Zeros and Ones (2021) Poster

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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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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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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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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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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
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
Biggest waste of time ever
bencrea18 November 2021
It's so boring, that's it.

Very hard to give a single damn about anything going on when the majority of it is in the dark too.

I actually don't even understand how anything this bad was made in the first place.

Oh and a very cringe intro from ethan hawk didn't help me appreciate this film.
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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
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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1/10
At least they predicted the rating on the title
drsnow-0641219 November 2021
Opening video from Ethan Hawke promoting the movie seems like he has a gun to his head. The director might be a fan of films from the 70s, Using grainy film and too much close up shots to the actors. We appreciate the film following quarantine protocols, but it doesn't state there is a pandemic, which is unnecessary. Both the film and the director scored zeros and ones.
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2/10
what in the world was this?
conyo18 November 2021
Looking at the poster and short description, I thought I'm in for a beer+movie night, something in line of Olympus Has Fallen or Jack Ryan movies - bombing, hero, action, maybe even a babe - typical "I am not really a grown man at heart" kind of movie. Boy, was I mistaken. It's some artsy-fartsy all-dark shaky-camera blurred-pics movie, with very - VERY - convoluted story. I believe it was funded by Kickstarter, and it would explain quite a bit.

Ethan Hawke makes a speech in the beginning of the movie. OK, weird. Then he makes a speach at the end of the movie, in line of "I just watched it, and you just watched it" - pauses, and they you think "he's going to say 'I have no idea what we just both watched', he's going to say it!" - but he doesn't. Pity, that'd be a masterpiece :D.
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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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1/10
No, thx.
braunbart18 November 2021
Incoherent, pseudo-artistic, boring and much more, but not worth one and a half hours of your life, even in a lockdown. I gave it a try despite the bad reviews, but they are all truthful. You can´t even spoiler stuff because no one can tell what this could be about in the first place.
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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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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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2/10
Spoilers anybody?
gekkepoppetje19 November 2021
Dark, shaky images in movie about nothing. Some heavy themes like muslims and Vatican? Bad FX? Actors with face masks in the glow of a flashlight? I wish I could post spoilers. After 40 minutes I still had no clue. Will someone explain what this is al about?
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2/10
Lost in art?
na-0906918 November 2021
The introduction by Ethan Hawke (why and what is the added value?), presented with what seems a series of apologizing facial expressions like he doesn't believe in the project himself, sort of illustrates what you can expect the coming 85 minutes: an actor and a director who like each other and want to make a film loaded with messages: "I think we're gonna be able to do something really special. Uh, I consider the most important aspect of my job who I choose to work with, that's what actors do." Right.... Have fun with yourself.

Well, there you have it. Two boys with similar world views, getting lost in some artistic fever, totally forgetting us as an audience, trying to get heavy ideas across that get stranded in US film regulations which at some points can make US movies laughable like in this movie also when at one point Ethan is kidnapped and is forced to have sex with a beautiful woman. And there they go: he with his pants on, she keeps her full body stocking on. This scene is accompanied by emotional music while the images of a close up of the woman putting her hand on his back merge into chromatic colours. Very arty.

Earlier in the film the torturers of his brother gave him all the time to hold lengthy monologues. So....too much, so off target. I could go on, but I probably don't understand true art.

Really, if you want to say something and don't agree with events that are shaping the world right now, or just want to get your views across, then dare to say it. Not half. And don't drown your shots in too often over-dramatic music and darkness to give it some deeper meaning. Find a country where you have all the freedom to wrap your ideas and visions in an art form. My guess is the French for instance would have done a much better job at it.

Well I have to choose between zeros and ones right? Sorry I choose 2. That's art.
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1/10
Disastrous
rasmussen-7718 November 2021
Way beyond disappointing! Complete waste of time and talent. Ethan Hawke has just hit an all time low. Perhaps he really needed the money. I didn't even finish this awful movie. Don't watch it!
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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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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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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
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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2/10
Why, Ethan? Whyyy??
Cosmotron42O19 November 2021
Siggggghhhhhhh....... Ok...... I liked Ethan Hawke in Gattaca years ago... so I was like 'Yea, sure, let's give it a try'. I'm sorry but this is just unwatchable. I guess it's one of those horrible, cheap movies which knows it's horrible and cheap and tries to cover it up as an art film. If you call it art then it makes it good. But it's like trying to cover up the carcass of an elephant with a napkin to stop the smell. The 'explosion' of the Vatican effects? The insemination at gunpoint scene? Are you friggin kidding me?

The end is just the best. 'So, that's the movie... I just watched it... and you just watched it...' and then it's like a full minute of him staring and looking around quietly, rubbing his nose, speechless, as if deeply ashamed. He stated he did not understand the script but 'liked it'. I was half expecting him to confess that the whole thing was a prank. But no such luck. That was just priceless nevertheless.

You know what, nevermind... Enough said.
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1/10
Did Ferrara's crew switch to a potato cam?
HorrorFilmHellion19 November 2021
I Iike the director's previous efforts- well many of them, not all. But this effort was not close to the expected mark. I lost interest as soon as the dark scenes/shaky camera/generic covid mask laziness posing as "art" made a significant presence. In short, Ms 45, this is not. Honestly I'm not sure what this was by the time I gave up. I wasn't entertained enough to find out. Too flimsy, too lazy, and too many bouncy potato cam scenes where there should have been good solid framing and lighting. This is a hard no in my list.
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