Zeros and Ones (2021) Poster

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1/10
Zeros and Ones
Prismark105 December 2021
Abel Ferrara's Zeros and Ones is an empty conceptual mess.

Here is a guerrilla filmmaker who is running on empty but who still manages to persuade pseudo intellectual film critics that he is making art.

Ethan Hawke speaks to the camera that this is a movie about the world today.

The film has a plot where Hawke plays a mercenary in Rome trying to thwart a plot to blow up the Vatican. He is also trying to get news of his imprisoned revolutionary brother.

The film told me nothing about the world today. Nothing about Covid, terrorism, the gulf between the haves and the have nots or corrupt politicians.

If you want to see dark moody shots of Rome at night. A movie that is the opposite of conventional spy thrillers then the film might have some merit. To me it was a fail.
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2/10
The 3,000 year old war
nogodnomasters14 December 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Unless someone tells you what the film is about it is difficult to figure out what is going on. It is set in pandemic Rome with Ethan as an American soldier attempting to stop a terrorist attack or something by sleeping with a Russian woman, or wait, was that is anarchist brother who looks just like Ethan? Apparently there is a message there somewhere where one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Boring to watch and an eye strain with all night time scenes.

Guide: F-word. Sex. No nudity.
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3/10
Pretentious and boring, yet truly artistic?
siderite19 December 2021
Just know that this is a film about a guy running around a city. There is no real action, it's certainly not sci-fi in any conceivable way and it is an adventure only in the sense that you are watching it.

The film begins and ends with Ethan Hawke, the actor, talking to the audience about the film. The first part is "I love Abel Ferrara and we are trying to make this film" and the last part is "When I got the script to this I didn't get it and now, after I watched the film and you watched the film, no one gets it". In between lies the movie, a seemingly random mix of scenes filmed in grainy low detail, with unfocused shots, featuring people without names that do random things. I know Ferrara had a grand vision for what the film is saying, but I assure you you won't understand what that was. If you search the web for explanations of the film, they are mostly interpretations of what Ethan Hawke says at the end, not of what happened in the movie.

In that sense, this is true art: I made it, you either like it or hate it, I don't care!

But this is also why this film deserves its low rating. It doesn't care. It's not a communication, where one has to take care the message is both received and understood, it's the mad ramblings of homeless people, the rantings of political figures, that friend who won't shut up and interrupts everyone to talk about themselves, the avantgarde painting of spread feces where you have to believe there is a beautiful painted woman underneath because the artist says so. It's a monologue, a stream of consciousness with which you might resonate, but never truly comprehend. Perhaps this is one of those films that are better on LSD? Who knows.

Bottom line: Spewing out thoughts and perceptions without any structure or care of your audience is not art, it's vomiting. Some might enjoy it, for their own reasons, but that's all it is.
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2/10
Ethan Hawke's opening and closing promo monologues are a last ditch attempt to elevate the nonsense.
Top_Dawg_Critic19 November 2021
I am stunned how seasoned writer and director Abel Ferrara tried pawning off this nonsense as a film. It was the most convoluted, incoherent, incohesive nonsense I've ever seen. The story makes about as much sense as the title, Zeros and Ones. Those must be the ratings out of 10? Scenes were random and just came out of nowhere, It felt like a bunch of rejected 1980's screenplays that were shredded, then randomly taped together. Slow mo's. Unfocused and blurred. Shaky cam enough to set off a seizure. I wouldn't even expect this quality from a 5th grade drama class. It's a generous 2/10 from me, only because I feel bad for Hawke, and I did like the electric guitar score.
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2/10
Maybe I am born not to grasp movies like these.
Fella_shibby18 December 2021
Maybe I am not an intellectual fella who ain't cool enuff to dig the underlying meaning but I have enjoyed Abel Ferrara's few films.

This movie is a boredom filled with unnecessary dark, grimy n surrealistic photography and a pinch of headache inducing shaky cam stuff.

The director Abel Ferrara played Reno Miller, an artist who is slowly descending into madness in the cult movie Driller Killer.

Well, in this movie the symptoms of madness is all over n Ethan Hawke too seems to be suffering from folie a deux.
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1/10
This is not an action film! Too slow, and full of annoying overuse scene! Bored to freaking death!
kwenchow24 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This film start with Ethan Hawke doing the video log, and the main character went out from a train scene! As turnout, this film is about an American soldier need to find his brother at Italy!(Both of the American soldier, and his brother actually portray by Ethan Hawke himself!) Entire film full of boring conversation, and annoying overuse scene! Such as, overuse of the walking scene, overuse of the searching scene, overuse of the staring scene, overuse of the long angle scenery scene, overuse of the video recording scene, overuse of the driving scene, overuse of the watching video scene, overuse of the video call scene, overuse of the narration scene, and overuse of the drinking scene! Make the film unwatchable! At the end, the American soldier fail to find his brother! Still have a post credit scene! Video footage of Ethan Hawke talking about this movie! That's it! Wasting time to watch!
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7/10
Abel Ferrara
yusufpiskin21 November 2021
The movie begins with a foreword by Ethan Hawke. I've only seen this on DVD/Blu-Ray extras before.

Ethan Hawke was a fan of Abel Ferrara like me.

We both loved the same Abel Ferrara movies.

Abel is an objectionable name in the industry. Not many people want to be involved in his projects because Abel's films are incomprehensible.

Abel Ferrara likes to play with people's nerve endings.

The imdb and letterboxd reviews of the movie are proof of that.

The movie is an Abel Ferrara movie with its introduction to the story, the way it focuses on the subject, and the characters.

It will not upset its fans. Abel doesn't care about the rest anyway. As it's supposed to be.
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1/10
What the heck was this?
Horror_Flick_Fanatic20 November 2021
Ethan Hawke must have been bored out of his skull to make this film during the lockdowns. But he wasn't satisfied and dragged us down into his boredom with him.
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1/10
Title is the rating value
paulwattriley29 December 2021
This movie is definitely a zero or one max. I was worried when Ethan thought he had to promote the film at the start... really! I must admit I never finished the movie as it was making me fall asleep and turned off half way through.

I put on Transylvania 6-5000 instead now there is a terrible movie that is watchable.
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1/10
Tried to watch and like
celt00719 November 2021
This movie is tedious and very hard to understand .

The film is dark grainy and odd.

It is so confusing Ethan Hawke hops on at the end to try to explain what he thinks it means.

King Of New York the only movie this director has made that is watchable .

The movie is art and it is made to make you think ...

I mean we could analyze the heck out of it to see if it really is some kind masterpiece or something that 20 years from now will be considers as such or we can forget it ... I choose to forget it .
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1/10
Unwatchable
stevelivesey6718 December 2021
Tell a director he is an artist, an auteur or a genius, give him a camera, a budget, a hollywood star and no script during lockdown and what you get is an incoherent mess. A collection of scenes rather than film.

A terrible waste of time. Rome looks lovely though.
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1/10
zero point to this stinker
psxexperten17 December 2021
This movie is insanely terrible. That was visual torture. I can't believe I actually put myself through that.

How bad can a movie get?

Answer: THIS bad. Actually cant get any worse even if you wanted it.

If the writer/director funded this himself, then it is a good example of why people with money should not be allowed to waste everyone's time with boring, uninspired trash like this.

This is a typical f-rated movie. The best way to watch is with the sound down while wearing a blind fold.
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3/10
More zeros than ones!
frank-liesenborgs19 November 2021
"Zeros and ones"? I don't know what to think of this movie especially when at the end when Ethan Hawke refers to making a movie to raise money to make a movie? And "I wonder why I was born?". This is not exactly easy stuff to put in a movie of give or take 60 minutes? Taking out the intro and the end before the credits? They might be referring to a binary structure. It means that everything is merely reacting to the actions that came before it. Think about it: what have you done in life that purely originated from you and nothing else? You realize that everything about your experiences, circumstances and environment have a stake in what you just came up with. Even from the time that you were born, your brain was imprinting experiences that could later have an impact on. So when you look around you, see then that everything is caught within the cause and effect cycle. As far as we are concerned, we are in a reactive state, we are at OFF 0, when we act on that reaction, and we are ON at 1. Some would say that we are a complicated series of 0's and 1's, but each thing that was caused, is a 0 and each thing we cause is a 1. You cannot have the zeros without the ones! Just forget what I wrote. This movie is confusing, rushed and is missing a movie.... I don´t know what I have just seen. Or I drank too much whiskey? Now I am confused!
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3/10
What to say....
jcriche18 November 2021
Warning: Spoilers
I really have no idea wtf this movie was about tbh.

The Prelog by Ethan seemed to be offer some light into what this is about and what we should expect, sadly it didn't deliver, it's a bunch of obscure scenes most of which have very poor lighting, trying to be atmospheric, incoherently edited together, and sadly it fails.

At the end Ethan does a monologue and the look on his face says it all to be honest he looks utterly confused and seems lost for words.

At the end I was left feeling, what have I just spent the last hour and a half watching, other than weird, obscure, self indulgent for the director only nonsense.
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2/10
Hard to stay with it
supermellowcali25 November 2021
Instead of asking us to suspend our disbelief, the unneeded beginning introduction by Ethan Hawke reminds us it's an actor, a movie, all fake- a boring start, but also dialog that simply belongs on the talk show tour, right? If there are redeeming qualities about this film, I missed them because I found it hard to keep paying attention... and I wonder who wants to see him in a sex scene? I had to look away.
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1/10
Below zero
teutonfirst18 November 2021
Shaky camera, blurry image, Ethan Hawk, with a mask, more shaky camera, sometimes unfocused, darker image, filming without purpose, or on some objective, more blurry image, then BAM! Car lights, then darkness, unfocused image, and goes on like that till the end, when the big secret is revealed, director was high. The end.
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9/10
A feverish nightmare about the end of the world
thao21 November 2021
There are some directors I will watch even though the films gets terrible reviews. Abel Ferrara is one of those. He might be the bravest director out there. Always trying to push the language of film and story telling. This one has 3.2 on IMDb. I'm guessing mostly because those who have rated it thought they were getting a typical action film. The genre according to IMDb is Action, Adventure, which is very misleading.

I really don't know what I was watching and I don't think it matters. The film is like a feverish nightmare about the end of the world. I suspect it is best experienced as a avant garde video art film rather than a narrative thriller. Enter at your own risk.
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1/10
Is there a way to give a movie a negative score?
sanjsrik21 November 2021
Seriously, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS MOVIE? Was there an actual plot?

Imagine walking into the middle of a conversation that's been going on for about 45 minutes, you have no idea what anyone is talking about because they are all speaking a language you don't speak. Then add that to standing in the literal dark (because it feels like 99.99% of the movie was testing to see if you could squint enough to SEE what was actually going on on screen) and you have an idea of HOW BAD this movie is.

The acting is terrible.

The plot is, okay, I have no clue what the plot was, even after reading the synopsis. Nope, no clue what the plot was.

The lighting is just atrocious.

There's no point in giving away any spoilers because it wouldn't make any sense and honestly, NO ONE SHOULD WATCH THIS THING. It is just THAT BAD.
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1/10
let me try to count the "0"s and "1"s .....
THEgongoozler23 November 2021
Director: 1 (Abel Ferrara)

Writer: 1 (Abel Ferrara)

(paid) Actor: 1 (Ethan Hawke)

Target Audience: 1 (the same Abel Ferrara)

Budget: undisclosed, definitely very low "0"s

shooting permit at Rome: uninformed guess is 0, due to COVID-19 restrictions

spending on Lighting: $0

"spin" effectiveness by Ethan Hawke in the ending video: 100%, it earned 1 star from me in my rating.
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1/10
Disjointed snippets
RodMartinJr2 December 2021
This film struggled to say something profound in the same way that a drunk tries to make a point, switching midstream -- several times -- to find a new subject. A distracting mess. Well acted, what there was of it, but little more than colorful garbage.
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1/10
Had to see if it was as bad as the reviews
rachbruno20 November 2021
It's worse. Oh how Ethan Hawke has fallen. He's capable of more than this. Someone get Ethan Hawke a better role! Don't make the mistake I did in thinking, "It can't be THAT bad" and then watching it. Just skip it and save yourselves. It's too late for me.
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1/10
What a mess
mjschiller-105-31334021 November 2021
I tried to watch this, all I could think of is why would you make this, why would you brag about being able to work with a director when this is the result, what is this rubbish? Abel Ferrara should have apologised to the audience at the end of this movie! I didn't even make it 1/2 way through! It's a mess and a big zero, which I would have given if IMDB had allowed!
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2/10
What a mess!
BornKnight21 November 2021
Being an admirer of Ferrara independent artistic and philosophy work on other movies (especially in collaboration with Dafoe), no matter how bad or controversial the opinions are on his works, I just can't recommend this one.

Los Angeles and New York Times reviews are just beyond my reason and open-minded ability to understand why they praised this movie. It isn't a thriller, it doesn't have a message, it is just an awful, boring, horrible mess of dialogues and acting (even Ethan Hawke is just bad here) without purpose or even aesthetic beauty, even being something aimed to be gritty and real.

If one of the objectives of the movie was to convey to the viewer the feeling of anxiety and chaos on this confuse political pandemic era that we are living, this was accomplished. I quitted of trying to give it a chance lasting only 25min to the end, and just fast forwarded it.

For sure the worst work of the director... I gave the score an extra star due to Ferrara's courage to make and release controversial and cryptic works as this one, even with the negative reviews... not a zero, not a one, but a 2 out of ten.
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1/10
Beyond words
dlbott22 November 2021
Wow, undescribly bad. What happened to hawke. This is in new classification as cell phone movies. LITERALLY many of them are LOL. When they have SAME writer/director who usually also acts in it just stay away.

I guess hawk playing for room N board LOL, that is what it looked like.

As said by OTHERS THIS was just RIP of others and should never have been made. As always there is attempt to put push their beliefs down your throat.

The acting is awful.

Also they rarely tell u the budget or gross sales etc. Run from this one...
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2/10
Don't waste your time
david_w_gibson26 December 2021
Don't waste your ti,e. I watched the whole thing being hopeful, but still only came out with a vague sense of what the film was about. Hawke sets it up with a preface like it was something special makes me want to ask him directly for my 1.5 hours of life back. Filming tried to be edgy I guess, but was just distracting and dreadful, as was the whole movie, including what Hawke called acting.
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