells are converging on the major tech factory where Finch has been living, and once the storms hit, he’ll be unable to go outside for a month. That kind of isolation would be a death sentence, cutting him off from all sources of food, so it’s time to pack up the dog and robot into a modified RV and make for the mountains. As the android, who has chosen the name Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones), learns more about the world and Finch’s expectations, Finch learns a few lessons about himself.

This production makes excellent use of setting to tell the story. We first see Finch shambling through the swirling dust, wearing a full protective suit and a helmet which would seem more at home on Mars…until he comes to an abandoned grocery store, and you realize we are, in fact, in St. Louis (or at least, New Mexico pretending to be St. Louis). The desolate atmosphere is not only critical for the plot, but it serves as a constant visual reminder of how fragile Finch’s position is. The blowing sand functions very much as an hourglass for the film and the character’s journey – and a chilling echo of a terrible disaster.

Tom Hanks is, as always, wonderful to watch and charming to the last, but the real star of the show is Caleb Landry Jones, who provides the voice and motion capture for Jeff the android. Jeff’s incredible ability to learn gives his character the strongest arc, and Jones brings a lot of heart to this poor tin man. Of course, a sweet and expressive dog on the cast doesn’t hurt either.

Parents have very little to worry about with Finch. There is no significant on-screen violence, no sexual content or even crude jokes, and only a single incident of on-screen drinking. That makes profanity the biggest concern, but even that tops out at five scatological curses. Despite that, and a few clichés, this is a sweet, heartfelt little film. It’s difficult not to empathize with Finch, and impossible not to bond with Jeff, from his first faltering steps until the credits roll. And if that’s not enough to get you to give the film a shot, remember: There’s a very cute dog in the movie.

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik. Starring Tom Hanks, Caleb Landry Jones, and Samira Wiley. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release November 5, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Finch

Rating & Content Info

Why is Finch rated PG-13? Finch is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for brief violent images.

Violence: Dried out corpses are seen. An individual is seen bleeding and coughing blood. A character burns their hand. Several individuals are shot off-screen.
Sexual Content: A man is seen in the shower.
Profanity: There are five scatological profanities and infrequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: An adult character is briefly seen drinking in moderation.

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Finch Parents' Guide

Post-apocalyptic movies are enduringly popular. Why do you think people enjoy them? Do you think movies like this have particular resonance in our time?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This film has some similarities with Wall-E, I, Robot, The Midnight Sky, and The Iron Giant.

Films about the end of the world tend to carry an R rating, including The Book of Eli, The Road, I Am Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Children of Men. A truly awful alternative about robots learning to be humans is Chappie, a movie so dreadful I hesitate even to mention it.