4:44 Last Day on Earth

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It's a Manhattan kind of apocalypse in Abel Ferrara's middling, last-day-on-Earth melodrama. Lower East Siders Cisco (Willem Dafoe) and Skye (Shanyn Leigh)—he's a high-strung layabout, she's a ditzy painter—while away the hours before the ozone layer gives way and life as we know it is snuffed out. The film galumphs from scene to scene with good ideas (the narcotic-like comfort of television screens and mobile devices) smashing against risible ones (Dafoe figures in a cringingly cheap-looking dream sequence). Much of 4:44 feels like it was made in a drug-induced haze, the rest during a depressive, splitting-headache hangover. Neither mode is particularly rewarding.—KU

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New York Film Festival 2011

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