Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Stargate Movie Poster Image
Promising setup killed by action-film cliches.
  • PG-13
  • 1994
  • 128 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTay Y. June 6, 2018

Overall a great movie!

Stargate should not be rated pg 13. It is a movie that has a plotline that you can't miss, and you should really watch it. Some of these comments from adul... Continue reading
Adult Written bytxtxyeha March 26, 2010

Definitely not for kids, but teenaged boys are going to love it.

On the positive side I loved the sci-fi concept of the movie. I thought the scene where the woman tries to offer herself sexually to the hero and he politely d... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bydavyborn May 15, 2012

Bizarre cult classic of sorts is awful to sit through

Roland Emmerich's 1994 cult science-fiction film, Stargate, has spawned a large amount of television shows, sci-fi fans and marketing, not unlike a slightl... Continue reading
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'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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

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