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Ghost Rider

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Ghost Rider Movie Poster Image
Devilish Nic Cage action flick isn't on fire.
  • PG-13
  • 2007
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Johnny sells his soul to the devil and regrets it; demons wreak havoc; bad guys die; cops are inept.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Johnny did sell his soul to the devil for a noble reason: to save his dad from dying of terminal cancer. But his current murdering vigilante persona is not something to emulate. His TV reporter love interest Roxanne, his childhood sweetheart, is innocent, and they look out for each other. The Carertaker acts as a protective mentor to Johnny.


Constant cartoonish violence, mayhem, and stunts. Johnny's father dies in a motorcycle stunt; Johnny falls off his motorcycle; the devil torments him with a "burning finger" one motorcycle jump results in a brutal crash; Blackheart kills several humans by turning their faces gray and crumbly; fights between Blackheart's gang and Johnny feature violent falls, throws against walls, and slams; as the Ghost Rider, Johnny is frequently on fire (his skull face is creepy); Ghost Rider attacks and kills a mugger, who stabs him with a knife (Caretaker stitches the wound in close-up); policemen shoot repeatedly at Ghost Rider, who absorbs bullets and rides away; Ghost Rider uses a chain to whip, capture, and throw victims (demons); Johnny fights a watery demon underwater; Johnny and Blackheart fight (lots of throwing, grunting, crawling); Blackheart throws Roxy against a wall; characters shoot Blackheart with shotgun (one shot takes off his head, whereupon he's surrounded by swooping bad souls, whom he absorbs); Ghost Rider's Stare of Penance makes bad guys scream and die.


Roxy's tops always show cleavage; Roxy and Johnny kiss several times; Mack makes a joke about "needing a woman's touch."


"S--t" (used once), "son of a bitch," "damn," "hell," "ass."


Part of a popular comic book franchise. Brief visual displays of Marlboro cigarettes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One scene of chaos is set in a saloon (patrons and bartender are killed by demon); in other scenes, characters smoke cigarettes (Johnny's dad smokes and has cancer; Johnny later turns down a cigarette offered by a cop); characters drink beer (though, Johnny won't drink, saying, "Alcohol gives me nightmares"), and a scene dedicated to Roxy's imbibing a full bottle of wine while waiting for Johnny to show up for a date (she appears drunk at the end).

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comic book-based movie is aimed right at kids. (They won't care that the CGI effects aren't the best and the story is uneven.) Expect frequent references to the devil and some grisly Renaissance-style images of torture. There are motorcycle crashes (one ends in a father's death), flaming leaps, falls, and skids, which produce broken-looking bodies. The villain turns victims gray and veiny, and Ghost Rider himself becomes a burning skull. Weapons include knives, shotguns, and chains. Roxy shows cleavage, and she and Johnny kiss several times (once quite passionately). Characters drink and smoke cigarettes; language includes "s--t," "damn," "son of a bitch," and "hell."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6, 12, 14, 15, 15, and 16 year old Written byMediaMentors November 14, 2009

Ghost Rider the monster

Ghost Rider is a movie of a skull head on fire. It's alsome he's a hero. But the devil took Johnny Blaze soul for this monster. But it's an actio... Continue reading
Adult Written bykjkirk April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byrobinrunner March 22, 2011

Parents won't be thrilled

While watching this you can't help but to notice that Ghost Rider has a lot to do with eviland the devil.The H word is used many times. Disturbing images o... Continue reading

What's the story?

When young motorcycle stunt rider Johnny Blaze sells his soul to the devil (Peter Fonda), he thinks he's doing the right thing -- that is, saving his father, Bart (Brett Cullen), from a horrific death by cancer. But Johnny soon learns that Mephistopheles is not to be trusted, and he eventually has to fulfill his contract and become the devil's bounty hunter. This occurs after Johnny grows up to be a fiercely lean Nicolas Cage. Johnny's still doing motorcycle stunts, drawing big crowds with horrific, Evel Knievel-style crashes, but he never dies. The turning point comes when kohl-eyed son-of-the-devil Blackheart (Wes Bentley), ascends to earth in order to track down a contract that will grant him access to a bunch of bad souls. The whys and wherefores are a little confusing (they're narrated mostly by the Caretaker, who's played by Sam Elliott), but basically this leads to Johnny's transformation into the Ghost Rider, complete with leather jacket, chains, and skull face a-blazing. Around the same time, Johnny's childhood love interest, Roxy (Eva Mendes), returns. Now a TV reporter, she arrives at one of Johnny's most outrageous stunts dressed in a white, not-quite-angelic dress. He's re-smitten, as is she, and they spend the rest of the movie trying to get back together but also not get back together, since if they do, the devil or Blackheart (or both) will surely target her.

Is it any good?

Like many comic book-derived movies, GHOST RIDER is corny, fiery, and outsized, but unfortunately it's not very entertaining. While the Caretaker makes lots of noise about the Ghost Rider's "legend," the movie's action and plotting are uninspired. Cage does some more Elvis impersonating, Mendes shows cleavage, and Elliott looks leathery, but none of these details helps create a sense of grand mythology. The Rider's gift/curse is his ability to assault his bad-souled victims with a Stare of Penance (he commands them to "Look into my eyes," like Dracula used to) and then make them suffer the pain of the innocents they wronged. But the visual delivery of this trick is feeble, a mostly blurry, vaguely fiery, utterly un-menacing montage of screaming, collapsing faces. This is Ghost Rider's big trick? It's hardly the stuff of legend.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Johnny and his dad. How does Johnny's good intention lead to tragedy? Did Johnny have any other alternatives than working for the devil?

  • How does the movie differentiate between the monstrous Johnny and the monstrous Blackheart? Why is one "good" and one "bad"? Is it that easy to tell the difference between good guys and bad guys in real life?

  • Why are so many action/superhero movies based on comic books? What's the appeal?

Movie details

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