Serenity - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Serenity Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 20, 2007
Simply one of the finest sci fi stories out there. A superb cast brings the series Firefly to the big screen and casts a wonderful spell. Summr Glau is one of the best bad assess of the sci fi world.
Super Reviewer
February 4, 2010
This Firefly movie is an excellent follow-up to the short-lived series, offering a lot of awesome action, witty exchanges of dialogue filled with dry humor and characters that we care about - a wonderful gift for the fans and a very entertaining sci-fi Western for everyone else.
Super Reviewer
October 30, 2006
The crew of a spaceship operating on the ragged edge of civilisation are targeted by the ruling Alliance for harbouring a pair of fugitives that have knowledge of a secret that is potentially devastating to their regime. The fans of cult sci-fi western Firefly were aware that Joss Whedon was capable of creating a hugely enjoyable fantasy blockbuster a good while before The Avengers hit our screens. Serenity is the conclusion to the swiftly - and unjustly - cancelled TV show and contains the same formula of likable characters, funny one-liners and space bound action that made it so beloved by the few who actually saw it. The idea of a roguish smuggler going head to head with a charismatic villain to expose the folly of an evil empire is not unlike that of a certain other infamous franchise; in fact Serenity could be considered Han Solo: The Movie and captures the charm of the original Star Wars trilogy far more successfully than its own prequels. Existing in the space between Pirates Of The Caribbean and Minority Report, Serenity makes a perfect conclusion to Whedon's space-bound saga and I encourage anyone who enjoyed The Avengers to seek out copies of both this and the original Firefly series.
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2007
Serenity is the work of an auteur. It's hard to call Joss Whedon that since he primarily works in fantasy, horror, and sci-fi (apparently only Godard, Scorsese, and Welles can be considered auteurs), but there hasn't been a space opera film thoughtful, funny, well acted, entertaining, and lively since the original Star Wars. A masterwork for fans of Firefly and great fantasy alike.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2010
Just as good as the television show that preceded it, "Serenity" grasps all the characters you know and love from "Firefly" and gives them all one last time to shine, and boy is it fun! This film offers some awesome action sequences, that obviously would not have been possible on the small-budgeted television show, and the dialogue is just as snappy as ever, while always taking itself serially when it needs to, which is why Joss Whedon is such a good writer. It may not be the best sci-fi flick out there, but it sure as hell is one of the most fun, and the visuals are fun to look at too, because they do the best with what they have. "Serenity" is great entertainment at it's finest, but just look at who is at the helm. Great way to end the series!
Super Reviewer
May 20, 2013
Having enjoyed the space cowboy bravado of the prematurely cancelled "Firefly" television series, I went into "Serenity" with low expectations, figuring that the movie capper would answer some questions but leave more unanswered. I wasn't wrong though it was still nice to get reacquainted.

The addition of quietly dangerous Chiwetel Ejiofor as an Alliance Operative provides a menacing new story arc. River's programmed badassery is brought to fruition but still mindfucky, and a couple characters receive heartbreaking yet honorable discharges. Jewel Staite as the plucky Kaylee and Adam Baldwin as the mercenary Jayne seem the weak links in this reunion - somewhat phoning in their once naive and sociopathic charm, respectively.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2007
25/02/2013 (Online)
Super Reviewer
½ June 9, 2006
Firefly was a great, but unfortunately criminally short-lived television series. This movie represents a feature length follow-up, and for the most part, it really doesn't disappoint.

While you could see this without having knowledge of the show, it is better to already come to it with some prior knowledge. So, just for the sake of fairness, here's a brief bit of back story: It's the 26th Century, and due to overpopulation, people on the Earth as we know it (Earth that once was) have branched out to colonize other places. Our protagonistys are a motley crew of petty thieves who perform jobs legal and illegal aboard their transport ship called Serenity. Besides trying to avoid the totalitarian government, they also try to avoid a group of animalistic human cannibals known as Reavers. To add to the crew's problems, they pick up a doctor and his sister, a psychic wanted by the government due to the fact that she might possess dark and dangerous secrets.

I tried to simplify that as best as I could, but it's hard, because the whole concept of the show and movie is just really deep, and really cool since it's quite literally a sci-fi western.

I loved the show, and I dug the movie quite a lot. It answers any of the lingering issues of the show, and offers a nice scenario of how the show might have progressed with the various storylines of the 9 major characters. Joss Whedon's writing is crisp, sharp, and the dialogue is just a blast to listen to.

The characters are surprisingly well developed given the circumstances (I really think the movie should have been at least 30 minutes longer), and non-fans will be able to pick up the basics of who these people are quite easily. Yes, the screen time each gets is limited, but the best is made with what they are given.

The core cast return, and they once again play their parts marvelously. They are joined by two new characters played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Krumholtz, and I liked those two a lot. I could have used a bit more of the latter, but that's a minor thing. Everyone has a great rapport with one another, and it's nice seeing these people in action again.

The film, like the show, is a good blend of wit, drama, action, and intrigue, and there's some great set pieces here as well, including finally getting to see the Reavers in action, which didn't get to happen during the show's run.

All in all, this is mainly for the fans, but it's not purely off limits to outsiders. I recommend the show before seeing this, because it's worth it in general, but also because it gives the viewer a better appreciation of things.Give this one a watch, it's quite something.
Super Reviewer
½ July 11, 2012
Joss've succeeded yet again!
Super Reviewer
August 13, 2006
It's just flat-out spectacular. A mind-blasting good time. A masterpiece. Director and creator, Joss Whedon has crafted a new breed of adventure from his classic short-lived tv series, Firefly. A tremdously entertaining, nail-biting and thrilling instant sci-fi classic. A hip, funny and wickedly entertaining action-packed thrill-ride. The story is brilliant and the excitement is non-stop. The most original sci-fi film in years. This makes Star Wars look like puppy chow. A great cast of actors who do a an extroadinary job. It's character driven and very well told. Nathan Fillion gives a breakout performance that shows undeniable star power. Chiwetel Ejiofor is brilliant and extreamly cool. The crew you love to watch just brings on the fun and energy and do not stop to take a breath. A totally enjoyable adventure that you can not get enough of. Awesome action sequeces and great humor from start to finish. It`s tunning, thrilling and breathtaking. An unforgettable and exhilerating adreniline-rush. A full-throttle and utterly enjoyable ride thats just pure fun.
Super Reviewer
½ July 29, 2010
The continuation of the television series "Firefly", Joss Whedon wraps up what-could-of -been with an explosive bang. For those who don't know, Firefly was a television show created by Joss Whedon (Buffy, Angel) which had a tenuous start on Fox, as the network aired the episodes out of order, confusing the fans and irritating the other viewers. Sadly, it was cancelled midseason and only eleven episodes made it to air, though thirteen were shot. The show became a cult classic once it came out on DVD, and rightly so, as the show was multi-layered, multi-faceted, and certainly kickass. Like the show the film explores the new worlds of space, as Earth has been destroyed and outer planets have been terraformed. The struggle is much like that of Star Wars: the evil of the universe is made up of a shiny society of rich and calculating men trying to better the outer planets, or rebels, by making them part of their Alliance. A war breaks out, but the rebels lose, and now a crew of deserters roam the universe, finding scraps from ships that have either been pillaged by the pirating Reevers or captured by the Alliance. The original cast of the show reprise each of their roles, including Nathan Fillion as Captain Mal Reynolds, Alan Tudyk as Wash, and Morena Baccarin as the companion named Inara. The genre of the show and movie is certainly described as space western, meshing the action packed scenes of space and the equally calculated and thoughtful ones of the western, on these desolate outer planets. The universe is constructed thoughtfully, merging the culture of Earth so the language reflects an amalgamation of English and Chinese, the values that constrained prostitution have been lifted, and the attitudes of the people have regressed as well as their intelligence. The effects are amazing compared to the original show and there is some sufficient back-story but no true answers to the questions originally poised. We finally get to see the range of River's abilities, the origins of the Reevers, and some amazing acting from Chiwetel Ejiofor as a government assassin. The story is actually engaging, the characters are written impeccably, and though it wasn't a giant answer to the show and didn't give fans any new insight, it did wrap up the show, in true Joss Whedon fashion. Never say that Joss Whedon doesn't shock and awe with his programs, as he has done with his other series, stretching the boundaries of what makes good television. In the past he's let the main character die, destroyed entire towns, and didn't resolve romances we had longed to see to fruition. So, in this film he pulled no punches, and let loose on what constitutes reality. Really, just enjoyable for anyone who loves innovative genre bending and lovable characters for all the wrong reasons.
Super Reviewer
November 27, 2010
Liked this one a lot.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2011
After watching the firefly tv show, it became quite obvious why they made this movie after the show was cancelled. They conclude and answer so many ideas and questions that developed in the show, that it's completely necessary to have watched the tv show to understand film. Fantastic movie, fantastic show.
Super Reviewer
May 14, 2011
I am a huge fan of the "Firefly" series, and I thought the idea behind the whole series was fantastic. The concept of "Firefly" ins that of a space Western. The series follows the adventures of the crew of Serenity, a Firefly class cargo ship. Serenity directed by Joss Whedon continues the adventures of Malcolm Reynolds and his crew of smugglers from the Firefly TV show. One thing that has made Serenity an awesome viewing experience is the fact that Whedon has brought on board the original cast of the cancelled TV show. The film keeps the thrills, humour, wit and action from the TV show which is a big plus. Serenity is one original Sci Fi film that is pure excitement. Personally, Serenity is one of my favorite Sci Fi action films since the original Star Wars trilogy. Serenity should appeal to the diehard Firefly fans because Whedon has kept all the necessary ingredients that has made the show so good. The Alliance are still on the hunt for Sam and River Tam and they have hired an Operative who is brilliantly played by Chiwetel Ejisfor. I thought The Operative was one of the most unique and interesting cinematic villains to come around in a while.Serenity is a wonderful action packed film that is very enjoyable because of it's well written story and good. acting. Serenity is one of the few examples of a film that successfully goes from the small screen to the big screen. The show was excellent and the film is just as good. Whedon knows how to pull off a terrific film adaptation of a wonderful tv show, while most directors can't. Serenity is better than your recent Sci Fi Action film, and has a totally different angle with the Space Western theme which makes it that much better. The film boasts a few surprises for Browncoats, but I won't reveal anything if there are a few who've only seen the show and not the film. Joss Whedon has crafted a flawless masterpiece and I can say without a doubt it ranks up thereas one of the best Sci Fi films such as the original Star Wars. I love this film, it's a fun ride from start to finish.
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2011
There are many who haven't heard of Joss Whedon's cult classic show Firefly, which was an extremely unique blend of sci-fi and westerns. The show only lasted one season, but it was undoubtedly a great show. "Serenity" was meant to be a slight form of closure for fans of the show. So does that mean a newcomer wouldn't have the slightest clue what's going on? No, the movie is surprisingly accessible to newcomers while pleasing fans of the show, an extremely hard balance to strike. The plot is interesting with some cool reveals and great action, but the highlight of the movie comes in the form of The Operative (his name is never mentioned in dialogue or seen). He's an extremely interesting character, going about his job as an assassin for the government in a very non-chalant manner (the opening scene features one of the funniest/brutal assassinations I've seen on celluloid). For fans of sci-fi or good humor in general, give this a shot.
Super Reviewer
½ May 16, 2007
Introduced me to the original and sarcastically witty Firefly series. Not only is the dialogue in this feature is funny, the story is entertaining, there's lots of action and the visual effect are stunning. A must-see!
Super Reviewer
June 13, 2006
Don't watch this if you haven't seen the show Firefly. Despite of that the creators say, you won't get it. The fans are up for a pretty emotional and exciting ride, though. Darker than the show, but with better effects, and the characters are still true their TV selves with a few wonderfully funny lines. The last 45 minutes are particularly awesome including one of the greatest space battles ever filmed and an exciting showdown that has you on the edge of your seat. A worthy end to a really great TV show, despite of a few tragic losses that leave a bit of a stale taste in your mouth...
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2007
a really great flick. inventive and fun to watch.
Super Reviewer
I was ready to dislike this movie but found my self surprised by it.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2009
Just by the way, I'm not one of those nuts who was completely obsessed with the show before the film came out. In fact, I didn't even know there was a show until after I watched the movie. This rating, then, is based solely upon the movie itself, bereft of the backstories of the characters and the foundations of having watched the show.

This movie should not exist. By all rights, it should not have even been conceived as a thought of making this film. How often is it that a TV show which had jack all in the ratings scale, was cancelled in the middle of one season and was filled with a cast of unknowns gets made into a film? Never, is the answer. It NEVER happens. But thank the heavens that it did, because the result is spectacular.

Serenity begins with a fantastic dream within a recording within a flashback sequence which sets the tone for the rest of the film brilliantly; a slightly neurotic, slickly versed action sci-fi which is a roller coaster ride from the start to the fantastic finish.

As we follow the story of River Tam, the empire on her tail and the rag-tag crew with whom she resides, we meet a fantastic range of characters and some fantastic action sequences, all written and directed flawlessly by Joss Whedon. The relatively unknown filmmaker shows us a flair for action and hand for writing which most people would kill for. He displays an ability to include his audience in both aspects, bringing you in on all the in-jokes and putting you squarely inside the intense action sequences like a seasoned pro. It's a testament to great things which are most certainly to come.

Each member of the cast seems to know their character inside out, a benefit from having done a TV show as 'practice' But it is Nathan Fillion who you will remember most here. His career creating role as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds Is fantastic. He embodies his character at every turn, showing a fantastic grasp of the humour which permeates the film as well as showing the unpredictable, hard-nut, not-quite-honourable space pirate as well. His is a very layered performance which isn't something you would usually expect in an action/sci-fi/western. He's this decade's Han Solo for sure.

The script, as I mentioned before, is amazing. Effortlessly blending comedy and drama, it manages to streer clear of cheese and actually effect you in some cases. It is written perfectly for each character as well, not just in their different phrases but to do with their states of mind and their beliefs. The actual plot line is great too. Instead of being a forgettable excuse to have these great characters onscreen, the plot will actually have you thinking by the end.

The CG is fantastic. On a par with Iron Man in terms of camera work and photorealism, blending seamlessly with the directorial style of Whedon in the first place, making it feel a part of the film and thus more real, which should be the aim of all CG. The action sequences are incredible. I may have mentioned this quickly before, but they truly are spectacular, especially one sequence in which River takes on a bar full of people by herself.

Serenity Is a fantastically entertaining film which should, if all goes to plan, propel much of the cast into instant fame. And all hail Nathan Fillion.

Defining Scene:
Mal investigates Inara's cry for help, and gets more than he bargained. That or the climactic scene with River and Mal and the crew all fighting different enemies.

Wash: "This landing is gonna get pretty interesting." Mal: "Define interesting." Wash: "Oh God, oh God we're all gonna die?" Mal: "This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then - explode."
Mal: "You all wanna be looking very intently at your own belly buttons. I see a head start to rise, violence is going to ensue. Probably guessed we mean to be thieving here but what we're after is not yours. So, let's have no undue fussing."
The Operative: "Do you know what you're sin is?"
Mal: "What was that?"
Wash: "I'm a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar."
Mal: "Do you want to run this ship?" Jayne: "Yes." Mal: "Well... you can't."
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