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Flash Gordon Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    "Flash Gordon" is played for laughs, and wisely so. It is no more sophisticated than the comic strip it's based on, and that takes the curse off of material that was old before it was born. Is all of this ridiculous? Of course. Is it fun? Yeah, sort of, it is.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 12+

Sci-fi comic-strip movie is too intense for younger kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this adaptation of an old newspaper sci-fi comic strip has gruesome scenes; a cyborg’s eyes are ripped out, and another slain machine-man rapidly decays. Expect abundant ray-gun fire, disintegrations, and explosions and fires, as well. Characters are stabbed or impaled or whipped, drawing blood (not always red). There's an apparent execution via gas chamber. There are a few scantily clad harem-type girls and some non-explicit sexy talk. Drinking an intoxicating alien beverage is made to look pleasurable. Some minor profanity.

  • Families can talk about the film’s way-out retro style and lighthearted attitude. Is it entertaining, or do younger viewers prefer their comic fantasy characters to be fashionably dark, tough, and brooding (as Batman has become)?
  • Is the violence here necessary? Does it add to or take away from the story?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value:  

  • message true3

    Messages: Declaration about the unconquerable nature of the human (Earthling) spirit. Ming keeps his conquered moons under control by encouraging them to fight each other; Flash helps unite some of the captive kingdoms of Mongo to fight against the tyrant.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Simplistic notions of good (Flash) and evil (Ming) here, although there are other characters, like the Robin Hood-ish Prince Barin and Ming’s Flash-infatuated daughter Aura, who seem to flip back and forth. Though people of color are part of Mongo’s empire, they don’t play very big roles.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Combatants are killed unrealistically by ray-gun blasts (from...crossbows?!) and impalements. Hand-to-hand fighting, which sometimes is so hilariously fake that the blows barely connect. Characters stabbed to death (exhibiting a small amount of blood which is blue or green, but never red). Other characters are whipped bloody. Threat of death by gas. Several cyborg-like humanoid baddies dissolve, remove body parts, or have them ripped out.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Ming lusts after Dale Arden and fondles a slave girl. Talk of Ming “making love." Alien girls wear revealing metallic bikinis and skin-tight outfits. Occasional double-entendres are likely to go over the heads of youngsters.

  • language false1

    Language: ”Damn,” "hell," “bastard.”

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: People magazine used as a prop.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink an intoxicating and evidently enjoyable space beverage. A fleeting joke about being “on the right pills” (apparently in reference to steroids or energy-boosters).