By Tom Cassidy,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Thought-provoking sci-fi has some violence, strong language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie presents a damning picture of corporate values and human greed. But it also shows how kindness, compassion, and teamwork can prevail in unlikely places.
Positive Role Models
Space base maintenance worker Sam takes his job seriously and loves his family. When a mysterious second character arrives, they are at first domineering but as they work with Sam to find out what's happening, they bond and become allies. The station's robot, GERTY, is a neutral presence that follows its programming, to both protect Sam and serve the sinister Lunar Industries corporation that runs the base. The corporation's dishonest treatment of Sam could be considered unethical.
Violence & Scariness
Intro montage has brief real-life footage of a distressed group of people. A character accidentally burns their hand with boiling water and crashes a vehicle, suffering a cut head. Two characters fight and one suffers a bloody nose. A character's body starts to shut down, including vomiting blood and losing a tooth.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two characters are seen kissing in bed -- one strips down to their underwear. Character shown nude from behind in shower scene.
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Frequent language used under stress, includes "f--k," "f--ing," "a--hole," "s--t," "motherf----r," "goddammit," and "Jesus Christ."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Brief mention of "needing a drink."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Moon is a superb psychological sci-fi drama with some emotionally big ideas and some strong language. Starring Sam Rockwell as Sam, a lone astronaut with just a computer (voiced by Kevin Spacey) for company, the movie touches on themes that range from isolation and unethical corporate behavior to the very nature of existence and what it means to be human. Positive character traits include compassion, empathy, and teamwork. Sam uses bad language when under stress, including "f--k," "s--t," and "goddammit." The movie has some scenes of violence, with a fist fight that results in a bloody nose and some mild body horror elements as a character's body starts to decay, during which they vomit blood and lose a tooth. There is also a vehicle crash with mild bloody injury and a character accidentally burns their hand with boiling water. One brief scene between a couple sees a woman strip to her underwear. A man's naked bottom is shown in the shower. With its existential themes, families will have much to discuss when this thought-provoking movie is over.
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What's the Story?
In MOON, astronaut Sam's (Sam Rockwell) three-year solo space mission is coming to an end. But an arrival on the space base throws his world into disarray and reveals the truth about his very existence.
Is It Any Good?
A huge, mind-expanding existential exploration wrapped up in an exciting futuristic, unpredictable psychological drama steeped in mystery. In short, Moon is great sci-fi. The depth, vision, and scope debut director Duncan Jones achieves with a modest $5 million budget, a single set, and one lead actor is a true achievement. Visually, the movie recalls classic stark sci-fi stations from the likes of Alien, while the computer GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey) is a clear nod to the iconic HAL 9000 from Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. But the smart writing and economical production means this movie deserves its own place among the brightest stars in the genre.
Rockwell does almost all the heavy lifting on screen, playing complex roles and running a vast range of emotions. Not only is the movie awe-inspiring in its scope, the humanity hits hard, effortlessly skipping between heartbreaking, hopeful, and even humorous. By its closing credits the movie has presented a range of questions and posers that will provoke hours of thought and discussion.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what Moon had to say about what it means to be human. What message do you think the movie was trying to tell? What do you think it means to be human?
Discuss the character of Sam. How did he demonstrate compassion, empathy, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths to have?
Discuss some of the strong language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Talk about the movie's violence. What role did it play in the story? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Discuss the role of Lunar Industries in the movie. Do you think corporations have ethical responsibilities or should they only be concerned with serving their shareholders?
- In theaters: June 12, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: January 12, 2010
- Cast: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott
- Director: Duncan Jones
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Space and Aliens
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Empathy, Teamwork
- Run time: 97 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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