Foe Parent Guide
Sci-fi films can be original and exciting while offering relevant social commentary, This tedious film does none of those things.
Parent Movie Review
By 2065 climate change has rendered the Earth nearly uninhabitable, to the point that the United States government is conscripting young men to go to space to build an alternative home for future generations. One of those conscripts is Junior (Paul Mescal), a Midwestern farmer living a dull and predictable life with his wife, Hen (Saoirse Ronan). To keep Hen company while Junior is away, the government offers her an AI clone of her husband who has had Junior’s memories implanted so as to be indistinguishable from the real man.
Sci-fi is a genre of possibilities. It has infinite creative avenues and the ability to comment on current and universal human issues in new and powerful ways. It’s also a genre with the possibility for ponderous, dull, garbage that thinks it’s making deep commentary while really it isn’t doing anything but being pretentious. Based on my “D” grade, can you guess which side of that spectrum Foe falls on?
The entire premise of Foe is both derivative and frustrating, with confusing twists and plot holes. Nothing really happens for a majority of the runtime, which is far too long for such a thin plot in the first place. The dialogue is clunky and unintentionally hilarious. The fact that I laughed through most of my viewing when this film is obviously meant to be super dramatic and serious says a lot about the quality of the writing.
In Foe’s defense, Ronan and Mescal are both giving master classes in acting. Although their dialogue is ridiculous, they give it their all and their emotions are palpable. They are the only possible reason I could think of why someone would want to watch this movie, but even that isn’t enough to make it worth their time.
With a lot of swearing and multiple sex scenes involving nudity, this R-rated slog is not for young or sensitive viewers. If you’re not concerned about negative content, this movie also isn’t for you because it’s terrible. There’s a Black Mirror episode with a very similar premise that is far more worth your time if you’re a fan of sci fi and philosophical questions around AI. Or you can play around on Chat GPT for a while. That’s just as bleak as this film.Directed by Garth Davis. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal, Aaron Pierre. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release January 4, 2024. Updated January 8, 2024
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Rating & Content Info
Why is Foe rated R? Foe is rated R by the MPAA for language, some sexual content, and nudity
Violence: A character is tackled and knocked out. A person slaps another in the face. A character tries to suffocate another, but this is revealed to be a dream sequence. A man shoots a gun toward a group of people as they are running away. A man punches a wall repeatedly until his fists bleed.
Sexual Content: A married couple have sex a number of times: breasts and buttocks are visible.
Profanity: The script contains 50 sexual expletives along with around 15 mild and moderate expletives and 10 terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters drink alcohol in many scenes. One character smokes.
Page last updated January 8, 2024
Foe Parents' Guide
What choices do Hen and Junior make at the end of the film and how does that reflect their characters?
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Cloning is addressed by better films, including Swan Song and Replicas. Sci-fi films have also addressed relationships involving artificial intelligence or other technology-related issues in I’m Your Man, Finch, After Yang, M3GAN, The Creator, Needle in a Timestack, or The Adjustment Bureau.