Moonraker

Movie review by
Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media
Moonraker Movie Poster Image
Vintage Bond has violence, innuendo, sexism, and peril.
  • PG
  • 1979
  • 126 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The overall theme is good overcoming evil. However, though heroic, James Bond seduces women, drinks and smokes, doesn't seem to care much about destroying property, and never really learns any lessons. Women are generally treated as objects, helpless, and powerless. Bond has a "license to kill" and can leave dead bodies in his wake with no consequences. But he does end up stopping a plot to commit mass murder.

Positive Role Models

James Bond is an expert spy who uses his skill and bravery to save others. However, some of his methods are highly questionable. He also has a "license to kill." Women and non-White characters are mostly relegated to supporting roles and objects of sexual desire. Women are frequently complimented on their appearances but rarely speak. Male character expresses surprise that a woman is a doctor and an astronaut. Men hold power over women as their employers, firing them as they see fit. Non-White characters appear in stereotypical dress.

Violence

Plenty of violence but non-graphic with no blood shown. Characters fire guns. There are fights with punches, throws, and kicks. Characters are thrown from an aircraft and fight mid-air. Shooting for sport -- pheasants shown being shot as they fly through the air and then fall to the ground, dead. Dogs hunt and chase someone, biting and pulling them to the ground. A knife is thrown into the chest of someone. Characters suffocate after an industrial accident. Martial-arts style combat with swords and staff weapons. Karate chops and kicks. Character thrown from a window and falls several stories, landing through a piano. Character punches through a cable car carriage with their bare fists. Hostage-taker sprayed in the face with fire extinguisher. Character fires a laser gun that melts a dummy's face. Character uses a pointed weapon to fight off an attack from a large sea snake.

Sex

Kissing. Characters sleep together, although there is no explicit sex scenes or graphic nudity. Character runs their hand up someone's thigh and under their clothes. Innuendo-heavy remarks about people's physical appearance and desirability. Character presumes someone is attracted to them and kisses them, but they are unresponsive. Character wears backless nightgown to bed. A character is asked if they can be purchased.

Language

In a dated attempt at "humor," an Asian character is referred to as "San," rather than by their name, "Sam."

Consumerism

Character spends lavishly on their home, possessions, food, and companionship. Travel to international locations, sometimes on a whim, with fine dining and hospitality in different cities. Character is given technological tools and gadgets to help them defeat their enemies.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes socially and in moderation. Character checks the strength of some wine after witnessing something remarkable -- done for comic effect.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Moonraker is a 1979 James Bond (Roger Moore) adventure movie that contains sexual innuendo, violence, and outdated misogynistic and stereotype portrayals. The plot follows Bond into space as he tries to stop the villainous Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) murder innocent people. Bond is heroic and shows great bravery. But the movie is dated: Women are frequently patronized by male characters and represented as little more than objects of desire, while non-White characters are similarly relegated to having relatively few lines and are often only seen wearing ceremonial or ethnic dress. Violence is frequent throughout, but not bloody or graphic. Typically it involves hand-to-hand combat, with punches and kicks. But there is some fighting with weapons -- one character is stabbed in the chest, but again there is no blood and his presumed death is over-the-top and cartoonish. Sex is mild and mainly innuendo, although there is some kissing and hugging. Bond does this with more than one woman. There is no swearing, but Bond -- and others -- does drink alcohol, but not to excess. Characters also smoke cigarettes. Bond lives a lavish lifestyle, frequently traveling to exotic locations, while he is also given several high-tech gadgets to help him work. Bond fanatics may enjoy a nostalgic revisiting of the movie, but those new to the franchise may find it dated and dull compared to more recent 007 outings.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byGusAllen9 February 8, 2021
Teen, 15 years old Written byDeductiveMoss81 June 18, 2021

Bond in space

Moonraker is a decent Bond movie with more innuendo than usual

What's the story?

In MOONRAKER, after a space shuttle is hijacked, James Bond (Roger Moore) is asked to investigate. When he discovers the theft is part of a plot by the evil Hugo Drax (Michael Lonsdale) to commit mass murder, 007 must do all he can to prevent a global catastrophe. Even if that means heading into space himself.

Is it any good?

One of the iconic Roger Moore-Bond movies, Moonraker has for years divided fans of the series. A commercial smash praised by many for its ambitious set pieces and playful tone, critics argue that this is the point where 007 slipped into self-parody. More than 40 years after its release, it's difficult not to see it as a bit of both. While boasting a strong cast and impeccable production design, there's also a feeling that the franchise is casting around for new ideas and not quite knowing where to turn next.

It took a Jason Bourne-inspired reboot in the 2000s for the Bond series to become a pop culture staple again. But if you can forgive Moonraker's heavily-dated portrayal of women and minorities, it succeeds in its goal of offering some well-intentioned escapism. Just don't look too hard for a plot or question why everyone's wearing yellow jumpsuits in space.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in Moonraker. How many characters die? What kind of impact do these deaths have? What does it mean for Bond to have a "license to kill"?

  • How are women portrayed in the movie? Was it unusual to see a movie like this where women feature mostly in supporting roles, having their appearances remarked on, and helping the male characters? Has this changed in recent years?

  • Bond is definitely a good guy, but his methods and behavior are questionable. Is he a role model? Does he seem "cool"? Is he someone to emulate? Why, or why not?

  • How are the non-White characters portrayed in the movie? Do you think they are stereotyped? Why do we have to be careful of racial stereotypes?

  • How did this Bond movie compare to others in the franchise? What are the main differences of this movie compared to more recent Bond movies like Skyfall and Spectre?

Movie details

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