Empire of the Sun Synopsis
An upper-class English boy (Christian Bale) becomes a Japanese prisoner in World War II Shanghai.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings

60
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88

TV Guide

As Jim, Bale delivers a stunning performance; he appears in virtually every frame and truly seems to grow over the course of the film from...
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80

Wall Street Journal

By Julie Salamon
With an edgy, intelligent script by playwright Tom Stoppard, Mr. Spielberg has made an extraordinary film out of Mr. Ballard's...
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80

Empire

Spielberg's technical ability is very clear, with much to appreciate on close examination.
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75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
Empire of the Sun remains a solidly engaging story of heroism in the face of adversity, as filtered through the eyes of a boy obsessed with...
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63

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Empire of the Sun adds up to a promising idea, a carefully observed production and some interesting performances.
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63

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
Empire of the Sun is an imperfect film, but at its best it's grand and haunting in ways that only a movie can be. [11 Dec 1987]
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50

Chicago Tribune

By Dave Kehr
The film is sober, serious-minded and paced like a funeral march. [11 Dec 1987]
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50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Stephen Cole
Although Tom Stoppard's script lifts Ballard's spare dialogue directly from the page, the context in which it is placed is kitsch. [11 Dec...
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50

USA Today

By Mike Clark
A faithful, technically brilliant, but also dramatically malnourished film of J.G. Ballard's popular World War II novel. [08 Dec 1987]
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50

San Francisco Chronicle

By
Although he misses reaching to the heart of Jim's spirit and his relationship to other people, Spielberg has clearly taken an impressive...
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Truly amazing adventure

By bribri9091
I have watched this movie at least once each year for the past 10 years. I believe this film is the greatest film ever directed by Steven Spielberg both because of its authenticity to the time in...

More Info

Rated PG
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 13+ Beautiful but grim WWII saga through a boy's eyes.
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