Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 142 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Great action, intense mood, but romance may bore kids.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 142 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

The line between good and evil is clearly drawn; heroic characters demonstrate positive behavior traits, although one character is unable to choose the greater good over his own personal desires.

Positive role models

Most of the heroes demonstrate great bravery, strong decision-making and problem-solving skills, and other positive traits.


Heavy sci-fi violence, although none of it is especially gory or detailed. The film opens with a terrorist attack/explosion in which a minor character dies on screen. One character is killed by beheading (no gore) on screen; another has his hand amputated during a sword duel. There are action sequences throughout, but the major violence takes place in the film's finale, a massive battle between human clones and robot drones that's depicted both in close-up vignettes and widescreen shots of many skirmishes at once. Perhaps the most intense sequence involves a lead character becoming consumed by rage and murdering the alien creatures who killed his mother.


One of the film's central plotlines is a blossoming romance between two of the lead characters. Though their interactions are relatively tame, there's some mild flirting and a few substantial kisses.


Occasional use of both "damn" and "hell" by main characters. Less insult-laden banter between characters than in any of the other films in the series.


The film takes place "a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away," so there are no real-world product placements. But this franchise is perhaps one of the most heavily merchandised in the history of film, with action figures, kids' clothing and accessories, and every other type of product available.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the second prequel in the epic Star Wars saga isn't the most intense of the series, but there are still moments of striking violence (including a beheading and an amputation) and a few very emotionally intense moments. The death of a major character's mother on screen is a particularly dark and disturbing sequence that may upset children. Kids able to handle the stronger moments will especially enjoy several exciting and imaginative sequences, from a white-knuckle chase in a flying car to battles against surreal space monsters.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

The second film in writer/director George Lucas' trilolgy of prequels to the original films, STAR WARS: EPISODE II: ATTACK OF THE CLONES picks up 10 years after the events of The Phantom Menace. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christiansen) is a Jedi student under Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan MacGregor). After an attempt on the life of Senator (and former Queen) Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman), the pair split up to protect Padme and investigate the assassin. Their paths converge again on the planet Geonosis, where the evil Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) has finalized plans to launch an all-out war on the Jedi and the Galactic Republic.

Is it any good?


After the subpar Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones represents a significant improvement in every department, from plot to character and even in computer-generated special effects. Like the second film in the original Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, Clones introduces an ever-growing darkness into the prequel trilogy and splits up its leading cast to pursue separate adventures before reuniting them for a desperate stand against evil.


The climactic battle on Geonosis is a high point, as is a skirmish between Kenobi and the mysterious Jango Fett (Temura Morrison). However, the issues that plagued Menace are just as pronounced here, especially dialogue, which continues to clatter on the floor as soon as it leaves a character's mouth. Although Lucas worked with a second screenwriter on this film (Jonathan Hales), the most painful sequences, in which Anakin and Padme excruciatingly fall in love, seem to be pure Lucas. A subplot following Obi-Wan in galactic gumshoe mode trying to solve a key mystery is far more successful. If nothing else, the spectacle on display in Clones insures that it's easy to ignore the more squirm-inducing attempts at a romantic subplot and instead enjoy the big battles.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence, including the death of a lead character's mother. What makes more of an impact -- violence or loss? Why do movies have such a powerful impact on us?

  • Do the special effects look realistic, or is it obvious that they're fake? Which movies have done special effects really well? What goes into creating special effects? What kind of training do special effects creators undergo?

  • Who are the heroes in this movie?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 16, 2002
DVD release date:November 12, 2002
Cast:Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:George Lucas
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Adventures, Robots, Space and aliens
Run time:142 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:sustained sequences of sci-fi action/violence

This review of Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones was written by

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  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byKrbbup April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Best Star Wars Movie Ever!

I believe that this is the best Star Wars movie ever! Watch it see why. There are two parts that might bother children: the first is when Anakin's mother dies and the second is when Boba Fett's dad dies. But other than that, it is a wonderful movie, filled with action adventure and humor. Great for the whole family!
Parent of a 13 year old Written byohya August 8, 2010

good movie,but still the worst star wars film

What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 14 years old Written bySkywalkergirl15 October 14, 2010

Awesome! But not as good as revenge of the sith.

Really awesome movie but kind of innapropriate because padme and Anakin do some kissing and also a lot of "oh Anakin i love you so much" or "by heart is beating, hoping that this kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul tormenting me" kind of talk. For older kids, It's definitely not as good as revenge of the sith but still good. I would also be a little concerned about violence for the younger ones.
What other families should know
Too much violence


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