Parents' Guide to

Small Soldiers

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Well-made but extremely violent '90s cartoon.

Movie PG-13 1998 110 minutes
Small Soldiers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 10+

Should have been rated PG

Yet another example of the rating system taking material out of context. Most of the violence, while frightening, involves action figures. Several drugs are briefly referenced, but not in a way that would encourage them being used. The fact that there were Burger King toys promoting this film shows that the target audience is under 13.
age 8+

good but a bit of violence.

its rated PG-13 so its a movie for kids like 8 and up. good movie but a little violence is in it. however the characters were good. the boy was cute and smart and the girl was nice and pretty. there is a kissing scene when the boy rescues the girl but its not bad.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (16 ):

SMALL SOLDIERS is suspenseful and exciting, but this movie contains a level of violence that would earn it an R rating if most of the victims weren't toys. The lengthy climactic battle will have boys in the target age group cheering, while the topical humor (the send-up of Barbies is wicked) and allusions to other movies will keep older teens and adults interested. The special effects are amazing and integrated seamlessly with the live actors and sets. Best of all, the vocal casting is inspired; the commandos are voiced by Tommy Lee Jones and members of the original cast of The Dirty Dozen, while the Gorgonites are given life by Frank Langella and members of Spinal Tap.

But director Joe Dante's trademark dark comedy is overwhelmed by special effects and mean-spiritedness. More troublesome than the violence is the inhumanity and sheer hatefulness of the commandos. It's scary to think that children might identify with these muscle-bound, conscience-free murderers whose slogan is "no mercy." Worse, they may imitate the soldiers by fashioning weapons out of ordinary household items.

Movie Details

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