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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As it slowly comes to life, Stardust the vacuum cleaner becomes fond of repeating the word "peace" over and over again. The father goes to jail rather than have his work used for war.
Positive Role Models
Charlie does what he needs to do to figure out the secret of Stardust, and does his best to get his father out of jail. The father sacrifices himself for his anti-war beliefs.
Violence & Scariness
Thieves representing the evil corporation break into Karol's house. Punches are thrown and bookcases are tossed around. Two boys cut their thumbs with a switchblade in order to become "blood brothers." A boy's necktie gets sucked into a vacuum cleaner while he's wearing the tie; he chokes for about 10 seconds before the vacuum cleaner lets him go.
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"Crap," "hell," "dick," and "ass." A younger brother makes a joke about how his older brother only thinks with his "third leg."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this Stardust is not the 2007 film based on the Neil Gaiman novel, but a low-budget 1998 film about an old vacuum cleaner that slowly comes to life after inadvertently vacuuming up a bio-chip invented by the scientist father of the house. This could have been an interesting premise, but instead, the film is duller than vacuuming a living room. There is occasional profanity ("ass," "dick"), and some moments of corporate espionage that feel more like home invasions. There's nowhere near the action a film like this should have, and the amateur hour feel of the production makes this one to avoid. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Stardust could have gone the quirky route, or it could have gone the action-packed route, but instead, the movie plods along with all the slowness of an old vacuum cleaner. After all the action of the first 10 minutes, culminating with the father being sent to jail after being framed for arson, scenes drag out longer than necessary, to say nothing of the scenes that feel superfluous. The vacuum cleaner that is supposedly brought to life doesn't even develop much of a personality until the very end; before that, it spits gunk and eventually learns to repeat the word "peace" over and over again.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about Stardust is that it was filmed on-location in Hamtramck, Michigan. The acting is decent, and had this been in more capable hands, this movie could have been entertaining. Instead, the low budget and amateur-hour feel hinder any potential this movie had to be worthwhile viewing.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.