Empire of the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Empire of the Sun Reviews

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
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.
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
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
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
May 17, 2009
Spielberg has dreamed of flying before, and this time he earns his wings.
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Variety Staff
Variety
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.
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.
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Janet Maslin
New York Times
May 20, 2003
There are many glorious moments here.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 1, 2000
Spielberg seems unable to come to terms with anything real.
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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
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.