Stargate Movie Poster Image




Promising setup killed by action-film cliches.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 128 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Mild for the genre, but still includes deadly electrocuting ray blasts and explosions and some old-fashioned clubbing and machine-gunning.


A man politely refuses the offerings of a lovely, otherworldly concubine.


Occasional mild language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A man encourages a boy from another planet to smoke a cigarette.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will see deadly electrocuting ray blasts, explosions, plus some old-fashioned clubbing and machine-gunning.

What's the story?

In STARGATE, nerdy professor Daniel Jackson (James Spader), whose theories about ancient Egypt can clear a lecture hall faster than a shout of "Fire!," is recruited by the military to decipher the message on an ancient Egyptian portal. With the portal at last activated, the big question remains: "What's on the other side?" With a team led by Colonel O'Neil (Kurt Russell), Jackson is transported through the "Stargate" to a distant desert world, which clinches his theory that aliens were behind the building of Earth's pyramids. Now all he and O'Neil have to do is lead the planet's slave inhabitants into rebellion against their god Ra and get back home before somebody detonates that atomic bomb they packed along with them.

Is it any good?


If you loved Raiders of the Lost Ark and tolerated Dune, Stargate might just be your kind of movie. It borrows from both (an earthshaking archaeological find leads to a sandy planet in rebellious upheaval) but rearranges the pieces to create something that -- at least in the beginning -- is unique and relatively sophisticated. The Egyptian sci-fi motif lends itself to some dynamite sets and costumes. The characters, however, are mostly clichés. Though admirable in the role, James Spader plays the generic egghead ostracized for his outlandish beliefs. And Kurt Russell, as the tough guy colonel whose son accidentally shot and killed himself, would be easier to sympathize with if we didn't see him sitting despondently in the boy's room fondling a handgun.

The movie goes a bit effects-happy toward the end with morphing, glowing eyes, and crackling electricity. It's a distraction to keep us from seeing a promising setup going down in a mire of Hollywood convention. There's lots of fist fighting, a deadly bomb countdown, even an embarrassing Schwarzenegger-style catch phrase: "Give my regards to King Tut, a--hole!" That's about as bad as the language gets. The violence is also minimal for this sort of fare, so pull the teens onto the couch with you and buckle up. Fun is the key word here. Don't look for anything more and you're in for a good time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Hollywood clichés. Were there moments in the film you've seen before, such as the Schwarzenegger-style catch phrase uttered before blasting an enemy? How many other movies can you name that use the same conventions? What's the appeal of using clichés rather than inventing new ideas for action movies? Is it just laziness? Or do audiences respond positively to the same familiar themes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 28, 1994
DVD/Streaming release date:February 18, 2003
Cast:James Spader, Jaye Davidson, Kurt Russell
Director:Roland Emmerich
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:128 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:Sci-fi action violence

This review of Stargate was written by

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


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bymissbunhead March 26, 2009

Another inappropriate movie.

PG-13, huh? Believe me when I say, this movie is not for kid's. A women tries to undress herself in front of the main? Disgusting. The villain is extremely androgynous, and he and the people surrounding him wear reveling outfits when they are first debuted. This film is not for kids.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byorangetiger June 14, 2011

A worthwhile film

This was a great movie. It was exciting, but encouraged creativity. It was overall something you should see.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bygaming4people October 17, 2010

The TV series is 5 star.

good to watch before the TV series. Its a heck of a lot better
What other families should know
Too much sex