Dark Matter

2007 R 1h 30m DVD

Dark Matter

2007 R 1h 30m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Liu Xing (Ye Liu) is an ambitious cosmology student who comes to America under the wing of university patron Joanna Silver (Meryl Streep) and begins working with cosmologist Jacob Reiser (Aidan Quinn) -- yet he is oblivious to the politics of academia. Liu becomes obsessed with his own theories of the universe, a fixation that threatens Reiser's professional future. Director Shi-Zheng Chen's debut won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Meryl Streep, Ye Liu, Peng Chi, Aidan Quinn, Bill Irwin, Blair Brown, Sina Amedson, Erick Avari, Rob Campbell, Dan Christensen, John Rothman, Boris McGiver, Joe Grifasi, Taylor Schilling, Jodi Russell, Yonggui Wang, Lei Tsao, Jing Shan
Chen Shi-Zheng
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
Spanish (Neutral), English SDH
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that teens aren't likely to be clamoring to see this mature indie drama -- though if they do, its focus on the pressures of academia are likely to give them a lot to think about. A fictional take on a real-life tragedy, it includes mass murder and suicide. In addition to the violence, there are a few brief moments of frank sexuality and a bit of strong language ("s--t," one "f--k"), though it's not very frequent.

Sexual Content

A sexual encounter in a crowded rental flat is shielded by a blanket but still audible to the other residents; characters watch scrambled pornography and discuss the nature of female orgasm; brief shot of a naked back. A conference is described as featuring "Free booze, good food and beautiful -- albeit high-strung -- women." Chinese characters discuss the rumor that American teens are "doing it" by age 13. A scene between Streep and Liu has a sensually charged undertone.


A Western shootout fantasy sequence features "shooting" but no blood; there are also four realistic graphic murders, and a character commits suicide.


Language includes "bulls--t," "s--t," one non-sexual use of "f--k," and "bastard." A poorly translated toast comes out as "up the bottoms."

Social Behavior

Streep's character is a well-off, well-intentioned woman whose interest in Chinese culture is portrayed as the vague affection of a silly tourist. Quinn's character takes advantage of his Chinese students; some of the students attend a church group, but it's clear they're only there for the snacks and social events; one of the students also steals cable. Quinn's character blocks his student's academic progress out of anger and spite.


Characters drink Heineken; no other visible brands.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Incessant cigarette smoking; cigars are smoked; characters drink hard liquor at social events; characters also drink beer while sunbathing.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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