Empire of the Sun Movie Information

Movie Information

Overall Rank: 802

Average Rating: 3/4

# of Ratings: 213

Theatrical Release Date: 12/09/1987

Language: English

Genre: Drama, Historical

MPAA Rating: PG

Director: Steven Spielberg

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

Plot: 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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Jippy - wrote on 05/17/2018

History as only Spielberg could tell it: history-free. Aimless and way too long. Only saving graces: it was inoffensive, no gratuitous violence, and Malkovich is so quirky that you keep watching just to see what his character will do next. It was just...weird.

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Unknown - wrote on 07/21/2014

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.

Rating of

mitchellyoung - wrote on 12/28/2011

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.

Full Movie Reviews

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"Empire Of The Sun" by Yojimbo

Yojimbo - wrote on 01/23/2012

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 …

Daniel Corleone
Daniel Corleone
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Empire of the Sun review

Daniel Corleone - wrote on 12/08/2011

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 …

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