Isn't the apocalypse over by now? It was so last year. But Britain is perhaps a little behind, and so we have the World War III tale How I Live Now, starring the talented Irish-NYC actress Saoirse Ronan (Hanna, The Lovely Bones). Ronan plays a petulant American girl who first learns to love from an English hill-boy who can talk to animals, then how to live when the world almost ends as a result of disconcertingly vague terrorist attacks. The film is hurried and tonally confused through most of its first half; the second act's post-apocalyptic survival show, however, is arrestingly elegiac, a slow and meandering voyage whose only purpose seems to be the discovery of what's gone lost. The film's gauzy, shell-shocked mood means that consequences don't really register even when children are shot in the head—which happens often enough. Ronan's sadly trudging waif is our only real focus, and so we float in the same post-concussive haze that she does. It is a pleasant drift: a feeling of fuzzy importance combined with a certain lack of oxygen, like doing nitrous when you're 13 years old.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
- MPAA Rating: R
- Critic's Score: B-
- Watch the trailer