Moonshot parents guide

Moonshot Parent Guide

Not a sophisticated sci-flick, this is nonetheless a perfectly competent teen romance with some charming moments.

Overall B

HBO Max: When Sophie's boyfriend gets his dream job on Mars, she makes plans to follow him - but she doesn't expect a stowaway.

Release date March 31, 2022

Violence A-
Sexual Content B
Profanity C-
Substance Use C-

Why is Moonshot rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Moonshot PG-13 for some strong language and suggestive material

Run Time: 104 minutes

Parent Movie Review

In a near future complete with commercial space travel and robot employees, Walt (Cole Sprouse) is very much stuck on Earth. Muddling his way through university (with 16 majors in three years), he works part time as an assistant barista to a robot and dreams of going to Mars. Walt’s no idle dreamer: he has applied to the Kovi Industries Student Mars Program 37 times… and been rejected each time.

Walt seems doomed to terrestrial mediocrity until he has a meet-cute with a girl at a party. Ginny (Emily Rudd) is having an “existential crisis” and Walt’s passion for space helps her resolve it. But their connection only fires up his desire to burst the bonds of planet Earth.

At the same party, Walt has a “meet-awkward” with Sophie (Lana Condor), a highly organized, academically successful young woman whose boyfriend, Calvin (Mason Gooding), is already on Mars. Learning that he’s extended his employment contract there, Sophie’s devastated. When Walt needles her into overcoming her fear of flying, she purchases a commercial ticket to the red planet – and soon discovers an unexpected stowaway on the flight.

Moonshot is not a sophisticated sci-fi flick, but it is a perfectly competent teen romance. Walt and Sophie are opposites: she’s brilliant and driven and he’s spontaneous and academically average. The two first repel and then attract one another, hitting romance tropes all the way. For female viewers, the most interesting part of the movie will be Sophie’s commitment to developing her own scientific expertise. Although she loves Calvin, their relationship is strained by his expectation that her interests and goals will mesh with his. Walt opens up a new potential future for her – one marked by spontaneity, exploration, and fun, with her interests in the center. Whether this is an improvement over the relationship she has with Calvin or is simply another type of unbalanced relationship is an interesting topic for discussion.

Less appealing is the film’s negative content. The two dozen swear words are relatively light by Hollywood standards, but the single sexual expletive is unnecessary. Also unnecessary are some conversations involving sexual innuendo and a scene where a protagonist is implied to be intoxicated.

If the negative content doesn’t annoy you, there are a few areas where the movie delivers a bit more than you would expect from a teen rom-com. The blatant mockery of the billionaire owner of Kovi Industries is relevant enough to be funny. But what really shines is the film’s palpable love of our home planet. As Sophie says to Walt, “You’ve been on a spaceship traveling through the stars your entire life. Earth. In a billion years we will never build or find anything quite like it. It’s our only spaceship. What could we possibly do out here that we couldn’t do there?” With this focus, Moonshot isn’t just a love story between Sophie and Walt; it’s a love letter to our beautiful, blue planet.

Directed by Christopher Winterbauer. Starring Lana Condor, Mason Gooding, Cole Sprouse, Zach Braff. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release March 31, 2022. Updated

Watch the trailer for Moonshot

Rating & Content Info

Why is Moonshot rated PG-13? Moonshot is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some strong language and suggestive material

Violence: Brothers wrestle. There is mention of space shuttles exploding.
Sexual Content: Two women get engaged. There’s reference to “personal intimacy” time. Someone mentions an erection. There’s suggestion of an online sexual relationship. A person mentions porn. A woman is briefly seen in her bra. A man and woman kiss.
Profanity: A man is repeatedly berated for being “dumb”.  There are over a dozen terms of deity, six scatological curses, two mild profanities, and three anatomical curses in the film. There is a single sexual expletive. The script also features a slang term for male genitals and two uses of a crude term for women.
Alcohol / Drug Use:   Man fills up a flask with liquor. A man pours alcohol into his coffee cup and another person’s. A man given a sedative injection without consent. A man has a bottle of space wine. Adults mention drinking space wine: a woman appears to be intoxicated.

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Moonshot Parents' Guide

Why does Walt want to go to outer space? Is he running towards something or away from something or both?

If you could choose somewhere to explore, where would you go?  Why?

What do you think of the choices Walt and Sophie make? What would you do in their situations?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Mars is a popular setting for movies. In the teen rom-com, The Space Between Us, a young boy has been born and raised on Mars. When he meets a girl online, he takes a trip to earth to find her, only to learn that his body can’t handle earth’s gravity.

Red Rover features a lonesome geologist who decides to apply for a one-way ticket to Mars in the hopes that he can make a new life on the red planet.

Matt Damon stars in The Martian as an astronaut left for dead when his expedition returns to earth. Returning to consciousness, he needs to find a way to survive in an inhospitable environment until a rescue mission can return for him.

In Stowaway, a launch engineer is accidentally taken on board on a space mission. Since oxygen was carefully rationed for the trip, another passenger makes the trip unsustainable.