Europa Report

 
(i)

 

Smart sci-fi thriller can be intense, terrifying.
  • Review Date: August 14, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Cooperation and teamwork are demonstrated, and some characters sacrifice themselves to save others. But there are other times when scientific discovery is prioritized over safety.
Positive role models
The movie shows the bravery and heroism of professional astronauts -- exploring where no man has gone before and making life-changing discoveries. But it also shows the danger of the profession. Characters don't always prioritize the right things.
Violence
This movie is more tense and scary than violent. Terrible things happen to the characters, but very little is shown (until the end). These things could be, and sometimes are, accidents. Yet when a character dies, it really resonates. Some arguing.
Sex
No sexual tension or romance of any kind is shown.
Language
Language is very sparse but includes a few uses of "s--t" and one use of "son of a bitch."
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A mention of sleeping pills, which one of the characters refuses to take.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Europa Report is a "found footage" sci-fi movie. The main issue isn't so much action violence as lots of tension and terror. Not much is actually shown (until the very end), but creepy things happen, characters die, and their absence is deeply felt. Language is very sparse but includes a few uses of "s--t" and one use of "son of a bitch." Romance and/or sexual tension isn't an issue. Teen sci-fi fans will recognize actor Sharlto Copley from District 9 and Elysium and may want to see it for him.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

Six astronauts (Michael Nyqvist, Sharlto Copley, Christian Camargo, Anamaria Marinca, Daniel Wu, and Karolina Wydra) embark on a lengthy and potentially dangerous mission to Jupiter's fourth-largest moon, Europa. Their goal is to dig under the ice on the surface and search for life forms. On earth, Dr. Samantha Unger (Embeth Davidtz) tries to monitor the mission but must deal with faulty communications. Accidents start happening, and before long these things begin to look like more than accidents. Strange lights appear, and the astronauts' options decrease. Before long, the mystery of life on other planets clashes with the reality of whether or not they can get out of there alive.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 
Presented in a "found footage" style, EUROPA REPORT embodies the best of that genre. Like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, it gets by on sound, suggestion, mood, and the power of the unseen, rather than shock or gore. It uses its time to build a generous rapport between the astronauts. They gently tease one another, but there's very little vulgarity or sexual innuendo to turn things sour. When things start to happen, each tragedy is deeply felt.
 
Additionally, director Sebastian Cordero -- who also made the very good Cronicas -- apparently used actual NASA footage of things like solar flares for a very realistic touch. Indeed, it's difficult to tell the effects shots from the real thing. The sense of isolation and high-stakes survival is clearly palpable. Only a few niggling little details keep it from being a great film, but it's surely a good one -- and better still, it's a smart one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Europa Report's scariness and violence. What's shown, and what isn't shown? Which has the most impact, and why?
  • How effective is the teamwork between the characters? What could they have done to improve it?
  • Teens: Does this movie make being an astronaut look appealing? What's a real-life astronaut's job like?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 2, 2013
DVD release date:October 8, 2013
Cast:Embeth Davidtz, Michael Nyqvist, Sharlto Copley
Director:Sebastian Cordero
Studios:Magnet Releasing, Magnolia Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Space and aliens
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sci-fi action and peril

This review of Europa Report was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece is still relevant.
  • Mind-stretching, futuristic sci-fi can get gory.
  • Winningly edgy teen-angst sci-fi tragicomedy.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 14 years old Written byHaitham Bayazeed August 26, 2013
 

HBayazeed Review: Europa Report

Europa Report is charming, clever and unpretentious. It is a first rate, adventurous, ready-to-take-chances type of movie that is, unfortunately, overlooked and passed. Albeit it is not, at least merchandised enough or even hyped a bit, it is an independent motion picture, done with passion.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaitham Bayazeed August 26, 2013
 

HBayazeed Review: Europa Report

Europa Report is charming, clever and unpretentious. It is a first rate, adventurous, ready-to-take-chances type of movie that is, unfortunately, overlooked and passed. Albeit it is not, at least merchandised enough or even hyped a bit, it is an independent motion picture, done with passion.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byHaitham Bayazeed August 26, 2013
 

HBayazeed Review: Europa Report

Europa Report is charming, clever and unpretentious. It is a first rate, adventurous, ready-to-take-chances type of movie that is, unfortunately, overlooked and passed. Albeit it is not, at least merchandised enough or even hyped a bit, it is an independent motion picture, done with passion.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass