Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson
Steven Spielberg's other, other WWII drama doesn't receive the praise it deserves, overshadowed as it is by Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. Empire of the Sun, based on the semi-autbiographical novel by J.G. Ballard, is a much smaller picture, a coming-of-age movie set against the backdrop of the Second World War.
Christian Bale plays Jim, a British schoolboy living with his posh parents in Shanghai. After becoming separated from his parents in the chaos of conflict, he's captured by Japanese soliders. At a POW camp, he finds a father figure in Basie (John Malkovich), but he soon learns he can't rely on anyone else. Yes, Empire of the Sun is like a Beyoncé song. Just one of many reasons why you need to see this underrated minor masterpiece. —RS