Box art for Pandorum


sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers

Two crew members wake up on an abandoned spacecraft with no idea who they are, how long they've been asleep, or what their mission is.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
5 out of 5

Relentless, intensely violent sci-fi chiller isn't for kids.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the intense violence in this dark, scary sci-fi movie is apparent in every scene, even if it's not specifically presented in terms of fighting or gore (though there's plenty of those, too). There's a constant, unrelenting feel of terror, tension, and dread, thanks mainly to the movie's overwhelmingly dark, metallic, deliberately unsettling sets. Alien creatures threaten to jump out from every dark corner, and the soundtrack's alarming use of screeching noises adds to the general unease. Likely it will be too much for most kids to handle. Despite that, and despite the characters' severe trials and tribulations, the movie has a solid ethical core and a generally hopeful outlook. Characters set aside their differences and team up for the greater good, and despite his potty mouth (expect plenty of "f--k"s and more) and initial disorientation, the hero ultimately behaves bravely and selflessly.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the effect of the movie's very intense violence and terror? How does it make you feel? Is it really necessary for the plot?
  • The film's prologue charts the future explosion in the Earth's population and mentions a severe shortage of water and food. What causes overpopulation, and why is it bad? What are some of the ways to curb it?
  • What's the difference between social order and rules and chaos?
  • What would it feel like to be away from your loved ones in deep space?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 21
    see all Pandorum reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: a sci-fi scenario far less interested in exploring outer space than human interiors where the only 'aliens' are our own monstrous selves, just waiting to leap out of the atavistic shadows.

- Anton Bitel, Eye for Film, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: A gorgeous production design can't save the picture from trying too hard to dazzle with very little inspiration, and while Pandorum is easy to stare at, it can be a seriously punishing sit.

- Brian Orndorf,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: As always, Foster sells the hell out of his role but non-sci-fi fans may well themselves be driven mad long before the end.

- Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly, Sunday, September 27, 2009

Audience Reviews

2 stars

Two of the flight crew of the deep space colonisation ship Elysium wake from hibernation with no memory of their mission and find their ship derelict and inhabited by vicious, flesh eating creatures. Event Horizon meets The Descent in this hokey sci-fi horror from the Paul W. S. Anderson school of film making. It came as no surprise to find his name on the production credits because this is EXACTLY the kind of SFX heavy, video-game plotted creature feature he has made his name upon. Like many of his films, the production design and set pieces are quite well executed and it is atmospherically shot, but the plot and characters are benched for the sake of contrived races against time and pointless man vs monster smackdowns. I do have a soft spot for this kind of Twilight Zone inspired sci-fi and I must admit it is entertaining while you are trying to work out what the "big plot twist" is going to be, but like the similar Sunshine, the ending is a let down and feels like a big, fat "So what?". Far from the worst of its type however (Doomsday springs to mind), and if you like this type of thing you could do worse.

- garyX, Tuesday, March 13, 2012

3 stars

Despite some imperfections, Christian Alvart's Pandorum is a straight up science fiction thriller.Set in the future, the introduction and earlier scenes of the film's story does wonders at calling out for attention. The sense of mystery is highly intriguing, accompanied with a solid dose of suspense; however, as the picture progresses, the story gradually loses it's steam. Not so much as completely burning out, but more along the lines of squandering it's interest factor.The set design is on the money for what this picture is going for. The makeup and the CG effects are also nicely done. Despite near to nothing in the way of scares, the suspense and the violence easily make up for that.Ben Foster puts on quite the performance and shows he is a good choice for a film of this caliber. Dennis Quaid doesn't move much, but he holds the fort during his segments. Antje Traue adds some much needed appeal to the picture.Some of the story details are hit or miss, but when the 100 minutes are up, Pandorum has enough satisfaction to not end up a waste.

- skactopus, Friday, February 3, 2012

3 stars

Even though the characters and story are both cardboard, Pandorum is very creepy, claustrophobic and excellently shot but badly lighted. It was Alien (which I didn't care for) with a weird twist. It maintained a classic science fiction feel to it that fans of the genre will enjoy and for movie goers there's action and good acting for what it essentialy is. It pleasantly suprised me but it's forgettable.

- aquateen2, Wednesday, January 18, 2012