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Empire of the Sun

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Steven Spielberg

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About the Movie

From one of the greatest filmmakers of our time, Steven Spielberg, comes an epic film telling the story of a young boy's determination to survive in the face of the devastating events that transpire after Japan invades Shanghai on December 8, 1941.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 48
  • Fresh: 34
  • Rotten: 14
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: There are many glorious moments here. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Oct 26, 2016

Fresh: Spielberg has dreamed of flying before, and this time he earns his wings. – Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: No special use is made of the talents of Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Joe Pantoliano and the others, so it is up to young English thesp Bale to engage the viewer's interest, which he does superbly. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: The film's grave problem is a lack of central heating: We don't have a single character to warm up to. – Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times, Oct 26, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Very good war drama

This is the film that introduced Christian Bale. This movie has suspense, drama, and some of the best child acting of any film ever. But, to whoever wrote the review that stated that "Christian Bale is incredibly hot," ... Weird, because he's about 10 in this movie.

Spielberg gives us...Christian Bale

Bale had to give one of the best child performances I've ever seen, I was with his character Jim all the way to the end of the Chinese occupation of Japan. But, despite this film's fine performances, it is not perfect. the film does sag considerably in the mid-section, and, unless you are very focused on it, you may lose interest in the story. But, fighting through this rough patch is well worth it to experience the film's uplifting, and tragic, finale. An underrated perspective on WWII from Spielberg.


This movie is shot so well, the story is great, and there are no weak actors in this movie. And Spielberg gave Christian Bale a chance and look where he is today! This movie is one I can watch over again and not get tired of. I personally think this is Steven Spielberg's best movie he's done.

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