The Midnight Sky Parent Guide
This dark and emotionally fraught film is also a remarkably compelling story about humanity.
Parent Movie Review
Unfortunately for all of us, the world has ended. The only survivors on the planet are a small group of scientists at a remote Arctic research station, but even they find themselves evacuating as a dangerous cloud of radiation advances on their holdout. All except Augustine (George Clooney), a determined scientist with a terminal condition. He’s decided that he’d rather die alone at the research station than risk the move – but he’s not as solitary as he thought. Iris (Caoilinn Springall), a young girl, was hiding during the evacuation and was left behind. Meanwhile, the only other humans in the universe are a group of astronauts on a return trip from a voyage to one of Jupiter’s moons. They don’t understand why they can’t communicate with Earth anymore – but if they return, they will die. The only people who can warn them are Augustine and Iris, but first they’ll have to travel across the frozen terrain to a remote weather station with a stronger satellite.
I’m going to re-issue a warning I’ve given a few times in the past few months. If you’re already stressed out (because, frankly, life at this point is a disaster movie), this is not a good choice for casual viewing. This is dark, emotionally fraught, and prominently features the end of the world. None of those things are particularly good for stress levels in my experience, so if you’re already up to your ears in Covid/holiday/political stress, maybe just sit this one out ‘til you’re feeling a little more zen.
As far as content goes, The Darkest Sky is fairly tame. Profanity is limited, with the only use of a sexual expletive coming immediately after a near-death situation. The biggest concern, in my opinion, is the violence. Although in this case it’s more gore than violence: dead bodies, injured people, and a whole lot of blood floating in null-gravity make this a little gruesome for kids and justify the PG-13 rating.
For the rest of us, however, this is a remarkably compelling story about humanity – how we as people face problems, justify decisions, and live with our choices. I think Caoilinn Springall was cast simply because she has the largest eyes I’ve ever seen, but considering her character almost never talks, those sure help. George Clooney is remarkably expressive considering he’s grown a fairly formidable beard which covers about half his face (bad news, I know, for those of you who prefer him clean shaven). While this isn’t perfect by any means, it is well made, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. I’ve watched far worse for far less.Directed by George Clooney. Starring George Clooney, Felicity Jones, Sophie Rundle, David Oyelowo. Running time: 122 minutes. Theatrical release December 23, 2020. Updated December 23, 2020
Watch the trailer for The Midnight Sky
The Midnight Sky
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Midnight Sky rated PG-13? The Midnight Sky is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some bloody images and brief strong language
Violence: Some birds are seen dying of radiation exposure. A dead body is shown with severe damage to the head. An individual is killed off-screen rather than being left to die of exposure. Blood floats in a zero gravity situation.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: There is one use each of extreme and scatological profanity, and very infrequent use of minor profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: The protagonist is seen drinking heavily at the beginning of the film.
Page last updated December 23, 2020
The Midnight Sky Parents' Guide
There are many films about the end of the world. Do you think there is a contemporary problem that is likely to destroy our civilization? What could be done to prevent it? Do you think any country takes problems of that scale seriously?
Although there aren’t any planets in our solar system that could support human life without serious modifications, scientists have been looking for such a planet for a long time. What do you think will happen if they find one? How would that change your worldview?
Related home video titles:
For more on the dangers of space travel, films like The Martian, Gravity, or Interstellar are good places to start. A darker take is Ad Astra. Another take on the end of the world featuring a lonesome survivor is I Am Legend. A more recent take is Greenland. If you’re into the inevitable death of creeping radiation, On the Beach is an excellent choice – so good that a clip from it is seen in this movie.