Godzilla

 
Violent updated classic could be too intense for young kids.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1998
  • Running Time: 139 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Be careful with nuclear testing -- you could create a monster.

Positive role models

The characters are two-dimensional, comic-book-style archetypes -- the brainy scientist, the sneaky French foreign intelligence agency guy trying to cover his country's role in creating Godzilla, the brave military folks, the plucky reporter.

Violence

Much of Manhattan is destroyed by Godzilla, and the parts that aren't destroyed by Godzilla are destroyed by the U.S. military, with clandestine assistance from the French foreign intelligence agency. Cars are kicked, thrown, and crushed by Godzilla, the military sends air strikes, explodes bombs and shoots torpedoes from a submarine in the Hudson River. And the little Godzillas, spawned from the eggs laid in a nest at Madison Square Garden by giant Godzilla, kill four French soldiers. Lots of suspenseful chase scenes that could be too much for younger viewers -- with angry Godzillas chasing panicked humanity throughout the streets of Manhattan.
 

Sex

A male character makes a joke about a threesome.

Language

One tirade using the words "sucks," "douchebag," "ass," and "crap."

 

Consumerism

Met Life, UPS, Sprint, Madison Square Garden.
 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

With members of the French military in the story, you know there's going to be some smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Godzilla is the bombastic 1998 Hollywood blockbuster update of the 1956 Japanese film. This time giant Godzilla -- a mutated lizard created as the result of a French nuclear test -- roams Manhattan looking to lay eggs, destroying buildings and crushing cars in its path. Four French soldiers are killed by little Godzillas spawned from the eggs giant Godzilla lays in a nest at Madison Square Garden. The combined U.S. military forces, aided by the French foreign intelligence agency, deploy powerful weapons to subdue Godzilla (including bombs, air strikes, and torpedoes in the Hudson River), and there are lots of suspenseful chase scenes that could be too much for younger viewers -- with angry Godzillas chasing panicked humanity throughout the streets of Manhattan. There area a few jump-out-at-you surprises and many tense moments, and some smoking, particularly by the Frenchmen. Everything and everyone is super loud, but main characters somehow find a way to escape the gaping, drooling maws of the CGI monsters.
 

What's the story?

Nuclear testing has resulted in the mutation of a fish-loving lizard who seeks out Manhattan as an ideal place to lay eggs (he is a self-reproducing hermaphrodite). While Godzilla roars around knocking down buildings, bespectacled scientist Nick Tatapolous (Matthew Broderick) works with the U.S. Army and a mysterious group of Frenchmen to try to stop him, and Audrey (Maria Petillo), the girl who broke Nick's heart in college, tries to break into the broadcast reporting big leagues by getting the inside story.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The classic Japanese monster film has been updated by the team that produced and directed Stargate and Independence Day, and what we get is basically Jurassic Park with one very, very big dinosaur.

On the scariness scale, GODZILLA fits in at around the Jurassic Park level, with a few jump-out-at-you surprises and some tense moments. The special effects are state-of-the art, but not particularly innovative. There are some striking visuals and a few clever plot turns. But the movie sorely misses the quirky charm of Independence Day's Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum, and the story never captures the heart. The real special effect in this movie is making it appear that Manhattan was evacuated almost instantaneously.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this 1998 version differs from the original 1956 Godzilla movie. What's most compelling, the story or the nonstop action?

  • If you're used to seeing Matthew Broderick in romantic comedies and quirky dramas, what do you think of him in an action movie loaded with special effects?

  • Why do you think so many movies have been made about the disastrous effects of nuclear testing?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 20, 1998
DVD release date:November 3, 1998
Cast:Harry Shearer, Jean Reno, Matthew Broderick
Director:Roland Emmerich
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Cars and trucks, Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Ocean creatures, Science and nature
Run time:139 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sci-fi monster action/violence

This review of Godzilla was written by

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Quality

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  • 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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Written byAnonymous October 5, 2014
age 10+
 

Godzilla review

========================================================= On TV we see part of several Sumo wrestlers' bare butts (as they wear the traditional wrestling costumes). Animal's wife tells Audrey that her boss only sees her as "a pair of breasts." When Animal's wife tells him that Audrey is spending the night with them, he jokingly says, "Great. A threesome. I'm a little tired, but..." Upon hearing that Godzilla probably reproduces asexually, Audrey asks, "Where's the fun in that?" Later, the mayor asks, "What is this, the Virgin Lizard?" 2/10. ========================================================= Violence: Godzilla attacks a freighter ship (and presumably kills all but one of the crew). Godzilla sinks three smaller fishing boats (by pulling them underwater). Godzilla surfaces in Manhattan and by simply running down the streets causes a great deal of destruction to buildings and vehicles. In addition, people are squashed under his enormous feet (not graphically seen) or by falling debris, cars, etc... Animal's wife smacks him on the back of his head. The military opens fire on Godzilla with machine guns and missiles that miss the beast and destroy many buildings instead. Additionally, Godzilla causes more destruction as he flees the attack, but he also breathes a wide path of flame that kills many people and he also destroys several helicopters, killing all of those on board (none of the deaths are actually seen). Godzilla has laid waste to the subway tunnels as he's burrowed through them. The military opens fire on Godzilla again, as do several submarines (in an underwater sequence where a sub is blown up by torpedoes). Godzilla's offspring attack and kill several French team members (most occurs off camera). The military blows up a large building with missiles (that kills many creatures inside). Godzilla causes more damage as he chases a taxi before being shot with missiles that critically wound him. 6/10. ========================================================= Godzilla has some bloody wounds on his side after being hit with missiles. 2.5/10. ========================================================= Profanity: At least 17 hells, 12 damns, 2 asses, 1 crap, and 10 uses of "Oh my God," 2 uses each of "G-damn," "Jesus," "God" and "Oh God" and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," "Holy Christ," and "My God" as exclamations. 4/10. ========================================================= Some guys on a fishing boat have beer on the table while they play poker. An old fisherman on a dock drinks something that may be liquor, and some other old homeless guys drink from brown paper bags. 2.5/10. ========================================================= One of Philippe's assistants smokes a few times. Philippe opens a pack of cigarettes, but doesn't smoke. 2/10. ========================================================= Godzilla, while not one of my favourite movies, is still quite enjoyable. I give it 5.5/10. =========================================================
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bymovielovers23417 July 24, 2009
age 12+
 

Okay for 10 and up, but does have language and some violent images

My 9 year old saw this and can't believe (and neither can I) that you say that language is not an issue! You should rewatch and re-evaluate. Also, there is swearing in French in this movie! That should also count! Some scenes are too graphic with dinosaurs crunching on humans.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 6, 10, and 16 year old Written bySmartViewer February 23, 2009
age 11+
 

America ruins Godzilla....again.

The 1954 "Godzilla" was a classic, but the Americans have tried one too many times to re-create it. Okay for kids, but they'll probably just say "It was good," and then run off to do something better with their time. Did I enjoy it? It was OK. But if America really wants some "Godzilla fame," they'll just have to keep trying. It was almost a success, but almost won't cut it.
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Great Movie

the movie was really good but godzilla is different looking from the oringinal so might dissapoint some fans. The movie at times says bad words. In the movie some people die from the babies (but doesnt show them being cut or anything like that) but still i think it was an great movie!

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