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Reign of Fire Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 2.0

    out of 100

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

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The story doesn't clarify why the dragons hibernated for hundreds of years, nor why they awakened. Clearly, however, the filmmakers might have benefited from more sleep before penning the script.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    It's a decent, fast-moving and visually powerful summer action romp for the teenage demographic-the dragons are deliciously evil critters, with a nice retro identity.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The fact that Reign of Fire does what it sets out to do is a cause for celebration amongst those who like special effects-laden action movies featuring fire-breathing monsters and mayhem.

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  • See all Reign of Fire reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 12+

Plodding sci-fi dragon disaster tale is OK for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that violence in this monster flick includes the mother of a little boy being killed, non-graphically, by fire-breathing dragons. Deaths are not very bloody -- usually characters enveloped in CGI flames, eaten in one gulp by dragons, or falling. There is occasional swearing, smoking, and drinking.

  • Families can talk about dragons, so often depicted in human cultures, running the gamut from good guys to baddies. Ask kids what they thought of the specimens in Reign of Fire?
  • Critics like to say that the original Godzilla was a cinematic metaphor for the atom bomb. Ask kids if Reign of Fire makes a good metaphor for global warming? For the WWII Blitz? For anything?
  • Talk about other movies in which civilization is wiped out -- by plague, by alien invasion, by Terminator robots, by the year 2012, by nuclear war, etc. What is the entertainment value of such global-catastrophe flicks?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Quinn overcomes his personal terrors (a childhood trauma in which he saw his mum killed) to return to the dragon's lair in London and triumph. Sub-theme about how a modern society might resemble a medieval one if some disaster causes civilization's collapse.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Quinn is evidently a reluctant leader, though he seems to have better ideas than his American visitors about how to handle the dragon crisis.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Non-explicit scenes of people killed by being engulfed in flames, falling from great heights, or snatched up in dragon jaws. One human-against-human fistfight. Dragons also shot at and killed.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Birds-and-bees talk about how dragons breed (about as explicit and realistic as claiming the stork is involved).

  • language false2

    Language: "A-hole," "wanker," "bitch," "hell."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Names of major news magazines. A Reign of Fire video game exists. The plotline cleverly insinuates references to The Lion King and Star Wars, as today's movie blockbusters turn into the fairy tales of a movie-less future world.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarette and cigar smoking, macho and celebratory drinking of liquor.