Empire of the Sun

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Released 1987

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Movie Summary

Director:
Steven Spielberg
Released:
1987
Rating:
PG

Empire of the Sun is the 1987 World War II epic in the mold of David Lean's classics, directed by legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg (Jaws, ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Saving Private Ryan). Young Jamie Graham (Christian Bale, American Psycho, Batman Begins, The Fighter, Shaft), lives with his parents in China during the Second World War. As the Japanese invade, he and his family are forced to leave. However, they get separated and young Jamie is forced to survive on his own. He later befriends a couple of American merchants Basie (John Malkovich, Being John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire, Con Air) and Frank (Joe Pantoliano, The Goonies, The Fugitive, Congo, Risky Business). They later end up in a Japanese internment camp of where Jamie is put to the test to endure the horrors of war and hold onto his imagination and sanity.

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    A visual splendor, a heroic adventurousness and an immense scope that make it unforgettable.

  • 70

    Variety

    It is up to young English thesp Bale to engage the viewer's interest, which he does superbly.

  • 63

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Empire of the Sun adds up to a promising idea, a carefully observed production and some interesting performances.

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    Themes

    war hero, Military & War, large scale destruction, government conspiracies, corrupt politics