The Space Between Us is a science fiction romance about Gardner (Asa Butterfield), the first human born and raised on a NASA space station. Gardner’s mother was an astronaut who didn’t know she was pregnant when she set off on a mission to Mars and died giving birth to her son. At the time, the CEO of Genesis, Nathaniel Shepard (Gary Oldman), decided that Gardner should secretly remain on Mars with the rest of the ship’s crew to avoid an inevitable PR disaster.
The movie picks up the story 16 years later, when Gardner is an inquisitive and bright teenager who has only ever had social interactions with the other 14 crew members. Hoping to learn more about his mother, he hacks into a robot and accesses the ship’s storage. After locating his mother’s belongings, he finds items that lead him to think he might be able to track down his biological father.
At the same time, Gardner begins to develop an online relationship with a girl, Tulsa (Britt Robertson), via an internet chat room. Gardner starts planning a trip to Earth in the hope of meeting her. Ignoring medical advice that he might be physically unable to survive Earth’s atmosphere, Gardner sets off to find both Tulsa and his father.
The Space Between Us has some violence. For example, a young woman hits a man because she’s frustrated with him for disappearing for seven months without telling her why. This isn’t presented as serious violence.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scene mentioned above, The Space Between Us has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example, there’s a plane crash. Although no-one is killed, the crash causes a very large explosion.
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, The Space Between Us has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example, a woman dies giving birth.
Children in this age group might be disturbed by the scenes mentioned above.
Nothing of concern
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
The Space Between Us shows some use of substances. For example, Tulsa’s father is drunk and has empty beer bottles lying near him on the ground.
Nudity and sexual activity
The Space Between Us has mild sexual activity. For example:
- A teenage couple kiss.
- Two characters have sex in a sleeping bag outdoors.
There is some product placement in The Space Between Us, including vehicle brands like Mercedes and Ford, Dell computers and Walmart.
There is some coarse language in The Space Between Us.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Space Between Us is an inspiring movie about taking chances, developing human relationships, and staying true to yourself. After growing up socially isolated, the teenage Gardner longs to form meaningful connections with others. The movie shows that when something is really valuable, there are no limits on how far people might go to realise their dreams.
The movie’s story involves the death of a mother giving birth, a teenager growing up in isolation then searching for his father, and teenage romance. This makes The Space Between Us more suitable for older teenagers. It isn’t recommended for children under 14 years, and we recommend parental guidance children aged 14-15 years.
This movie could give you the chance to talk about some real-life issues with your children, including the importance:
- developing supportive friendships and relationships
- learning how to be part of a team, and to consider other people’s needs as well as the consequences of your own actions
- accepting individuals despite differences and embracing the unfamiliar.