Empire of the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Empire of the Sun Reviews

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
August 21, 2014
Spielberg knows how to tell a story and this one is worth telling.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
April 7, 2013
The best mix in his directorial career between typical Spielbergian flourishes of audience-friendly spectacle and seriousness of intent.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Keith Uhlich
Reverse Shot
April 5, 2012
Arguably Spielberg's strangest object.
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
Beautiful, but lacking WWII saga about a boy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 17, 2009
Spielberg has dreamed of flying before, and this time he earns his wings.

TV Guide
May 17, 2009
Spielberg...displays a progressive and sophisticated awareness of issues of class and race that may be viewed as an apology for the casual imperialist and racist assumptions of his Indiana Jones series.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 17, 2009
Christian Bale, then 13, is a revelation as Jim, an obnoxious British colonial child being brought up in luxury in China.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
June 2, 2008
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.
Steve Crum
March 2, 2008
One of Spielberg's best films, yet seldom shown.
| Original Score: 5/5
Cole Smithey
October 13, 2007
Christian Bale's debut is a doozy.
| Original Score: 5/5
Emanuel Levy
June 20, 2007
One of Spielberg's most underestimated films, this survival saga of a boy separated from his parents in WWII Shanghai is necessarily episodic, but it's beautifully rendered, offering early evidence of the good actor Christian Bale would become.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Martyn Bamber
Slant Magazine
October 11, 2006
Empire of the Sun is not as graphic as the hellish worlds of Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan, but Spielberg doesn't sugarcoat the horrors of war.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic

Time Out
January 26, 2006
Spielberg includes a strand of populist heroism, yet even this fails to dent the awful message. And the budget makes itself seen, as does Bale's superlative Jim.
Top Critic
Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
There are many glorious moments here.
| Original Score: 4/5
Rob Vaux
Flipside Movie Emporium
August 13, 2002
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
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
January 15, 2002
Empire of the Sun reveals the countless ways in which war dehumanizes individuals.
Brian Webster
Apollo Guide
December 4, 2001
A film that verges on greatness, but -- due to occasional shallowness -- falls somewhat short.
| Original Score: 79/100
Michael Atkinson
November 6, 2001
Christian Bale blasted away the old paint from what we've come to expect of kid acting.
Christopher Null
October 27, 2001
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.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 1, 2000
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 | Original Score: 2.5/4
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