Godzilla Movie Poster Image




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.


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.


A male character makes a joke about a threesome.


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



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?


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
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

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 9 and 12 year old Written bymovielovers23417 July 24, 2009

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

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

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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