Journey to the Center of the Earth (1989)

Movie review by
Caroline Gates-Shannon, Common Sense Media
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1989) Movie Poster Image
Awful effects, bad acting, and ridiculous plot.
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 80 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Brief footage of war.


Some profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that despite the title, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH is, at best, only vaguely related to the Jules Verne book of the same name. Other than some implied violence in the form of war and a few instances of profanity, there is nothing inherently inappropriate about this movie. There is also not really anything to recommend this version of JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH -- the plot is absurd and at times hard to follow, the acting is bad, and the film overall looks very low-budget.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybigmoviefan2020 November 26, 2020

Stuning film is amazing!

PG: a scary image/mild language
Teen, 15 years old Written bysydneytaylor23 December 27, 2011


It puts the W in worst! Worst movie I have ever saw! I give this movie a :(
Kid, 11 years old November 28, 2010

What's the story?

JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH follows Bryan, his brother Richard, and Crystina, a young British nanny they meet the same day, as they make their way underground via an opening in a Hawaiian cave. Although Richard is eventually rescued by his parents and the National Guard, Bryan and Crystina make their way to the underground city of Atlantis. The citizens of Atlantis are ruled by a fascist government that controls their knowledge of the outside world. To prepare for their planned takeover of the surface world, Atlantis's government is making clones of the first surface-dweller to wander into Atlantis. Bryan meets Shank, a citizen of Atlantis who dreams of life on the outside. Together, they set out to foil General Rykov's plan to take over the surface by violent means.

Is it any good?

Even at only 80 minutes long, this journey is tiresome, laughable, and confusing. Journey to the Center of the Earth bears little resemblance to the Jules Verne book on which it's supposedly based. Instead, the film is actually a sequel to the forgettable Kathy Ireland film, Alien In LA. Poorly acted and featuring a ridiculous plot with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it conclusion, the film might have some appeal to younger viewers, but it will certainly have their parents' eyes rolling.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fascist governments, like the one in Atlantis. How did the underground government try to control the information their citizens got? Why is it important for people to have access to information?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

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.

Learn how we rate