Content Caution

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George Clooney and a young girl stare at something at a desk in The Midnight Sky.

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Kristin Smith

Movie Review

Augustine always dreamed that his life’s work would pay off. As a young scientist, he theorized that a planet called K23 would be the habitable, future hope for a ravaged earth.

He was right.

It’s the year 2049. Most of earth’s inhabitants are trying to make their way to planet K23. Humans’ home planet has been nearly destroyed. Only few people remain, and there’s little oxygen left.

The clock is ticking. And Augustine knows this well.

As an old man with a terminal illness, Augustine has chosen to spend his last days on earth, at Barbo Observatory, helping astronauts in space get to K23 to successfully begin a new life.

But there’s no telling if the astronauts will make it. And there’s no telling if Augustine himself will be able to fight through his own illness, and the demons of his past, to lend a helping hand when help is most needed.

Positive Elements

Although he’s made poor decisions in his past, Augustine is clearly remorseful for the life he led and the fact that he chose work over his family. However, his life’s work paved the way for humanity to start again on another planet.

A woman relocates to care for her sick, elderly father. Augustine cares for and protects a young girl. Astronauts hold on to, and relive, memories of their families through holograms. A man returns to Earth to care for his family.

We learn that human connection and familial intimacy are to be valued over work. We are also challenged to think about what we’re giving our time and energy to while we’re still alive. 

Spiritual Elements

None.

Sexual Content

A couple flirts. A few young women talk about how attractive a guy is. A couple kisses in an old black-and-white film.

Violent Content

Astronauts in space suffer damage to their ship when it’s hit by meteors. One of these astronauts is killed, and we see her blood particles floating in space as her crewmates attempt to save her. Later, we see this astronaut’s corpse in a body bag.

Augustine agrees to shoot and kill a man who is nearly dead, at his request. We don’t see the shot, but we do hear it. We also see the remains of a deceased man’s face after a pack of wild animals have had their way with him.

Augustine and a young girl are involved in a few perilous scenes. We hear that a man, in his youth, attempted to strap a dog to a rocket and accidentally broke its leg. A man shares that his daughter died when she was 4 years old.

Augustine draws his own blood.

Crude or Profane Language

God’s name is misused once, paired with “d–n.” The f-word is used once. Other profanities include a few utterances of “bulls—,” “d–n,” “son of a b–ch” and “b–ch.” Augustine asks a young girl if she’s trying to “p-ss” him off.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Augustine drinks hard liquor and seems to be drunk in another scene as he stumbles down the stairs. He takes unlabeled medication to combat his terminal illness. A woman mentions that she wants a drink.

Other Negative Elements

A man and woman both vomit multiple times. (We hear their retching but never see anything.) A woman has a nightmare about being left alone on a planet. A wife tells her husband that their boys are critically ill.

Conclusion

Directed by George Clooney, The Midnight Sky is both a sweet and suspenseful story that focuses on one man, Augustine, and the life he led in the name of scientific progress.

This PG-13 rated film is filled with unexpected sorrow and a twist of its own. And it asks viewers to consider one very important question: What is the most important thing we could do with our time on earth?

A smattering of profane language, some perilous scenes and mild violence are the largest issues here. But those matters aside, The Midnight Sky wonders if we will be proud of what we’ve done in the end or filled with remorse for what could have been.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).