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THE LISTENER

What You Need To Know:

THE LISTENER is a tedious character study of a woman named Beth who spends her nights working as a listener on a call-in line for lonely and desperate people. THE LISTENER makes no attempt at a plot or character growth. Rather, it’s a 96-minute minimalist slog through a series of conversations in which Beth listens and speaks with compassion to those who call her, but never shows any emotional range herself. Through it all, Director Steve Buscemi gives viewers no sense of plot or any sign of character growth. Tessa Thompson (of the CREED movie trilogy) is the only face viewers see and shows no compelling emotion.

Intended for release in 2022 but only now arriving in theaters and on streaming, THE LISTENER is a reflection of the boredom and loneliness millions of people felt during the COVID pandemic lockdowns. Sadly, watching THE LISTENER provides the same level of boredom as real life in that period, making this movie inherently unentertaining for viewers. THE LISTENER has lots of strong foul language and some brief lewd content. So, MOVIEGUIDE® finds the movie excessive.

Content:

(H, AB, B, LLL, S, M):

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Light humanist worldview where a woman listening to random callers tries to help them by just listening to them vent and share their problems, in one scene she gets into a debate on the meaning of existence and whether to believe in God (the caller is very much against faith while the woman’s best defense is that she doesn’t know what happens after death but doesn’t like the certainty atheists have that there is no God), plus the movie displays some light sympathy for the boredom and loneliness millions felt during the COVID pandemic lockdowns;

Foul Language:
At least 37 obscenities (including at least 27 “f” words) and two Jesus profanities;

Violence:
No violence;

Sex:
The listener briefly mentions that some men call her to masturbate to the sound of her voice, and one man is implied to be masturbating to the sound of her voice before she hangs up;

Nudity:
No nudity;

Alcohol Use:
Reference to past alcohol abuse;

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Reference to past drug use; and, Miscellaneous: The listener briefly mentions that her life in the past involved heavy alcohol and drug use and time in jail, and one man gets angry with her and threatens her before hanging up.

More Detail:

A tedious character study of a woman named Beth (Tessa Thompson) who spends her nights working as a listener on a call-in line for lonely and desperate people, THE LISTENER makes no attempt at a plot or character growth. Rather, it’s a 96-minute minimalist slog through a series of conversations in which Beth listens and speaks with compassion to those who call her, but never shows any emotional range herself.

The movie focuses the entire time on Beth in her apartment, breaking the monotony only with the various levels of sadness and troubles the callers have. One caller describes his confusion over life on the outside after spending years in prison, while another caller is a homeless woman fearful of her abusive boyfriend.

Still others include an IT man who starts asking uncomfortably personal questions of Beth before she has to hang up, while another is a war veteran who tragically describes having his foot blown off by a bomb in Iraq. Finally, the longest call is from a female college professor who debates Beth on whether suicide is bad, the meaning of life and whether God exists.

Through it all, director Steve Buscemi (TREES LOUNGE) gives viewers no sense of plot or any sign of character growth. Tessa Thompson (of the CREED movie trilogy) is the only face we see and shows viewers no compelling emotion.

Intended for release in 2022 but only now arriving in theaters and on streaming, THE LISTENER is a reflection of the boredom and loneliness millions of people felt during the Covid pandemic lockdowns. Sadly, watching it provides the same level of boredom as real life in that period, making the movie inherently unentertaining for viewers. However, the title character speaks with some compassion and sympathy for the people’s problems and the boredom and loneliness some of them feel. That said, THE LISTENER has lots of strong foul language and some brief lewd content. So, THE LISTENER is excessive.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

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