Ghost in the Shell Poster

Ghost In The Shell

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Beat Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche

Release date: 2017

3 out of 5


First a manga comic, then an animated 1995 Japanese film, Ghost In The Shell has now been reworked as a live action movie with Scarlett Johansson as Major, the human brain implanted in a fetching robotic body as a weapon to fight crime.

While Major knows she’s part human, part robot, glitches in her programming hint of memories from her human past that she doesn’t know about. When she and her task force – including Batou (Asbaek), and led by Chief Aramaki (Takeshi Kitano) – investigate an enemy who is killing Hanka Robotics’ top scientists, it looks like the bad guy (Michael Pitt) may have some of the answers she is looking for.

Visually stunning, this cyberpunk adventure with its high tech skyline, robot/human central character and screen glitches will remind adult sci-fi fans of numerous other movies, from Blade Runner to The Matrix, and RoboCop to Ex Machina. Some, of course, were themselves inspired by the original manga, but this also feels pretty derivative as it borrows from so many sci-fi classics that have gone before.

Johansson doesn’t have much to do except look cool, spring off buildings and raise the occasional eyebrow, and some of the other characters are pretty thinly sketched, but as a sci-fi spectacle for kids too young to yet see Blade Runner or the other above mentioned flicks (which all have 15 or, in the case of the original RoboCop, 18 certificates), it’s a fast-paced, impressive-looking action fantasy.

Is Ghost In The Shell suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

This is a 12A certificate (UK) so is aimed at adults and older kids. Some characters are killed (during gunfights etc) but very little blood is shown.

There is some bad language.

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