Parents' Guide to

Shadow in the Cloud

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent, profane WWII thriller addresses sexual harassment.

Movie R 2021 83 minutes
Shadow in the Cloud Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 15+

Original Movie with brilliant possibilities let down by agendas

This movie had the ability to be as good as it's trailer. The movie has it's positives. It was good to see an original story-line, and one where you couldn't guess the plot or what was going to happen next, which is rare these days. Add to that, few movies are able to have one setting and show a single actor only for half of the movie and keep audiences interested. Castaway comes to mind, and to give credit where due, this movie did a reasonable job at it. Along with the actors playing their roles well - this movie had incredible potential and you can see it throughout - to cast a heroine that girls could look up to, battling against the odds and a unique storline, a unpredictable creature. So in that light it's almost unbelievable how bipolar the movie is, because just as much as it is good - it's also just horrible. How could anyone get it so right and wrong at the same time? It seems that few movies are out of reach by various movements with their agenda's today, and that's where the answer may lie - as this one suffers the same fate. One is left with the impression as though it was re-written or directed for the primary intention to push a feminist narrative, portraying men in the worst possible light at all costs - and that cost included sacrificing what could have been a great interesting and entertaining movie. The overboard out-of-reality narrative that tries to portray most men as childish misogynists, and can't do anything right sucked at much of the life this movie had to offer. Add to that over the top cursing and language and a bombardment of ongoing sexual talk to push an unrealistic setting and the movie took a sharp and weird downhill turn (along with it's 80's synth music against a WW2 40's background). And given that this was set in a WW2 setting - it was more than a little disappointing to see the disrespect the creators have showed for those who paid the ultimate price for the freedom by portraying airmen in the manner they did in this movie. No doubt there have always been some like that, but they were the exception, not the rule. Maybe if you enjoyed wonder woman and don't mind (or support) those types of narratives - this could be an enjoyable movie. I on the other hand finished up shaking my head - left wondering just how good it could have been if the underlying storyline was left to pursue a entertaining story than pushing a feminist world view. Parents - if you let your kids watch this movie, be prepared for the violence, swearing and sexual references, as well as the attack on your sons gender. It may also be an opportunity to explain "Tall Poppie Syndrome" as well, as there's nothing wrong with a good heroine movie, but when the writers have to pull down and portray males in the worst possible way to lift up that heroine, they've failed at creating a good heroine. A good writer can create a good heroine that is able to stand on her own without needing to demonise the other male characters in the same way that a real successful person succeeds on their own merits without having to pull down or deminish the good character of others around them.
age 14+

It’s a joke

This movie is a big joke. Meant to be a “horror action movie”. I laughed harder at this movie than I did for Jeff Dunham. The Female Lead is a joke.. cant even get into her roll. Barely any emotion. Looked like they had a big budget to spend on making this movie.. but only spent 15 dollars on it. Roseanne Liang Wants to be a big time movie director.. but took it WAY TO FEMINISTIC. I do not recommend this movie. I could not get into it

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This feminist creature feature delivers a wild ride of a good time -- as long as that's what you're anticipating. At first, though, it's hard to make heads or tails of what almost seems to be two different films stuck together. Shadow in the Cloud starts out as a serious World War II suspense drama, giving viewers a firsthand understanding of the sexism that women often face in the military -- and how that undermines the greater good. Through this portion, Moretz is a one-woman show, the camera focused solely on her as she sits in the cramped, all-window rotating seat below the plane. Only able to communicate with the crew through headphones, she tries different tactics to stop their demeaning treatment while ensuring that she and her important package arrive safely at their destination. It's a claustrophobic, up-close examination of what some skilled, capable women have experienced just trying to do their job. And then, when Garrett spots a "gremlin" standing on the wing, tearing an engine apart, you'd be forgiven for assuming that this is a rewrite of the famous Twilight Zone episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." But that's just when the film takes a hard left in logic. Garrett climbs out of the plane's window, taking the film's legitimacy with her. That's OK -- as long as you're on board with the idea that the movie is going to transform into something completely different. When she shouts, "You have no idea how far I'll go," it's not a warning to the gremlin, it's a warning to viewers -- because you definitely do not know how far out the film will go in its last half hour. As the camera turns to show an upside-down Garrett right side up, the film's tone, style, and power dynamic change, leading into action sequences that are eye-poppingly improbable.

This is a film with a case of the "too bads." It's "too bad" that Shadow in the Cloud won't be seen in many movie theaters: The special effects and cowabunga action should really be seen on the biggest screen possible. And, with as many other people as possible -- that last half hour is meant to be a shared experience, with audiences collectively hooting and hollering at the screen and looking at each other while shaking their heads with a smile, mouthing, "WHAT THE WHAT??" It's "too bad" this isn't a full virtual reality experience, because it puts you in Garrett's seat, with her bird's-eye view of the Japanese Zeroes attacking her plane. And, it's really "too bad" that original writer Max Landis is associated with this film, because the very nature of it is so, so close to his real-life situation (he was ousted from the project after multiple accusations of sexual assault and misconduct) that you can't shake his presence. And thanks to the gremlin storyline, you can't not think of Twilight Zone: The Movie, which is notorious for the death of three actors under the supervision of Landis' father, John Landis. Or maybe it all makes sense -- perhaps Moretz and director/rewriter Roseanne Liang taking complete creative control of Landis' work and turning it into a feminist film is justice. It certainly plays out that way in the film. As it becomes clear to Garrett that none of the men on the plane have it within themselves to step up and destroy the slimy, vile, dangerous beast that's plaguing their flight, it's clear to viewers that the gremlin is a metaphor for all of the slimy, vile, dangerous nonsense that women have had to endure through the centuries -- and it's up to women to finally squash the demons whose presence threatens us all.

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