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Voyagers Movie Review - Modern Version of a Classic

Young cast explores good vs. evil in Mankind.

Reviewed by on Apr 07, 2021
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw the Sci-Fi movie Voyagers. It has a talented young cast and like the classic novel “Lord of the Flies” successfully explores living for the good of the group vs. personal gain and more.



In Voyagers, when the Earth is dying and a new, Earth-like world is discovered, it’s decided to send a crew to colonize it, thus saving Mankind. Problem is it will take 86 years to reach it. Humans are bred and raised in isolation to be the crew. Their grandchildren will be the new colonists. Richard (Colin Farrell) will be the only adult on the voyage. When young adults Chris(Tye Sheridan), Sela (Lily-Rose Depp), Zac (Fionn Whitehead), Kai (Archie Madekwe), Phoebe (Chante’ Adams) and others discover that they haven’t been told the whole truth, they defy their training and rules and become more primitive until their fear, lust and power-mad behavior threaten the mission.

The young crew members in trainingThe young crew members in trainingCourtesy of Lionsgate

Need a New Planet

When Earth’s climate starts making life here impossible and a new, inhabitable planet is discovered in 2063, a mission is planned to colonize it. Since it will take 86 years to get there, the grandchildren of the original crew will be the colonists. In order for the crew to succeed, it’s decided to breed and raise them in isolation so they won’t miss anything about Earth. They would be alone and young, without supervision until mission participant Richard decides that he has so few ties on Earth that he should go with them to protect and guide them. When they are little kids still on Earth in training, they love him. It’s agreed that he can go.

The ship is on the missionThe ship is on the missionCourtesy of Lionsgate

Launch and the Early Years

When the crew are tweens, the ship is launched. Ten years later, they are young 20-somethings who seem rather emotionless as they go through days of classes, learning that they will reproduce through artificial insemination to finally produce the crew that will colonize.

The crew learns that their grandkids will reach the planetThe crew learns that their grandkids will reach the planetCourtesy of Lionsgate

Each day they drink a blue liquid along with their meals. Each crew member has a scheduled session with Richard who acts as a kind of psychiatrist answering their questions. Sela asks why her life is important. He shows her pix of his parents and siblings on Earth explaining that she and the others must be the parents if the mission is to work. Chris and Zac seem to be buddies and tease each other like younger kids.

The blue drinkThe blue drinkCourtesy of Lionsgate

An Unpleasant Secret

When Chris finds a toxin in the irrigation water for the plants on the ship he starts to investigate. It’s coming from recycled human urine. So is it in our food, he asks Zac. Both guys keep investigating although Richard says it’s nothing to worry about. Chris hacks into the master computer and the guys learn that the toxin is in the blue drink they all have daily. It alters their personalities, making the crew dull and docile while it eliminates sexual desire and sensation. It decreases pleasure of any kind. Zac is especially angry. We deserve to feel everything! He starts pouring out his daily drink. So does Chris. What else is Richard lying to them about?

Chris (Tye Sheridan) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead) discover what the blue drink really isChris and Zac discover what the blue drink really isCourtesy of Lionsgate

Secret Room?

Chris discovers an unmarked locked compartment in the ship. What is in there? Richard says he doesn’t know. Is this another lie? Richard wants to tell the whole truth to the crew and asks permission from Earth mission control but it will take months to get an answer. Both Zac and Chris are attracted to Sela who is still drinking the “Blue”. Richard warns Zac to stop touching her. Friends Zac and Chris start wrestling and roughhousing as their hormones kick in. Suddenly outside noises are heard but Richard isn’t worried, just the ship creaking etc. Zac sees Richard casually touch Sela’s shoulder and is jealous. Why is it okay for him and not Zac? He grabs Sela inappropriately and she fights him off. Richard stops it.

Zac (Fionn Whitehead) touches Sela (Lily-Rose Depp)Zac touches SelaCourtesy of Lionsgate

Outside Accident

When it is determined that a transmitter outside the ship is responsible for communications with Earth being cut off, Richard takes Chris outside with him to fix it. While they are out there something appears to attack Richard and he is burned as if badly shocked. The surge also damages some of the ship’s systems. Back inside later Sela, who is Chief Medical Officer, tries to save him but he is dead. Chris saw nothing outside but some of the crew say they saw something jump inside Richard’s suit, a force, maybe alien? The crew must go on. Zac wants to be Chief but Chris is elected, further angering Zac. Chris orders the crew to repair any damage and especially the surveillance controls so they can see the video of what happened outside to Richard.

Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) looks outside from the airlockSela looks outside from the airlockCourtesy of Lionsgate

Moving On

Work on the damage continues while Chris and Sela watch personal videos in Richard’s cabin. They see his family and a video of his transmission to Earth saying he is along to protect the crew. They wonder what from. Phoebe works on the surveillance system but Zac has others working on food refrigeration without Chris’s permission. Zac talks many of the crew into not drinking the blue liquid. It’s drugs that stifle feelings. When they don’t, many start fighting, kissing, hooking up and generally acting out. Sela stops drinking it and finally the whole crew stops. They all watch old historical videos of war and killing. Sela makes them stop. Zac continues to stalk Sela until he sees her hugging Chris.

Chris (Tye Sheridan) and Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) watch Richard's personal videosChris and Sela watch Richard's personal videosCourtesy of Lionsgate

Keeping Order

Chris breaks up fights while Zac proposes that there is an alien creature inside the ship and Chris let it in. He asks the crew to follow him to destroy the alien and make more food for the future. Some of the crew splits off with him. Chris is determined to see what actually happened to Richard outside and goes to retrieve the surveillance drive while Zac keeps saying the alien is among the group. When Chris, Sela and others watch the video they see that Zac actually killed Richard with an electric shock fired from the control room panel! Kai went along with it. Chris and Sela hope the crew will all be on their side once they learn the truth. Chris and Sela hook up.

Kai (Archie Madekwe) is on Zac's team and helps kill RichardKai is on Zac's team and helps kill RichardCourtesy of Lionsgate

The Truth

Chris shows the video to the whole crew. Zac killed Richard! There is no alien! Zac admits he did if for the group. He says he saw the alien force enter Richard. Now it could have moved and be inside anybody there! One young guy is targeted as now being the alien and he is chased down and beaten to death. With Zac’s group going wild, Chris and Sela try to arm up but all they can find are scalpels from the Medical Bay. Chris remembers the secret room. Could that hold weapons? He tries to get into the room but Zac follows and gets in first. There are many crates of guns. Now Zac’s team is heavily armed!

Zac's (Fionn Whitehead) crew find the hidden gunsZac's crew find the hidden gunsCourtesy of Lionsgate


Chris is grabbed by Zac’s men. Sela tries to get close to Zac to stab him with a scalpel but when Phoebe tries to get the crew to reconcile, Zac shoots and kills her. Power mad now, he chases Chris and Sela all over the ship. The two have an idea that might get rid of Zac but can they pull it off? Will the crew ever reconcile? Will humans one day reach the new world?

Sela (center) and friends will split from Zac (Fionn Whitehead)Sela (center) and friends will split from ZacCourtesy of Lionsgate

Wrapping Up

The story at the heart of Voyagers is very comparable to the classic novel “Lord of the Flies”. If you haven’t read it or studied it in school, you might when you are older.  It’s all about the conflict between two competing impulses that exist within all human beings: the instinct to live by rules, act peacefully, follow moral commands, and value the good of the group versus the instinct to gratify personal desires and act violently to be a “winner”, a supreme power. The novel ends with grown-ups coming to stop the madness whereas this film lets the young people involved come to a worthy decision on their own.

The movie is overall hopeful, showing us that Mankind might deserve to survive after all and, with the current chaotic world situation, that is a good movie message!

The film plays a little slowly action-wise until the last third when the action and danger increase but watching talented Fionn Whitehead, one of the lead actors in the war movie Dunkirk, as Zac manipulate the crew as he descends into power-madness is fascinating. Tye Sheridan as the more morally-upright crew chief Chris is a decent foil for him and Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose is a little dead-pan but effective enough as the girl between them.

Zac (center) tells Chris he is taking overZac (center) tells Chris he is taking overCourtesy of Lionsgate

There is enough mystery to keep us guessing. Will Richard finish the voyage? Is there really an alien? What is inside the secret room? If you can hang on through the more slow-moving scenes, things will pick up. The trailers make the film look more racy than it is. You don’t see much during a love scene and when a crew member is beaten to death you only see the aftermath. Many critics have complained that the film isn't graphic enough.. These kids go wild in every sense of the word so let's see it.  Well, the movie has a PG-13 rating! It's okay for older tweens and teens. For that reason I don't share their criticism.

Sela (Lily-Rose Depp) and Chris (Tye Sheridan) care for each otherSela and Chris care for each otherCourtesy of Lionsgate

Although not a perfect film, it is nice to see a young cast in a story that reminds us of a classic novel exploring human nature. We go four stars.

Voyagers Movie Rating: 4

Voyagers Movie Review - Modern Version of a Classic | Tye SheridanCourtesy of Lionsgate

See Voyagers only in theaters starting April 9th.