Open main menu

The Last Face is a 2016 American drama film directed by Sean Penn and written by Erin Dignam. The film stars Charlize Theron, Javier Bardem, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Jean Reno. It was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival,[1][2] debuting to generally poor reviews.[3] The film was released on DirecTV on June 29, 2017, before being released on video on demand and in theaters on July 28, 2017, by Saban Films.

The Last Face
The Last Face.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySean Penn
Produced by
Written byErin Dignam
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyBarry Ackroyd
Edited byJay Cassidy
  • FilmHaven Entertainment
  • Gerber Pictures
  • Matt Palmieri Productions
  • River Road Entertainment
Distributed bySaban Films
Release date
  • May 20, 2016 (2016-05-20) (Cannes)
  • June 29, 2017 (2017-06-29) (United States)
Running time
132 minutes
CountryUnited States


Wren is a physician and activist working in West Africa with the organization Doctors of the World that her dead father started so many years ago. She's happy to lead the organization, but frequently finds herself negatively comparing herself to her father's achievements. During 2003 Wren meets Miguel, a handsome surgeon who has also devoted himself to treating people from impoverished and war torn sections of the world. The two fall in love, however Wren soon discovers that Miguel has had a prior sexual relationship with her cousin, which contributes to the decay of their relationship.



On April 10, 2014, it was announced Sean Penn would direct the film, with Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem set to star in the film.[4] Principal photography began on August 1, 2014, in Cape Town.[5][6]


Director, producer, and stars at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on May 20, 2016.[7] On September 8, 2016, Saban Films acquired U.S distribution rights to the film.[8] The film was released on DirecTV on June 29, 2017, before being released on video on demand and in theaters on July 28, 2017, by Saban Films.[9]


The reception for The Last Face at Cannes was very negative and The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the film was booed during its screening.[10][11] As of August 2019, the film holds a rating of 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 46 reviews, with an average rating of 2.6/10.[12] The Hollywood Reporter panned the film, writing "A backdrop of Third World atrocity, suffering and merciless human-rights violations serves as the canvas for a faux-profound Hollywood love story in Sean Penn's stunningly self-important but numbingly empty cocktail of romance and insulting refugee porn, The Last Face."[13] The Guardian and The Telegraph were equally dismissive, with The Guardian commenting that "Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem give career worst performances as doctors falling in love in west Africa while black characters are relegated to the background".[14][15]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cannes 2016: Live Stream & Full Festival Lineup". IndieWire. 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  2. ^ Peter Debruge, Elsa Keslassy (2016-04-14). "Cannes Film Festival 2016 Lineup: The BFG, Nice Guys, Money Monster". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  3. ^ "Sean Penn's 'The Last Face' Ripped Apart on Twitter After Cannes Debut". Variety. May 20, 2016.
  4. ^ Busch, Anita (2014-04-10). "Sean Penn To Direct Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem In 'The Last Face'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  5. ^ Thomas, Kate (2014-08-01). "Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem kick off filming for The Last Face in Cape Town". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-06.
  6. ^ "On The Set For 8/11/14: 'Jurassic World' Wraps, 'The Last Face' Starts". SSN Insider. 2014-08-11. Archived from the original on 2014-10-21. Retrieved 2016-05-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Owen Gleiberman (2016-05-20). "Cannes review: Charlize Theron in Sean Penn's The Last Face'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  8. ^ Busch, Anita (September 8, 2016). "Saban Films To Distribute Sean Penn's 'The Last Face'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "See 'Last' trailer for film Sean Penn, Charlize Theron made together". 2017-06-27. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
  10. ^ "Sean Penn film The Last Face booed at Cannes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  11. ^ Sharf, Zack. "'The Last Face' Review Roundup: Critics Exhaust Themselves Finding New Ways to Mock Sean Penn". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  12. ^ "The Last Face". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  13. ^ "Sean Penn's 'The Last Face': Cannes Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  14. ^ Lee, Benjamin (2016-05-20). "The Last Face review – African conflict is aphrodisiac for white people in Sean Penn's crass romance". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  15. ^ "Cannes 2016: The Last Face is the pompous nadir of Sean Penn's career - review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-05-21.
  16. ^ Lapin, Andrew (March 23, 2017). "Sean Penn's Cannes Disaster 'The Last Face' Moved to a Summer VOD Release". IndieWire. Retrieved July 6, 2017. Critics chided Penn for making a treacly white-savior movie that attempts to shame its audience with bloody war imagery.

External linksEdit