Empire of the Sun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Empire of the Sun Reviews

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December 28, 2017
A moving story from a unique perspective during WWII. Terrific acting. I love Bale's performance here, and everyone else's to boot. I watch this at least once every year or two.
December 25, 2017


[Steven Spielberg]
December 15, 2017
Jim, a young man growing up in rich environments, gets his whole life turned as the war comes his way. He must survive under the Japanese occupation and things are rough. He's parents are gone and he must hang around some sleasy fellas to survive. Well, he's very smart, so he mostly stands up for himself, but being eleven or so, he is not truly fit for such surroundings.

The movie lost to "The Last Emperor" in all six nomitated categories at the Oscars. Two pretty similiar films actually. Both sat in Asia, with young boys as leads. Both are also very long films. This one felt too long, I fell out of it after a great build up, 1.5 hours in. I failed to focus and I figured that I never bought the story, I guess. Too many happy undertones, even if it's seen from a childs perspective. Some great scenes, like the sneaky mission and the footrint sceene, done in a room covered with powder.

This is Bale's film, he is very impressive. His debut to screen, at age twelve. I've always thought he debuted in "Mio Min Mio", but I stand corrected. They came out the same year, though. Huge film, but not my favorite work from Steven. Far from it.

6 out of 10 golf shoes.
½ November 16, 2017
Not as good as I thought it would be . Overwrought is a word that comes to mind ... Although great seeing a young Christian Bale .. Some good things but ...
October 15, 2017
One of the great movies of all time and the critics get it wrong again.
½ October 9, 2017
Insightful drama from 1987 directed by Steven Spielberg. The story loosely follows events in the Pacific region as China and Japan are at war.
The U.S. become involved after Pearl Harbor leading to the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The film has a good cast including a pre-teen Christian Bale as posh English schoolboy Jim, John Malkovich and Nigel Havers. I also recognised Leslie Phillips from the Carry On films.
The story is told over three or so hours as the few English in Shanghai become pawns in the China/Japan conflict.
Bale plays Jim and it is his painful journey that is followed. A journey that sees him separated from his parents, become a prisoner in a prisoner of war camp until the end of the war before being reunited with his parents at the end of the war.
The film embarks on a journey that has been explored many times but has a degree of excellence in Spielbergs direction.
The variety of Spielbergs work holds no bounds. Empire Of The Sun is one of his more serious efforts from the 1980s alongside The Color Purple.
Perhaps thirty or so minutes could have been edited from the three hour or so run time but I was left fully engaged with the film.
August 27, 2017
Hate all the characters, no idea why people like this
½ August 20, 2017
Boy of a wealthy British family in China becomes separated from his parents after the Japanese invade during World War II and spends the duration of the war in an internment camp before being reunited with his parents afterwards. Good acting but only a decent picture.
May 27, 2017
A fantastic movie. one of the top 10 movies from the 80's. amazing story, great acting, and an emotional ending. Christian bales performance for his first movie was phenomenal, great actor.

this movie is AWESOMETACULAR
April 11, 2017
EooS is a carefully crafted visual rendition of the novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard. It is meticulously detailed in its reconstruction of period attire, facilities, and aircraft. Malkovich and Bale, and Havers turn in excellent performances. I am a bit surprised by the "professional" critics' reactions; if there is a complaint about character development or plot they might refer to the novel (which the FILM critics seem not to have read). On the other hand, Ballard's NOVEL, like the film, is substantially allegorical, and possibly beyond the comprehension of your average professional film critic; after all, professional critics are people who are so unimaginative and underinformed that they basically can't create anything on their own.
½ April 5, 2017
A great piece of inspiring and uplifting epic filmmaking. Spielberg doesn't subject us to the horrors of the camp, but that's useful in this case. He cements into a child's perspective. All that he can see is the silver lining with brief flashes of grief and tragedy. So, that's what Spielberg shows us.
½ February 5, 2017
Not exactly your typical Spielberg film, although it is showing quite a few of his trademarks, this story tells the pacific events of World War 2 from the perspective of a little British boy. Stunning to see what a man and actor has become of Christian Bale, who gave his debut here. While he does a great job, he tends to overact at times. That's no problem though, the direction, beautiful cinematography, enthralling story-telling and gorgeous John Williams soundtrack more than make up for it. A highly underrated war drama, that won't leave a viewer untouched.
½ December 5, 2016
Although it has Christian Bale acting in one of his best movies, the overall tone and feel to this WWII movie is not showing the war accurately.
November 20, 2016
I really liked this Steven Spielberg drama which I think was treated somewhat harshly by critics upon its initial release. The story takes place in Shanghai during WWII after the Japanese invasion and follows a young British boy as he tries to survive in an internment camp.. That youngster is played by Christian Bale who is excellent, you can see that even at 13yrs old he had tremendous talent and dive and carries the picture. Now, this film has some of Spielberg's typical flaws in that the story has his usual sheen and polish to it, somehow making even the terrible interment camp look beautiful and epic, but it didn't detract from the story for me. John Malkovich is great in a supporting role as well and a young Ben Stiller also pops-up.. Give it a try!
½ November 9, 2016
Saw in t heater when came out. Think i liked it. Cruel Japs invading China city. But too much kid. And couldn't enjoy cuz my irritable girlfriend hated all his annoying screaming and yelling.
"Steven Spielberg's acclaimed account of an English boy's life in a WWII internment camp in Japanese-occupied China.
Christian Bale, John Malkovich"
½ October 29, 2016
Didn't know who Christian Bale was when I first watched this as a teenager. What an amazing child actor he was!! Emma 10/10. Lucy 9/10. Charlotte 10/10.
October 5, 2016
Empire Of The Sun features a great debut for Christian Bale and is emotional at times, despite its slow pacing and somewhat boring story that are not typically in a Spielberg film.
August 30, 2016
A unique war film that showed what Spielberg could do with war long before Saving Private Ryan, Empire of the Sun is a masterpiece with great performances, a captivating (if long) story and impressive sequences.
August 28, 2016
The film suffers from awkward drama and some forgettable characters.
July 18, 2016
When you make as many movies as Spielberg, there are bound to be a few misfires. This is unfortunately one of them.
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