Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Movie review by
Matt Springer, Common Sense Media
Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Great action, intense mood, but romance may bore kids.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 142 minutes

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 40 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 136 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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

Violence

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.

Sex

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.

Language

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.

Consumerism

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

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Attack of the Clones is the second prequel in the epic Star Wars saga; it 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 emotional 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. 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.

Wondering if Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones is OK for your kids?

Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bynuenjins April 12, 2015

Forced plot and awkward. The credibility of the prequel shows it's lack of depth here..

Easily the worst in the entire series the awkward and nary innappropriate relationship between Anakin and Padme seemed forced and unatural. You can almost... Continue reading
Adult Written byfonzieg April 4, 2015

Extremely boring and dull sci-fi movie will please kids, but not actual SW fans!

You know what's even worse than The Phantom Menace? Attack of the Clones is! There is absolutely nothing entertaining in this movie! Plus it has one of... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 15, 2018

Horrible

At Least it's better than Disney-Star Wars
Teen, 16 years old Written byspudsandbeans42 April 9, 2008

Overall - Mild content

Violence: Mild - There is a brief sequence where one of the main characters bloodlessly kills a number of human-like creatures (this is very brief and mostly of... Continue reading

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 Phantom Menace, this film 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 in Attack of the Clones, 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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clonesviolence, 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Star Wars

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate