Zone 414 parents guide

Zone 414 Parent Guide

This isn't "so bad it's good". It's just bad.

Overall D

Netflix: Private investigator David Carmichael is hired to track down the missing daughter of an eccentric businessman. David teams up with Jane, the most advanced AI ever created, to lead him through the city of robots in search of clues.

Release date January 1, 2022

Violence D
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Zone 414 rated R? The MPAA rated Zone 414 R Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, some drug use and nudity.

Run Time: 98 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Reclusive and eccentric multi-billionaire Marlon Veidt (Travis Fimmel) made his fortune creating convincing androids, synthetic humans who have been given government approval to operate only in Zone 414. But he needs help: his daughter, Melissa (Holly Demaine), has disappeared inside the Zone. Marlon hires former detective David Carmichael (Guy Pearce) to go into the Zone and retrieve Melissa. Veidt can offer Carmichael little else besides the name of Jane (Matilda Lutz), an android with whom Melissa was friendly. And once David is in the Zone, he finds that things are far stranger and more complicated than Marlon led him to believe…

This movie wears its many influences on its sleeve. Mostly, it wants to be Blade Runner and its aspirations are so obvious I’m surprised the filmmakers weren’t sued by Ridley Scott. The fog-soaked cityscapes lit with bright neon are a staple of Scott’s iconic franchise. In this film, it’s more like a slightly cloudy industrial district with bad streetlights and one or two neon signs. I’m not sure if this is a budget issue or an art direction problem, but it’s not good. Surely, you’d think Netflix could afford to at least throw some digital effects on top to make it look more populated, but nope. It’s desolate warehouse after dismal loft after dingy apartment for the entirety of the runtime. If you’re going to set your movie a big cyberpunk cityscape, it helps if you can make it look even slightly interesting.

Zone 414 is also a deeply unpleasant movie to watch, primarily because of its laser focus on a grotesque bourgeois world of extreme sex and violence, frequently in combination. Androids are treated as objects, despite their clear intelligence and capacity for emotion, and are subjected to horrific treatment. Do you like seeing women tortured with a blowtorch? Or near-human beings crudely butchered and even more crudely reassembled? If you do, get some help.

There really isn’t a compelling reason to watch this movie. The cast is certainly giving a good effort, but they’re let down at every turn by an uninspired script. Well, most of the cast anyway. Travis Fimmel spends all of his screentime gnawing on the scenery like he’s Tim Curry on stimulants. It’s not even in “so-bad-it’s-good” territory. It’s just so bad it’s bad. It’s grimy, gross, and completely unnecessary. You want a good discussion about the comparative value of biological and synthetic life? Go watch Blade Runner. Or I, Robot. Or almost anything else.

Directed by Andrew Baird. Starring Guy Pearce, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Jonathan Aris. Running time: 98 minutes. Theatrical release January 1, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Zone 414

Zone 414
Rating & Content Info

Why is Zone 414 rated R? Zone 414 is rated R by the MPAA Rated R for violence, disturbing images, language, some drug use and nudity.

Violence: Androids are seen being executed, tortured, mangled, and crudely reassembled. There are references to suicide, and an unsuccessful attempt. Individuals are seen being suffocated, hanged, and shot.
Sexual Content: There are frequent references to prostitution and sex trafficking. There is a scene of female toplessness.
Profanity: There are ten uses of a sexual expletive and a single scatological term, along with occasional uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen smoking marijuana and tobacco and drinking alcohol.

Page last updated

Zone 414 Parents' Guide

If androids ever became real, how do you think they would be treated? What rights or considerations would they be afforded? How do we define sentient life?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

This movie borrows heavily from films like Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, I, Robot, Ex Machina, Alien, Moon, Ghost in the Shell, and Her. A more family friendly android flick is Alita: Battle Angel. An android features in the romantic drama I’m Your Man and the story includes a discussion about potential legal rights for artificial life forms.