Neil Burger’s film takes place in 2063 where Earth has become too dangerous to live. Scientists have found a habitable planet but it will take 86 years to reach it. To that end, they’ve bred a group of children to man a spaceship which will take them to the new planet. They’re taught everything they need to know in order to safely make the trip however, they do realize that they will die during the voyage and it’ll be their grandchildren who will actually be the ones to reach the new planet.
The only adult along for the ride is Richard (Colin Farrell), one of their mentors on Earth. He convinces the higher ups that he should go on the mission to guide the youngsters.
The years go by quickly and the story continues with the group now young adults. They have a very regimented day, filled with performing experiments, growing their own food and doing maintenance on the ship. They all dress in black leotard-type uniforms, and perfunctorily go about their duties with little emotion.
After standing in line for their meals, Christopher (Tye Sheridan) figures out that the blue drink that each one takes daily is a sedative. He tells his friend Zak ( Fionn Whitehead) of his discovery, and they decide to stop drinking it. Soon, all of the teens rebel and the result is a total change in their behavior. They’re aggressive, sexually aware, and disobedient. Christopher and Zac fight over being a leader on the ship and also fight over a pretty girl (Lily-Rose Depp).
Farrell is wasted in a small role and the young actors, except perhaps Whitehead, are interchangeable .Even the spaceship design is unremarkable – all white with endless corridors leading to white rooms. This story has been told before and with better results.