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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In E.T., Spielberg proved a herald of the age when moviegoers would make full-time friends with fantasy, but his most special effect was taking us into ourselves.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This movie made my heart glad. It is filled with innocence, hope, and good cheer. It is also wickedly funny and exciting as hell.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Always a magical film. For its anniversary rerelease, though, it's been extensively restored and even partly reshot by Spielberg. It now looks better than it did back then.

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  • See all E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Spielberg's family classic is still one of the best.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Steven Spielberg's classic has some scenes of mild peril that may be too intense for younger children. For example, E.T. looks like he has died in one scene. There is brief but strong language by today's standards for a PG movie (like"bitch" and "s--t"). E.T. contains one of the most memorable product placements ever, Reese's Pieces, as well as a scene in which Elliott feels slightly drunk, because E.T. has indulged in a beer. Families should also be aware of the fact that the movie was criticized for having a complete absence of non-white characters.

  • Families can talk about the way that the adults and the kids in the movie see things differently and have a hard time understanding each other's perspective. Why do Elliott and his siblings understand E.T. in a way the adults in the movie can't?
  • How does the movie portray parent-child relationships? Could Elliott have talked to his mother about E.T.?
  • Compare E.T. to other movies featuring aliens. Why are aliens usually scary and dangerous rather than peaceful?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids can learn about friendship and trust.

  • message true1

    Messages: Strong messages of friendship, loyalty, trust, and sacrifice as exemplified by Elliott and E.T.'s unique relationship.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: While Elliott may be keeping E.T.'s existence a secret, he does it to keep his new friend safe and does anything he can to help him. He and his little sister and eventually their brother believe that E.T. is good before anyone else. Elliott is loyal and brave, and E.T. is loving and selfless.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Most of the violence is from the government agents pursuing E.T. and eventually capturing him. There are several scenes of E.T. and the characters screaming in horror, usually because they have just encountered each other. In one particularly upsetting sequence, E.T. gets ghostly pale and looks like he's about to die or actually has died. In another scene, men try to stop E.T. and the kids from escaping.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Elliott, while under the influence of his connection with E.T. (who is watching a couple kiss in a movie), kisses a young girl in his class.

  • language false2

    Language: Brief but strong for young audiences: "s--t," "damn," "Oh my God!," "son of a bitch," plus insults like "penis breath," "stupid," etc.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: One of the most successful and memorable product placements in movie history: Reese's Pieces. Also, Elliott has Star Wars figures and memorabilia (which is not surprising considering director George Lucas is Spielberg's close pal). Coke, Head and Shoulders shampoo, Coors beer and Pez dispensers are also featured.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: E.T. drinks beer and gets tipsy, which affects Elliott through their special connection. Elliott starts to act drunk while at school.