Stowaway Parent Guide
Space is a terrifying environment for a thriller and this movie plays into that existential fear with a very human story.
Parent Movie Review
With its advanced technology making space travel more attainable, the Hyperion company has emerged as a leading figure in missions to Mars. It even permits qualified professors and grad students to conduct research projects on its vessels that would be impossible on earth.
This particular mission sees Marina Barnett (Toni Collette) commanding a trip to the red planet with David Kim (Daniel Dae Kim) coming along to conduct research in biology and Zoe Levenson (Anna Kendrick) as a young and enthusiastic medical researcher. But they have an unexpected crewmember: Michael Adams (Shamier Anderson), a launch engineer who was unwittingly brought along following an accident on the ground. With damage to the ship’s carbon dioxide recycling systems and insufficient oxygen to sustain four crewmembers on the two-year voyage, something’s going to have to be done…and fast. The only question for the crew now is how much they value a single human life, and how far they are willing to go to save it.
Space is a fantastic place for thrillers. Outside the tiny capsules is the most hostile environment imaginable. Failure in any one of dozens of complicated systems can mean death for the entire crew. Decompression, freezing, irradiation, or simply being left adrift in the void are all present dangers. And thankfully, Stowaway knows it, and plays to that existential terror. Whatever the problems inside the ship, space is an omnipresent threat to continued human existence.
Good sci-fi is about more than the cold realities of space travel, and this is where the film loses altitude. The central premise and much of the plot is intriguing and injects an important human element into the story. Balancing life and death while remembering that you have to live with the outcome is always a compelling mental exercise. Unfortunately, things go wrong after that. Without spoiling anything, this film has a remarkably unsatisfying ending. It feels like it just…stops… at the end of the second act. What this needs, although I hate to say it, is about 30 more minutes of runtime. The Martian is roughly that much longer and uses the extra time to create a considerably cleaner ending.
While Stowaway has a touch too much profanity for some family audiences, parents should know that cussing is the only major concern. There are some graphic depictions of blood and injury, but these are all the results of accidents or external conditions. Characters are not violent, and they usually try to treat one another with understanding and respect. This may not make for a great kids’ movie, but teenagers and adults will likely find it interesting – even if it trips over its own feet ten yards before the finish line.Directed by Joe Penna. Starring Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Toni Collette, Shamier Anderson. Running time: 116 minutes. Theatrical release April 22, 2021. Updated April 22, 2021
Watch the trailer for Stowaway
Rating & Content Info
Why is Stowaway rated TV-MA? Stowaway is rated TV-MA by the MPAA
Violence: Individuals experience broken limbs, concussions, lacerations, and severe radiation poisoning. One scene depicts a close up of an individual having an injury sutured. There are references to and conversations about suicide.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There are six sexual expletives, eight scatological terms, and infrequent mild profanity and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated April 22, 2021
Stowaway Parents' Guide
This is a morally complicated situation. What do you think the right response is? Do you agree with the way the characters handled it? What do you think they should have done differently and why? What are the ethical implications of that course of action?