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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Since the asteroid hurtling toward Earth is just a random act, the movie doesn't really have an overt message, but a smaller one is the sheer self-preservation instinct that humans have. A number of people combine forces to save the lives of everyone else on the planet; it's a good example of teamwork and problem-solving.
Positive Role Models
The movie likes to play with the idea of the scruffy, outcasts becoming the movie's heroes, so it's arguable whether any of them make good role models. For example, Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis) is cantankerous, quick to anger, and overprotective of his daughter, but underneath, he's a genuinely good man who sacrifices everything to save the ones he loves.
Violence & Scariness
Contains heavy fantasy violence, with giant asteroids crashing into earth, and massive destruction. Several characters -- both major and minor -- die onscreen. One character tries to shoot another with a gun, and the scene is played for laughs. There is also plenty of verbal sparring and arguing.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A.J. and Grace are seen in bed together, twice, with plenty of flirting and kissing, although the movie makes it clear that they are in love and are planning to marry. One character goes to a strip club, though no nudity is seen. Michael Clarke Duncan's bare behind can be glimpsed in one shot.
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At least two uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "goddamn," "hell," "horny," "Jesus" and "God."
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Products & Purchases
The movie Star Wars is mentioned at least once.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters sit in bars, though no one actually appears to drink onscreen. There is also some discussion of the various drugs that characters have tried in the past (including horse tranquilizers).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie was a hit summer blockbuster from 1998 about an asteroid that threatens to wipe out the Earth; only a team of scruffy, outcast drillers can save the day. It's a very typical, traditional disaster movie, with massive amounts of destruction and the onscreen deaths of both major and minor characters. It contains middling amounts of language and some sexual situations, but the main concern is the intensity of the violence. The entire scenario -- the possible extinction of absolutely everything and everyone on Earth -- may be a bit too much for younger viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Michael Bay (The Rock, Pearl Harbor), ARMAGEDDON is a super-packaged product, designed and marketed rather than created. It's noisy, glossy, and excessive, and more than a tad simplistic -- but it's also nearly irresistible. It has a huge cast of stars and character actors, all playing instantly likeable misfits and outsiders that grab our affections and never let go.
The cliffhanger setups and payoffs come right out of the silent era, complete with ticking clocks counting down to the last second, but these creaky old devices still work like gangbusters. The movie's major drawback is that it cheerfully plays with the terrifying concept of the complete extinction of everything and everyone on Earth. Younger and sensitive viewers who think a little too much about this setup may find themselves lying awake for nights afterward.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.