ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Passengers" Movie Review

Updated on August 22, 2019
popcollin profile image

Collin's been a movie critic since 2009. In real life, he works in marketing and is also a novelist ("Good Riddance" published in Oct 2015).

Passengers | Source

Note: I suppose one could argue this review contains a significant plot spoiler, so proceed with caution. Before I published, out of curiosity I looked through several other reviews to see how it was handled, and more often than not critics DO mention the particular plot point in question. But I wanted to give a heads-up, just the same. It's how I roll.

A space age love story. A race-against-time action flick. A morality play. A sci-fi drama. A Cast Away-esque solitary tale. Had screenwriter Jon Spaihts chosen any one of the above, we might have had something. Instead he chose to mash everything together, giving none of them the attention (or resolution) required to keep Passengers from being a half-baked attempt to tackle as many genres as possible over the course of two hours.

More than that, though, Passengers actually winds up being an off-putting, cringe-inducing story...despite what the trailers would have you believe.

Chris Pratt stars as Jim Preston, one of 5,000 hibernating passengers on the Avalon, a spaceship headed toward an inhabitable planet that takes 120 years to reach. Thirty years into the trip, however, a malfunction causes Jim to wake up prematurely, and he spends more than a year wandering the ship Robinson Crusoe-style. After unsuccessfully trying to fix the problem (of certain death decades before the ship reaches its destination), he realizes there’s nothing to be done. With only a robot bartender (the scene-stealing Michael Sheen) as a companion, he gives up, grows a beard, shuffles around in an un-cinched robe, and tries to enjoy having the ship to himself.

[And now here's that potential spoiler I mentioned.]

Finally, moments after briefly contemplating suicide, Jim considers waking one of his fellow passengers for company, meaning he goes from suicidal to would-be murderer (in essence) in a matter of minutes. He weighs the thought for weeks but eventually caves, waking Jennifer Lawrence’s Aurora (none-too-nuanced Sleeping Beauty reference!) If he’s drowning, he may as well take someone else down with him, right?

From the minute it happens, and even more so as Jim and Aurora’s co-existence turns into a romance (built on a heinous lie), we know the big confrontation is coming, and it’s a distraction of the highest order. So yes, she finally discovers Jim’s selfish decision, and fury ensues, as well it should. Great. Now what?

Just as Passengers seems to be gearing to become a thought-provoking study on morality (or maybe even a top-notch suspense/horror flick about being trapped alone in space with your killer), the plot veers yet again, and we regress; the ship starts malfunctioning, and Jim and Aurora have to put aside their differences to try to save the other 4,998 people (plus crew) onboard. Wait, what? Spaihts, who co-wrote Doctor Strange and Prometheus, should be ashamed of himself, along with the folks at Sony who decided to let this cop-out script see the light of day.

The one saving grace in this mess is Lawrence herself, who turns in yet another powerhouse performance despite being hampered by the awful story (though she clearly knew what she was getting into, so she’s not blameless).

With the glaring abandonment of moral questions in the second half of the film, Passengers becomes an unbridled, easy-way-out, cheat of a movie. Perhaps no other film this year can boast such wasted potential (and high hopes), as it crumbles under the weight of its lousy (and icky) script. Barely an hour into it the watch-ability and intrigue crashes to a halt. Plot holes abound, coincidences pile up, and see-them-coming-from-a-mile-away moments take away any hope of Passengers redeeming itself and becoming a worthwhile trip.


1.5/5 stars

Worth the 3D glasses?

If it can distract you from the skeevy story being presented on screen, go for it. Otherwise there's not much terribly 3D-worthy—save for one nifty scene when the on-board gravity fails. Pass on the plastic glasses.

'Passengers' trailer


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)