Jupiter Ascending

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Jupiter Ascending Movie Poster Image
Laughably bad but slick-looking sci-fi epic.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 127 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 23 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Early on the main character says she hates her life. But after her adventure, she gains enough perspective to learn to appreciate who she is and what she has, especially her family.

Positive role models & representations

Jupiter rarely takes any action of her own. She constantly needs rescuing, and one of her ultimate goals is to find her soul mate. Both men and women are shown as sexual or physical objects.

Violence

A man is shot with a gun. Many long battle and chase scenes, mostly flying through the air. Characters shoot each other with laser guns. Fighting and punching. Some bloody wounds. Crashes and explosions. Characters fall from heights. Brief shot of a knife in the eye. A woman is shot with a kind of "sonic" gun (brief nosebleed results).

Sex

Female character shown naked from behind (naked bottom). Other hints/off-screen nudity. Kissing. A woman is shown in a black bra and panties. A shirtless man is shown with a harem of sexy women circling him, touching him. Other shirtless shots.

Language

Several uses of "s--t," plus "goddamn," "bitch," "balls," and "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Background drinking (beer with dinner).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Jupiter Ascending is a cringe-worthy sci-fi action epic from the Wachowski siblings, who also made The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas. Though it's an original story, it has the look and feel of many adaptations based on YA sci-fi/fantasy books. Expect lots of fast-paced, fantasy-style fighting, with laser guns and swooping through the air, as well as some regular shooting, fighting, and a few bloody wounds. There's some brief partial nudity (a female bottom and a male torso) and some sex-tangential issues, such as a woman thinking of selling her eggs and a woman giving birth. Both men and women are shown as sexual or physical objects. Language includes several uses of "s--t," plus "goddamn" and "bitch." Beer is consumed in a background way during a family meal.

User Reviews

Adult Written byDan G. February 6, 2015

Too much objectionable content for children, even adolescents.

The movie is intensely violent, although not gory; little blood is shown. There is rear nudity and some sexually suggestive talk. God's name is used in v... Continue reading
Adult Written byCloudIsC00L723 February 13, 2015

As a fan of the Wachowskis, I REALLY tried to like this movie.

But I gave up 3/4 through. Jupiter Ascending really is as awful as CSM's review suggests. Literally all of the dialogue is nothing but backstory that'... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bylandontube1 February 24, 2015

GOOD ACTING AND CGI, TERRIBLE STORY

Where do I begin? The only thing holding this film up on two legs is the actors/acting and the incredible and beautiful CGI, other than that, this movie fails h... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byCommon_Sense_Movies February 8, 2015

Creators of the Matrix may have disappointed some, but they didn't disappoint me

Though this movie received a lot of criticism following its pre-release at the Sundance Film Festival and upon its official release, in my opinion, its criticis... Continue reading

What's the story?

Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) is an ordinary young woman, working with her Russian immigrant family cleaning houses. Meanwhile, a trio of millennia-old cosmic siblings apparently owns planets like the Earth and uses them for profit. And it turns out that Jupiter is really the queen of Earth -- and she alone has the power to save mankind. Alien warrior Caine (Channing Tatum) shows up to whisk Jupiter away to her destiny, dodging attacking aliens along the way, because one of the siblings, Titus (Douglas Booth), appears to have summoned Jupiter to help stop the madness. But his brother, the evil Balem (Eddie Redmayne), has other plans. Several double-crosses are on the way, and Jupiter must decide who she can trust.

Is it any good?

Young teens who haven't been exposed to many other sci-fi movies might be mildly entertained by JUPITER ASCENDING's impressive alien universe and slick digital action. But for most others, it's a huge mess: painfully bad and sometimes unintentionally funny. It's difficult to explain the story without cringing (why is there even a queen of the Earth?), and the characters are so shallow and the relationships between them so thin that the various twists and betrayals simply fall flat.

The original screenplay, by sibling filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski, is particularly awkward. It consists of characters drearily explaining the rules of the story to each other, interrupted by interminable fights and chases, followed by more explaining. What can the poor actors do with this? Not much, but Oscar nominee Redmayne turns in a hilariously bad performance, reading his villainous lines with barely audible murmurs, occasionally punctuated by hysterical shrieks. It probably wasn't intentional, but you almost couldn't blame him if it was.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Jupiter Ascending's violence. Is it exhilarating? Shocking? How do the filmmakers use it to get their intended effect? What's seen -- and what's not seen?

  • Would you consider Jupiter a role model? Is she strong? Does she make decisions? Does she rely on others?

  • Are people treated as objects in this movie? Are there unrealistic body types for men or women? Where and how?

  • What's the appeal of the sci-fi and fantasy genres? What kinds of things do these stories have to say?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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