Parents' Guide to


By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Suspense, peril, language in emotional outer-space drama.

Movie NR 2021 116 minutes
Stowaway Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 13+

The dumbest space story ever...

It's incredible how low of an opinion the screen writers have about general public. Or are they just that dumb themselves, which is another possibility? What about having science consultants? No need to be rocket scientist to wonder how these cream of them scream Harvard and Yale graduates who made it through the selection process for a Mars mission demonstrate such lack of common sense, problem solving, safety thinking. Leave alone such an unlikely lack of proper equipment or poor systems design... Movies are not only about good acting, and this ine was a total waste of good talent. What do mean exactly: first, it is unthinkable that a space walker would ever leave himself at any time unattached with a safety harness, and yet these two monkeys of astronauts seem to be completely unconcerned; second, brainless decisions while managing the life-saving cargo of the O2 tank by not having it tied to the tether during transition; third, after passing the pivot point of the solar panels module, there was no need to climb down with the bottle in the hands. All that needed to be done was to secure the rope to the tether to make sure it doesn't fly away, climb just slightly towards the station to get a bit of that centrifugal force gravity, and lower the bottle on the rope holding onto the tether. That way only the weight of the bottle would need to be handled, rather than the weight of one's own body plus the bottle. But the smartest of us all selected to be astronauts turn out to be the dumb and dumber morons clueless about the basic mechanics. Leave alone the whole stupid idea of launching a rocket into space without all the staff working on the launch pad accounted for. I would say this is the worst sci-fiction movie I have seen lately, and the two lunatics who wrote the scenario for this master piece should never do this again. I would even insist that no losers who flank high school math and physics should be allowed to write scenarios, this is truly painful to see millions of dollars thrown away to produce such idiocy.
age 10+

Realism in Space

Without having to resort to any violence, sex, or gore, this science fiction movie portrays a serious sociological problem that will be over the heads of younger children but is important to help older kids see the importance of life-changing decisions. Very good role models are present as all characters are highly skilled in their professions, while all are also realistically flawed. Girls should benefit from seeing women in significant and highly responsible leadership roles. There is also a diverse racial element. Science and space buffs will surely enjoy the intense realism.

This title has:

Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (6):

This film follows a long tradition of space movies that combine psychological drama with action. Really, how could traveling to Mars be any different? Stowaway puts its astronauts in a dire situation that requires self sacrifice and quick scientific problem-solving to survive, not unlike other recent titles like The Martian, Gravity, or Midnight Sky. And like these other films, the believability of the story rests on the actors. This is especially true when you've got just one setting and four characters (even the voice of the company contact communicated with back on earth is muffled, meaning the conversations are viewed as one-sided dialogues). The actors here do a fine job, but Collette stands out as the conflicted commander.

The rocket, situations, and solutions will sound scientifically valid enough to the lay person, though it's never fully explained how Michael came to be locked inside the spaceship's walls or how he could survive a rocket launch there. In any case, the psychological drama is much more interesting here than the action scenes, and the build-up is more engrossing than the resolution. Even on the space walks, the physicality of the challenge or the external threats are less intriguing than the characters' reactions -- will they have the emotional stamina to succeed? The characters stare out at the earth, receding further and further away from their spinning ship, a visual reminder of their dilemma, their solitude, and the uniqueness of their circumstance. Stowaway itself may not be so unique, but it's an engaging, attractive, and well-acted drama.

Movie Details

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