Empire of the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Empire of the Sun Reviews

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Joanna Berry
Radio Times
October 26, 2016
Now considered a trial run for the more moving, horrifying and involving Schindler's List, Steven Spielberg's drama, set in China during the Second World War, is a glossy and rather tame affair.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
October 26, 2016
The pseudomystical vagueness that seems to be Spielberg's stock-in-trade stifles most of the particularity of the source.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Spielberg seems unable to come to terms with anything real.
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily
October 6, 2005
| Original Score: 2/5
Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
April 2, 2004
| Original Score: 2/5
February 10, 2003
| Original Score: 2/5
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
October 26, 2016
[Empire of the Sun] has too much childish buoyancy to serve the disturbing historical events it's ostensibly based on.
Top Critic
Hal Hinson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
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.
Darren Bignell
Empire Magazine
January 1, 2000
Good-looking but hollow.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
October 26, 2016
Empire of the Sun wants very badly to be a great film, though as Steven Spielberg really ought to know by now, wishing doesn't make it so.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune
October 26, 2016
This is derivative melodrama with Spielberg hedging his bets by ripping off his previous adventure films to lighten a story that cries out not to be turned into a comic book.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
October 26, 2016
The film's grave problem is a lack of central heating: We don't have a single character to warm up to.

People Magazine
October 26, 2016
The sun sets on this Empire without convincing us that either Jim or Spielberg has come any closer to growing up.
Top Critic
John Gill
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.
Scott G. Mignola
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
Beautiful, but lacking WWII saga about a boy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
July 29, 2002
| Original Score: 3/5
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
June 10, 2004
| 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
Mark R. Leeper
rec.arts.movies.reviews
January 1, 2000
This is the best film I have seen this year. Perhaps the best in several years.
Full Review | Original Score: +4 out of -4..+4
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