Parents' Guide to

Space Camp

By Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Teen dramedy about space shuttle never lifts off.

Movie PG 1986 107 minutes
Space Camp Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 12+

Creepy movie lost in space

(Written by 8yo boy) Our elementary school has a space week every year. For some reason they use this movie as something to show the 2nd graders. I guess they do this to show how astronauts work together and what happens when they don't work together. But this really isn't for kids this young. My twin brother was upset by it. It's not a good movie even if you're older. If you don't like bad movies, don't bother. Mom says -- has this school not looked at their curriculum in 30 years? Completely weird choice.
age 9+

could've been better

The storyline is very well-intentioned. When the teen campers are accidnetally launched in space, it's up to them to put what little training they had to practice. In the process they learn to work as a team. This mishap also forces them to do a little memory work. In short, their learning is put to the test. Too bad the movie is lame when put to the screen. If only the acting and writing had been a little bit better this would've been a good movie. Also this movie is a bit too scary for children under 9.

Is It Any Good?

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

Of the movie's many problems, the worst was its timing. It was released six months after the Challenger mission ended in disaster, and nothing about the threat of an inadvertent shuttle launch seems funny or entertaining. The fact that the mistaken launch follows a series of highly implausible actions by a robot who sounds like a cross between E.T. and R2D2 just adds to the misery. The movie is a 1980s set piece, with references to nuclear annihilation, Star Wars, and one "Whip me, Beat me, Take away my charge card!" from Preston, who dresses like Madonna in her "Lucky Star" years.

One place where the movie gets it right is in its respect and awe of the American space program, too often relegated to the back of public consciousness. The NASA training facility and mission control, as well as details of the shuttle's flight, may captivate young astronauts in training.

Movie Details

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