Serenity (2005)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Snappy dialogue and goofy characters make this Wild Wild West soap opera in space fun and adventurous.

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Movie Info

A band of renegades on the run in outer space get in more hot water than they anticipated in this sci-fi action-adventure adapted from the television series Firefly. In the 26th century, the galaxy has been colonized by a military force known as the Alliance, but its leadership has not gone unquestioned. The Alliance was once challenged by a league of rebels known as the Independents, but the Alliance emerged victorious after a brutal civil war, with the surviving Independents scattering around the galaxy. Also wandering the edges of the galaxy are the Reavers, who have won few allies due to their violent behavior and habit of ripping apart their enemies and eating them before they're dead. Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), who fought as an Independent in the galactic war, is the head of Serenity, a rogue frieghter ship whose crew includes Mal's first mate, Zoe (Gina Torres), who fought alongside him in the war, her husband, hotshot pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk), sunny but dependable mechanic Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and hard-nosed gunman Jayne (Adam Baldwin). The crew of Serenity wander the galaxy, taking on whatever work they can get, from criminal activities like smuggling and stealing to legitimately offering transport to travelers. Passengers aboard Serenity include professional "companion" Inara (Morena Baccarin) and holy man Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), but the real trouble aboard the ship comes with the arrival of Simon (Sean Maher) and his teenage sister, River Tam (Summer Glau). In time, the crew discovers that River has remarkable psychic powers and was being held captive by Alliance forces until Simon came to her rescue. Now the Alliance is hot on the heels of Serenity and its passengers, with The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a sinister Alliance tracker, leading the chase. Serenity was written and directed by Joss Whedon (in his directorial debut), creator of Firefly, which only lasted 11 weeks on the air but gained a powerful cult following who rallied to get the show released on DVD after its cancellation, leading to impressive home-video sales and and an eventual motion picture deal. A couple of months prior to Serenity's theatrical release, reruns of Firefly were picked up by the Sci-Fi channel, adding even more fans to its cult following. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13 (for sequences of intense violence and action, and some sexual references)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Nathan Fillion
as Capt. Malcolm Reynolds
Alan Tudyk
as Wash
Jewel Staite
as Kaylee
Sean Maher
as Simon Tam
Summer Glau
as River Tam
Ron Glass
as Shepherd Book
Chiwetel Ejiofor
as The Operative
David Krumholtz
as Mr. Universe
Michael Hitchcock
as Dr. Mathias
Sarah Paulson
as Dr. Caron
Yan Feldman
as Mingo
Nectar Rose
as Lenore
Tamara Taylor
as Teacher
Glenn Howerton
as Lilac Young Tough
Hunter Ansley Wryn
as Young River
Logan Craig O'Brien
as Boy Student
Erik Erotas
as Boy Student
Demetra Raven
as Girl Student
Jessica Huang
as Girl Student
Marley S. McClean
as Girl Student
Erik Weiner
as Helmsman
Conor Cruise O'Brien
as Lab Technician
Peter James Smith
as Lab Technician
Weston I. Nathanson
as Trade Agent
Cece Cline
as Young Female Intern
Chuck O'Neil
as Vault Guard
Amy Wieczorek
as Lilac Mom
Tristan Jarred
as Lilac Son
Elaine Lee
as Fan Dancer
Terrence Hardy Jr.
as Mining Camp Boy
Brian O'Hare
as Alliance Pilot
Ryan Tasz
as Black Room Soldier
Colin Patrick Lynch
as Black Room Soldier
Terrell Tilford
as News Anchor
Joshua Kwiat
as Slovenly Beaumonde Man
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Serenity

All Critics (180) | Top Critics (39)

Joss Whedon makes a rousing feature-directing debut, exploiting the cult status of his short-lived series Firefly to continue it on the big screen.

Full Review… | June 6, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

The settings and tone are hyper-real, yet the human behaviour is grounded and credible, the moral conflicts complex and involving. Shiny, intelligent fun.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Go out and see Joss Whedon's witty whizbang of an action movie, or we will kill a kitten.

May 11, 2006
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

It has a great sense of humor about it, an attractive cast and it's just a lot of fun.

October 3, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Taut, immersive, and alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, a well-balanced blend of whooping Wild West action and space opera.

September 30, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Serenity

This Firefly movie is an excellent follow-up to the short-lived series, offering a lot of awesome action, witty exchanges of dialogue filled with dry humor and characters that we care about - a wonderful gift for the fans and a very entertaining sci-fi Western for everyone else.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The crew of a spaceship operating on the ragged edge of civilisation are targeted by the ruling Alliance for harbouring a pair of fugitives that have knowledge of a secret that is potentially devastating to their regime. The fans of cult sci-fi western Firefly were aware that Joss Whedon was capable of creating a hugely enjoyable fantasy blockbuster a good while before The Avengers hit our screens. Serenity is the conclusion to the swiftly - and unjustly - cancelled TV show and contains the same formula of likable characters, funny one-liners and space bound action that made it so beloved by the few who actually saw it. The idea of a roguish smuggler going head to head with a charismatic villain to expose the folly of an evil empire is not unlike that of a certain other infamous franchise; in fact Serenity could be considered Han Solo: The Movie and captures the charm of the original Star Wars trilogy far more successfully than its own prequels. Existing in the space between Pirates Of The Caribbean and Minority Report, Serenity makes a perfect conclusion to Whedon's space-bound saga and I encourage anyone who enjoyed The Avengers to seek out copies of both this and the original Firefly series.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Serenity is the work of an auteur. It's hard to call Joss Whedon that since he primarily works in fantasy, horror, and sci-fi (apparently only Godard, Scorsese, and Welles can be considered auteurs), but there hasn't been a space opera film thoughtful, funny, well acted, entertaining, and lively since the original Star Wars. A masterwork for fans of Firefly and great fantasy alike.

Edward Boxler
Edward Boxler

Super Reviewer

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