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Ghost in the Shell also known as “Vigilante do Amanhã: Ghost in the Shell,” “Ghost in the Shell - Agente do Futuro,” “Duh u oklopu,” “Ghost in the Shell: El alma de la máquina,” “Ghost in the Shell: Vigilante del futuro,” “Gôsuto in za sheru,” “Hing anumas,” “Mochveneba Abjarshi,” “Páncélba zárt szellem”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images.

Reviewed by: Pamela Karpelenia

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Older Teens
Sci-Fi Crime Action Thriller Adaptation 3D IMAX
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
March 31, 2017 (wide—3,200+ theaters)
DVD: July 25, 2017
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Relevant Issues
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The reality of the HUMAN SOUL

CORRUPTION of the human soul and body by SIN—the FALL OF MAN

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Vast electronic network permeating society and every aspect of human life / Compare to Bible prophecies of the coming global control of the Anti-Christ, the mark of The Beast, and the Great Tribulation

Secular speculations about what the FUTURE will be like / Compare to Bible prophecies about Earth’s future, especially see What will the biblical Millennium be like? and Millennium (WebBible Encyclopedia)

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Criminal computer hackers

Cyberpunk culture—a genre of sci-fi set in a LAWLESS SUBCULTURE of an oppressive society dominated by computer technology.

harmful uses of technology

need for justice

justice of God, the Just One

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Development of artificial intelligence technology

The goal of evolving humankind by making augmented cybernetic humans or human-cyborg hybrids

We provide the Creation SuperLibrary featuring a top team of experts from various respected creationist organizations who answer your questions on a wide variety of topics. Multilingual.
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FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

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Featuring: Scarlett JohanssonMajor Mira Killian / Motoko Kusanagi
Juliette BinocheDr. Ouelet
Pilou Asbæk … Batou
Takeshi Kitano (“Beat” Takeshi Kitano) … Chief Daisuke Aramaki
Michael Pitt (Michael Carmen Pitt) … Hideo Kuze
Chin Han … Han
Danusia Samal … Ladriya
Lasarus Ratuere … Ishikawa
Yutaka Izumihara … Saito
Tawanda Manyimo … Borma
Peter Ferdinando … Cutter
Anamaria Marinca … Dr. Dahlin
Kaori Momoi … Hairi, Motoko’s mother
See all »
Director: Rupert Sanders—“Snow White and the Huntsman” (2012)
Producer: DreamWorks
Arad Productions
See all »
Distributor: Paramount Pictures Corporation
Humanity is a virtue

Mira Killian (Scarlett Johansson) is the sole survivor of a cyberterrorist attack, but her body is damaged beyond repair. She is rushed to Hanka Robotics, where her brain is removed and placed in a synthetic body. She is engineered for special ops as a one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid policewoman and attains the rank of Major in Section 9 of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. Her family was killed by the terrorists, and now she works for the government to avenge them.

“Ghost in the Shell” is a movie adaptation of a popular Japanese anime series that follows this synthetic AI shell with a human brain and soul, or as they call it “ghost.”

A year after her procedure, Major is hot on the trail of a cyberterrorist wanted for killing several physicians who were employed by Hanka. While in pursuit, Major starts to feel more disconnected from Humanity than usual, with unexplained hallucinations. She is distressed that she remembers so little about her past. She begins digging deeper to discover who she really is and who her enemies really are.

There was quite a bit of controversy about Scarlett Johansson playing the lead character. Being familiar with the original franchise, I saw no problem with her playing the role of Major; I thought she did an excellent job of playing a synthetic human with a tortured past. She is a stand-out among the cast. Her fellow actors did more than an adequate job of preparing for their roles, delivering a great adaptation of the series.

Even if you are not a fan of the franchise, I think most will find the plot easy to understand and follow, and will be rooting for the truth to be discovered.

Content of concern

There is one major distraction throughout the film, as the lead is shown in a very skin-tight costume which shows all the curvature of the female form, including breasts and an outline of female parts (not graphically shown).

There are other issues dealing with morality and science gone too far, replacing God with Evolution. This could be a conversation starter with those who don’t understand how Evolutionism directly contradicts the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Creation or Evolution—What difference does it make? Answer

Is the age of the Earth really a “trivial” doctrinal point? Answer

This leads me to be the spiritual aspect of the question running throughout the film—will science go too far?

We see a lot of advancement in technology, and man is becoming more bold with what they do with God’s creation. These experimental advancements should not cause Christians much concern, because God is in control. He sees everything; nothing gets past Him. We should not worry about things that God has already seen to their completion. Many of the earliest great scientists were Bible-believing Christians and used science as a way to think God’s thoughts after Him. In modern times, atheistic scientists have perverted science that deals with the past in an attempt to block God from all consciousness, producing a morality with no ultimate right or wrong. But nothing surprises God; He’s in complete control. We, as Christians, must trust that and hold fast to His Word in these uncertain times.

Overall, I think the film was well done. The language is mild, but there are several violent fight scenes. Those who are fans of the franchise will problably not be disappointed. The film sticks to the storyline and makes it easier for the franchise to gain new fans. I do not believe this film is suitable for kids or pre-teens, because of the heavy violence and alluded nudity.

  • Violence: Very Heavy—but little blood
  • Swearwords: Mild—My G*d (1), a** (1), s-word (1)
  • Sex/Nudity: Heavy—Major’s silicon body suit, advertisements briefly seen that include sexy women, action scene in nightclub with strippers in the background, shirtless males, Major’s bare back, scene at a urinal (not graphic)

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—I saw this movie on opening night and wasn’t disappointed. I’ve been a fan of the original animé for years and felt this new version lived up to it, while not simply retelling the same story. This movie lacked the depth of the original, but still managed to deliver on some of its thought-provoking ideas.

While this film does not deliver a Christian worldview, it does highlight areas of concern that lie ahead in the future. The question of technological augmentation is not only being talked about, there are those that are working to implement it as we speak. This movie can be used as an excellent source for spiritual discussion.

There is violence in the movie, but it is relatively bloodless, milder than any Transformers movie, and the profanity is light. As for sex or nudity, it also is mild. The main character does wear a skin tight bodysuit/armor in a few scenes, but nothing explicit, no genitalia is shown, and I have no idea what the reviewer meant (I understand the first part, not the second) by saying it showed the curvature of the breasts and an outline of female parts. It was like looking at a mannequin or a woman in a swimsuit. There is also a scene of the main character’s bare back, but no part of her breasts are visible. If that is a cause of concern for some, then approach with caution, but aside from small children, I think it would be fine for teens and above. This will be a movie I add to my collection.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
James Carpenter, age 46 (USA)

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Movie Critics
…“Ghost in the Shell” wants it all and that simply doesn’t work. …failure to understand its source material… It fetishizes the trappings of Japan and the things that make it cool without really considering the associated context. …feels curiously barren… without the poignancy… there is such an absence of heart. …
Cassandra Khaw, Ars Technica
…bloodless action delivered via a one-note heroine in an environment that’s both aesthetically and creatively sterile. …[1½/4]
Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail
…“Ghost in the Shell” is a hollow spectacle… visually stunning; a glittering, menacing dystopia set in an unnamed Asian metropolis that looks like “Blade Runner” with a billionaire’s budget… [B]
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
…a heavily computer-generated enterprise with more body than brains, more visuals than ideas, as if the original movie’s hard drive had been wiped clean of all that was dark, poetic and mystifying. …
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
…Rupert Sanders’ pulse-quickening, formally stunning live-action take on the manga classic both honors and streamlines its source…
Guy Lodge, Variety
…Slickly packaged, but verging on sensory overload, “Ghost in the Shell” leaves a little to be desired… the filmmakers have opted for flash over contemplation; image over reflection. …
Chris Knight, National Post [Canada]
…The ravishing sci-fi noir “Ghost in the Shell” is fascinating, and not without its glitches…
Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
…“Ghost in the Shell” revamp is in need of a better upgrade… The interface might be cool, but the inner workings just don’t compute.
Brian Truitt, USA Today
…It’s not an improvement on its trippy inspiration. But it’s not a desecration, either. …
Stephen Whitty, ArtiSyndicate
…You’ll enjoy this cyberpunk wonderland if you turn off your brain… [2/4]
Sara Stewart, New York Post
…a disappointment… a slick but plodding recycling of tired cyberpunk clichés that adds nothing new to the genre…
Joey O'Bryan, The Austin Chronicle
…Dazzling “Ghost in the Shell” is lost in translation… it's the supporting performances from the notably international cast that stand out—particularly Kitano, Batou, Pitt and Juliette Binoche…
Jake Coyle, Associated Press
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—The whole premise seems less like the true science of discovery, in nature, and more of an introverted obsession with the self through high-tech. I'm sorry, but when technology leads humanity down a path where nothing is conceived of outside of tech-bubbles and a culture of tech, then we have truly constructed a glowing, blinking edifice of imprisonment that pales in comparison to the reality of nature.

The only reason why I bring the idea of nature into this commentary is that it is almost wholly lacking from the equation in the film. I haven't seen it, yet I understand from the reviews that it has some humans with human bodies in it. This fact alone, coupled with the idea that the organic versions of ourselves are so easily replaceable, is disturbing for the following reason…

Don't misunderstand, I enjoy texting and video chatting… I just want the option of switching back to feeling things for real. I don't think that a future, the future depicted in this film (as it is similarly in “Bladerunner”), which is geared towards subsuming the entire complexity of human organics into a simplified, mechanized, plasticized, metalized, completely over-stimulated version of us is a step forward in scientific advancement.

Perhaps this sort of existence would be the app-update version of a cast for people with chronic diseases and undergoing perpetual degrees of pain and suffering. However, for the rest of us out there… it would be more like a version of hell, as the reality of our limitations with our new bodies and their interaction with the world of nature would slowly dawn on us after we're done using all of our new high-tech body-toys—the toys would be all that are left to us.

Think about it. There would no longer be any sensation of, well, inexplicable joy and perplexing wonder as you stroke your fingers over the bark of a living tree. No more sense of sublimity as you gaze up into the night sky. The chaotic, vast-reaching connection with a gigantic body of water would be utterly lost from your days of swimming in the ocean. The scent of flowers wouldn't make your whole body tingle.

The full embrace of the machine spells the extinction of feeling.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
Luke, age 34 (USA)