Empire of the Sun Reviews

January 28, 2020
What is most remarkable about Empire of the Sun then, is the almost seamless fashion in which a faithful adaptation... has nevertheless contrived to become a proto-Spielbergian affirmation of faith and optimism in the universe.
December 31, 2019
Empire of the Sun is a great, overwrought movie that leaves one wordless and worn out.
December 18, 2018
John Williams' resonant and triumphant score superbly augments this simple and complex narrative
October 26, 2016
The pseudomystical vagueness that seems to be Spielberg's stock-in-trade stifles most of the particularity of the source.
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.
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.
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.
April 5, 2012
Arguably Spielberg's strangest object.
May 17, 2009
Spielberg has dreamed of flying before, and this time he earns his wings.
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.
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.
March 22, 2006
A fine performance from Bale, but the film is definitely an acquired taste.
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.
June 10, 2004
May 20, 2003
There are many glorious moments here.
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.
January 1, 2000
Good-looking but hollow.
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.
January 1, 2000
Spielberg seems unable to come to terms with anything real.