"Two brothers discover an oblong box in the park, which they dismiss as "just some dumb old game." The boys turn their attention away from the game's "jungle adventure" board to discover a second game board inside with an outer-space theme and a colored path leading to the purple planet, Zathura. Mayhem ensues each time one of the boys draws a game card or rolls the dice. Facing meteors and giant robots, the brothers begin to appreciate each other and their sibling rivalry dissolves."

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movie trailer (apple.com - quicktime)

NOTE: This Spoiler was sent in by TupeloHoneyAngel.

The movie begins with the dad (Tim Robbins) playing catch with his older son Walter (Josh Hutcherson) while his younger son Danny (Jonah Bobo) looks on. After a while, Walter and Danny switch, and it's clear Danny isn't very good. The dad coaches Danny, making Walter jealous, and Walter runs in front to catch the ball. Danny gets upset, runs inside, and hides in the dumbwaiter (important later).

The dad coaxes Danny out, telling him he's very special while Walter listens in. Then the dad goes back downstairs to work (he's some kind of artist). Walter and Danny come downstairs to try and get the dad to play, and in the process Danny knocks juice all over the dad's drawing of a car. The dad has to go to the office to get a new one. "You're going to leave us all alone?" Danny asks. "No, I'm going to wake up Lisa," to which the boys plead, "No, No, let her sleep..."

Cut to Lisa (Kristen Stewart), the older sister. The dad wakes her up, tells her to look after her brothers. She says she can't because she has a date at 8:00. "It's 2:00" says the dad. "So?" "So, that's six hours from now." She relents, but once he leaves the room she goes back to sleep.

The dad leaves, and the boys get bored quickly. Danny asks Walter to play a game with him. "No, you cheat" says Walter. Danny goes downstairs to play video games, when Walter interrupts him to watch TV. Walter watches Spongebob, but once Danny starts to like it Walter changes it to Sportscenter. Danny gets bored so he tries to play catch with Walter, but when he throws the ball it hits him on the head. Walter chases after Danny, who's saying "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" down the hall. Danny hides in the dumbwaiter, where Walter finds him. "I'm sorry" Danny says, but Walter drops him down to the basement saying, "You're not still scared of the basement, are you Danny?"

Down in the basement, obviously very scared, Danny gets out and runs to the staircase where he finds the Zathura game.

Danny goes back upstairs, where Walter is again watching Sportscenter, and asks him to play. Walter says no, so Danny takes his first turn. Danny turns a key to wind the game and presses the "Go" button. The piece starts moving, and a card comes out (think Jumanji). The card says "Meteor Shower, take evasive action," but Danny can't read it. He takes it to Walter, who reads it for him when the card gets burned by a meteor (in the trailer). A meteor shower hails into the living room, Walter and Danny taking cover in the fireplace.

After the meteor shower is over, the boys look outside to find they're in outer space. Walter goes to the stoop and spits, only to see it float away. By now the boys are really scared, so they go up to Lisa's room.

They wake Lisa up, she sees the stars and she thinks it's nighttime. She starts getting ready because she thinks she's late for her date. The boys follow her on her heels, asking her to just watch while they play the game. She agrees. Danny presses the "Go" button and a card comes out. Lisa is not impressed, so she goes into the bathroom. Walter reads the card, which says, "Shipmate is asleep in Cryogenic Sleep chamber for 5 turns." We see the bathroom door start to freeze over, with Lisa stiff as a board inside.

At this point Danny suggests they read the instructions. Walter reads the instructions to find out they have to finish the game before they can get home (again, like Jumanji). They decide to keep playing the game. It's Walter's turn, and he gets a card that says "Your robot is defective." With this, a tiny robot comes into the room. The brothers fight, and as they're distracted the robot becomes HUGE, saying "Alien life form, must destroy" then starts going after Walter. "Take your turn, Danny" he yells as he runs for his life. Danny just sits there. Finally, Walter makes the robot skid out of the house. "Why didn't you take your turn?" Walter yells. "I was scared," Danny says, "but it's ok, he's gone isn't he?" at which point the robot jets back into the house. Danny takes his turn, with Walter grabbing the card as he runs from the robot. The house starts to tilt, and it seems like everything is being pulled towards one side of the room. "What does the card say?" Danny asks. "You pass too close to S-3, enter gravity". The robot catches up with Walter, even gets his shoe, but is pulled away by the gravity, ending up in the basement. Danny, who's been hanging onto a light cord, flies toward the red-hot planet...and hits the window, sliding down slowly. The house passes S-3 and they straighten up.

The boys get ahold of themselves, find the robot lying still in the basement, and Walter walks down to get his shoe. Right as he grabs the shoe the robot jumps up, but Walter locks it in the basement.

They go back up to play the game, and Walter is promoted to Fleet Admiral on his next turn. Danny, jealous that his brother is doing so well, says he won't play and goes into the kitchen to make macaroni and cheese. Walter asks him to keep playing, and Danny agrees...if Walter will stop ignoring him, stop being mean, and treat him like a brother. Walter agrees, and they continue to play. Danny gets a card that says, "You are visited by Zorgons." Danny asks, "What are Zorgons?" Walter says, "I don't think it's bad, maybe they're just visitors." Just as he says that, a ship comes up behind the kitchen window and starts firing. "Hide in the fireplace" Walter yells as they run for safety. We see a shot of the boys hiding in the fireplace as the ship comes behind them (cool shot). The Zorgons fire a shot that hits the top of the fireplace, sending flames down as the boys run out (like the cave scene in "The Incredibles"). Walter takes his turn, trying to get the Zorgons to stop, and gets a card that says "Reprogram." He tries to use it against the aliens, holding out the card and yelling "Reprogram!"...but they just shoot at him.

Danny takes his turn, and reads the card: "Rest on standing Astroturf." Walter tries to take the card, but Danny says, "I can read! It says 'Rest on standing Astroturf.' " Walter steals the card, which actually says, "Rescue stranded Astronaut." An astronaut (Dax Shepard) knocks against the window, scaring Walter and Danny. They hide in the hall, but the astronaut comes in through the front door with billows of smoke (again, cool scene). The first question he asks is, "Who spun me?" so Walter points to Danny. The astronaut replies, "Don't be so quick to sell out your brother, kid, he's all you got." (important) Then the astronaut helps them "hide the house" from the Zorgons. They turn off all the lights and the furnace, then the astronaut torches a couch and sends it out of the dark house. The astronaut explains that Zorgons are cold-blooded, heat-seeking lizards with an insatiable appetite. "What do they eat?" Walter asks. "Meat." "That's good," Danny says. The astronaut looks at him and says, "You're Meat."

With the Zorgons gone (for now), things settle down. The astronaut, who came through a time vortex to get to them (important later) eats two Dagwood sandwiches and they continue playing the game. Walter sees that Danny's piece is way ahead, and he accuses him of cheating. Danny denies it, but Walter moves the piece back to where it was and takes his turn. His card comes out and says, "Caught cheating, Automatic Ejection." Walter flies up out of one of the many holes that the Zorgons shot through the house and is hanging on by his fingertips. Walter slips off, but the astronaut comes with his turbo-jet-pack and saves Walter. Meanwhile, Lisa has become un-frozen...and turns on the furnace.

They continue to play the game, and Walter gets a gold card. "Shooting Star, make a wish as it passes." Walter is really mad at his brother, yelling at him for making their parents get a divorce. Danny runs upstairs as Walter goes to the window. "Don't do it" the astronaut says, "Don't do what you're thinking." "You don't know what I'm thinking," he says, and the star passes. The astronaut shakes him, asking, "What did you wish?!?" "I can't tell you, you know the rules about shooting stars." The astronaut runs upstairs, looking for Danny. Danny's missing from the room. Walter comes upstairs with a football. The astronaut says, "Now we'll be stuck in space forever!"...and then Danny comes out from under the bed and says, "Don't be so hard on him." The astronaut is surprised (important later) and asks Walter what he wished for. "This" he says, holding up the football. "A football?" Danny says, "You could have wished us home!" "It's autographed by Brett Favre." At this point, the astronaut explains about the game and says that he played the game 15 years ago with his brother. They fought a lot, like Walter and Danny. As they were playing, the astronaut got the shooting star card and wished his brother had never been born. He regretted it right after, and tried to take another turn to get another shooting star card, but he couldn't play the game anymore because it wasn't his turn (again, like Jumanji). And he had been stranded ever since.

The three of them go back downstairs to see the living room gone. They realize the Zorgons came back (because Lisa turned on the furnace), took the living room with the game inside. They need to get the game back, so they start burning chairs, brooms, etc. in the kitchen (remember, Zorgons are heat-seeking). Lisa, who has been getting ready from her date ever since she became un-frozen, smells smoke and finally goes downstairs to realize what's going on. She sees the fire in the kitchen and puts it out with a fire extinguisher, to her brothers' disappointment, but it's ok because the Zorgons are back. Lisa sees the astronaut, and falls in love immediately with his gorgeous eyes (important later).

The Zorgons open their hatch and start to come aboard the house. The four of them run to a closet, when the astronaut decides to find the game. He finds it downstairs, but isn't able to get it because of the Zorgons. "It's right across the furnace." Danny realizes they can use the dumbwaiter, and suggests the astronaut go down that way...but it's too small. Danny has to go down. Danny gets down, sees the game and grabs it...only to see that it's just the top of the box. But he sees the real game through the Zorgon ship portal and stows inside. After getting chased by Zorgons and passing through 4-eyed goats, Danny saves the game from incineration and gets back into the basement. He's almost at the dumbwaiter when the Zorgons find him, chasing him to the basement door where Walter grabs him. It looks like they'll make it upstairs when two Zorgons appear at the top of the stairs. Then the robot comes back to kill Walter, grabbing him at the neck, when Danny says, "Use the reprogram card!" Walter flashes the card, yells, "Reprogram!" and the robot charges after the Zorgons. This is so effective that the Zorgons flee the house and their ship blows up as they try to escape.

They go back downstairs to continue the game. Walter takes his turn...and gets another gold card. As the shooting star approaches, he says to the astronaut "Thanks for helping us." Walter wishes that the astronaut had his brother back. A boy comes into the room, and its...Danny! The astronaut is an old version of Walter, and when he played the game the first time, he wished Danny had never been born. This time around, Walter wished for the Brett Favre football instead because the astronaut was yelling at him. The other Danny turns to light and enters Danny, and the old Walter turns to light and enters Walter. Lisa, realizing she had a crush on an older version of her brother, is disgusted.

The three of them sit down to finish the game, and we see the Zorgons have come back with literally hundreds of ships. Danny needs ten to win...he gets his turn and spins 1, but his card advances him 9! They've won the game!!! They're at Zathura...but, Zathura is a Black Hole! The Zorgon ship shoots the front of the room off, while the black hole pulls the pieces and Lisa in. Meanwhile the game pieces are moving back to their starting positions while Walter is sucked in. Danny yells, "No!", the camera focuses in on his closed eyes, but when they open...everything is back to normal. Walter and Danny start jumping around, Walter saying "You won the game, You won the game!" when the dad comes home. "I thought I told you not to kill each other," he says, telling them to pack up their stuff to go to their mom's.

The next shot is of Walter and Danny playing catch with a football. "What happened to the Brett Favre football?" Danny asks. "It wasn't real, it didn't happen, " he says. Danny looks disappointed. Lisa comes out to get in the car, saying "This never happened." "Never happened" Walter and Danny each reply. Then, as Lisa walks away, Walter says, "Do you still think I have gorgeous eyes?"...and the movie fades out.

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