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The Last Starfighter Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Lighthearted space adventure has a fun '80s feel.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Alex is recruited to fight aliens, and there are explosions and moments where aliens die. But besides some slightly scary alien faces, there is not much gore. Teenagers on Earth are shown making out by the lake in very '80s hair and makeup. There is some mild profanity as well.

  • Parents can talk about older movies. Does this one feel too dated to be relevant? Do the old-fashioned styles distract from the action? Could you see this movie being remade? If so, how could it be updated, and what actors would you like to see playing the main roles?
  • Discuss the role of video games and their cultural role. There's a scene where Alex breaks the record on the video game. Everyone in the trailer park comes to watch him do this and to celebrate his victory. Is this a realistic scenario in this day and age? Why not?
  • Alex is not sure that he wants to be a starfighter. What changes his mind? Do you agree with this decision?
  • Maggie and Alex decide to be together "forever." What does forever mean to you? Can a teenager know what forever means? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: At the trailer park where Alex and Maggie live, people help one another to fix things andact like acommunity. Because of his amazing video game skills, Alex is recruited to go to another planet in order to help the people of Rylos defeat their enemy. He agrees, grudgingly, and works with other alien species to achieve a common goal.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Alex is a stern older brother who watches out for his younger sibling. Maggie takes care of her grandmother. They work toward their goals and are committed to being with each other. Alex's mom works hard, and Alex helps her around the trailer park.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Lasers, rockets, bad aliens with scary faces. This is a movie about an alien race who wants to take over the universe, and as the title suggests, there are shootouts and fight scenes. Because of the lighthearted humor, theviolence is not gory. There are explosionsthough, andAlex's skills as a starfighter are highlighted. Younger viewers might find some of the aliens to be scary.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teenage make-out sessions are standard, and Alex's mom watches he and Maggie share a long smooch goodnight. Kid brother Louis has a collection of Playboy magazines, which he peruses, though the audience sees no nudity. One teenage girl asks her boyfriend to "talk dirty to me." No body parts are shown, though Maggie complains when Alex's double does not share her sensual enthusiasm.

  • language false3

    Language: Louis, the kid brother, cusses more than anybody. Profanity includes "s--t," "crapola," "hell," and "Oh my God."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Budweiser beer sign and beer in hand of trailer park dweller. And yes, Playboy magazine.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alex implies that his friends "get drunk and throw up every Saturday night." Viewers do not see this, but the friends do drive around rowdily and make out at the lake. An old man smokes a pipe and a beer can is seen in an older man's hand.