Parents' Guide to

Solaris

By Kat Halstead, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Existential sci-fi drama has language, sex, adult themes.

Movie PG-13 2002 99 minutes
Solaris Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 1 parent review

age 14+

It's ok, the Russian 1972 is a bit better, but it all feels rather pointless

I saw this film when it was released at the movie theatre. I remember feeling sucked in and intrigued by this film but ultimately feeling unsatisfied. Like I was watching a man work out his personal problems through an elaborate sci-fi set and ultimately feeling at the end that it was an unsatisfactory experience. No amount of acting or CGI can pull this film out of its blandness.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Steven Soderbergh's slick, Hollywood retelling of Stanislaw Lem's novel leans deeper into the emotional turmoil than Andrei Tarkovsky's acclaimed (if lengthy) 1972 version. In this 2002 version of Solaris, Clooney begins in familiar territory: successful, charming, seductive. But he soon stretches his acting muscles in an intimate portrayal of a man broken by grief. McElhone's Rheya has a disjointed, other-worldly quality, a character that never fully materializes either in flashback or present-day. Yet this perfectly encapsulates the movie's uneasy relationship between reality and simulation, memory and lived experience.

Also responsible for the cinematography and editing, Soderbergh's visuals are magnificent. Atmospheric, visual flashbacks are paired with stark, claustrophobic space station interiors. While lingering, awe-inspiring views of space, with displays of red, blue, and purple light, ebb and spark like the nerve impulses of a giant brain. Though there's a slightness to the way the story is told, these visuals ensure the film's enigmatic allure makes a lasting impact.

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