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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Passengers movie review: lost in sexist space

Passengers red light

MaryAnn’s quick take…
After a few quick nods to the profoundly unethical act at its core, the movie shrugs it off and uses it as the basis for a fairy-tale romance. This is not okay.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): big science fiction fan; love Jennifer Lawrence
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence: such pretty! They’re on a spaceship traveling to a faraway planet: a fresh start! But oh noes! Their hibernation pods woke them up too early… only 30 years into a 120-year journey, or 90 years too soon. Now they are marooned in realtime while everyone else sleeps the next century away. But they have each other! They have this amazing gorgeous sleek spaceship all to themselves. (They always get a table at the automated robot-waitered sushi restaurant — hooray! Michael Sheen the android bartender always has a wink and their favorite drinks ready for them!) It’s Titanic in Space. Maybe too much like! Something is wrong with the ship, and it is sinking. In space! Still: Such romantic! Much sci-fi!

Pretty people on a spaceship traveling to a faraway planet. Such romantic! Much sci-fi!




This damn movie. They — the big They, the They who make the things we’re supposed to just accept as Entertainment and All In Good Fun — they made it so that it’s impossible to talk about this movie in any meaningful way unless you spoil it, and we — the big We, we critics, we serious film fans — are not supposed to do that. Because it’s mean. It’s bad. It’s Not Fair.

It’s almost like They knew there was a big, major, YUGE problem with their damn movietweet — probably only unconsciously, though — and arranged things this way. Shhh! Nobody tell the secret of Passengers! Don’t ruin it for everyone else! Don’t talk about The Thing!

I am going to talk about The Thing.

“When I said wear a suit to dinner, that’s not quite what I had in mind...”

“When I said wear a suit to dinner, that’s not quite what I had in mind…”tweet

First, a spoiler-free nutshell: At the heart of this story is an act of wanton moral depravity. The movie tries to frame it as a conundrum, but it is nothing of the sort: it is an instance of willful cruelty that is given great consideration before it is undertaken anyway. It is a crime of the worst kind, committed with malice aforethought. There are other issues with the film, such as the contrivances of its science-fictional concepts, which really are contrivances: when you’re inventing the science your story runs on, its quirks are not accidents but deliberate acts to twist the story in a way that need not automatically be (as would not be the case if, say, your story featured actual existing technology). But even the movie’s other flaws all serve the fundamental problem with Passengers, which is that after offering a few quick nods to the profoundly unethical act at its core, it dismisses all objections to it, shrugs it off, and turns it into a fairy tale.

And it’s all even worse than it sounds when you delve into the details.

This is your last warning: look away now if you do not want to know pretty much everything of importance that happens in Passengers.


The problem at the heart of Passengers gets even worse when you delve into the details, which are appalling.

Okay. The “twist” in Passengers is revealed toward the end of this paragraph: The Chris Pratt (The Magnificent Seven, Jurassic World) character, who is called Jim, is accidentally awakened from hibernation on the colony starship Avalon thanks to a computer glitch. This isn’t supposed to happen, it has supposedly never happened before, and there are apparently no safety fallbacks for if such a thing did happen. So Jim is alone on a spaceship meant to comfortably house more than five thousand people once they are awakened for the final few months of their voyage, and he is destined to be alone until he dies, or for 90 years, whichever comes first. There is no way to reenter hibernation. (This is one of those twisted contrivances; hibernation technology doesn’t exist, so the details of it can be whatever the writer wants it to be.) So, after being alone for a year and having found no solution for his problem, he wakes up Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: Apocalypse, Joy), so he can have some company. So there will be two people all alone on a spaceship in deepest interstellar space, cut off from the rest of humanity — there isn’t even any meaningful communication with Earth — for the rest of their lives.

Just so this is clear: Lawrence’s character does not accidentally wake up as the result of a computer glitch or any other shipboard malfunction. Jim deliberately wakes her up.

“And way over in that corner is a tiny hold marked ‘Moral Authority,’ but it’s empty...”

“And way over in that corner is a tiny hold marked ‘Moral Authority,’ but it’s empty…”tweet

Now, why her? Why doesn’t Jim wake up, say, a member of the crew, who must surely have some fix for this problem? He does try… but while the passengers’ hibernation capsules are out in the open, the crew’s are in highly secure chambers, which Jim tries his damnedest to get into, using all the tools he can find (sledgehammers, blowtorches, electronic doodads to bypass the security, etc). Jim is a mechanic, so we can presume that he makes all reasonable effort to get into the crew area. And yet, why does screenwriter Jon Spaihts (Doctor Strange, Prometheus) put such a barrier in Jim’s way? Why is Jim able to access the maintenance and storage areas of the ship (where he finds all the tools), which shouldn’t be open to a passenger or easily broken in to, yet not the crew area? If it has never occurred to anyone involved in this entire endeavor that passengers could accidentally wake up early — you know, before the crew wakes up — what is the purpose of securing the crew’s hibernation area this way? This isn’t like, say, securing the cockpit door on an airliner: the crew’s hibernation pods are not on the bridge or, seemingly, in any other sensitive command area. In fact, later, Jim easily gets into what should probably be the most secure area of the ship: the reactor that powers it. So this is one of those absurd contrivances: the only reason Jim can’t get at the crew is so that Jim can’t get at the crew.

Okay, but still: Why wake up Jennifer Lawrence, whose character is a journalist? Why not find an engineer with a better understanding of the ship and its systems? Why not find a doctor or a hibernation specialist? There must certainly be at least one of the latter, because Jim knows that at least one person on the ship is planning to make a return journey to Earth, which is apparently a rare thing. And even if they have the equipment and expertise on the new planet to put people into hibernation, they will surely want to have the very latest version of the technology: whatever is already on the planet (or en route on another ship) will be outdated because of the massive travel times involved.

Passengers is not Titanic in space, and it’s not a romance. It’s a horror movie, and it doesn’t even realize it.

If Jim considers such options, we do not learn of it.

So Jennifer Lawrence it is! Because she’s “the perfect woman,” as he tells Arthur the android bartender (Michael Sheen: Alice Through the Looking Glass, Far from the Madding Crowd). The colonists all seem to have detailed biographies and video interviews available in the ship’s computer, and Jim has learned all about her, and he has decided that he is in love with her and that she is the one who should keep him company for the rest of his life. Jim will wake her up and pretend like it was just random chance that left them both castaways in time, and they will fall in love and it will be magical.

And this is pretty much what happens.

You may scream now.

This is toxic Nice Guy-ism: “I’m lonely, I deserve a girlfriend, and I will get one, and she has no say in the matter.”

Passengers is not Titanic. Titanic is “You jump, I jump.” This is “I’m falling and I’m taking you with me, whether you like it or not.” This is not a romance; it’s a horror movie, and Chris Pratt is the villain. It’s Alien and Jim is the monster.

This shit is not okay.

“No, computer, I do not want to watch Alien again. Why do you keep recommending it?”

“No, computer, I do not want to watch Alien again. Stop recommending it!”tweet

Of course Aurora — Aurora; which is also Sleeping Beauty’s name; gross — of course Aurora does find out what Jim did. After she has fallen in love with him based on a lie, based on the notion he led her to believe, that they were merely two unlucky souls stuck together in a terrible situation. After she has had sex with him based on false pretenses. He has, essentially, kidnapped and raped her, and he has done that without her even realizing it. (He knows it, though.) That does not make it okay. It is horrible. And the movie does, briefly, acknowledge that. Aurora accuses Jim of murdering her, which is accurate: he has stolen from her the life she had planned, for no reason beyond his own selfishness, and with absolutely no regard for what she wants. Another computer glitch — the malfunctions on the ship are cascading — awakens crew member Gus (Laurence Fishburne: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Colony), and he also agrees that what Jim did is unacceptable. (Gus will soon die, because he is the black man in the sci-fi movie.) For a while, Aurora refuses to speak with Jim, to have any contact with him, which is doable on a ship this big. But he cannot abide this, and he uses the shipwide PA to talk to her in a way she cannot escape from. He forces her to deal with him when she does not want to, for very good reasons. This is very much not okay.

It gets worse.

The malfunctions on the ship are getting so bad that the survival of everyone onboard — including all those still asleep — is threatened. This allows Jim the opportunity to be a hero and make a noble sacrifice, which makes Aurora swoon and fall back in love with him again despite the fact that he has kidnapped, raped, and — in her own words — murdered her. (The details of the impending disaster and Jim’s noble sacrifice are not important, except that they do involve more contrivances invented solely so that the plot may move in this direction.) Aurora had previously watched a farewell video of her best friend from back on Earth in which the friend tells her “You don’t have to do something amazing to be happy,” for which the only possible translation within the context of the story is that Aurora should consider putting aside her ambitious plan to be the first journalist to travel to a colony and then return to Earth to write about it (yes, Aurora is the passenger for whom provisions will have been made to get her back into hibernation eventually) and just find happiness with a man, even if he is the man who locked her in his serial killer van in space so that he could fuck her. Why not make the best of it? Which she can do, because Passengers arranges for Jim to come back from his noble sacrifice — the contrived cherry on top of the bullshit sundae — so that he and Aurora can renew their romance.

The sound you hear is that of me barfing.

The sound you hear is that of me barfing.

And still, Passengers is not done getting worse.

Jim discovers that the “autodoc” in the ship’s medical area — you know, the sort of sci-fi machine you lie down in it, it scans you, goes beep-boop, and you’re cured of whatever ails you — is capable of putting a patient into stasis. He offers this to Aurora, to let her go back to sleep for the rest of the journey. (Of course there is only one autodoc, which doesn’t seem like enough for more than five thousand people, but the Avalon is a ship remarkably provisioned except when that would interfere with the story Spaihts is desperate to concoct.) It seems unlikely that that sort of stasis would be suitable for decades-long hibernation, or else all the passengers would already be in that sort of stasis, and that uncertainty could have been a reason for Aurora to make a decision such as this: “Okay,” she could have told Jim, “I’ll go into stasis, and you wake me up for one week every year. This way we can check to see if the stasis really is working as hibernation, and you can have some company once in a while. And I lose only a couple of years out of my life. You don’t deserve full-time company, and I’m certainly not going to fuck you during that week, but it’s more than you could possibly hope for after what you did, you miserable piece of shit. And I’ll get a bonus story out of it: The castaway who survived on a colony ship for however long you survive.”

Does Aurora say that? Of course not. She turns down Jim’s “generous” and “decent” offer so that they can live out their days together. She’s too kind, you see, to leave him all on his lonesome. So she doesn’t. And they live happily ever after.

“Oh, honey, I know you said ‘Not if you were the last man on Earth.’ But we’re not on Earth...”

“Oh, honey, I know you said ‘Not if you were the last man on Earth.’ But we’re not on Earth…”tweet

There isn’t a way this story could have ended that would have been more revolting. And yet there are easily a dozen ways to turn this basic premise into the incisive psychological thriller it wants to be, to be the movie that genuinely examines the awful human behavior at its center. (Just one: Aurora kills Jim in her rage… and then realizes how lonely she is and wakes up someone else. And the cycle begins again. Maybe the ship is littered with bodies by the time it arrives at its destination.) Instead, Passengers takes male sexual entitlement — the idea that what a man wants is more important than what a woman wants, more important than her life — and warps it into a (supposedly) charming love story. Passengers puts a sinister new Hollywood gloss on the trope of the hero “getting the girl”… whatever it takes to get her. It thinks it’s normal and even optimistic for a woman to fall in love with her kidnapper. It makes a joke out of the fact that she cannot leave him for someone else. But worse is that she doesn’t seem to want to leave him. She is ultimately happy to be have been shopped out of the frozen-food section like a microwave pizza.

This is what a Hollywood run by men gets us: creepy, rapey shit that is meant to be romantic, and is just disgusting. The director, Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game, Headhunters), is a man. The 12 credited producers (which includes screenwriter Spaihts) are all men. There was clearly no one who looked at this script — which had been on the legendary “blacklist” of supposedly great unproduced scripts for almost a decade — and said, “Wow, just no.” There was clearly no one who was capable of understanding just how profoundly wrongheadedtweet it is. It probably sounded like an awesome fantasy to them. And that is even more disturbing than anything in the movie itself. No wonder Hollywood movies about women as human beings are so rare: the men in charge think women are interchangeable with frozen pizzas.

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Passengers (2016) | directed by Morten Tyldum
US/Can release: Dec 21 2016
UK/Ire release: Dec 21 2016

MPAA: rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity and action/peril
BBFC: rated 12A (moderate threat, brief injury detail, sexual activity)

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, please reconsider.

  • Jurgan

    There was clearly no one who looked at this script — which had been on the legendary “blacklist” of supposedly great unproduced scripts for almost a decade — and said, “Wow, just no.”

    Well, I haven’t read the script, but I could easily imagine it originally had one of the darker endings you mentioned, and then some executive said “No, hunky Chris Pratt and sexy Jennifer Lawrence have to end up together.”

    My first thought when I saw the previews for this was Supernova, another sci-fi flick that wanted to be much more profound than it was and featured contrived romances that made no sense. Most people have probably forgotten that movie, but it sticks in my memory because it was one of the first movies I hated and could verbalize why. Passengers sounds even worse than I was imagining.

  • Bleargh.

    I saw the trailer for this and came close to guessing the sinister part. I thought Jim would secretly set things up in the beginning so they’d both wake up together and he’d have her all to himself.

    It’s frightening that I came up with a version worse than they did.

    Based on your description, they could’ve done this in a way that made Jim less of a complete monster. What if he was alone for, I dunno, six years before he finally broke down and woke somebody else up?

    Eh, I I still wouldn’t want to see it.

  • ketac6

    Yuck. I guess too it’s only the glamour of the big shiny spaceship that makes this even seem remotely acceptable. You could set this somewhere else with minor modifications and it would seem exactly the creepy shit it is.

  • RogerBW

    Darn. This looked promising, but if I’d watched it unspoiled I’d have been seriously annoyed. Thanks, MaryAnn, for stopping me from wasting my money on it. (And happy Christmas.)

  • LaSargenta

    “Legendary blacklist”?

  • Danielm80

    The name The Black List was a nod to his heritage as an African American man, and also as a subtle reference to the writers who were barred during the McCarthy era as part of the Hollywood blacklist.


    Many, many terrible films have come from the Black List.

  • Chelsea Beckmann

    Thanks for putting into words what I was too horrified to. All of the other women were “awww”ing and literally laughing out loud. It was like watching a train wreck. So many what the fucks.

  • Eric M

    Saw it with my family and my sister liked it the most of anyone. I guess she hates her own kind?

  • irrelevous

    Wow, i see your bingo card is trying to prevent anyone from questioning anything you say that seems sexist against men. anyway, i found your review appalling, and i know it’s your opinion, but you literally tried to make this a “men are bad” situation, when this was about a terrible decision and human error. it has nothing to do with their genders. as for the rape part, they fell in love, yes it was built on a lie, but they clearly do love each other and they both consented. i do like your ending idea though, but all in all , this movie was fresh and had some unexpected twists. Why would you expect them to have given away the biggest twist of the movie. also this is coming from a woman.

  • irrelevous

    no she’s just not a hateful person like you and can actually enjoy a movie with plot twists.

  • Eric M

    The hating her own kind part was sarcasm, which is why it was a question. I actually loved the movie and didn’t feel like it was sexist at all. The movie even showed the female lead as the more intellectual of the two characters.

  • James

    If you would have left out the accusation of it being sexist for anyone to think it’s a romantic story, this would have been a good review. Do you realize that females under 18 and over 45 are the ones giving the best reviews? Men are the ones that are confused if a woman makes a decision like in this movie. It’s not men that are finding this movie romantic, it’s women. Had it been reverse roles and Pratt’s character decided to enact revenge, you probably would have personified that as male ego as well.

  • Stefy

    I think people overthink things way too much, misunderstand human nature to forgive, misrepresent in life what can make us happy, and also try to say that everything is “sexist”. Had the roles been reversed people wouldn’t have worried about the “twist”. When Ygritte basically forces Jon Snow to have sex with her or be outed (and killed) because she fancies him, both Jon and the rest of us got over it. I think it’s sexist to call it sexist because we apply different standards to women and men.

  • Akiko Ito

    How dare movies not portray its main characters as perfect

  • RicoSuave

    Seems like the only thing left to criticize about the movie in this harangue is that Pratt’s character didn’t awaken a man… he was way to heterosexual in his tastes.

  • That list of Black List movies. Woof.

  • Oh, lord, the comment section.


    If Chris Pratt had played Jennifer Lawrence’s part and Steve Buscemi had played Chris Pratt’s part, I wonder how sympathetic this audience would be to his loneliness…

  • Danielm80

    I’m wondering if this review was mentioned on one of the “male supremacist” sites.

  • Griffith

    What a pathetic attempt to jump on the outrage bandwagon. The 2016 election must have fried your brain and now you just see victimhood everywhere you look.

  • JusticeB

    This is based on the version of Sleeping Beauty where the princess is raped by the king before she’s awakened. Then she becomes the prince in Snow White and commits an ethical lapse of her own by reviving him, having no idea what his quality of life will be if she revives him. I didn’t like the falsely sunny ending either but I don’t think the movie trivialized what he did. I might have done the same thing in his situation which doesn’t make it right but for those of us terrified by the idea of being alone, it’s comprehendable.

  • JusticeB

    I didn’t find it romantic. I found it to be an interesting concept and I was hoping they wouldn’t give it the fake sunny ending. I like it when movies have good people do terrible things. The movie never said what he did was okay and neither did she. I saw him as a murderer and I also thought it made sense that he’d do it and make sense that she’d come to accept it. It’s called Stockholm Syndrome. You can accept the surface of the story or read between the lines. There are movies where women are treated just as badly or worse and the film presents the act as OK. At least this film didn’t do that.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That or these people are spending Christmas tearing around the internet being outraged at bad reviews. This is sitting at 32% on RT, and every reviewer that isn’t calling it out for being boring are making pretty much the same points MAJ is (and often both).

  • John Honey

    Loved this movie! To many of the reviewer’s points:

    1. It was an agonizing choice. The point of Jim finally deciding to wake Aurora up was to show what can drive people to make morally wrong decisions. Intense, insane loneliness can do that. Decades alone would drive him mad. It’s an incredible quandry and I thought very aptly executed by the writers.

    2. Showing one person forgiving another (Aurora forgiving Jim) is fantastic. It shows the power of just human connection, that relationships can be turned around, they are not lost, there’s always hope, as long as both are living, regardless of how they started or the direction they had. People are resilient and are made for connections. Forgiveness and love are in our hearts. (The gender of who saved whom is not relevant. You can see “sexism” anywhere if you want to.)

    3. To one of your technical criticisms: I wouldn’t risk that auto-doctor chamber being able to put someone in and out of hibernation. If it would have gotten it once, that would have been enough. That was my mental explanation for why Jim wouldn’t wake Aurora had she chosen to sleep again, or that they wouldn’t choose to “share” it every other decade. Too risky.

    This was a story that rang true on every level for me: emotional and technological. Four out of five stars!

  • Shelley

    Agree with you 100% here. I liked the first half of the movie and can empathize fully with Jim’s decision to wake Aurora up–it’s pretty terrifying to spend the rest of your life as the only person alive, and I’d probably prowl all the passengers looking for the best combination of physique and brains and do the same if I were in his shoes. It’s just pretty terrible how the movie conflates such an act of pure selfishness with love (when you truly love someone you don’t try to drag them down with you, but rather try to lift them up, while you drown–like what Jack did for Rose in Titanic goddamnit!) and an entire half of the movie justifying the happy ending that’s pretty morally unjustifiable.

    I really like your alternative version there–Aurora kills Jim in her rage, wakes up a guy to keep her company, the cycle continues. My version of the second half is Aurora trying to kill Jim a few times and finally breaking down after a few years and begrudgingly fuck him because there’s no one else and they live out their lives in quiet contempt that somehow has its rare moments of joy at the realization that the company of another human, no matter how shitty, is better than no company at all. I enjoyed the premise of the movie and thought it very promising: it’s just very sad that of all the interesting directions in which it could have gone, this movie went for the most hackneyed, idiotic and morally repulsive one.

  • Women live in our misogynist culture, and absorb its messages, too.

  • you literally tried to make this a “men are bad” situation

    This literally *is* a “a man is bad” situation.

  • It’s not men that are finding this movie romantic, it’s women.

    And you think that makes it better?

  • I think people overthink things way too much

    If you’re reading film reviews, you may be “overthinking things” as well.

  • Says who?

    In this case, however, a man is rewarded for his crime, and this portrayed as romantic and fairy-tale-ish. This is not cool.

  • You think it wouldn’t have been awful if Jim had awakened a man so that he could fuck him?

    The difference is, that likely would not have been portrayed as romantic. It would have been portrayed as the horror it is.

  • Aww, thanks for your concern! So sweet.

  • I don’t think the movie trivialized what he did.

    He ends up with precisely the ending he had hoped for. No, it doesn’t trivialize what he does. It rewards him for it.

  • RogerBW

    The trick is, does the film show Jim having any realisation that he has done vile things? Or is he more “meh, women, end their lives and rape them and they get all pissy at you”?

  • It was an agonizing choice.

    Oh, well, that makes it all okay then. It hurt him as much as it hurt her! Can’t we all see how much he is suffering?

    (You realize that this is the language of abusers, right?)

  • I’d probably prowl all the passengers looking for the best combination of physique and brains and do the same if I were in his shoes.

    And yet, it’s easy to imagine that were the genders reversed, Aurora would be cast as the crazy bitch villain who ruined a man’s life. Jim would *still* be cast as the character we’re meant to sympathize with!

  • Danielm80

    After I read your comment, I was trying to imagine what a male-male version of the film would look like. Because gay men have been treated as comic figures in Hollywood for so many years, I started picturing it as a grim comedy, kind of like What About Bob? in space. And then I realized that, actually, I’d seen the same basic story with a woman as the romantic pursuer. Ray Bradbury wrote it decades ago, in The Martian Chronicles. It’s also a grim comedy. The last man on Mars meets the last woman on Mars and hates her. He finds her ugly and unappealing, but she keeps chasing after him, desperate to get married.

    I suspect we’d get the same story today, if the filmmakers tried to switch the male and female roles. And it would still be more entertaining than Passengers.

  • RicoSuave

    Would you have rather seen the only “acceptable” version of the film where Pratt’s character spends all his time playing chess with the robot bartender ?

  • Birdfish



    awakens crew member Gus (Laurence Fishburne: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, The Colony), and he also agrees that what Jim did is unacceptable. (Gus will soon die, because he is the black man in the sci-fi movie.)






  • Danielm80


    Movies like Gravity and The Martian have proved that it’s possible to tell a compelling story about a lone person in space. MaryAnn suggested some other possibilities in her review. But this particular story was so badly conceived that I’m not sure it needed to be told at all.

  • RicoSuave

    So basically no movies or tv shows should be made about characters who aren’t perfect or all sacrificing ? Ever heard of Tony Soprano, Dexter ? Or even Rick Deckerd in Blade Runner. Characters who had a a darker edge but still were interesting and had a story to tell, even if you didn’t agree with all their motivations or morals. Movies would become pretty boring if they all were some preachy flat tales of survival like Gravity and The Martian.

  • Danielm80

    You’re not responding to anything I actually said, or anything MaryAnn actually said. You’re responding to what you think a stereotypical SJW would have said in this situation. But then, I think you know that.

  • RicoSuave

    You are the one bringing in other films like Gravity and The Martian as if those should be the templates for all “marooned in space” movies. And where did I bring in any “SJW” element ? That is purely your interjection in my discussing why Passengers should be structured to follow some rigid moral path.

  • Birdfish









  • Birdfish



  • Birdfish


  • bronxbee

    and 2001 has a solitary figure and a fascinating story.

  • Birdfish


  • Birdfish









    YES, A SPECIAL EXPERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





    SO THERE!!!!!

  • Birdfish


  • Peer Review

    How to put a b|tch in check: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-Fj8JkfhP4

  • Todd Groves

    After actually seeing the film, I am not so surprised my the moral superiority forwarded by this reviewer and many other reviewers on RT. RT is another perfect reason of why I don’t listen to ANY film critics anymore. But, especially those that appear on RT.
    I am surprised by the reviewers who mostly focus on the moral dilemma part of the story, instead of all of the conveniences that set up the final outcome. If any of the reviewers actually found themselves in the same situation as the main character, Jim Preston, I’d highly doubt they wouldn’t find themselves considering the choice that Preston actually makes that they find so morally unacceptable. The romantic aspect, while seeming to be tagged on, could have been left out of course. But, in the end, had the events NOT unfolded as they did there would be over 5,000 dead people on a self-destructing ship.

  • Danielm80

    I’m just going to make a blanket request that MaryAnn delete every comment posted on this page since Sunday night, including this one.

  • Who said that’s “the only ‘acceptable’ version of the film”?

  • So basically no movies or tv shows should be made about characters who aren’t perfect or all sacrificing ?

    As said literally no one ever.

    the criticism that somehow it should have had some pure highly moral hero

    Who said that?

  • I’d highly doubt they wouldn’t find themselves considering the choice that Preston actually makes that they find so morally unacceptable.

    That may well be true. That doesn’t make it any more morally acceptable to actually go through with it. It also doesn’t make it any more likely that the person you woke up would be happy with what you’d done and forgive you for it.

    had the events NOT unfolded as they did there would be over 5,000 dead people on a self-destructing ship.

    That’s one of the “conveniences that set up the final outcome” you say critics aren’t commenting on. (Though you mustn’t have read my review if you think I didn’t.)

  • RicoSuave

    You wrote an entire critique of the film dissecting the male character’s lack of morals and ethics from your point of view. So yes, you said that.

  • RicoSuave

    You pretty much did, when you posed your ideas of “acceptable” actions for the male character. You didn’t bother with rating the film on its actual content.

  • JusticeB

    That wasn’t the ending he had hoped for. He had wanted to make it to the new planet, and he had to continue to live with his crime, and with his conscience. The two of them made the best of their situation. I agree it was a false-sunny ending but I don’t think it was condoning murder. As I said, good people do terrible things.

  • JusticeB

    He realized through the entire movie that what he did was wrong. (Actually I consider what he did to be murder but not rape, I know some include sex under false pretenses to be rape but I don’t.) He not only genuinely apologized he found a way to fix it and send her back knowing he’d be alone for the rest of his life.

  • JusticeB

    First,, no one is saying “it makes it ok” including the person you quoted.

    I think what he did was wrong and terrible AND I understand what he did. When I look at a choice a person or character makes I ask what I what do in that situation. In his situation I very well might have done the same thing, especially if driven to a point of near-psychosis by an unbelievably high stress and horrific situation. And I might not have waited as long as a year or even a week. Going to desperate and even evil measures under severe duress is not the same thing as beating your wife because she flirted with another guy at a party or raping a girl to impress your frat boy friends. If you’re confident that under severe circumstances you would not do something bad, I’m very glad for you and I can tell you you’re a better and stronger person than me. On the other hand I don’t think anyone really knows what they would do in a crazy situation like that unless they’ve lived it.

  • JusticeB

    It also shows that the woman has a dark side as well, and commits an ethical wrong by bringing Jim back to life despite not knowing the consequences. And she does it out of selfishness…she doesn’t want to be alone. But I wish they had explored this more.

  • JusticeB

    I don’t agree with her perspective but you are not proving anything here except that you don’t have a decent argument so you resort to personal attacks, which is just sad.

  • Jurgan

    “Ever heard of Tony Soprano, Dexter ?”

    Yeah, but I’ve never seen either. I have watched every episode of Breaking Bad twice. Walter White alienates his whole family and dies a pathetic lonely death. If it had ended with Walter getting everything he wanted and living a happy life as the savior of his family, it would have been a different show.

  • Jurgan

    Is it really that hard to understand the difference between “a character is bad” and “a character is rewarded for being bad?” If a character does terrible things and ends up getting everything they want, then the movie appears to be endorsing those terrible things. I guess you could make a dark story about how evil people succeed by taking advantage of others, but that’s not what you expect in a movie marketed as sci-fi action crossed with an epic romance.

  • RicoSuave

    I don’t think Pratt’s character was meant to be seen as “evil” in a Hannibal Lecter kind of way. We have had characters like Michael Corleone who were more or less “good” at the start of the story and then due to circumstances became more morally blurred. And that moral decline didn’t detract from the larger story and make people pontificate on how the Godfather stories should have had more ethical characters.

  • RicoSuave

    Each story has its own arc. We have had plenty of films where the bad guy wins and gets away.. “The Usual Suspects” is a good example.

  • Todd Groves

    It’s easy for you and I to sit behind our keyboards and claim we would never make Jim’s decision to awaken Aurora. But, you and I would never find ourselves being awakened from cryogenic sleep in deep space only to find ourselves completely alone and conscious. So, to make such a claim of moral superiority is dishonest at best.

    Why did Jim wake up Aurora? Well, he did at least look into her profile to see that she was clearly more than just a pretty face. Had he just awakened her seconds after finding her for the sake of his loins, I would understand the disgust. But, he didn’t doing anything for over a year of being alone. Could you honestly say you could survive on a giant spaceship filled with thousands of “sleeping” people for over a year before attempting to revive someone? I’m not sure I could. And I doubt many people could make such a claim.

    The problem with all film reviews, mainly the long form versions, is that they reveal WAY too much about the films themselves. Why film critics find the need to give away so many details makes their purpose more detrimental to film going experiences than helpful. I choose to wait until after I’ve seen a film before reading long reviews. As a result, I’ve enjoyed more films.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    A story could have been written wherein Jim saves the ship all on his own (or with the help of the various bots on board). Though I doubt Chris Pratt is really up to starring in that movie. Point being, it’s not at all like this is the only possible way this set up could have played out.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Unless she was the person who had designed the entire spacecraft, and therefore the only one with the requisite knowledge to fix the problems on board, then ultimately his loins were the reason he woke her up. He literally could have picked anyone else.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Also, I do hope you appreciate the irony in how much you are claiming moral superiority over film critics as a group here.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    And yet the film lacks the moral courage to allow him to follow through on that impulse, opting instead to allow him to get what he wants, rendering both the gesture and his apologies meaningless.

  • Danielm80

    Lots of people do lots of terrible things. That doesn’t mean those things always make a compelling story, or that audiences gain anything from watching that story, other than learning that people do terrible things.

  • JusticeB

    Yes, the false sunny ending and the absence of sufficient consequences. But it doesn’t change the male character’s intent. The gesture and apologies would only be meaningless if he knew they would make everything ok. I’m more bothered by movies like Hollywood-ified versions of Pygmalion, where Henry Higgins offers no remorse whatsoever for his behavior, he just feels sad that he lost the girl, and the girl comes back to him anyway. In a movie like Passenger I can understand, through strangeness of circumstances, Stockholm Syndrome, etc., why the woman made the choice or had the feelings she did. Or Legends of the Fall, where the suicide of the female lead causes the brothers to at last come together. This movie looks at a real moral dilemma and while it handles it awkwardly, it doesn’t cheapen women’s lives. There’s a zillion misogynistic films out there, I just don’t think this is one of them.

  • JusticeB

    No, it’s the circumstance of being faced with the options of suicide or being alone in space for decades that makes this understandable (not acceptable).

  • JusticeB

    If this election has taught me anything, it’s that when a lot of people who are members of the group you’d expect to be outraged are not outraged, I think that’s enough reason to ask yourself why and to listen seriously to the responses. I have trouble wrapping my head around the fact that a surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote went to Donald Trump who sent out such blatant racist dogwhistles against Latinos they weren’t even dogwhistles, they were bullhorns. I can either just assume are suffering from ethnic self-hatred or find out from them what combination of societal dynamics would lead to their making that choice. I doubt I would ever agree with anyone who voted for Trump but I at least need to try to treat it as a learning experience. Listening to people and interacting respectfully instead of talking at them is a better way of effecting positive change.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The script, while at one point having Aurora rightly accuse Jim of murdering her, gives her an out, and then has her refuse it. This reversal is something you understand? Even if so, can you also understand why many others might find this wholly unconvincing?

  • Dr. Rocketscience


    The gesture and apologies would only be meaningless if he knew they would make everything ok.

    The character may not know this, but the author most certainly does, and goes out of his way to make it so.

  • JusticeB

    Sure I can understand it. She’s adapted to this new reality. The severe trauma she went through changed her and she’s now a creature of this ship. Also, she could go back to sleep, there could be another malfunction, he could be gone having killed himself or whatever and then she’d be stuck by herself. Or something else could go wrong and she wouldn’t be able to help him fix it and she’d be dead. Also the movie was trying to awkwardly cram two themes together, moral “what would you do” kind of dilemma with “make the best of where you are now instead of always trying to look ahead to a better world later.” But sure I can understand why people would have a problem with it. I think the sunny ending was a flaw in the movie, too. I just don’t think it’s a misogynistic film and while it has its sexist tropes, it’s actually better than 50% of mainstream films in this area.

  • M. Solange O’Brien

    And why is her intellect relevant to what is basically an extended rape-fantasy involving Jennifer Lawrence? Pratt’s choice is indefensible (unless you find the idea of kidnapping someone and holding them prisoner for the rest of their life acceptable because “she’s pretty”?)

  • M. Solange O’Brien

    Of course it’s coming from a woman. The male character’s actions are indefensible and horrifying.

    Welcome to the way the world is in 2016.

  • This movie seems to be inviting a lot of rewrites. Here’s my suggestion:
    Aurora is not a journalist, but is an engineer of some sort, perhaps a genius to a) justify the plot, and b) make it one aspect of her that he has fallen in love with. The beginning of the movie plays out as it does earlier, where Jim is going crazy with loneliness, etc., but he does NOT unlock her hibernation chamber. Then all the glitches and stuff happen, whereupon Jim wakes up Aurora and says that he only did it because he needed her help to fix these glitches.

    The twist is that the only glitch was the one that awoke Jim early. He unintentionally deluded himself into believing that he needed to awaken Aurora to justify it in his mind. When he starts spending time with her, he regains his sanity, realizes that he was deluded, and has a proper freakout about it, and maybe instead of stalking her he tries to avoid her out of shame/fear of reprisal. Aurora begins to experience the loneliness that he felt and stumbles across him about to commit suicide. She stops him because no matter how pissed she is, without him she would be all alone, and who’s to say she’d be able to stop herself from doing the same thing he did, especially considering he didn’t even, like, set out to do it? The whole thing is played as tragic and there could maybe be a little joke about “well, I guess we wouldn’t be the first people to stay together because there’s no hope of anyone else”.

    I think it accomplishes the same goal without being as creepy.

  • darkcorridor

    Lol. Pratt in his rape van in space. I always laugh at the levels that feminists take stuff. Yes sometimes people make dumb decisions and fall in love anyway. Humans, by nature, are selfish creatures. He didn’t pull her out of cryosleep and pull a 50 shades of gray against her will. She jumped him when he was eating his breakfast all because he said she was pretty.

  • Brian Jackson

    In spite of what this “critic” says about the movie, it’s actually entertaining and worth seeing. As for this LIBtard critic, she sounds like a miserable and lonely woman. The kind that just want to curl up to a good book, with her dog, and have a good cry rather than accept certain realities (hmmm sounds familiar). My advice to her, get out more. You’ll find someone eventually. The odds are in your favor in this day and age, where “love is love.”

  • I don’t know what review you read, but it wasn’t mine.

  • You really do need to work on your reading comprehension.

  • It’s the ending he hoped for when he decided to wake her up!

    The two of them made the best of their situation

    No! She is only in this “situation” because he put her in it.

  • no one is saying “it makes it ok”

    That is exactly what it means. Jim’s actions are being excused because he feels really bad about it.

    And whatever understanding we may have about Jim’s behavior, nothing excuses the way it is treated by the writer and director. Nothing.

    In his situation I very well might have done the same thing

    Maybe you would. But it wouldn’t be a nice romantic story!

    If you’re confident that under severe circumstances you would not do something bad

    This is NOT what the movie is about. Nor is it what my complaints about the movie are about.

  • I don’t think Pratt’s character was meant to be seen as “evil” in a Hannibal Lecter kind of way.

    Clearly, he is not. But he still does not deserve to be rewarded for his behavior.

    You really misunderstand my review as well as *Passengers* if you think *Passengers* exists in any moral realm within a thousand miles of that of *The Godfather.*

  • So you admit that Jim is a bad guy?

  • It’s easy for you and I to sit behind our keyboards and claim we would never make Jim’s decision to awaken Aurora.

    Who is claiming such a thing?

  • What a wonderful message! When someone kidnaps and murders you, just make the best of it!

    t’s actually better than 50% of mainstream films in this area.

    That’s not good enough.

  • There is absolutely no question that our culture drives many people to hate themselves based on their gender or their race. It’s not a mystery.

  • This movie seems to be inviting a lot of rewrites.

    Because there are literally hundreds of ways this same basic premise could have made for a much better movie.

    And I like yours. :-)

  • That was before she learned that Jim is the one who woke her up, for nothing but his own selfishness.

    Yeah, such a “level” I took this too! You’d almost think women don’t like being treated like objects.

  • Stefy

    Or, I dunno…maybe I’m reading reviews to determine if I should see this movie or Assassin’s Creed. Call me crazy but wasn’t that the point of review sites, to help you determine where to put your money?

  • RicoSuave

    Refer to the post I was responding to… the context was about central characters who aren’t always some paragons of perfection. They did things that they felt achieved their larger life goal, despite straying from the straight and narrow path. Would you trash “The Sopranos” because Tony Soprano was a gangster and wasn’t some boy scout ?

  • Jane

    I want to watch your version that ends in a ship littered in bodies when it arrives… sounds like a good thriller –

  • RicoSuave

    What is your definition of “reward” ? His character wanted something and did what he could to achieve that goal. Are movies meant to be some kind of moral fables for the public to follow ? Ironic, because Hollywood’s own real life stories show otherwise.

  • RicoSuave

    You need to work on your excessive sense of moral outrage over a movie.

  • RicoSuave

    Perhaps you need to read your own review. If you wrote it, that is.

  • That’s film reviews as a consumer guide. That’s not what I do. Sorry.

  • Do you understand the difference between *The Sopranos* and this movie?

  • What is your definition of “reward” ?

    His “perfect girl” fell in love with him and spent the rest of her life fucking him after he treated her like an unperson who did not deserve to make her own choices! How is that not a reward?!

  • My moral outrage is in fine form, thank you very much.

  • You wrote an entire critique of the film dissecting the male character’s lack of morals and ethics from your point of view.

    This is what you wrote. It is not a legitimate characterization of my review. Not by a long shot.

    I am just about done with you.

  • darkcorridor

    You would be surprised how many women “get off” at being treated like objects. I have a dog collar for my lover and she loves it when I feed her treats and say “good girl.” Yes, many women love being treated like sex objects. This is why movies like 50 shades of gray continue to be popular. Yes I know not all women are the same. That’s the beauty of life. While you view the male character as a rapist, some women and people will view it as romantic. Yes, weird world we live in, but it’s true. I get your point but I just disagree.

  • RicoSuave

    Cool. Happy 2017. May you find peace and solace for your anguished soul.

  • RicoSuave

    I am sure all those who give you a wide berth in daily life are quite aware of that “fine form”.

  • RicoSuave

    So his character is not allowed to seek his desires ? Would you have preferred that she hooked up with the robot bartender after making a few “modifications” ?

  • RicoSuave

    Do you ? Please tell me how Pratt’s character is worse than Tony Soprano, a person who cheats on his wife, runs an organized crime ring , kills people etc. Oh wait, a science fiction fantasy like Passengers is somehow worse…

  • Danielm80

    Some women enjoy being treated that way, and movies have been made about them, of varying quality. But if Lawrence’s character does enjoy being treated as an object, the movie has to establish that and explain why. Otherwise, the film is implying that—except for the science-fiction setting—Pratt’s behavior is the typical, romantic behavior of a person in love.

  • Michoel Jones

    If one switches the gender of the main characters, I presume you would have nothing to say. Your review has zero depth and isn’t about the movie.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I bet that sounded clever in your head

  • Stefy

    Well then what is it that you DO do? Because from what I can see it isn’t really providing objective film reviews.

  • RogerBW

    Congratulations! You’ve noticed that film reviews aren’t objective.

    Did you really think they were? What would they say?

    “This film is 116 minutes long. It’s in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, shot with Arri Alexa 65 cameras and Panavision Primo 70 Lenses. The source format was ARRIRAW 6.5K…”

  • Mind Of Jack

    Wow. The basis for this review is sexism. What a joke. Now imagine how if the sexes were reversed how funny this film would have been -_-

  • RogerBW

    If the sexes were reversed, the woman would be depicted as blatantly evil for stealing the man’s life. That’s how Hollywood works.

  • irrelevous

    i meant i am a woman

  • Todd Groves

    No, I’m not the one making a conclusive moral statement about the choices Jim made. Sure, it would’ve been better had he not revived ANYONE. Assuming that he revived a girl mainly because he was sexually inspired is also mistaken. He knows with a girl that they would share interests besides the loin-based interaction. Imagine yourself in his situation. Think of how long it would take to vet over 5,000 people to find someone directly connected to the design of the ship. Would you really take the time to seek out someone who might have a part in designing the ship, as opposed to finding someone you knew you would most likely get along with? Given the loneliness you might feel after being stranded on a ship in deep space for over a year? You have no guarantee that the person who designed the ship was even on board. So, what choice would YOU ultimately make given those parameters, if you decided to revive someone? Also, consider the fact that this is ONE movie. It’s the dramatization of one situation given a certain amount of time for the characters to make huge choices that 99.9% of everyone else would never experience. I just find it laughable that people would claim to be so certain if placed in the same circumstances.

  • Elwood72

    What a missed opportunity. “Aurora kills Jim in her rage… and then realizes how lonely she is and wakes up someone else. And the cycle begins again” is just the kind of creepy cinematic darkness my younger self loved.

  • Danielm80

    We’re not saying that we’d never do it. We’re saying that no one should make a romantic movie about it.

  • Todd Groves

    I don’t consider “Passengers” a romantic movie on any level. They may have been drawn to each other more out of the need for companionship than romance. Romance requires a lot more time to develop than companionship.

  • Amy Johansen

    Really? 2016 wasn’t worse than most years just because you didn’t get your way in everything and all the movies don’t fit into the feminist box which is pretty damn small. I am a woman and love dumb male headed action films. I love strong female characters too, but movies are for entertainment and as long as they at least keep me interested its all good. People call anything they disagree with sexist, rascist, you name it, as if that is supposed to be an instant shut up button. Well it’s not. A subjective opinion is not a fact it is an opinion, which is totally open to discussion. Both sides should be Discussed. It is like ppl think a single movie which probably no one will care about next month is somehow indicative as humanity as a whole and will sink us. It won’t. There are a lot of problems with hollywood, ie pedophilia, which people like yoi who claim to want to end injustice should care a hell of a lot more about than a silly movie script that doesn’t fit into your personal agenda.

  • Stefy

    They shouldn’t contain an author’s political bias, although they unfortunately do. They should look at the film objectively for their readers if they want them to come back and read more reviews. But wait-I forget its still Current Year where we appeal to cliques instead of approaching topics with objective critiques and substantive claims. Sorry. I forgot ! Won’t do it again. It was horribly sexist! Horribly! Stupid men! *puts on hair shirt* Happy?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    No, I suppose you’re not making a conclusive moral statements about a fictional characters, who exist to make moral judgments about, in an entirely fictional situation, containing elements that are quite literally impossible in the real world. Instead, you’d rather make moral statements about real people, and how they react to this fictional person in this fictional situation, based on what you’ve decided they’re saying about what they would do in this entirely impossible situation.

    Bully for you.

  • Todd Groves

    You’re reading into my words. I’m not making moral statements about anyone here. I’m commenting on their opinions, not on them directly. Entirely impossible? What parts are “entirely impossible”? The situations are based on scientific possibilities. Just because we’re not currently traveling into deep space while in suspended animation doesn’t make it “entirely impossible”. All of those situations are considered quite attainable by current scientific studies.

  • TheRandomOne

    So if the girl work the guy up you would be cool with it ?

  • My soul is not anguished. What the fuck is wrong with you?

  • Why do angry women scare you?

  • He is not allowed to force his desires on someone else!

    Again, what the fuck is wrong with you?

  • Please tell me how Pratt’s character is worse than Tony Soprano

    No one is saying this. If you must resort to strawmen, you may leave now.

  • It’s also implying that pliant, forgiving women who put the needs of men before their own lives and desires is normal, too.

    And hell yes, there is definitely an argument to be made that this movie is as pernicious and as abusive as *50 Shades of Grey.*

  • Why would you presume that?

  • objective film reviews

    There’s your problem right there. There is no such thing as an “objective” review.

  • The basis for this review is sexism

    It is indeed! How clever of you to have noticed. (Maybe the headline tipped you off?) Yes, the basis of the review is critiquing the sexism of the movie.

    I don’t see how switching the genders would make any of this “funny”…

  • finding someone you knew you would most likely get along with?

    You are still missing the point: What about what *she* wants? Why is she “likely” to get along with him? Why do his needs trump hers? Why does the film reward him for his horrendous act? Why does the writer create a pliant, forgiving partner for him? Why are you so sympathetic to his situation and not to hers?

  • And we also should not expect that our creepy plan would actually work to secure us a loving companion to have lots of happy sex with.

  • You’re saying that the happy ending, complete with Aurora’s voiceover, does not suggest that they lived happily ever after in an idyllic environment?

  • the feminist box which is pretty damn small

    Actually, the feminist box is enormous! Think of all the amazing stories that are not being told because of the narrow roles that Hollywood thinks women should be stuck in. A feminist Hollywood would be a much better, much more interesting, much more *entertaining* Hollywood! If you truly only want to be entertained, you should be mad as hell at all the entertaining stories you are not getting.

  • They shouldn’t contain an author’s political bias

    But that’s all they contain! If you don’t think you see that, it’s only because you share the writer’s biases.

  • Why do you presume that? If the story were otherwise identical (including the happy ending), then of course I would not be “cool with it.” But it’s almost impossible to imagine the story being exactly the same if the genders were reversed. How likely would it be that a male writer and a male director would create a pliant, forgiving male character who would live happily ever after with his kidnapper?

  • RicoSuave

    There you go again … “He is not allowed” . By whose law ? Yours ? Do you want to now, start a rewrite of stories ?

  • RicoSuave

    I steer clear of clearly disturbed people, regardless of gender.

  • RicoSuave

    Have you sought help for your anger issues ?

  • RicoSuave

    You rambled on about the “horror” of this story, despite the fact that there have been plenty of similar stories where the two main characters are brought together by duplicitous means.

  • TheRandomOne

    They probably should have stuck with the original script. They got Pratt because hes likeable. This was originally gonna be darker & star Keanu Reeves & Rachel McAdams

  • Todd Groves

    Pliant? Why because she eventually forgives him? Aurora showed her anger and avoided him for a while. Should they have made the movie a half hour longer with Aurora showing more anger? Movies only have 2 hours to tell their story before many audiences lose interest. But, it seems that some people are upset that she forgave him at all. Did you even consider the possibility that she thought about what living in deep space completely alone would be like? Maybe she came to realize that if she were to survive as a PERSON that she would need the support of another PERSON. Instead, some people are so intent on having their personal morals validated, they’d only be willing to accept an outcome that was darker than the what occurs in the story. It has nothing to do with being “pliant”. It has to do with survival. Yea, he ignored her needs and wants. Just like YOU are denying his now. So, I guess it’s not about dealing with the predicament their in. It’s about , “Gee, why can’t they make a movie about ME”.

  • Todd Groves

    WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE? (An experiment)
    Sexism has arisen in this thread. I can see where this is coming from. I can also see how sexism can be applied to Jim, the male character. He’s shown spending more time trying to SMASH his way into the crew quarters than he is shown trying to access a passenger list through any computer console. Very macho to put so much attention into smashing something enough times in hopes that thing will spill out its contents with enough force and time.

    1. I would get rid of the convenient reviving of Gus Vancuso. The guy who happens to have high level access to everything that’s needed to save the ship. Way too convenient, story-wise.

    2. The meteor that started the slow destruction of the ship was also responsible for “waking up” Jim. We discover that the ship has been falling apart ever since the meteor – that woke up Jim – struck. A better choice might have been that when the ship reached a certain level of decay that it would trigger the revival of a military engineer who would be expected to have the knowledge to repair the ship. Given that we send soldiers to war because they’re aware of the risks, reviving a military engineer to repair the ship might make more sense.

    3. At some point, the engineer would realize that he would need help repairing the ship if he is to bring the ship back from its eventual destruction. This is where the engineer could revive Jim, knowing Jim would probably have the physical strength needed to complete repairs especially involving the core.

    4. Reviving Aurora. Personally, I think the main purpose behind reviving Aurora was to give the story emotional impact that may not arise for many audience members. Movies are great escapes sometimes, and thought provoking adventures other times. But, they’re also a business. A business that needs to make money back from its movie and appeal to a lot of people, both male and female. Granted, they may have taken the easy way out by trying to shoehorn a relationship into what is clearly a dire situation.

    If you could, how would you rewrite “Passengers”? What would you change to make it a better story, and/or more believable? I don’t think there are any “right” answers to this experiment. I just thought it would be an interesting exercise in sharing ideas on how such a story could unfold. “Passengers” was just one version of an outcome about a ship in deep space, traveling to a new planet over 120 years. Fire away.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Or, you’re not thinking about what you’re saying.

    Dude, no one living on planet earth right now will ever, ever, find themselves alone in a confined space surrounded by more then 5000 other people in a state of suspended animation 90 years before those people will be revived, and therefore faced with the decision to condemn one or more of the others to the same fate as themselves. The entire situation is a contrivance, designed to tell a story that poses a moral question. It is, to coin a phrase, “science fiction”. As it turns out, it’s not a particularly challenging moral question. Condemning another human to the same horrible fate as yourself is the wrong thing to do, and doing so makes you the monster. “The road to hell…” and all that. A better film could have mined drama from that rather obvious conclusion. This one does not. Rather, it posits that you’re really just lonely and desperate, so the other person will not only forgive you (maybe after a good row or two) but also fall madly in love with you.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I don’t know where you live, rico, but in most places, there is a long legal tradition against forcing desires on others. There’s also a long story telling tradition of casting those who would force their desires on others as villains. There are other traditions as well, to be sure, some more dubious, but to pretend that such things are something a film critic made up whole cloth? Maybe consider climbing up put of that dank hole you’ve been living in.

  • Todd Groves

    Dr. Rocketscience. I guess you’ve mistaken your own name for fact. If reviving someone else can help save 5,000 other people, you wouldn’t consider reviving anyone to help?
    Claiming you know what the future holds for mankind is far more non-thinking than anything I’ve said. Maybe with our current set of political hacks running the country we won’t see any real deep space exploration in the immediate future. But, to insist there is no other future but what YOU can imagine NOW is far more deluded than any other claim I’ve heard.

  • I’m sorry, I need you to clarify: Are you saying that it is acceptable for someone to force another person to accede to his desires?

  • You’re thisclose to getting banned.

  • How many times must it be explained to you? The problem is how *this particular story* deals with “two main characters brought together by duplicitous means.”

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Don’t be a shit.

    Science fiction posits all kinds of impossible scenarios. (See: any story involving any kinds of FTL travel.) Whether or not this particular situation could ever happen isn’t the relevant point. Sci-fi doesn’t exist to ask “What would you do in this exact situation?” Normal fiction does that just fine. Sci-fi sets up an impossible situation to ask what is the right thing here past the edges of human experience. Not “What would I do?” That’s small and limited. Rather, “What should people do?” Then, as in any good morality tale, the characters are asked to deal with the consequences of that choice.

    The correct moral choice here is pretty clear; you haven’t even been able to muster an argument that says Jim makes the right decision. The best you have is to toss your hands in the air and challenge everyone else. Now, the problem then isn’t that he makes the wrong decision. The problem is that the screenwriter and director go to great lengths, despite gesticulations toward an appropriate conclusion, to make it OK for Jim to make the wrong choice. He doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of his choices.

    Really, there are two ways this story gets told in a morally acceptable way: he stays alone and slowly goes mad (at least until he finds the “stasis pod” or whatever); or he revives someone and they kill each other. “But that’s so dark”, you say? Hell yes, it’s a dark fucking premise! But at least this way the story is mired down in bullshit. Particularly sexist bullshit, indicating that the filmmakers are completely unaware of the issues in sexual politics over the last several years, or even several decades.

  • People are upset because the story is contrived in such a way as to allow for precisely the argument you are making. People are angry because the story makes it “reasonable” for a woman to forgive her kidnapper and murdered. The story did not have to be constructed this way. It’s appalling that it has been. It’s repulsive. Your damn right this is about my personal moral perspective on this. The question is, why aren’t *your* personal morals outraged by this?

    That’s a rhetorical question. You don’t have to answer it.

  • If reviving someone else can help save 5,000 other people

    LOL. But that’s not why Jim work Aurora.

    Also: No one is saying that cryosleep and decades-long journeys to other planets will never happen. What is ridiculous are the precise details the writer deploys here. Why is it impossible to return to cryosleep? Why is the crew in a secure sleeping area but not the passengers? Because cryosleep and interstellar spaceships do not actually exist (yet), it’s all up to the writer to invent the technology. And this writer did that in such a way so that he could tell a story that is ultimately morally repulsive. He didn’t *have* to do that. He was not stuck with the details of an existing technology that, if he altered them, it wouldn’t ring true. He made it all up.

    How you cannot see that is a mystery.

  • IntrepidNormal

    I feel like “The bad guy wins” movies can be made without the feeling that their behavior is being endorsed. Gone Girl (whom people have had lengthy feminist discussions about on both sides, and I mostly came down in favor of in that respect) and No Country for Old Men both fit those catagories. I don’t feel like Passengers really pulls this concept off though, it seems to bend over backwards to make Pratt’s character out to be a decent guy who made a mistake and should be forgiven. Fuck that noise.

  • RicoSuave

    And how many times do you dodge why this particular contrivance in this movie is so trouble some to you. There is plenty of bad and impossible science and other issues with the film. Pratt’s character’s motivations is actually something that is possible in real life. Your caviling is why we had George Lucas go back and make that horrible reedit to Star Wars, where now Greedo shoots first. Because you know, having Solo shoot first as he did in the original version makes him look too “cold blooded”. Is that what you want ? To have Passengers re-edited to be compliant with your opinions ?

  • RicoSuave

    Look, I am sorry if my opinions upset you. This is your blog and all I wanted to express is that Passengers doesn’t have to have characters whose motivations are pure.

  • RicoSuave

    Not at all. But I also see a film like “The Usual Suspects” or “Good Fellas” and understand that characters don’t have to fall in a narrow range of “good”.

  • IntrepidNormal

    By actual law, he is not allowed to do that. What he did was basically rape by deceit and a tad bit kidnapping. and it wasn’t a Joker and Harley situation where both parties were so fucked in the head that their profoundly unhealthy relationship seemed to carry degrees of consent (although I really don’t want to open up the unholy can of worms that is my opinion on Suicide Squad again). It was a man victimizing an innocent woman, and we’re basically told to accept it.

  • RicoSuave

    Not sure if your rocket took you to Uranus, but your ramble is not of relevance. All I am saying is that characters in stories are not always boy scouts. People in real life do selfish things . Why should we expect everyone in movies to do any differently.

  • IntrepidNormal

    MaryAnn, I don’t always agree with your opinions here (although I invariably respect them) but whoo boy did you hit the nail on the head here… yikes.

  • RicoSuave

    People see films where the main character is a gangster, a vampire, a bank robber, all of whom bend the law to (and reality) to achieve their goals. It seems here that Pratt’s character get’s more revulsion than say Hannibal Lecter. Yet Lector gleefully can walk away and have the audience cheer. This is what I find odd … the strange set of standards.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That’s not what you said at all. But, then you’ve been so busy tossing around the insults of a man-child, it’d be no wonder you’d forgotten what you were saying.

    The conversation thread I was responding to was this (somewhat paraphrased):
    You (in a non sequitur): Can’t people seek to fulfill their desires?
    MAJ: People can’t force their desires on other people.
    You: Says who?

    Me: Says pretty much everybody.

  • RicoSuave

    Me: Your contrived summary is inaccurate. It is like asking whether a movie or a story cannot explore a character going to extreme lengths to fulfill a desire. They might think they are not doing anything wrong. Have you seen “Memento” ? Pratt’s character is in a doomed space ship . Suddenly he is supposed to have a deep introspection about the ethics of his decision ? It is that context of what would people do when presented with a situation that threatens their sanity and life. In the true story of “Alive”, people resorted to cannibalism to survive. Does that mean cannibalism is alright in any context ? You seem to be unable to have any context based nuance in your reply.

  • Dr. Rocketscience


    So his character is not allowed to seek his desires ? Would you have preferred that she hooked up with the robot bartender after making a few “modifications” ?


    He is not allowed to force his desires on someone else!


    There you go again … “He is not allowed” . By whose law ? Yours ?

    Now, if you meant something else, consider working on your communication skills. Start by spending less time on crafting “clever” insults. But hye, maybe it’s my fault for taking you literally but not seriously, when you want to be taken seriously but not literally.

    If I’m digging your rather buried point out of the dross, then it comes back to Ebert’s adage, “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.” The problem here isn’t that Jim is the actual villain of the film. (Nor is it any great insight on your point to discover that.) The problem is that the screenwriter and director don’t seem to realize that Jim is the villain. Demme knew Lechter was the villain; Nolan knew Leonard was a killer; Scorsese knows that gangster are all fuckers. This movie thinks Jim is just a poor lonely dude.

  • RicoSuave

    Yes ? And ? Sorry “Sherlock”, all you have done it actually read my post where I said that a story should allow for a protagonist to do what they feel they need to in the context of the story. And believe it or not, having a selfish motive is not an unrealistic one. Humans are flawed . Maybe you aren’t.

  • Jurgan

    I assume (hope) that you ask your “lover” if she’s okay with being treated this way? And if she said she wasn’t in the mood for it some night, you wouldn’t try to force her to do so?

  • Jurgan

    So a lot of people seem to think it’s clever to say “you’d probably like it if the genders were reversed!” Which is nonsense, and there’s no reason to believe it, except for the ridiculous idea that rights are a zero-sum game. “If feminists ever got their way, they’d treat men as badly as we treat women!” No, it’s perfectly possible to believe all genders deserve fair treatment.

  • Todd Groves

    I agree that the writer was lazy in what he put forth, as premise and as an outcome. But, I think to claim that no one here would consider waking someone else given the same circumstances is equally contrived.

  • Todd Groves

    “The correct moral choice here is pretty clear.”

    Yea, it’s ‘clear’ to someone who will probably never face such circumstances. And your premise that someone revives another only to kill each other is even more preposterous. Yes, dark. But, more absurd. So, who’s really being honest here? Choosing what’s “pretty clear” over the “what if” choice? So, people have never made insane choices before? We could switch this story with war in this discussion. And fewer people would have an issue with war than they would with this story. War involves more people’s lives being taken from them than any other event. How crazy is that? But, this story is a problem?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    it’s ‘clear’ to someone who will probably never face such circumstances.

    Which would include everyone who will watch this movie.

    And your premise that someone revives another only to kill each other

    “Premise” isn’t the word you want here. Also, he wouldn’t do it, as you seem to be implying, specifically in order for them to kill each other, it’s just the morally acceptable conclusion from the writer. The person woken second – the one who is deliberately murdered – attempts to return the favor, until one or the other is dead. And hey, at the top/bottom of the page, you’re looking for other ways this story could play out. Kid of dickish to turn around and piss on ideas you requested, isn’t it?
    At this point you’re clearly flailing around, trying to find a winning argument. I think I’m going to let you have it without me.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I like how you got yourself so excited with that “Sherlock” dig that you managed to turn the rest of the sentence into word salad. Well done, mate!

    Anyway, sure. and there are ways to tell that kind of story well, and ways that are both cowardly and manage to drab a bunch of misogynist bullshit in along for the ride. Passengers is the latter.

  • StayCoolYo

    As someone who read the original blacklist Passengers script back in 2014 (before they scrubbed the pdf file I discovered via reddit link from the web), I can tell that no, it still ended with them together, “happily ever after”. You can’t always blame “the executives” for the way a film turns out; sometimes a screenwriter or director just has a poor idea/vision. And hey, you know, I gotta be honest- those “executives” don’t always get it wrong.

  • StayCoolYo

    He in no way implied that. He was pointing out one of the flaws in this review.

  • Jurgan

    Okay, I was just speculating.

  • dani

    I agree that Chris Pratt’s character isn’t fully responsible for waking up Aurora. Social isolation can and always does make a person descend it madness eventually given enough time (just like those kept in solitary confinement) . In the end Aurora understands what that must have been like for him when she realises that she would be left alone if he dies say’s “NO!,If you die I die” . After they save the ship and the 5000 other sleeping passengers Jim also, in a more lucid state, tries desperately to make amends by suggesting Aurora use the only thing that can put her back in to hibernation at the cost of his own life. plus meaning he will be left alone with only the memory of her (the ultimate sacrifice for true love. Critics seem to be totally missing these points.

  • Wow, am I glad I read this review. I found the previews interesting even if romance-centered stories aren’t my usual thing, but…blech. I shall forgo.

  • Todd Groves

    Kind of dickish? Wow. But, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised coming from an absolute moralist. Now, I’m pissing on ideas? I’m honestly asking people to forward ideas to open up the discussion, and you just want to shoot it down to further your own narrow minded narrative.

  • ѕυρєяиσνα

    the ultimate sacrifice for true love.

    *(((facepalm in stereo)))*

    Critics seem to be totally missing these points.

    Huh? What ‘points’ exactly?

    I must say, I’m intrigued at the implied belief that Auorora actually made choices that led her to find the all-culminating ‘true love’ with Jim. In all honesty, Auorora was selected for no other practical reason other than being a woman of Jim’s liking, unwillingly brought into a grave situation at his utter selfishness and has been stuck down a road of processing actions and consequences to the very end. Even if we want to say “well, Jim was at a desperate breaking point of lunacy when he made that dumbass decision”, it’s not wholly convincing that it wasn’t actually largely out of his own self serving desire not to suffer alone when there’s a female hottie nearby – especially since he suddenly grew a conscience real fast the second he activated her wake-up sequence. How convenient! That easily makes him ‘only human’ and thus forgivable and washes away all, right? I mean, no nevermind the fact that he immediately proceeded to lie to her from that point, knowing full well the doom he condemned her to. Completely intending to manipulate her for his own satisfaction. Yup, that’s the all beautiful, true-love material right there. By the time she finds out the horrible truth, what choices does she really have at that point?

    And that big sacrifice he presents to her? Sacrifice? Since when is trying the right an epic wrong that you created in the first place equivalent to a “sacrifice”? He wasn’t doing her a favour. He OWED her that much, imho.

    While I do get that all plots are not intended to be all rainbows and candy-canes towards women (or men likewise), it’s the constant simple-minded trope that “the guy will always get the girl at the end of the movie” that is ever so tiresome to witness in this day and age. This story though takes it to the utter low point where “the girl” doesn’t truly get a choice in the matter, but happily pretends that she does. With this, it’s hard to ignore the obvious male egotism on flagrant display in this film. Sadly, this is what it is. And I for one am not willing to buy into that wasteland fantasy that this is actually what a woman wants, or deserves.

  • ѕυρєяиσνα

    As much as one would love to hide uncomfortable issues such as these behind some convenient ‘bigger picture’, one should also note that the end does not always justify the means.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, consider: I posited a couple of ways this movie would work better from its starting premise, and you accused me first of dishonesty, and now of narrow-mindedness. So, yeah, kind of a dick move there.

    coming from an absolute moralist.


  • RicoSuave

    Eh, sorry Dr FailureToLaunch. Your mental main engine cut off and died.
    I just saw “Rogue One” this evening. In it one of the main “heroic” characters shoots an unarmed man in the back even though the man had just provided valuable information . So characters do have free will to step outside imaginary lines of your “moral” code. Deal with it.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    If I were the score-keeping type, I’d chalk up a “W” every time someone resorts to trying to make fun of my silly and mostly meaningless internet handle.

    R1 knows exactly what a bastard Cassian Andor is. If anything, it fucks it up later when he doesn’t pull the trigger, for no reason than the script tells him he can’t. And spoilers, he doesn’t get the girl in end. Also, characters don’t have free will, you dolt, they’re characters. Famous books and plays have been written to meta-analyze the total lack of free will a character has.

  • RicoSuave

    If you wander into a target zone with a big red bull’s eye on, don’t be surprised if someone takes you up on your silly behavior or handle.
    Sorry and how is Passengers any different ? Pratt’s character, like Andor does what he thinks he should given the situation he is in. Andor didn’t have to kill the informant. But he did. Is your odd sense of moral scale balancing placated because Andor gets obliterated at the end? Well guess what, so does the feisty heroine. So why didn’t she make a daring escape ? After all the good should survive , right ?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Really, Mr. Suave? You’re gonna roll in here with that handle and your 12-year-old’s insults and lecture people on names and behavior? Color me unimpressed.

    Your asinine mischaracterizations of what I or anyone else in this thread have been saying aside, R1 and Passengers are different because R1, for all its faults, has the courage to take its characters seriously and not try to have things all ways. R1’s characters play a heavy price for their choices, long before they all get nuked. The problem with Passengers isn’t that Jim is a stalker and murderer. The problem is that the film is too cowardly to play that story out. Instead of paying a price, Jim gets to spend the rest of his days fucking the 25th century genetic clone of Jennifer goddamn Lawrence.

    Also, are you under the impression that Jyn Erso isn’t as much of a murderous bastard as Cassian? What the fuck movie did you watch? How dense are you?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Threads like these are why Disqus needs a “Check out this asshole” emoji.

    Yes, I’m aware it would get pointed at me from time to time. I do try to select my targets carefully.

  • Danielm80

    I’m still curious why the assholes are so attracted to this particular thread. Passengers isn’t an especially noteworthy movie, and MaryAnn wasn’t the first person to give it a bad review, or to call it out for being sexist. Are there a significant number of trolls who are obsessed with Jennifer Lawrence?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I think you were right when you said you suspected the review had gotten shared somewhere in the altmanosphere.

  • Danielm80

    “Altmanosphere” makes it sound as though there’s overlapping dialogue and multiple characters with multiple storylines. Which may be true.

  • sambo6

    I agree that this ‘twist’ is not cool, and has put me off seeing the film. So no disagreement there….

    Although I do find it interesting that all those media commentators who are so keen on ‘equality’ have gone very quiet on the fact that JLaw was paid nearly DOUBLE the amount that Chris Pratt made for this film. Ms Lawrence was very quick to slam Hollywood’s misogyny when it was the other way around…..but now that she’s the beneficiary, inequality is all okay…

  • RicoSuave

    You seem to have curiously archaic ideas that a person’s ethics of “good” and “bad” require some kind of quasi-religiously defined “balancing of the scale” . And that Jim getting what he wants is somehow disturbing to your quaint sense of justice. So in your mind all the war heroes we honor in the real world should be in jail or sentenced to death because they killed civilians at times while achieving their larger objective ?
    As an aside, do you think using apoplectic outbursts laced with four letter words makes you sound any smarter ? How amusing.

  • Stefy

    We all have bias, but it shouldn’t be so heavy-handed and unceasing as to shadow everything else. I would love to know where I can find something reasonably objective so that I can figure out how to waste my $12. If I wanted a breakdown of how everything in this world is anti-female in some way I’d just go take another class in undergrad. It is a nonstop cup is half empty, the other half of the glass is evil. This is my last comment because I’m just done. Go forth and find male demons everywhere. I’ll just go onto IMDB next time.

  • Danielm80

    And just when I thought this thread couldn’t get any more absurd, someone suggested that we go to IMDB for objective reviews. Winter has come and the Idiocracy is here.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    You probably think January 20, 2009 was the day racism died in America, too.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The fuck…??

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Kinda. Have you heard about the “Alt-Right Civil War” on Twitter right now?

  • Danielm80

    No, and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to.
    *Googles furiously anyway*

  • sambo6

    You probably can’t say anything sensible to respond to my comment. So use hyperbole on a totally different subject to discredit my comment.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    So, having had your ears thoroughly clipped on your ill advised Rogue One comparison, and having apparently run out of ideas, I see you’d like now to retreat to what you thought was the safer ground of mischaracterization and arguing against things people never said. Oh, you did add a little pointless language policing in there. Good for fucking you. Truly, you are the hero we deserve.

    To this last attempt at an argument, let me say something non-controversial: we should not honor war criminals.

    Now, when you’re done fucking your strawman, let me know.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    See, it’s like this: people who don’t understand racism thought the election of a black President meant racism was over. People who don’t understand sexism, think that as soon as a woman gets rewarded more than a man then sexism is over. The Venn diagram of these groups has some overlap. I was just playing the odds.

    In the Hollywood economy, a Jennifer Lawrence is worth more than a Chris Pratt. Just based on Box Office Mojo figures, Lawrence’s films have grossed $2400M, with an average of $133M; Pratt’s have grossed $1600M with and average of $113M. So Lawrence should get more per film than Pratt. Usually, that would mean they might get the same paycheck. This movie was an exception. Maybe things are changing, but one data point does not a trend make.

    Sadly, Jennifer Lawrence should have turned this movie down. Pratt too, but I doubt you’ll hear anyone say that “Passengers” proves he can’t open a film.

  • RicoSuave

    “Ears thoroughly clipped”… hilarious . You truly are a legend in your own mind, a veritable Don Quixote, imagining non existent victories.
    You are obsessed with making this film some kind of morality play and seem to be getting increasingly unstable when you are unable to explain why it should conform to some non existent set of rules.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Well, you did drop the R1 thread rather abruptly and revert to an old line of argument. So…

    But, seriously now, go find a room.

  • RicoSuave

    What ? So you think that audiences see Andor as a bad guy because he killed a man in cold blood ? Please… don’t be so naive. As I mentioned earlier, it is your kind of thinking that made Lucas go back and make Greedo shoot first. To mollify your delicate sensibilities, snowflake.
    Seriously, grow up.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    You think they see him as a classic hero? Do I need to remind you what happens to Cassian Andor? R1 is a dark story. What it’s not, is dishonest about itself. Garreth Edwards could have pulled him and Jyn out of the fire at anytime. And that would not have been honest about the story or those characters. (I’m not sure why Bhodi had to die; even 3 of the Dirty Dozen made it out alive.)

    Yeah, that would explain why everyone just lurves the Special Edition. George Lucas didn’t do that for anyone but himself, the same reason George Lucas does everything. Not everything is a conspiracy to take away your toys, little rico.

  • RicoSuave

    Again, in movies and real life sometimes good people die and bad people get away. There is no cosmic “good deeds” balance out there that evens the score. Is this so hard to understand ?
    So now you agree that making Greedo shoot first was a bad idea just make Solo appear to be less cold blooded ? We have movies such as Batman and Mad Max where the idea of a squeaky clean hero is turned on its head. James Bond has also become far darker in tone, despite he being the “last hope of the free world” and all that.
    Sorry Dr DampSquib , but not all main characters have to meet some “code of honor”. You are the one who is lamenting about the Hollywood conspiracy about movie themes.

  • I’m done engaging with you.

  • Danielm80

    Oh FFS.

    We can all make a list of great movies about terrible people, or people who have serious flaws. We can also make another list: Movies about flawed people that just aren’t very good films. This movie goes on the second list.

    The reason it’s a bad film has to do with Jennifer Lawrence’s character. She’s absolutely thrilled to spend decades trapped alone with a man who ruined her life and stalked and harassed her. Not only does she think it’s a terrific idea, she finds it romantic.

    This is not realistic human behavior. You can try to explain it by saying she has Stockholm Syndrome, or that she knows he’s a good person deep down inside. You can come up with a list of practical reasons why it’s perfectly sensible for her to stay with him. And, for you, that may be an entirely satisfying explanation, but for a lot of us, the story feels emotionally false. It also, not incidentally, resembles an abusive relationship.

    Now, if the film was supposed to be about a bad relationship, if it was meant to document the pain of living with someone like Pratt’s character, then the movie might have worked. Instead, it seems to be justifying his behavior. It seems to be saying: This is what true love looks like.

    We can hate this movie without hating every movie about an immoral character. We can hate it without hating ambiguity.We can hate it without demanding a simple moral or a tidy plot. We can hate it solely because it’s a contrived, implausible, sexist movie that has nothing to do with actual human behavior.

  • Literally no one is saying that.

  • I’d guess the number of such trolls is quite high.

  • She’s a bigger box-office draw than he is. The movie is still a sexist pile of shit.

  • RicoSuave

    “We can hate it without hating ambiguity.We can hate it without demanding a simple moral or a tidy plot. ”

    But isn’t that what is being done in this review ? That a moral balance and noble sacrifice is being demanded for the story ?

  • Danielm80


  • RicoSuave


  • Yarberger

    What I think that the writer failed to address is the entirely unpredictable effect that profound loneliness (in this case, more than a year) would have on a condemned person, who is essentially imprisoned for life in a populated facility but placed in solitary confinement for the duration. What he did was unforgivable. But his are shoes I’d rather not walk a step in, let alone a mile, so I’ll forego the judgment.

  • Dent

    This would have made such a cool horror story… much sad, much mad. Much glad, that I gave this one a miss.

  • cinderchild

    “It’s not sexist because she’s smarter than he is!”

    My fucking cat is smarter than Chris Pratt. What’s your point.

  • Alison

    So it politically illustrates the Stockholm Syndrome as being correct? Sounds like Hollywood.

  • Yarberger

    “In fact, later, Jim easily gets into what should probably be the most secure area of the ship: the reactor that powers it. So this is one of those absurd contrivances: the only reason Jim can’t get at the crew is so that Jim can’t get at the crew.”

    Access to these areas is only possible with the introduction of Gus and his higher-level security clearance as a crew member. Equally, autodoc overrides were only possible with Gus’s security clearance. Contrivances of a different kind, perhaps, but more plausible ones nonetheless.

  • Dr. Rocketscience
  • Many women are smarter than many men. And yet, misogyny reigns.

  • Yarberger

    A reason why *people* are attracted to this thread is because it appears in one of the first batch of summarized reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.

  • Yarberger

    If an opposing viewpoint frustrates you so, please consider moving right along. You are in no way obligated to contribute further.

  • David Boccabella

    May you be totally isolated from humanity for the rest of your life. No contact with another living person and Know it..
    I am sure that after a year you would be desperate to do anything to at least see another living person.
    This movie explores that issue – that of acute loneliness and isolation. One one ready up on the psychology of this you will quickly find just how lack of socialization can cause mental health issues etc. Within a week people actually start to hallucinate when the mind – desperate for interactions with others – starts to try and create some.
    However, I am sure that as a critic you would not consider these thing, that the man must always make the supreme sacrifice of killing himself.. Or if the roles were reverse – instant forgive the woman because it was She who was lonely.

  • David Boccabella

    And so starts the end of the human race because Men will eternally be classified as ‘Evil’, ‘Bad’ and all of the other things to put them down.
    Actual equality of the sexes begins when both parties accept each other. Not when one claims that they want retribution for decades of perceived abuses. Denigrates the other party constantly, and then whines because men do not immediately fall down and beg forgiveness.

  • David Boccabella

    And if the roles were reversed.. It was Aurora who awoke first.
    I am very sure you tune would change to the horror’s of her loneliness and the desperate (and reasonable) methods that she had to take to find love and comfort.

  • David Boccabella

    Well – it does puncture your feminist ego balloon. Or are the women who like it somehow deluded by male superiority etc etc.

  • David Boccabella

    How about a review that does not air the writer’s emotional baggage and dirty linen for all to see.
    “Oh I had a bad relationship so All romance movies are crap and unrealistic etc” or
    “All men are bastards as any movie that has a lead male in it is a strike against feminism.”

  • David Boccabella

    It could have been romantic if Jim was gay, and researched the other passengers to find out who was gay so he could wake another.

    The you could play the movie with 2 gay characters in exactly the same way as the movie played now.

    Or how about if Aurora woke first and she was gay, and likewise searched for another lesbian woman.

    The only horror in the situation is your own psychosis and there are doctors you can see for that.

  • Danielm80

    To paraphrase Richard Howell, this seems to have been edited with a Salad Shooter.

  • LaSargenta

    Now that would be a hood topic for Rbt. Altman

  • I love to read insightful reviews after watching a movie. I really like reading MaryAnn but found this review outraged at strawmen.

    “This is toxic Nice Guy-ism: “I’m lonely, I deserve a girlfriend, and I will get one, and she has no say in the matter.”” This is typical toxic feminism reducing a more complex plot into man-bashing.

    To say that Jim is a rapist is also so typical of toxic feminism. Jim is “the man who locked her in his serial killer van in space so that he could fuck her”. Really? Yeah, that was his only motivation. To fuck. To put his penis inside her and have an orgasm. That’s all.

    So MaryAnn would like a different movie, one where “Aurora kills Jim in her rage… and then realizes how lonely she is and wakes up someone else. And the cycle begins again. Maybe the ship is littered with bodies by the time it arrives at its destination.” What would a typical feminist have to say of a movie where Aurora wakes up first, then wakes the most attractive male she finds, and he eventually kills her when he uncovers the deceit (because that’s what she would deserve, the “miserable piece of shit”!), only to, in his turn, wake another woman?

    So for MaryAnn, “Passengers takes male sexual entitlement — the idea that what a man wants is more important than what a woman wants, more important than her life — and warps it into a (supposedly) charming love story.” It really takes a heavy dose of toxic feminism to arrive at that conclusion. Don’t bother with the fact that the plot takes place in an inescapable environment that trumps many considerations: there simply is no outside world, no society as such, and no possibility of going back. “It makes a joke out of the fact that she cannot leave him for someone else.” It’s not a joke, it’s the plot, precisely.

    “But worse is that she doesn’t seem to want to leave him. She is ultimately happy to be have been shopped out of the frozen-food section like a microwave pizza.” This again is an absurd reduction of more complex issues. But I guess MaryAnn’s review should boil down to “man rapes woman and she ends up forgiving him”.

  • Danielm80

    For someone who doesn’t like strawmen, you’ve created a whole lot of them.

    Also, when you say…

    Don’t bother with the fact that the plot takes place in an inescapable environment that trumps many considerations…

    …one of the “many considerations” is her ability to make decisions about her own life and her own future. Do you really think that should be taken away just because Jim is really lonely?

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    This point on refusing to morally judge a fictional character that exists to be morally judged was ill conceived the first time it was brought up in this thread. Try scrolling through the thread next time.

  • Yarberger

    I agree that Jim exists to be morally judged. And, per my original post, I judged Jim’s waking of Aurora as unforgivable. That singular act condemned her, in a far more egregious way than fate and circumstance condemned him.

    However, I won’t extend my judgment of Jim beyond that point. Others, including the reviewer, have taken to opining upon Jim’s motives, and judging Jim based upon those speculations. But to do so while excluding other possibilities is to suggest that Jim’s state of mind at the point he woke Aurora was a certainty, which I don’t believe it was. The concept of solitary confinement and the terrible psychological toll it exerts on a person is widely acknowledged. Even within these fictional parameters, there is no real way of appreciating his condition at that time.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    If only there were some way to determine his condition. Perhaps some sort of visual, dramatic presentation?

    Seriously, if you already find his actions unforgivable, then anything beyond that is just splitting hairs. And to what end, exactly? To find a way to forgive him? To give feminists a piece of your mind? I honestly don’t know difference you think there is in this distinction.

  • Yarberger

    The difference within this distinction is in the act of waking her on the one hand – a physical act that harbors no ambiguities – and the motivations behind that act on the other, which I argue are not as straightforward as the reviewer would have us believe.

    This distinction isn’t about splitting hairs at all; the two are quite separate, and can/should be judged accordingly.

    I have no interest in forgiving him – only in understanding what would lead a person to commit such an act. And, as I have said, I believe that there is (potentially) much more to it than this review sets out. As for ‘giving feminists a piece of my mind’, I have not at any point attacked a feminist or a feminist perspective. I have simply stated that there are other possibilities that have not been explored. If that stands as ‘giving feminists a piece of my mind’, I’d hate to think what levying real criticism would do.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Once you describe his actions as unforgivable, the motivations are academic, are they not?

    The movie had an entire movie to get the audience to understand him. Failing that, they are inviting – demanding – that the audience fill in the gap themselves. MaryAnn’s interpretation has the benefit of evidence from the film itself, most notably its resolution. That alone is strong evidence for concluding that he is acting on male entitlement. All due respect, your non-interpretation has pretty much nothing. There’s “potentially” a pink unicorn in my garage, but my saying so has no meaning or value.

    If you’re going to come to the review that critiques the film on a feminist basis, by a film critic known for her feminist perspective, and try to tell her and everyone else that you can’t know if the character is acting from anti-feminist motivations… well…

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Maybe, but the movie does a shit job of it. No A for effort is being awarded. Not for the film, or your attempts at communication.

  • Devin

    why would you assume that? buddy the fact that this movie is a psychological horror dressed up as romance is obvious from a mile away. sexist implications are thick icing on the cake, but an ethically indefensible act is an ethically indefensible act. you apparently can’t notice that cause you’re too busy making boneheaded assumptions about people who know misogyny and general immorality when they see it. lame.

  • Neptunium

    you people are joyless, bitter and horrible people.

    I hope you enjoy your political exile for the next 25 years. Everyone is sick of you.

  • Neptunium

    >why would you assume that?

    Because she’s a feminist who hates men.

  • Neptunium

    It’s a god dam film.

  • SS Matt

    The problem is fucked up feminazi is trying to dissect a nice enjoyable sci-fi movie.
    I suggest you go back to your ‘safe space’ and no ‘rape’ will ever happen to you. Loser.

  • JerryD

    I would love to see people in desperation act so rationally.

  • Bluejay

    Hey, thanks for being honest and putting the “SS” title before your name. Now we know what we’re up against.

  • Bluejay

    Movies can show people in desperation. It’s just creepy when movies celebrate it like a fairy tale.

  • Bluejay

    Clinton won the popular vote. There’s more of us than of you, and more of us every day. It’s not us that everyone is sick of. You are on notice.

  • Danielm80

    Okay, MaryAnn, we now have a comment from someone who appears to be a neo-Nazi. Can we please close the thread?

  • Bluejay

    And this is a “god dam” review. Why are you so threatened by an opinion you disagree with? Go read something else. It’s a big internet out there.

  • Neptunium

    What are you on about? Who gives a crap about that? I’m european.

  • Bluejay

    Sometimes I wonder why we use the “neo” prefix. There’s nothing that differentiates them from the philosophies and goals of their forebears. Let’s call them what they are: Nazis.

  • Bluejay

    You’re the one who brought up “political exile,” so I assumed you were talking about US politics. Doesn’t matter. If you think a progressive feminist critique of this film means we’re “joyless, bitter, horrible people,” then clearly we’re still in opposite camps. And you’re still on notice. Those of us who think women’s lives matter, and that the stories we tell about women’s lives matter, aren’t going to go away. Want to heap scorn on us? Bring it on.

  • Neptunium

    The left is out on its ear all over the planet. They have turned into the Christian right of the 90’s. Annoying, busybody church ladies moaning that everything doesn’t meet their moral standards.

  • Bluejay

    Yeah, that’s what everyone on the right says, while they’re moaning about how everything doesn’t meet their racist misogynist nativist standards.

  • Neptunium

    “racist misogynist”

    I wonder do you ever get sick of listening to yourselves with this mantra.

  • Bluejay

    No, because it’s true.

  • JerryD

    But the overwrought reaction is getting out of hand. Having sex on false pretences is rape?

    It’s called being used. No man would get away with that claim. It isn’t ethical behavior, but it is hardly confined to males.

  • Bluejay

    Having sex on false pretences is rape?

    YES. Jesus Christ.

    And yes, if that were done to a man, it would be rape as well, whether or not society currently acknowledges it. Do you not think men can get raped? But it does happen overwhelmingly to women.

  • JerryD

    I didn’t say men could not get raped.

    I just said getting used isn’t rape.

    But you told me you loved me!!!
    Well, I didn’t.

    Are you saying that is rape?

  • Bluejay

    Also, “false pretences” is a pretty weak description of what was done. This wasn’t some common nightclub situation where strangers lie to each other to get each other in bed. This was a case of a woman’s ENTIRE LIFE being hijacked and permanently altered, at the whim of a desperate man. “I’m going to take your future away from you because I’m attracted to you, and I’m going to lie about it because I want you to like me and I want to have sex with you.” So that’s sex without full knowledge and consent, to say the least. That IS rape. I don’t know what else you’d call it.

  • Bluejay

    See my other comment.

  • JerryD

    What needs to be done here is for a scale to be provided to show when we reach the criminal threshold.

    Bearing in mind this is a FANTASY that the actors had no problem portraying as something less than sinister.

    BTW, why did it have to turn out that he would want to have sex with her. Why couldn’t they have just as easily hated each other?

  • Bluejay

    What needs to be done here is for a scale to be provided to show when we reach the criminal threshold.

    You don’t think stealing someone’s life, with that person having absolutely no say in the matter, reaches the criminal threshold? What would, for you?

    Bearing in mind this is a FANTASY

    Yes, and the character’s actions are being judged in the context of that story. In the FANTASY, that was a really shitty thing to do!

    The actors had no problem


    Why couldn’t they have just as easily hated each other?

    Their reactions to each other are all after the fact. He RESEARCHED her. WHILE SHE WAS SLEEPING. And he woke her up and destroyed her future without her knowledge or consent. That’s not enough for you?

  • Danielm80

    I suppose, at one point, it was necessary to point out that this was a modern-day movement, rather than a reference to something that happened decades in the past. These days, unfortunately, I think that’s perfectly clear.

  • JerryD

    Waking her up and their sleeping together are two different things.

    It is up to the person who was wronged to make the decision on how to react.

    What this boils down to is people not liking Lawerence’s character’s reaction.

    As far as things go, they are a two person society, so your predisposed beliefs are not germane to their society.

  • Bluejay

    This is a story, and we are its audience. It was written, performed, and filmed FOR US. If WE aren’t entitled to judge the story and its characters, who is?

    Yes, people don’t like Lawrence’s character’s reaction. THAT’S THE ENTIRE POINT! It doesn’t matter what the characters themselves think, because THEY AREN’T REAL. They were written and produced by filmmakers (men) with certain attitudes that persist in our REAL society about the value of women’s lives. That’s what this conversation has always been about.

  • Who is asking for “retribution”?

    Go take your strawman shit somewhere else.

  • No, it would not have been romantic if Jim had been gay, or if Aurora had woken up first.

    But I bet the movie would have recognized that instead of trying to turn this scenario into a fairy tale.

  • No, I wouldn’t. Maybe try reading the other comments here. Your “objections” are laughably unoriginal, and have been addressed already.

  • Yes, women live in our misogynist culture and often absorb its messages.

  • Assumes facts not in evidence.

  • Yarberger

    “Once you describe his actions as unforgivable, the motivations are academic, are they not?”

    No. As stated above, the act itself and the motivations behind it can and should be viewed separately. One is the act in isolation, which introduces clear cause/effect factors that are both unambiguous and terrible. That act, viewed in isolation, is unforgivable. He has condemned Aurora to the same sentence that circumstance dealt him.

    Jim’s motivations help us better understand why he would commit such an act in the first place. Quite clearly, it is here where MaryAnn and I disagree. While the act itself cannot be defended, and I am not attempting to ‘forgive’ Jim for the unforgivable, I do not agree that the only (or indeed, correct) interpretation of Jim’s motivations is the one set out by MaryAnn.

    While MaryAnn’s interpretation was fueled by evidence from within the film, so too was mine. Jim’s increasingly erratic and disjointed functionality during his solitary year strongly suggested to me that he was unravelling. When that is considered in conjunction with the wealth of studies on solitary confinement and its effects on psyche, my interpretation and MaryAnn’s of Jim waking Aurora stand in stark contrast, notwithstanding our mutual horror at the act itself. So (all due respect), my conclusion is hardly a ‘non-interpretation’, save to the extent that it does not neatly dovetail with your own.

    A note on your final point: Prior to seeing a summary of this review on RT, I’d never heard of MaryAnn Johanson. As a result, I read and critiqued this piece of work as a standalone, and formed the view that MaryAnn has offered a flawed explanation for Jim’s conduct. If newcomers to this site are to appreciate that MaryAnn’s reviews are uniformly written ‘from a feminist perspective’, she would do well to set that out at the top of the page (‘artisanal film reviews’ means something quite different). As such, your suggestion that I carry some anti-feminist agenda here is inaccurate.

  • JerryD

    You don’t speak for women.

    No one said anything about what the characters think. The point is the reaction by a viewer. Anyone is welcomed to be fine with the character’s reaction. You don’t dictate how someone responds. It is funny enough that you condemn the screenwriter’s characterization, but the expect people to accept you saying how real people are supposed to feel about it.

    The irony is simply delicious.

  • This is typical toxic feminism reducing a more complex plot into man-bashing.

    No, this the attitude of actual men. Not all men, but plenty.

    What would a typical feminist have to say of a movie where Aurora wakes up first

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but that sounds like a more plausible approach to the subject.

    You might want to examine your assumptions about feminism and feminists.

    no possibility of going back

    There was 100 percent possibility of going forward. And Jim stole that from Aurora.

    t’s not a joke, it’s the plot, precisely.

    Right. It’s *not* a joke. And yet the movie makes it a joke.

    I guess MaryAnn’s review should boil down to “man rapes woman and she ends up forgiving him”.

    I guess *Passengers* should boil down to “man rapes woman and she ends up forgiving him”.

    There, fixed that for ya.

  • Bluejay

    You don’t speak for women.

    Do you?

    No one said anything about what the characters think.

    YOU DID. “It is up to the person who was wronged to make the decision on how to react… As far as things go, they are a two person society, so your predisposed beliefs are not germane to their society.” YOU’RE the one who talks about them as if they’re real people whose thoughts and actions should be left alone.

    You don’t dictate how someone responds.

    GASP! Really? You mean, I’m not forcing you to change your mind? I’m not chaining you to your screen so that you can never look away from this review? How horrible! I really, really want to control your life. I’m so sad that I can’t, and that all I can do is try to defend my opinion, the exact same way that you are defending yours.

  • However, I won’t extend my judgment of Jim beyond that point.

    Why the hell not?!

  • I have no interest in forgiving him

    Maybe you should have a problem with this movie, then, which is all about forgiving him.

  • It’s true. I take no joy in rapey stories like this one.

  • Yarberger

    Hello MaryAnn. I believe that my answer to this question has been set out in my replies to the good doctor.

  • If your moral standards extend to excusing this movie, I hope you stay far away from all women, forever.

  • Yarberger

    Can I not have a problem with this movie and a problem with your review at the same time? I didn’t realize that the two were mutually exclusive.

  • Hilarious. I presume that men are better than uncontrollable rapists, and that male filmmakers are capable of telling stories that don’t demean women, and *I’m* the one who hates men?

  • And yet here you are, getting into a lather over a mere review of something as inconsequential as a movie.

    Imagine that.

  • So you admit that it’s completely irrational for Aurora to forgive Jim and live happily ever after with him.

    That’s something, at least.

  • Why couldn’t they have just as easily hated each other?

    They absolutely could have.

    Perhaps you might think about why the writer did not send the story in that direction…

  • It is up to the person who was wronged to make the decision on how to react.

    It is indeed. And this movie forces a woman into the most absurd fantasy of how a woman would react in such a scenario.

  • He’s been deleted.

  • You are defending the movie. I’ve seen nothing that suggests you have any problems with the movie.

  • When that is considered in conjunction with the wealth of studies on solitary confinement and its effects on psyche

    So much sympathy for Jim, and so little for Aurora.

    You don’t see a problem with this?

    a feminist perspective’, she would do well to set that out at the top of the page

    You need forewarning, do you?

  • Yarberger

    You’ve seen nothing to suggest that I think the movie is great, either. My posts speak to one point, and that is my issue with your conclusions regarding Jim’s motivations. That has been my singular focus.

  • RogerBW

    “Warning! You’re about to read something that might challenge your feelings about the way the world works and your place in it! Are you sure you wouldn’t rather rather some advertisements instead?”

  • Yarberger

    MaryAnn, I have set out quite clearly my sympathies for Aurora, and the fact that she has been condemned by the actions of Jim.

    To your second point, yes. It was put to me that I should have known you to be a writer with a feminist perspective. If that was not set out, it stands to reason that there is room for me to assume that this review was a ‘one-off’.

  • Bluejay

    You know, like a trigger warning.

    Meanwhile, other commenters complain that if we express ourselves strongly, we’re somehow dictating how they should feel themselves. It’s almost like they want a safe space where they can declare their opinions without challenge!

  • Danielm80

    So this is a movie about a person under terrible circumstances who does a terrible thing. What, exactly, is the value of watching it? What do we gain from seeing the film, other than the idea that some people do terrible things?

  • JerryD

    People like happy endings, particularly Americans. Just look at the American version of The Vanishing versus the original foreign version.

    I mean did you think there was conspiracy to promote the manipulation of women, rather than just stock romance tropes going on all this time in movies?

  • JerryD

    Way to take my words out of context.

    It is up to the person who was wronged to make the decision on how to react…

    You papered over the point with those ellipses…

    What this boils down to is people not liking Lawerence’s character’s reaction.

    Now that the point is back in place, let’s move the straw man out of the way. Why is your reaction superior to a differing one?

  • Danielm80

    [Insert truism about fish not noticing water.]

  • Bluejay

    I papered over nothing. I ACKNOWLEDGED that the audience’s response to the characters’ reactions is the point, and further, that it in fact SHOULD be the point. You’re the one muddying your own point by saying that these non-real characters are their own two-person society and therefore what we think doesn’t matter to them.

    I’ll leave others to judge which reaction is “superior.” All I can do is describe and defend my reaction, and explain the values that influence it — i.e. that consent is important, that women’s will and agency should be respected, and that stories about men who violate that will and agency should be *critical* of those men, and shouldn’t feel like celebratory fairy-tales.

    If you don’t agree with those values, I’m not sure there’s anything left I can say to you.

  • JerryD

    You’re the one muddying your own point by saying that these non-real characters are their own two-person society and therefore what we think doesn’t matter to them.

    It is not muddying anything. I am pointing out that you bring your prejudices to your interpretation as though they were objective standards.

    I point out the utter absurdity in the standard that is being put forth – that being used is rape. If that were rape then there would hardly be any sex going on because most people don’t know every motive of a person they have sex with.

    Which is why that isn’t the standard and never will be – because most people, including women, would never accept such a thing.

  • Bluejay

    The manipulation of women IS a stock romance trope. That doesn’t make it less wrong. It makes it worse, because, as you say, the tropes are everywhere. There doesn’t need to be a conspiracy, because everyone just thinks it’s “natural.”

  • Yarberger

    Well the film certainly encourages discussion and a myriad of competing viewpoints. It sets out one possible example of the effects of extreme isolation, explores various morality issues, and creates numerous ‘what-if’ scenarios.

    For example, after seeing Passengers my partner and I discussed what we would do, in the event that we were on board the Avalon and one of us woke up ninety years too soon. If I was the sleeping partner, would I want to be woken (yes)? If I was the conscious one, could I bring myself to condemn my partner without fully understanding what they would want (I don’t know)? Would these questions have been discussed between us beforehand, given the company’s arrogance in asserting that such a scenario was impossible?

    These questions are, of course, entirely different from the ‘motivations’ question being discussed here. But it is an answer to your broader ‘what do we gain from seeing the film’ query.

  • JerryD

    They sell for the most part. Don’t hate me. Hate the market.

    I believe now is the time to bring out the wisdom of Weird Science.

    Why are you ruining the fantasy? We know the reality. Don’t mess with the fantasy, okay?

  • Bluejay

    It’s not just a rape of her body, it’s a rape of her LIFE. You think rape only refers to physical sex? Okay, fine. Let’s use the word VIOLATION. You don’t think that Lawrence’s character was profoundly and criminally violated?

    Imagine you’re going through your normal day, whatever a normal day is for you. You go to sleep. When you wake up, everything and everyone in your life is gone, replaced by a person who eventually admits, “I took you away from everything in your life so that you could keep me company, just the two of us, until we both die.” You’d be okay with that? You’d forgive the other person? You wouldn’t consider it a profound violation of your autonomy, your consent, your dignity and worth as a human being? You’d watch a movie portraying this other person as a hero, with you as the romantic interest?

    Which is why that isn’t the standard and never will be – because most people, including women, would never accept such a thing.

    Yeah? Then it’s interesting to see so many critics, including many women (including THIS reviewer), pointing out the rapiness and rape culture in the film. You say I don’t speak for women, but you don’t seem to want to listen to actual women either.

    you bring your prejudices to your interpretation as though they were objective standards

    No, that’s YOUR interpretation of my interpretation. Does my opinion make you uncomfortable? Does it make you feel like you’re being judged by concrete standards, and like you have to defend your own response to the film? That’s YOUR emotional reaction. Maybe your conscience is telling you something.

  • Bluejay

    Don’t hate me. Hate the market.

    Part of the problem is people shrugging at the problem, as you just did. More of us need to stand up and say this is not okay.

  • What you’re failing to understand — perhaps deliberately — is this movie exists to excuse Jim’s behavior, and that is not okay. *That* is what I am complaining about. Defending or excusing Jim *is* defending and excusing this movie.

  • So, you *do* need to be forewarned that feminism will be in the offing.

    Do you generally presume that the default operating perspective of everything you read is that women are not people?

  • JerryD

    And you couldn’t find empathy for someone who had been isolated from human contact for a year?

  • The value comes in the validation of the idea that no matter how badly a man behaves, a woman will forgive him for it. As our pop culture demonstrates over and over again, that requires constant reinforcement. It’s almost like the real world might contradict this enough that some men start to doubt it.

  • If this movie wanted to provide a happy ending, it should have offered a story that warrants one.

    Oh, that’s cute: a “conspiracy.” Here’s some Feminism 101 for you: https://finallyfeminism101.wordpress.com/2007/03/21/faq-isnt-the-patriarchy-just-some-conspiracy-theory-that-blames-all-men-even-decent-men-for-womens-woes/

  • Yarberger

    My critique of your review is simply that you have set out Jim’s intentions for waking Aurora as A, B and C. I have stated that there is room for a different interpretation, based upon evidence within the film and my own readings.

    I am not defending Jim. Per my earlier post:- “While the act itself cannot be defended, and I am not attempting to ‘forgive’ Jim for the unforgivable, I do not agree that the only (or indeed, correct) interpretation of Jim’s motivations is the one set out by MaryAnn.”

    I have not opined on the merits of the broader film and/or what it seeks to accomplish. Nor have I critiqued that aspect of your review.

  • encourages discussion

    Yeah. Discussion. “Are women people who deserve to have agency over their own lives, or not?”

  • Bluejay

    What about empathy for the woman? Could you find some empathy for her? Are you saying that, in my proposed imaginary scenario, I should find more empathy for the person who kidnapped you, rather than for you?

    And yes, I could find empathy for his predicament. THAT DOESN’T MAKE HIS ACTIONS OKAY. And if I told his story, I’d make it a tragedy of bad choices, not a fairy-tale with a happily-ever-after ending.

  • When the “fantasy” is the manipulation of women to fulfill men’s sexual needs, I am sure as fuck gonna mess with the fantasy.

    You *like* the “fantasy” of manipulating women? Really?

  • Yarberger

    They absolutely are. No question about it.

  • Yarberger

    From Dr Rocketscience to me:

    “If you’re going to come to the review that critiques the film on a feminist basis, by a film critic known for her feminist perspective, and try to tell her and everyone else that you can’t know if the character is acting from anti-feminist motivations… well…”

    Understanding your general perspective/approach would certainly have been helpful in this specific circumstance, yes.

    “Do you generally presume that the default operating perspective of everything you read is that women are not people?”

    Never, but thanks for clearing that up.

  • JerryD

    No, I just don’t get worked up over bad fiction.

    I was just arguing with a female yesterday who contended that porn did not objectify women.

    Do you agree with her?

  • JerryD


    Which is your opinion. And it is valid.

    Mandela had his life taken away. He was thrown in prison for decades, 27 years in total.
    A large part of his was taken away. When he assumed power in South Africa, he could have taken revenge. Many of his surrogates encouraged him to do just that. But Mandela chose not to. He chose to forgive and act as a unifier.

    Did that make what was done to him okay? No, it didn’t. But it does show that one is not a slave to vengeance because they were wronged. That is not fiction. That is real life.

    Was Mandela’s response a “problem?”

  • JerryD

    As I said, don’t pester me about the tropes. I don’t gain financially from them. Pester the women who want the fantasy. Their pocketbooks are fueling it.

  • Bluejay

    No. What would be a problem is if you made a movie of his life, and his jailers turned out to be the hero of the story.

  • JerryD

    That seems to be the problem. You think Jim is the only character that matters.

  • Bluejay

    You’re the one who’s here arguing about it. Are you saying no one should challenge your comments?

  • Bluejay

    Ah, so you think Aurora matters too. So why aren’t you more upset at how she’s been violated?

  • Devin

    you obviously don’t have the presence of mind to be embarrassed by this post so i’m just going to do the christian thing and be embarrassed for you.

  • Danielm80

    Every movie in the theatres is there because someone thought it would make money. We have film reviews to tell us which of those movies are worth seeing. Sometimes, the reviews also tell us what the film says about our culture. And the fact that people are willing to pay money for this movie makes our culture look very bad.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’m fairly confident it’s be more of a “Fatal Attraction in Space” kind of thing. I’m confident about that because I live in the actual world.

  • FriscoKid

    I don’t plan to see the movie but I’m just curious whether they end up having any kids. (And if not, why not.) Thanks in advance.

  • JerryD

    Because it’s fiction. It didn’t happen, remember?

    I pointed out the story about Mandela. You wanting vengeance says a lot.

  • JerryD

    No, I welcome debate.

    I just don’t suffer conspiracy theories.

  • Bluejay

    Again: it’s fine that Mandela didn’t want vengeance against his tormentors. What isn’t fine is if WE tell a story that CELEBRATES what his tormentors did, that depicts them as sympathetic heroes, and that causes some of the audience to argue, “Well, gee, it’s pretty understandable that they jailed Mandela for decades — I’m sure we ALL would have jailed Mandela for decades if we were in the same circumstances.” That’s really the parallel you’re making here. Are you sure you want to argue for empathy for Jim by arguing for empathy for the apartheid South African government? THAT says a lot about you.

    We can tell stories about despicable acts, whether fictional or historical. But HOW we tell those stories matters. Do we celebrate or criticize those acts? Do we slap on an unambiguous happy ending, or explore uncomfortable implications? Do we tell the stories as cautionary tales, or fairy tales? And what does that say about the ones who tell, and hear, those stories? Passengers made its choice about how to tell such a story, and it’s a choice that a lot of us have problems with. For some reason, that bothers you. I wonder why.

    And now I’m done explaining these distinctions. Argue all you want.

  • Bluejay

    Misogyny isn’t a conspiracy, because it doesn’t have to be. It’s already accepted as normal by too many people, including, apparently, you.

  • JerryD

    But an apartheid regime intent on maintaining their power is different from a desperately lonely.

    it’s a choice that a lot of us have problems with. For some reason, that bothers you. I wonder why.

    The main thing I pointed out was the absurdity on the extension the definition of rape. A guy lied to me. RAPE!!! That’s absurd on its face. You never addressed that no one can know their partner’s motives with 100% certainty, so how can ANY sex not be rape with your condition?

    I don’t really care that you have a problem with the story. I am just amuse that you keep saying there is a “problem” behind it, as though that is some fact. Again, if there is a problem, then you need to talk to the women who help fuel it with their pocketbooks. Got it?

    Also, I’m not impressed with your close mindedness. I mean you prattle on about “he took her life, he took her life”, as though that is all that matters. When in actuality, a lot of people’s lives are derailed because of the actions of some. How they deal with it is there choice, and it is not tied to the vengeance. A lot of times people figured out that their great plans for life were not exactly what they needed. Can you not GET that?

    If you want an eye for eye for a wrong. Cool. Don’t expect everyone else to share in your blood lust.

    In closing, maybe this will help – life isn’t fair. Get used to it.

  • JerryD

    And everyone doesn’t write with the motives you ascribe to them just because you feel a certain way.

    That’s what I love about SJWs, they’ll be more than happy to tell someone what they were thinking or feeling when doing something, but would never accept it being done to them.

    If equal rights is your aim, then you need to learn how they work first.

  • StayCoolYo

    OK, I am trying to recall this as best as I can: Apparently in the current version, they do not. But that’s not how it was in the original draft- I remember the very ending was the rescue team entering the ship and finding a ton of their descendants. Don’t hold me to that, though! I do know there were some huge plot changes made to the third act- in the script I read, Jim and Aurora save the malfunctioning computer in time to keep the reactor from exploding or whatever, but not before the computer ejects all of the stasis pods to protect them from the impending explosion or something. Anyways, it was kinda dark with like everyone on the ship dying except for the two of them. It came off sort of like a “oh isn’t it so great that Jim woke this lady up, by doing so, through a twist of fate he SAVED her, ya see??”, and I am not surprised they changed it to make it a happier ending. Sorry for the overlong and off topic answer ;D

  • StayCoolYo

    Hey, this article answers your question way better than my first comment did http://www.slashfilm.com/passengers-ending/2/

  • FriscoKid

    No apologies needed. Thanks for responding to such an old post. I read the plot on Movie Spoilers and it seemed odd that they wouldn’t have any kids, or at least whether the movie explained why they couldn’t/didn’t. :-)

  • Maybe you *should* get worked up over bad fiction.

    Don’t call women “females.” It makes you sound like a Ferengi.

    And also do not highjack this thread. It is NOT going to turn into a discussion about porn.

  • Because it’s fiction. It didn’t happen, remember?

    It happened in the movie!

    You cannot be for real.

  • then you need to talk to the women who help fuel it with their pocketbooks. Got it?

    What the hell do you think feminism is all about, anyway?! We are talking to women!

    you prattle on about “he took her life, he took her life”, as though that is all that matters.

    Yes. It is all that matters.

    Jesus Christ.

  • *Passengers* is actually tanking at the box office. Very likely because women (and men) are talking about how problematic is it.

  • They do not have kids in the actual movie, but why would they? Why would they bring more people into this world condemned to live a lonely life with no other human contact? it would horrible if they had kids.

  • SJWs

    And there we have it.

    You can leave now. You’ve just told us that we won’t hear anything useful from you.

  • Bluejay

    But an apartheid regime intent on maintaining their power is different from a desperately lonely.

    You’re the one who brought up Mandela and his jailers as a point of comparison, and now you’re saying they’re totally different situations. You’re clearly bad at keeping track of your own arguments.

    A guy lied to me. RAPE!!! That’s absurd on its face.

    More like: “A guy thought I was pretty while I was sleeping, so he took away my entire future life, without my knowledge or permission, then lied about doing it so that I would fuck him forever.” GODDAMN RIGHT that’s rape. If you don’t think so, I suggest you check your moral compass, because it looks like you need a replacement.

    you prattle on about “he took her life, he took her life”, as though that is all that matters

    It’s genuinely scary that you can make so light of that act.

    life isn’t fair. Get used to it.

    How sad that you’re used to it. I’d rather try to make the world a better place.


  • nixcalo

    I am kind of horrified by your insistence on “waking her so he can fuck her”. How can you really be so superficial and simple? Loneliness to the verge of madness, despair, suicide thoughts, the desire for human conversation, touch, warmth, company vs absolute isolation… all of them are much strongers than a mere desire for sex (which, for your information, can easily be solved with your right hand). And the need for human company is proven to be as strong (if not stronger) than many other needs. I suppose that if Jim had been without food and had started waking passengers to eat them in order to survive, you would have not seen it so horrifying, sexist or don’t-know-what-else-ish… well, any psychotherapist might tell you that extreme isolation can really do things to your mind. And your oversimplification of the plot is extreme… Jim is not rewarded by his reprensible actions, he is PUNISHED for them. But it turns that, later on, Jim saves the lives of everybody in the ship, including Aurora, sacrifiing himself in the process. But no, if that’s not a redemption for you, don’t know what is.. Let me remind you that Aurora would be dead if not for Jim… doesn’t that make her forgiveness a tiny bit more plausible than the living in hatred forever that you advocate?

  • nixcalo

    And of course, nothing is said about the only violence that is seen on the film., and that is Aurora viciously hitting and slapping and punching Jim, and nearly hitting him with a massive crowbar. I suppose that under that biased view of your, violence from women to men is justified (in some cases, at least), but the opposite is probably not true. And of course, hitting Jim is justified by his behaviour, but Jim’s act is inexcusable? Is that your moral compass? If you are ready to excuse Aurora, you might rethink Jim’s motivations. And, by the way, let sex out of the equation, you are trying to make things dirtier in order to try Jim look heinous… sex has nothing to do with the movie, it’s COMPANY what Jim seeks. And his act is not evil, it’s DESPERATE (and ethically wrong, and extremely grave, of course), but not evil. And I truly believe it’s forgivable as many acts born of desperation, not evil (even without the latter life saving “heroism”)

  • Danielm80

    I suppose that if Jim had been without food and had started waking passengers to eat them in order to survive, you would have not seen it so horrifying, sexist or don’t-know-what-else-ish… well, any psychotherapist might tell you that extreme isolation can really do things to your mind.

    Wow, you may have come up with the worst argument on the entire thread, and we had an actual Nazi here. If this discussion keeps going, it might go on record as the most disturbing conversation in the history of the site.

  • I am kind of horrified by your insistence on “waking her so he can fuck her”.

    It’s the movie you should be horrified at.

  • Holy fuck.

  • I’m closing comments, because all we’re getting now are new commenters repeating issues that have already been well hashed over.

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