Armageddon

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Armageddon Movie Poster Image
Giant-sized end-of-the-world scenario too scary for tweens.
  • PG-13
  • 1998
  • 151 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

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 & representations

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

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.

Sex

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.

Language

At least two uses of "f--k," as well as "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "goddamn," "hell," "horny," "Jesus" and "God."

Consumerism

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).

What 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.

User Reviews

Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Great Hero Movie

They should make more movies like this.
Adult Written byGordan Freeman April 9, 2008

a beautifly filmed kinetic action film

Michael Bay's Armageddon is simply a great action movie. It has some of the best cinemotography and editing of all time.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2010

Big No-No for Little Kids

Armageddon is a great movie and many people love it. This is NOT a kids film AT ALL. There are some scantily clad women in a bar scene and Bruce Willis walks... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old July 28, 2010

Youve got to be kidding me

Too scary for tweens? Are you kidding? Does this siter think that we are all a bunch of wimpy wusses that still suck on or thumbs? I watched Signs, Pandorum, an... Continue reading

What's the story?

A giant asteroid ("the size of Texas") threatens to wipe out everything and everyone on Earth. NASA chief Dan Truman (Billy Bob Thornton) cooks up a crazy, last-ditch plan involving a crack team of drillers, led by Harry Stamper (Bruce Willis). They will board a rocket, land on the asteroid, drill an 800-foot hole, and plant a nuclear bomb, splitting the asteroid in two before it can reach the Earth. Many complications arise, including overshooting the landing site, and a case of space dementia. But Harry becomes most perturbed when he realizes that his best right-hand man, A.J. (Ben Affleck) is secretly in love with his beloved daughter Grace (Liv Tyler).

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's violence and destruction. Was it frightening, or thrilling? Why do you think it made you feel that way?

  • How would you feel if you found out the Earth was ending in just a matter of days? What would you do with the time? Would you risk everything for a chance to save the Earth?

  • The main characters, the drillers, were all misfits and outcasts, gamblers, drug users, womanizers, quick-tempered, foul-mouthed, etc. How did you like them as you met them onscreen? How much did you trust them with the fate of the Earth?

Movie details

For kids who love adventures

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate