Parents' Guide to

Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Graphic violence in complicated dystopian sci-fi anime.

Movie NR 2022 120 minutes
Ghost In The Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War Movie: Scene One

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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This is a not-quite-successful attempt at recutting a television show's first season into a feature-length movie. It's a dystopian sci-fi anime in which a group of cybernetic mercenaries and former members of law enforcement must find a way to stop AI-enhanced "post-humans" from going on a bloody killing spree. It's a bleak future where there's perpetual war, the global economy has collapsed, Palm Springs is in ruins, and a still-operating LAX has zero vehicular traffic. Japan doesn't look that much different, but there are a lot more random acts of violence like what only used to happen in countries like the United States. Dystopia, indeed.

There are some new scenes and touch-ups to the animation, and the acting is solid. The problem is that this isn't exactly a welcoming entrée to this particular universe. This is better enjoyed if you've already spent some time with the gang in Public Security Section 9 and know their individual and collective history before all the cataclysmic changes taking place as the backdrop of this movie. It's hard to follow, particularly if you're new -- there's a central story about these "post-humans" with some battles in cyberspace, and a not-subtle entreaty for the viewer to check out Orwell's 1984 if they haven't done so already. Perhaps it's better to just watch the show instead of this recut, or check out the other movies first.

Movie Details

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