Stealth

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Stealth Movie Poster Image
Explosion movie is too violent for little ones.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 121 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Discussions of being good pilots, some deception and disobedience.

Violence

Lots of explosions, video-gamey and mostly from the air, so bodies fall away and catch on fire, mostly anonymously.

Sex

Some references and language.

Language

Action-heroic posturing and cursing.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking and smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie features lots of fighter jet action, explosions, drinking (martinis, beer), smoking, tough fighter language, and sexual references, sometimes raunchy (ménage a trois).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10, 13, 16, and 18+ year old Written byraizn4kids June 28, 2009

Better for older than 15

I am not a shoot-em-up fan, but the idea that you never go back on your word and never leave a friend to fend for themselves, is good enough, but still I think... Continue reading
Adult Written byFroHead May 9, 2010

Bad Plot, Good Special Effects, Bad Acting *Very Minor Spoiler Warning*

Well, it was not a great movie, especially if you are going for something with a good plot or good acting. If you want to see things blow up, this is a movie fo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

ZZZZZ Boring

I saw this movie with my mom, hoping it would be something like "XXX"... its not anything like it. I felt like i I was watching the same thing over a... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMedia45 April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Full of explosions and video game-like fighter jet scenes, STEALTH poses a serious problem beneath its giddy surface. That is, does the escalation of war by technological advances lead to more or fewer human costs? The movie sets off three excellent Talon pilots -- Kara (Jessica Biel), Henry (Jamie Foxx), and Ben (Josh Lucas) -- against their new "wingman," the UCAV (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) nicknamed EDI, a newfangled robotic fighter jet. Touted by Captain Cummings (Sam Shepard) as \"the future of digital warfare. EDI is all blinking lights and silky vocals. Once struck by lightning, though, EDI goes off grid, and begins seeking out all sorts of targets, thus threatening to start a world war. Ben and Cummings discuss the uses of robot weapons, Cummings believing that they will reduce "body bags," while Ben (like Kara) thinks the human element of piloting is crucial. During their search for EDI, the three pilots are separated, which makes for multiple action scenes with characters in peril.

Is it any good?

The action bits are predictably well-choreographed and boisterous, but also distracting (yes, even in an action movie, too much of a good thing is still too much). Stealth wants to be a smarter movie than it is, posing the cases for and against technological warfare, tracing foibles not only of individuals within the financing and command systems, but also in the systems themselves. A self-declared post-9/11 action movie, it's mightily conflicted, exhilarating in the visuals and visceral effects, but stubbornly clinging a core idea, that war is actually bad -- for everyone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the gendered differences between attitudes toward war (the girl pilot is more emphatically moralistic and humanistic than the boys). Also worth considering is the film's framing of war as a series of choices, and how technology can enhance, exacerbate, and (ideally) alleviate human costs. How is the robot pilot's disobedience singular or systemic? How does the film produce viewer pleasure in the battle images, but also ask you to consider the victimization of farmers and other civilians?

Movie details

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