Humane parents guide

Humane Parent Guide

Based on the toxic interpersonal relationships of this family, the movie slips between dark comedy, political satire, and slasher horror.

Overall D

Theaters: Environmental collapse has led the government to reduce the population. When a member of the York family slips away after signing up for death, one of the other family members will have to take her place.

Release date April 26, 2024

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use B

Why is Humane rated R? The MPAA rated Humane R for strong violence and language throughout

Run Time: 94 minutes

Parent Movie Review

After years of inaction over the consequences of climate change, Earth has reached a state of complete ecological collapse. If any humans are to survive on the planet, drastic change is necessary. World leaders, accordingly, have decided to cull the population. Citizens can volunteer, or “enlist”, to be euthanized by the government in return for a sizeable cash award to their families.

Former newscaster Charles York (Peter Gallagher) and his wife, Dawn (Uni Park) have decided to enlist, and have invited their adult children over to dinner to tell them – but there’s a hiccup. Just as government functionary Bob (Enrico Colantoni) shows up to do the deed, Dawn slips out of the house. The order sheet in Bob’s hand mandates two bodies; no exceptions. Charles makes one, but the children must decide who gets to be lucky number two.

Charles’s charming children include Jared (Jay Baruchel), an insufferable bigot who does pro-government PR; Rachel (Emily Hampshire), a pharmaceutical exec who’s being sued and investigated for knowingly pushing a defective and dangerous product; Ashley (Alanna Bale), a self-absorbed struggling actress; and the adopted son Noah (Sebastian Chacon), a former addict who’s managed to turn his life around in recovery. If the Yorks can’t decide between themselves within two hours, Bob will return and draw straws in a macabre death lottery.

Turning on the interpersonal vileness of this strange brood, the movie slips between dark comedy, political satire, and slasher elements – sometimes more gracefully than others. It can be difficult to predict where the film is going to go next, which is nice in the sense that it keeps you interested, at the cost of some tonal patchiness throughout. Think cookie dough ice cream: sometimes, you get a spoonful with a weird ratio of ice cream to dough. There are a lot of elements to balance in this story, and while the film still works, it’s not a totally homogenous product.

The profanity is much more consistent, and with 60-some f-bombs in a 94 minute flick, you can expect them pretty regularly. Since Noah is in recovery, we don’t see much drinking or smoking, but we do get occasional references to addiction. Sex is limited to a bizarre and unnecessary one-off of a character enjoying some “private time”, but that’s hardly the nail in the coffin here – Humane was never going to make it as a family film, and it never tried. Adult audiences only, especially once you get to the bloody and violent slasher sequences. This is director Caitlin Cronenburg’s debut feature film and her surname won’t mislead you. David Cronenburg’s daughter wasn’t going to let you out of the theater without some blood – although she’s got a long way to go before she catches up with the nauseating gore featured in her dad’s Crimes of the Future.

Directed by Caitlin Cronenburg. Starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Alanna Bale, SEbastian Chacon, Enrico Colantoni. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release April 26, 2024. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Humane rated R? Humane is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence and language throughout

Violence: Individuals are cut, stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, and beaten. People are euthanized with lethal injections. A stab wound is cauterized with a heated spoon.
Sexual Content: A character is briefly seen masturbating.
Profanity: There are 66 sexual expletives, a dozen scatological curses, and frequent use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are briefly seen drinking alcohol. There are references to drug addiction and abuse.

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Humane Parents' Guide

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Other troubled family dinners can be found in Silent Night, Violent Night, and Ready or Not. If you’re looking for more alarming stories of the politics of the future (and how much they resemble the present), try Landscape with Invisible Hand, Don’t Look Up, Parasite, Snowpiercer, or even Light of my Life.