Critics Consensus

A high-concept mystery with a twist, Serenity isn't what it appears to be at first -- unfortunately, it's also not anywhere near as clever or entertaining as it thinks.



Total Count: 185


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,304
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Movie Info

From the creative mind of Oscar nominee Steven Knight comes a daringly original, sexy, stylized thriller. Baker Dill (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey) is a fishing boat captain leading tours off a tranquil, tropical enclave called Plymouth Island. His quiet life is shattered, however, when his ex-wife Karen (Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway) tracks him down with a desperate plea for help. She begs Dill to save her -- and their young son -- from her new, violent husband (Jason Clarke) by taking him out to sea on a fishing excursion, only to throw him to the sharks and leave him for dead. Karen's appearance thrusts Dill back into a life he'd tried to forget, and as he struggles between right and wrong, his world is plunged into a new reality that may not be all that it seems.


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Critic Reviews for Serenity

All Critics (185) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (148)

Audience Reviews for Serenity

  • Oct 08, 2019
    Full of mystery and intrigue, Serenity is a dark and provocative film. The story follows a fisherman on the verge of bankruptcy who's approached by a former girlfriend to help kill her abusive husband. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Djimon Hounsou, and Jason Clarke, the film has a pretty strong cast; but none of the characters are all that likable. However, the plot takes a really interesting, surreal turn and tackles some controversial issues. Also, the writers do a good job at building suspense and tension. It's kind of a mess at times, and there are some tonal problems, but Serenity is a unique and daring film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 25, 2019
    One of the weirder films I've seen recently. And I like weird, I just don't like... This. Credit where credit's due though, both Anne Hathaway and Jason Clarke are one hundred percent believable in their roles, which is impressive given the setting, and... Terrifying, given their relationship dynamic.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2019
    Yeah the twist is awful, but so is the rest of movie. The dialogue sounds like it was written by a Noir algorithm.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2019
    Serenity not to be confused with the "Firefly" spin-off movie, is a bizarre and enthralling experience. For every great new entry into the McConaissance, our favorite naked bongo-playing actor has to give us an equally bad flick from the shadow realm to maintain balance in the universe. In the same few months he gave us Moondog in Harmony Korine's The Beach Bum, Matthew McConaughey must have still been vacationing in the Bahama's where he ran into Steven Knight and said "alright, alright, alright" to whatever the director pitched to him in a tequila/prozac-induced stupor. Get a load of this. McConaughey is trying to catch a large tuna fish named "Justice", but he can hear his son talking to him in his head. Then his ex-wife, Anne Hathaway, asks him to kill Jason Clarke (because who doesn't want him dead, amirite? he sucks, and he's in everything). A whole bunch of questionable stuff happens, then McConaughey finds out that his life is weird because he's a video game character. Then he breaks out of the matrix, and I'm not sure but I think he's actually a ghost in the afterlife which is a fishing RPG his son made to deal with his death. The boy codes his abusive stepfather into the game to get McConaughey to kill him so that the boy can get up the courage to actually kill his stepfather in real life. And they do, I think, or something. We live in a society. I have many questions, like, since it's a video game, did the boy code his father's character to be a gigolo for Diane Lane so he can pay his fishing employee? Did the boy make his mom a NPC so Clarke could beat her naked with a belt? Did the boy code his father's character to get naked and jump off a cliff so he could reenact the album cover of Nirvana's "Nevermind"? Did he code his father to bang his mom from behind while she cries? I guess recontextualizing a neo-noir as a metanarrative that bends the rules of time, space, and consciousness can get messy quick, but at least it makes more sense than "Lost". I would highly recommend this one if you love the bizarre movie making missteps of Collateral Beauty or The Book of Henry. It's like "tonal insanity" is a film-genre at this point. I doubt the Coen brothers could even write a line as fitfully absurd as, "You fish for one tuna, man. It's a tuna that's only in your head." Pure Gold.
    Steve L Super Reviewer

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