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Starship Troopers Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    This twisted space opera serves up carcasses in six-digit figures but is foremost a sendup for the ages.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Faithfully represents Heinlein's militarism, his Big Brother state, and a value system in which the highest good is to kill a friend before the Bugs can eat him. The underlying ideas are the most interesting aspect of the film.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Although none of the characters are fleshed out much beyond the comic book level, we nevertheless find our sympathies aligning with them.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The movie is sensationally exciting, but its hey-kids-let s-put-on-a-war! story line plays like Beverly Hills, 90210 recast as a military-recruitment film for the Third Reich.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Gory, scary, violent sci-fi is too intense for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this combat-themed sci-fi flick uses hideously violent human-alien warfare, with people gorily impaled, scissored apart, slashed, whipped, crushed, and shot (there are "friendly fire" and mercy-killing casualties). One topless sex scene and a topless coed shower scene. Swearing is amusingly PG-level mild, given the ferocious mayhem. The heroine has a vomiting fit and beer is guzzled. The surface glorification of military life and culture here is satire; Earth's "good guy" Federation resembles a fascist state with Nazi-inspired regalia and public executions.

  • Families can talk about sci-fi movies. What is the appeal? Is all the violence and gore here necessary?
  • Can the war in the film be related to any true-life military conflicts in the headlines? Does the film make younger viewers feel any differently about the armed forces?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Surface themes about valor, bravery, military duty, fighting to victory against relentless enemy. But...a subversive undercurrent hints at a harsh society in which a powerful military establishment has taken over, with soldiers and Nazi-like elite officials granted superior rights and privileges to go with the responsibilities. The "good guys" are not necessarily good guys.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Heroic, fearless types abound, and males and females are equally take-charge and tough. Disabled veterans (missing limbs, especially) are commanding figures. There is a diverse ethnic mix of characters.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: Extreme splattery gore in the monster battles, with humans sliced to pieces by insect claws and mandibles, crushed by machinery, melted by creature acid, and, by the finale, getting their brains sucked out. "Arachnids" are dissected and shot to pieces too. Human-on-human violence includes bones broken in brutal cadet-training lessons and fistfights. A character is shot in the head. The hero is literally whipped bloody in a disciplinary action. Real insects (giant cockroaches) are smashed, in a satire of human revenge-lust.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Toplessness, as Johnny and a fellow soldier have sex before a fight. Mobile Infantry, male and female, shower together with no qualms about it.

  • language false2

    Language: The s-word, "bastard."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: An onscreen plug for the telecommunications giant ATT.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Troops drink beer in a victory celebration.