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Empire of the Sun (1987) Movie Information

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Drama, Historical





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Steven Spielberg


Christian Bale
John Malkovich
Miranda Richardson
Nigel Havers
Joe Pantoliano
Leslie Phillips





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A young, privileged boy is separated from his family after the Japanese invade British-controlled areas of China. Sent to a British internment camp where is attempts to capture some of his former life while affecting the adults around him. -- Chris Kavan

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Quick Movie Reviews

Snoogans 07/21/2014 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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I appreciate films that show a specific time or area of history never covered. This is centered around the experience of a boy being forced to live in an internment camp, separated from his family. The representation is a thin balance between realism and much dramatization. A young Christian Bale shows tremendous talent. He brings a demanding screen presence. Most of the emotion didn't resonate with me and I found the music, at times, offsetting in that regard. A fine film, regardless.

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mitchellyoung 12/28/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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Empire of the Sun is a heartbreaking and beautiful (subtly) anti-war film, told through the eyes of a young boy. Christian Bale shows that he has the acting chops at an early age and the film also features Ben Stiller in an early, non-comedic and convincing role.

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sapien 01/17/2009 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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It's been a long time since I've seen this one. But, I definitely remember liking it a lot.

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Chris Kavan 09/23/2007 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

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The most underrated Spielberg film full of heart, wonder and compassion. This film will appeal to war and history buffs, Spielberg fans, it even makes a good family film. If you haven't seen this gem yet, put it on your list now.

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Full Movie Reviews

Movie God

01/23/2012 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

"Empire Of The Sun" by Yojimbo

Based upon the autobiographical novel by J. G. Ballard chronicling his experiences as a boy during the Japanese invasion of colonial China, Empire Of The Sun is one of Steven Spielberg's first attempts at a "grown up" film. The film centres on Christian Bale whose remarkable performance at the tender age of 13 was the first glimpse of the talent he is capable of and was a revelation at the time. It's very much his show all the way as the fine supporting cast never really get to shine during a deeply personal journey, but this coming of age story set to the backdrop of a country in turmoil and the destruction of an empire is both intelligent and moving. My only real criticism would be that Spielberg had not the directorial maturity he displayed for Schindler's List, meaning that at key mom...

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  Daniel Corleone
Daniel Corleone
Movie God

12/08/2011 (0 of 0 found this helpful)

Empire of the Sun review

Its era is during the conquering of the Japanese of Shanghai during World War II. Jamie (Bale) is left alone due to the war’s detrimental effects and request of his parents to go back home. Basie (John Malkovich) and Frank invites Jamie who has a “name for a new life” and a meal. The pair tries to sell the boy but nobody gets him because of his built. They are taken to Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center in Shanghai and then moved to Suzhou Creek Internment Camp. Dr. Rawlins looks over Jim while the Japanese mistreat the survivors. American P-51 Mustang fighter aircrafts raid the camp while Dr. Rawlins comfort Jim. Mrs. Victor’s (Miranda Richardson) wife looks for her husband thru Jim while in a truck. People will go upcountry to search for food. Jim’s Japanese friend gets accidentall...

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