Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Astro Boy Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Want to terrify your toddler? Read full review

2.5

Jen Yamato Profile

“Astro”-nomically scary for kids. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    53

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Though some scenes may be too intense for children, the action is slick, with robot clashes and airborne chases leaving the strongest impression.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Derivative bits aside, the pint-sized Japanese icon takes flight in vibrant CG animation -- no 3D glasses required.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A marvelously designed piece of cartoon kinetics.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie contains less of its interesting story and more action and battle scenes than I would have preferred.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Astro Boy reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Action-packed adventure a fun bet for young superhero fans.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated robot superhero adventure based on the 1960s anime series Astro Boy is age-appropriate for elementary-schoolers. It has fairly sophisticated themes (grief, loss, and war), as well as plenty of cartoon action violence -- including the death of a child, the destruction of several robots, explosions, and robots armed with heavy artillery. But language is limited to mild insults like "idiot," and there's no product placement to worry about. A war-obsessed military man is presented as a humorously negative character; on the opposite end of the political spectrum is a trio of revolutionary robots who call each other "comrade" and have a poster of Lenin in their meeting place.

  • Families can talk about how Astro Boy compares to other superheroes. He's created as a robot with special powers, rather than born or accidentally transformed. How does Astro Boy accept (as Spider-Man says) that with great power comes great responsibility?

  • Do you think the movie's more mature themes will resonate with kids? What other movies touch on issues related to technology, pollution, war, and the like? Is this appropriate material for a kids' movie?

  • How is Toby's death handled? Many children's movies feature the death of a parent, but it's rare for the death of a child to be included. Kids: Would you have preferred for Toby to be transformed into Astro Boy rather than die?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids learn about inclusiveness through the orphans and their early acceptance of Astro Boy, as well as about mustering the courage to defend others through Astro Boy's actions.

  • message true3

    Messages: Despite the fact that Dr. Tenma does something clearly unethical by creating a robot with his dead son's memories, the movie has several positive messages. Cora's ability to forgive Astro Boy for not revealing that he's a robot shows kids that it's his character -- not his "parts" -- that make him a good friend. And Astro Boy's decision to bravely put himself in danger because he's the only one who can fight the negative energy is an example of selflessly overcoming obstacles and accepting your own responsibility.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Although the hawkish Metro City General and his cronies are basically warmongerers, most of the role models are positive. Dr. Tenma redeems himself by saving Astro Boy, and Astro Boy himself acts bravely and selflessly to stop the negative-energy killer robot. Cora is also a positive role model, as she's not a damsel-in-distress type but rather a confident, capable girl.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: A lot of weapon-based explosions and disasters when the "negative energy" is unleashed. Several robots are destroyed throughout the movie, most of them a bit comically during their Coliseum-like battles to the "death." A child dies (off screen).

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Astro Boy and Cora flirt mildly, but it's not more than a couple of looks and a hug.

  • language false2

    Language: Characters occasionally say mildly insulting words like "idiot" and "stupid," and there are a couple of jokes about weapons growing out of Astro Boy's "butt" and the "sudden release" of a robot's "bodily fluids."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable

Advertisement