4.7 104
Director: Joss Whedon

Cast: Joss Whedon, Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk


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A band of renegades on the run in outer space get in more hot water than they anticipated in this sci-fi action-adventure adapted from the television series Firefly. In the 26th century, the galaxy has been colonized by a military force known as the Alliance, but its leadership has not gone unquestioned. The Alliance was once challenged by a league of rebelsSee more details below

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A band of renegades on the run in outer space get in more hot water than they anticipated in this sci-fi action-adventure adapted from the television series Firefly. In the 26th century, the galaxy has been colonized by a military force known as the Alliance, but its leadership has not gone unquestioned. The Alliance was once challenged by a league of rebels known as the Independents, but the Alliance emerged victorious after a brutal civil war, with the surviving Independents scattering around the galaxy. Also wandering the edges of the galaxy are the Reavers, who have won few allies due to their violent behavior and habit of ripping apart their enemies and eating them before they're dead. Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), who fought as an Independent in the galactic war, is the head of Serenity, a rogue frieghter ship whose crew includes Mal's first mate, Zoe (Gina Torres), who fought alongside him in the war, her husband, hotshot pilot Wash (Alan Tudyk), sunny but dependable mechanic Kaylee (Jewel Staite), and hard-nosed gunman Jayne (Adam Baldwin). The crew of Serenity wander the galaxy, taking on whatever work they can get, from criminal activities like smuggling and stealing to legitimately offering transport to travelers. Passengers aboard Serenity include professional "companion" Inara (Morena Baccarin) and holy man Shepherd Book (Ron Glass), but the real trouble aboard the ship comes with the arrival of Simon (Sean Maher) and his teenage sister, River Tam (Summer Glau). In time, the crew discovers that River has remarkable psychic powers and was being held captive by Alliance forces until Simon came to her rescue. Now the Alliance is hot on the heels of Serenity and its passengers, with The Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a sinister Alliance tracker, leading the chase. Serenity was written and directed by Joss Whedon (in his directorial debut), creator of Firefly, which only lasted 11 weeks on the air but gained a powerful cult following who rallied to get the show released on DVD after its cancellation, leading to impressive home-video sales and and an eventual motion picture deal. A couple of months prior to Serenity's theatrical release, reruns of Firefly were picked up by the Sci-Fi channel, adding even more fans to its cult following.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Science fiction fans will recognize in this pleasantly old-fashioned space opera the basic plotline and characters of Firefly, the short-lived 2002 television series by Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). It takes place in a faraway solar system dominated by an overbearing Alliance that's being challenged by rebel upstarts with varying agendas. Mal Reynolds (Nathan Fillion), captain of the spaceship Serenity and its ragtag, smuggling crew, takes aboard a psychic named River Tam (Summer Glau) and her brother Simon (Sean Maher), fugitives from Alliance mind-washers. Reynolds may come to regret the decision, as his passengers are being pursued by the most tenacious and deadly of Alliance agents, a man known only as the Operative (Chiwetel Ejiofor). There's nothing terribly innovative about the plot; Whedon's Alliance is another of those bureaucratic, Big Brotherish entities that offers freedom from discontent while subverting civil liberties and stifling dissent. The Serenity's motley crew typifies the rugged, rough-edged, anti-establishment individualists that naturally reject societal structure. You can guess who comes out on top. But writer-director Whedon isn't interested in breaking new ground, and his half-hearted attempt to tinge Serenity with political satire falls flat. Whedon's strength is character delineation and interplay, and the movie is most enjoyable when its principal characters are jousting verbally. Mal's crew -- Zoe (Gina Torres), Wash (Alan Tudyk), Jayne (Adam Baldwin), Inara (Morena Baccarin), and Kaylee (Jewel Staite) -- banter with aplomb, speaking in a peculiar combination of futuristic jargon and pseudo-hip Chinese slang. Some of Whedon's dialogue is a little too cutesy for our taste, but it's generally snappy and well delivered by a relaxed cast that's obviously having fun with the material. The surfeit of talk, however, doesn't mean that Serenity stints on action -- far from it. There are lots of energetic confrontations, both in space and on the ship, and if you blink at the wrong time you're liable to miss plenty.
All Movie Guide
Joss Whedon's feature-film adaptation of his much-loved television program Firefly marks his big-screen directorial debut. The movie may enchant some newcomers, but it was obviously constructed primarily for the enjoyment of the series' hardcore fan base. This can create a very sharp divide among viewers, as pre-existing fans will most likely remain enthusiastically approving of the film, while outsiders will probably find it less compelling, despite some backstory offered in the narrative to let its story potentially stand alone. This may be a simple matter of target audience, however, as Serenity unabashedly offers itself directly to its cult followers -- though it gracefully avoids indulging in the in-jokes that rendered the Star Trek: The Next Generation movie franchise too embarrassing for general consumption. Nathan Fillion, the only member of this ensemble cast that could arguably be described as a protagonist, delivers a likable and nuanced performance as Mal, the ragged captain of the freighter ship for which the movie is named. Mal's resilience is tempered with a wry cynicism as well as with a humanity that only selectively becomes more than a subtle internalization. The surrounding cast members offer nothing less than their absolute best performances as well, though fans may be disappointed that the time limits don't allow all characters extensive screen time. The fight, flight, and general action sequences in Serenity are beyond engaging, and the resolution of each would cause any enthusiastic audience to erupt in applause. The plot itself is smartly written, exploring and explaining cliff-hanging elements of the series that would no doubt have been fleshed-out had the show not been canceled. It brings each of the characters -- all of whom are portrayed with elegance and affection -- to a completely new place both personally and logistically. This is what makes Serenity so much more than an elongated episode of Firefly: the landscape in which the story takes place has been reformed, creating in many ways a completely different world for these people to explore. In the end, Joss Whedon triumphantly breaks new ground in the genre of science fiction, defying all odds to tell his story. It's very possible that even some sci-fi fans who've never seen Firefly could enjoy coming along for the ride. It's refreshing to see a universe that is neither utopian nor dystopian, characters who are both flawed and forgivable, and a sense that none of us are safe, but none of us will survive without hope that we will be.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Over 20 minutes of deleted scenes and outtakes; Joss Whedon introduction; Re-lighting The Firefly: the story of how a television show gained enough of a cult following to become a major feature film; Feature commentary with writer/director Joss Whedon ; And much more!

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nathan Fillion Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds
Gina Torres Zoe
Alan Tudyk Wash
Morena Baccarin Inara
Adam Baldwin Jayne
Jewel Staite Kaylee Frye
Summer Glau River Tam
Sean Maher Dr. Simon Tam
Chiwetel Ejiofor The Operative
Ron Glass Shepherd Book
David Krumholtz Mr. Universe
Michael Hitchcock Actor
Sarah Paulson Actor

Technical Credits
Joss Whedon Director,Screenwriter
Christopher Buchanan Executive Producer
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Barry Chusid Production Designer
Jack N. Green Cinematographer
Lisa Lassek Editor
David Lester Executive Producer
David Lester Executive Producer
Barry Mendel Producer
David Newman Score Composer
Arthur Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Rich Sickler Asst. Director
Alisa Tager Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Serenity
1. Living Weapon [5:00]
2. A Better World [4:29]
3. Aboard Serenity (Main Titles) [5:17]
4. Going for a Ride [5:00]
5. Reavers [9:22]
6. Triggered [7:04]
7. Mr. Universe [7:50]
8. Safe Haven [5:45]
9. Civilized Resolution [5:49]
10. Posing a Threat [3:44]
11. Miranda [5:16]
12. "Just Believe" [4:28]
13. Suicide Mission [4:19]
14. Learning the Secret [4:49]
15. Caught in the Middle [4:14]
16. Can't Stop the Signal [7:39]
17. Fighting for a Belief [6:38]
18. Do We Have an Order? [8:58]
19. It's Not Over [1:40]
20. End Titles [5:44]


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