Box art for Serenity


action & adventure, sci-fi & fantasy

When the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in a battle between the military might of a totalitarian regime who will destroy anything - or anyone - to get the girl back.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 12
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

A bit clunky, but entertaining sci-fi.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie includes some rambunctious action, drawn from both Western and science-fiction conventions. They fight with their fists, guns, and other implements; they also engage in chase scenes on speedy hovering vehicles. Space battles -- between space ships -- result in some raucous explosion and shoot-out scenes. Some aggressive, martial-artsy fighting. Characters drink and smoke in a bar. One couple kisses and looks to be headed to off-screen sex; one character has designed a robot to service him (the implication is that she's a sexual companion). A woman crewmember sees her husband killed, suddenly and brutally.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the various loyalties revealed in various pairings and groups of characters: brother and sister, romantic couples, devotion to causes and communities as ideals. How does River's wrestling with her training and instinct as a "weapon" serve as counterpoint for the Operator, who sees himself as a "monster" but also believes in his mission to commit murder and mayhem, as a means to eventual peace?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 27
    see all Serenity reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Joss Whedon makes a rousing feature-directing debut, exploiting the cult status of his short-lived series Firefly to continue it on the big screen.

- Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fresh: A lot more sweaty fun than the last three overhyped, sterile, for-dorks-only Star Wars cartoons.

- Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, Friday, September 30, 2005

Fresh: I mean Serenity no disrespect when I say it's enjoyably junky.

- David Edelstein, Slate, Friday, September 30, 2005

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Firefly was a great, but unfortunately criminally short-lived television series. This movie represents a feature length follow-up, and for the most part, it really doesn't disappoint. While you could see this without having knowledge of the show, it is better to already come to it with some prior knowledge. So, just for the sake of fairness, here's a brief bit of back story: It's the 26th Century, and due to overpopulation, people on the Earth as we know it (Earth that once was) have branched out to colonize other places. Our protagonistys are a motley crew of petty thieves who perform jobs legal and illegal aboard their transport ship called Serenity. Besides trying to avoid the totalitarian government, they also try to avoid a group of animalistic human cannibals known as Reavers. To add to the crew's problems, they pick up a doctor and his sister, a psychic wanted by the government due to the fact that she might possess dark and dangerous secrets. I tried to simplify that as best as I could, but it's hard, because the whole concept of the show and movie is just really deep, and really cool since it's quite literally a sci-fi western. I loved the show, and I dug the movie quite a lot. It answers any of the lingering issues of the show, and offers a nice scenario of how the show might have progressed with the various storylines of the 9 major characters. Joss Whedon's writing is crisp, sharp, and the dialogue is just a blast to listen to. The characters are surprisingly well developed given the circumstances (I really think the movie should have been at least 30 minutes longer), and non-fans will be able to pick up the basics of who these people are quite easily. Yes, the screen time each gets is limited, but the best is made with what they are given. The core cast return, and they once again play their parts marvelously. They are joined by two new characters played by Chiwetel Ejiofor and David Krumholtz, and I liked those two a lot. I could have used a bit more of the latter, but that's a minor thing. Everyone has a great rapport with one another, and it's nice seeing these people in action again. The film, like the show, is a good blend of wit, drama, action, and intrigue, and there's some great set pieces here as well, including finally getting to see the Reavers in action, which didn't get to happen during the show's run. All in all, this is mainly for the fans, but it's not purely off limits to outsiders. I recommend the show before seeing this, because it's worth it in general, but also because it gives the viewer a better appreciation of things.Give this one a watch, it's quite something.

- cosmo313, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

3 stars

Having enjoyed the space cowboy bravado of the prematurely cancelled "Firefly" television series, I went into "Serenity" with low expectations, figuring that the movie capper would answer some questions but leave more unanswered. I wasn't wrong though it was still nice to get reacquainted. The addition of quietly dangerous Chiwetel Ejiofor as an Alliance Operative provides a menacing new story arc. River's programmed badassery is brought to fruition but still mindfucky, and a couple characters receive heartbreaking yet honorable discharges. Jewel Staite as the plucky Kaylee and Adam Baldwin as the mercenary Jayne seem the weak links in this reunion - somewhat phoning in their once naive and sociopathic charm, respectively.

- aliceinpunderland, Monday, May 20, 2013

4 stars

25/02/2013 (Online)

- EightThirty, Wednesday, February 27, 2013