The Zeroes (2014) – By Christian Nelson

Steve Royall’s new feature film plays like a live action Peanuts comic. It’s also the first film I’ve reviewed here at Rogue that was actually intended to be a lighthearted and family-friendly story, and it’s a breath of fresh air for that reason alone. For fans of The Sandlot and Bad News Bears, I recommend The Zeroes.

Lots of films these days are jumping on this anti-bullying bandwagon, including this one. But what sets The Zeroes apart is its humor and innocence. There’s a couple bullies monopolizing the neighborhood Martin Scorsese-style, and it’s up to Julian and his band of “zeroes” to put a stop to it. Once the group disposes of said bullies, an even worse antagonist is revealed within the group itself in the form of Brian, who steals Julian’s crush and starts monetizing the anti-bullying service, again, Scorsese-style.

The Zeroes benefits from Royall’s intelligent writing and direction, considering the majority of the cast is under age. And such a cast doesn’t prevent an average adult from enjoying the film. The jokes numerous and relevant, although I think things tend to slow down towards the middle of the story. The characters themselves are diverse, and you’ll have fun picking your favorites.