A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Celebrates the need for connection and friendship. Themes include courage and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Gardner is brilliant, kind, and clever. He cares deeply about Tulsa. Kendra is loving and maternal toward Gardner. Tulsa is intelligent and compassionate toward Gardner and his mission.
Violence & Scariness
A mother dies during childbirth. A plane crashes and causes a huge explosion but no deaths. Various security forces pursue Tulsa and Gardner as they search for his father. A few times, it seems like Gardner is going to die.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Passionate kissing. One love scene in a sleeping bag under the stars -- bare shoulders and backs shown.
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Language isn't frequent but includes "badass," "ass," "damn," "d--k," and "crap."
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Products & Purchases
Dell computers, Greyhound bus line, Volvo, Mercedes, Chevy, Mars bar, Ford truck, Walmart.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Tulsa's father is drunk and has a bunch of beer bottles lying around.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Space Between Us is a sci-fi romance starring Asa Butterfield as a teen born on Mars and Britt Robertson as the girl he hopes to meet once he finally travels to Earth. Language is pretty infrequent ("ass," "damn," etc.), and violence is limited to authorities pursuing the teen couple and a crash that causes an explosion (but no deaths). Expect some drinking (a parental figure is shown drunk and surrounded by beer bottles) and a whole lot of romantic tension that culminates in passionate kissing and one love scene (bare shoulders and backs are briefly visible). With themes of courage and teamwork, the movie celebrates the need for connection and friendship. But it's likely to appeal a bit more to teens interested in love stories than anyone in the market for a sci-fi thriller. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This sweet but not particularly out-of-this-world teen romance stars a talented ensemble, but it ultimately lacks the necessary sparks. Although younger audiences may not notice, adults will realize the age discrepancy between the two main characters (almost seven years); Robertson and Butterfield are fine actors, but the filmmakers should cast someone as Tulsa who didn't look old enough to be Butterfield's concerned older sister -- or chosen a male lead who didn't look quite so young. By the time they start their inevitable kissing, it's downright uncomfortable to watch.
That major flaw aside, the story is fairly predictable once audiences figure out what's a red herring and what's reality. Hot on the couple's heels is the Mars mission's former billionaire visionary, Nathaniel Shepherd (Gary Oldman). His keen interest in Gardner's health signals an overarching sense of guilt at unknowingly sending a pregnant woman to space, and Goldman plays Shepherd with a constant sense of concern and frenzy. Carla Gugino, an expert at maternal roles, co-stars as Kendra, the scientist who acted as Gardner's primary guardian on Mars. She's always ready with a comforting word to the curious, confused boy. Bottom line? This is no Titanic, but The Space Between Us should appeal to middle-schoolers looking for an easy-to-follow story about teens who find friendship and love from across the solar system.
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.