Parents' Guide to

Reign of Fire

By Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Plodding sci-fi dragon disaster tale is OK for older kids.

Movie PG-13 2002 101 minutes
Reign of Fire Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 4+


"Reign of Fire" is a powerful cinematic masterpiece that brilliantly weaves together elements of faith, courage, and redemption in the face of an unprecedented and seemingly insurmountable threat. Set in a world plagued by the sudden awakening of hibernating dragons in the year 2008, this film takes us on a thrilling and emotionally charged journey as humanity's survival hangs in the balance. At its core, "Reign of Fire" tells the story of Quinn Abercromby, portrayed brilliantly by Christian Bale, who rises from the ashes of devastation to become a beacon of hope for the remaining survivors. Quinn, a mere child when the dragons first reawakened, witnesses the tragic loss of his mother and the annihilation of his world by the fiery breath of these ancient creatures. Instead of succumbing to fear and despair, he chooses to lead a colony of survivors in a medieval castle in Northumberland, where they take refuge from the relentless dragon onslaught. The film beautifully illustrates Quinn's transformation from a vulnerable child into a resilient and courageous leader. He is not content to hide in fear but takes on the immense responsibility of protecting his fellow survivors and ensuring the survival of the human race. Quinn's unwavering faith in the face of overwhelming adversity serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the strength that can be found in the darkest of times. Quinn's journey of self-discovery and redemption is further exemplified when he forms an unlikely alliance with Denton Van Zan, portrayed by Matthew McConaughey. Van Zan, a dragon-slayer from America, brings with him a daring plan to take on the dragons during their vulnerable "magic hour." This partnership between two contrasting leaders showcases the power of unity in the face of extinction. As the film unfolds, we witness the heart-pounding battles between humanity and the dragons, with each encounter serving as a testament to the unwavering determination of the survivors to reclaim their world. The film's visual effects are nothing short of spectacular, immersing the audience in the terrifying reality of a world overrun by these awe-inspiring and deadly creatures. "Reign of Fire" also explores profound themes of sacrifice and the consequences of humanity's actions. We are reminded that our choices have far-reaching implications, and that sometimes we must confront the monsters we have created to find salvation. Ultimately, "Reign of Fire" is a tale of hope and redemption, with Quinn and his companions proving that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, humanity can rise above its darkest moments. This film encourages viewers to reflect on the importance of courage, faith, and the indomitable human spirit, serving as a powerful reminder that even in our darkest hours, there is always a glimmer of hope on the horizon. "Reign of Fire" is a must-see cinematic experience that will leave you inspired, moved, and filled with a renewed sense of faith in the human capacity for courage and redemption. It is a testament to the power of the human spirit to triumph over the most formidable of challenges, making it a timeless and deeply resonant masterpiece for audiences of all backgrounds and beliefs.
age 8+

Really fun action movie with very little objectionable content

Okay, the setting is a bit dreary being a dystopian future and all, but overall this is a really fun action movie! The dragons still look absolutely incredible too. They are pretty scary looking for sure. There is minimal to no gore, swearing or sexual content. Violence: There is no human on human violence except a fist fight between the two main protagonists. Several people do die in the film but they are always shown from a long distance, or are just simply engulfed in flames (from dragons breath) and become unseen amidst them. At the beginning Quinn’s mother is shown dead briefly, but without gore, just a trickle of blood on her face. Language: none Drug use: Two characters share some homemade liquor during one scene. Van Zan often drinks from a flask, but later we find out it was always just water. Sexual content: The closest thing you could say is that in one part of the film a teenage looking boy is awakened from a bed that he was sharing with a teenage looking girl.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (2 ):

Even with the non-standard approach to a monster-on-the-loose formula, this flick somehow falls flat. Maybe it's just the ultra-serious way thinly-drawn characters approach a comic-bookish premise, or the sense that we've missed the real story -- the rise of the dragons -- and are left with a plodding anticlimax -- an oh-please finale in which ragged characters with bows and arrows fight CGI beasts who withstood combined armies of humanity and nuclear weapons. Once one absorbs the basic story the plotline is largely predictable, though maybe kids will forgive that and the thudding solemnity. In the movie's favor: a short running time and some interesting touches in envisioning a world regressed by dragon-power to a drab, sooty, new Dark Ages. Not enough interesting touches, though.

Movie Details

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