Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

Spaceship Earth

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Sci-fi gets real in eco-docu about sustainable biodome.

Movie NR 2020 113 minutes
Spaceship Earth Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Like many true stories, the epic Biosphere 2 experiment is a better legend than actuality. Director Matt Wolf slooowly unwinds how the Biosphere 2 founders came together in the late '60s and lived together on the commune known as Synergia Ranch. The group initially found purpose in acting and then in environmental construction. It's interesting, yes, but it takes a long time to get to the "BUT THEN" moment where it all falls apart, which we know is coming. When it does, it delivers a shocker from left field.

Documentaries always carry a bias, and in Spaceship Earth it's clear that Wolf is on the bionauts' side. The film is a compassionate look at people who tried, who cared, and who just lived life a little differently. They set out to accomplish tremendous goals and usually succeeded. Maybe it's thanks to the kindness of the Synergians and the biospherians, but no one has a bad word to say about anyone else -- and that's refreshing. But, notably, not all the participants were interviewed, and an active thinker has to wonder why. Wolf acknowledges but avoids turning around corners that might lead to shedding negative light on his subjects. For instance, the recounting of a showdown between leaders that involves a Judas-level betrayal ends ... in a hug. Also, several bionauts mention conflict among the group, but Wolf moves on without exploring that angle. It seems like there's more to the story -- but maybe there's not. Maybe what happened is as black and white as a children's fable. The story, as told here, is that greedy capitalists destroyed the work of kind-hearted souls who sacrificed everything to save humanity and the planet -- and perhaps that is the simple, sad truth.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate