Dragon fantasy falls flat, but kids won't care.
  • Review Date: March 18, 2007
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Bad king and wizard want to stomp out all independent thought; dragon rider and his friends want their land to be prosperous and free.

Positive role models
Not applicable

Violence pushes the PG edge, with bloody injuries and faces, brief sadness following a character's murder, and wraithy figures who swoop around in darkness; battle scenes include huge armies wielding multiple weapons (spears, arrows, flames, swords, knives); battle between two flying creatures (good dragon and bad smoky dark beastie) has them biting at each other, resulting in bloody wounds; riders fall from horses; magic spell leaves victim with black spidery veins and debilitating "illness."


Mutual attraction between Arya and Eragon is established -- without much spark but with some sensual glances; Eragon's relationship with the dragon is "romantic," though it stops short of being sensual (some lines are comic, whether intentionally or not, as each declares their mutually interdependent "power").

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie's content is just right for the target 'tweener audience. It has its scary moments, with several scenes featuring dark woods, eerie wind, abrupt violence, big battles and a frightening evil wizard with red and black makeup. Swords, arrows, and spears produce some bloody wounds and several dead bodies, and one-on-one fight scenes include kicking, punching, swordplay, and falling. Eragon confronts and feels guilty about a family member's death (the corpse is visible, with a bloody face).

What's the story?

When Eragon (Edward Speleers) goes hunting in the forest, he discovers a glowing blue stone. Little does he know that it's a dragon egg, and that the beast about to hatch has selected him (and only him) to be her rider. He meets a wise former rider named Brom (Jeremy Irons) and helps regain the kingdom of Alagaesia from the gnarly, paranoid, seldom-seen King Galbatorix (John Malkovich).

Is it any good?


For a movie about flying dragons, ERAGON is disappointingly flatfooted. With plot points borrowed from a range of other movies -- whether great like Star Wars or dismal like Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker -- it tells the tale of an ordinary-seeming boy, Eragon, who's destined for great things.

It's hardly a good sign that much of the back story must be narrated (by Irons) before the movie really begins. The unnecessarily talky set-up names some of the different types of creatures in Alagaësia (bad Urgels and Ra'zac, mostly good humans), then goes on to describe Eragon's reactions and feelings, even when you can see them yourself. At 17, he's not exactly a child, but he still grows up quickly under the auspices of Obi-Wan-like Brom and flying, fire-breathing, cranky dragon Saphira (voiced somewhat stiffly by Rachel Weisz). Their approaches to his education are different, but both intend to get him ready to reintroduce the grandeur of the dragon riders back into current lore.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie differs from the book. What worked better in the book and what in the movie? Why? 

  • Those who didn't read the story might talk about Eragon's response to being "chosen" by the dragon.

  • Why are dragons such fascinating creatures in fiction and legends?

  • Families can also talk about the movie's similarities to (and differences from) other fantasy and sci-fi classics, like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. What elements of Eragon's story are unique? Which ones have you seen before?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 14, 2006
DVD release date:March 20, 2007
Cast:Edward Speelers, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Guillory
Director:Stefan Fangmeier
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:battle sequences and frightening moments

This review of Eragon was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old August 21, 2009

Perfect for tweens

This movie is very good the only thing that is a bit scary is the bug mummy things....
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Adult Written byHeroneSilverton April 9, 2008

Very dissapointed.

This is nowhere near on par with the book. It was ok, but it could have been so much better.
Teen, 15 years old Written byOGORMAN February 11, 2011

I'd say for about 9 and up, unless kids aren't afraid of a lot of fantasy violence.

Though this movie is nowhere near the same plot as the book it was still pretty good for as low of a budget as it had. I will admit (grudgingly) that it could have been better, but they had some popular (and hot!) actors: Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Garrett Hedlund, Sienna Guillory, and Christopher Egan for example. Most of the battle scenes would be pretty scary for younger kids, meaning... under 9 I'd say. You know how fantasy violence is, I mean some of the main characters are dragons (obviously), dark wizards, and magical elves. Eragon is a good role model, he always wants to do what's right even though he may not quite be ready for it. All ends well, but the end leaves you hanging. I assume that it was intended to make you want to see the sequel and I still pray they will make Eldest and Brisingr, but there's not much possibility for that. It's still a pretty good movie though.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great messages
Great role models


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