There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Polish writer-director Pawel Borowski makes his directorial debut with this day-in-the-life tale of the seemingly unrelated inhabitants of a drab Polish metropolis. Eschewing the constraints of a fully developed protagonist, Zero has a center of gravity that is in constant flux, with generous doses of MTV Buzz Bin-approved industrial rock (think: Fear Factory, Stabbing Westward) foreshadowing each climactic reveal with the subtlety of a jackhammer (or synthesizer). Zero’s lack of focus—along with its groan-inducing setups that connect the dots—gives each fleeting interaction the depth of a Craigslist missed connection. Unable to induce signs of life into cinematic chaos theory, the film bottoms out when it sadistically punishes its hapless cast through random acts of violence reminiscent of those that once haunted the beginning of Six Feet Under—or less charitably, the Final Destination franchise.