Voyagers parents guide

Voyagers Parent Guide

With strong production values, solid acting, and big existential and ethical questions, this film is suitable for viewers who want to think. But only if they can tolerate the negative content.

Overall C

Amazon: The search for habitable planets in the universe requires long travel - 86 years, to be exact. A group of children has been bred and trained specifically for the journey...but it doesn't take long before things aboard ship start to fall apart.

Release date October 22, 2021

Violence C
Sexual Content D
Profanity A
Substance Use A

Why is Voyagers rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Voyagers PG-13 for violence, some strong sexuality, bloody images, a sexual assault and brief strong language.

Run Time: 108 minutes

Parent Movie Review

A few decades into the future, Earth is becoming uninhabitable. Seeking solutions, a team of scientists find a distant planet that could possibly sustain life and become humanity’s new home. To travel vast distances through space, the team decide to breed a specialized crew to be raised from birth to operate the spaceship. This crew will never see the new planet, as the trip will take 86 years, but their grandchildren will become the first humans to colonize the potential future Earth. In space, however, the teenaged crew start to discover that secrets are being kept form them, secrets that threaten to change the course of the mission.

If I were a studio executive and someone pitched “Lord of the Flies in space” to me, I would give them all my money. The premise has so much potential. Exploring human nature and the potential for depravity and chaos in the claustrophobic confines of a space station full of teens is brimming with possibilities. And Voyagers starts out promisingly enough. Yes, the basic plot set up is a little silly and easy to poke holes in, but so is most sci-fi. The first act raises deep questions around scientific ethics, nature vs nurture, morality, free will, and human nature. Unfortunately, the remainder of the film fails to live up to the premise or the themes, and instead devolves into predictable sci-fi tropes with an unbelievably saccharine ending.

Aside from the story’s failings, there’s a lot to love about this production. The set designs are stunning. These are not cheap foam Star Trek sets; they look like they cost some money. The acting, for the most part, is exceptional, especially considering the young cast. Colin Farrell, as always, is a standout. Although some of the deeper themes remain underdeveloped, the main messages are positive and teen appropriate. The crew learn about collaboration, impulse control, critical thinking, and working towards the greater good.

As expected with a story based on Lord of the Flies, there is a lot of violence. A few crew members are killed in various ways, characters fight in increasingly bloody fashions, and guns appear towards the end. There is also a scene in which a girl is groped by a boy, who then acts as though he intends to take the assault further but is stopped by another character. On top of that, once the teens become awakened to their own libidos, they start to act on their desires. Although there is no nudity, and only one brief moment of obvious sexual activity, sex is implied in multiple scenes. I think the characters are supposed to be 18, but this is never explicitly stated. Whether they are “legal” or not (assuming our 2021 ideas of adulthood apply to 2063 space travel), there is no discussion of things like protection or birth control, and most of the encounters seem to be based on lust and impulse. Although the overall message of the story is to learn to control our baser impulses, that is primarily directed towards violence, and not so much to sex. With all of this in mind, I would not recommend this film for young teens. The complex themes and cool sci-fi atmosphere might be appealing to older adolescents, but parents will want to be on hand to talk through the more difficult subject matter the movie grapples with.

Directed by Neil Burger. Starring Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, and Lily-Rose Depp. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release October 22, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Voyagers

Rating & Content Info

Why is Voyagers rated PG-13? Voyagers is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for violence, some strong sexuality, bloody images, a sexual assault and brief strong language.

Violence: The body of a victim of a lethal electrical burn is shown in some detail. Characters fight in multiple scenes, including punching, kicking, pushing, and grappling. A boy is hit on the head with a sharp tool. A character is beaten to death and his bloody body is shown afterwards. A teen is shot and killed. Characters carry and use guns. A character is stabbed in the leg with a knife. A character is killed by a blow to the head.
Sexual Content: A teen boy gropes a teen girls’ breast against her will and then grabs her around the waist, but he is stopped from doing anything further. Teen characters are seen kissing. Two teens are seen having sex from a distance. No nudity is shown, but there is obvious thrusting. Two teens kiss in bed and are then shown sleeping next to each other in their underwear. Teens are seen in their underwear.
Profanity: Some verbal bullying.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A plot point revolves around the crew of the ship being medicated without their knowledge.

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Voyagers Parents' Guide

What techniques does Zac use to control the crew? What are some ways that we can recognize those methods of control in our own world and not be taken in by them?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Passengers operates on a similar premise. Facing a 120 year journey between earth and a new planetary colony, the interstellar voyagers are put into hibernation for their space journey. When a malfunction awakens two passengers early on the trip, they discover that there are more serious flaws in the ship…

In another take on a collapsing earth that requires a new home for humanity, Interstellar sees a retired astronaut return to space to scout out a new planet. The catch here is that he has children for whom his years-long voyage will take decades.