• PG, 2 hr. 33 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Steven Spielberg
    In Theaters:
    Dec 9, 1987 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 6, 2001
  • Warner Home Video

Opening

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Empire of the Sun Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie is always interesting from a narrative point of view. Spielberg is a good storyteller with a good tale to tell. But it never really adds up to anything.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 1, 2000
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spielberg seems unable to come to terms with anything real.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily

| Original Score: 2/5

October 6, 2005
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

| Original Score: 2/5

April 2, 2004

| Original Score: 2/5

February 10, 2003
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Spielberg is a virtuoso performer, and virtuosity can't be dismissed. But what Empire of the Sun proves is that it can have its limitations.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Darren Bignell
Empire Magazine

Good-looking but hollow.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2000
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media

Beautiful, but lacking WWII saga about a boy.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

January 2, 2011
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

| Original Score: 3/5

July 29, 2002
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

| Original Score: 4/5

June 10, 2004
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium

If you've ever wondered where the Spielberg of Schindler's List came from, look no further than this underappreciated gem - the first real sign that he was more than just a generator of warm fuzzies.

| Original Score: 4/5

August 13, 2002
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews

This is the best film I have seen this year. Perhaps the best in several years.

Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Original Score: +4 out of -4..+4

January 1, 2000
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

The best mix in his directorial career between typical Spielbergian flourishes of audience-friendly spectacle and seriousness of intent.

Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy | Original Score: 10/10

April 7, 2013
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com

Christian Bale's debut is a doozy.

| Original Score: 5/5

October 13, 2007
Variety Staff
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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.

Full Review Source: Variety

June 2, 2008
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com

Looking beyond Spielberg's self-indulgence... Empire of the Sun is a gem about a kid trying to find his way all by his lonesome.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4/5

October 27, 2001
Eric Melin
Scene-Stealers.com

| Original Score: 3/5

September 29, 2006
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

| Original Score: 3/5

September 3, 2002
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice

Empire of the Sun reveals the countless ways in which war dehumanizes individuals.

Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice

January 15, 2002
Michael Atkinson
Movieline

Christian Bale blasted away the old paint from what we've come to expect of kid acting.

Full Review Source: Movieline

November 6, 2001
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