The Black Hole

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
The Black Hole Movie Poster Image
Creepy robots and lukewarm ending haunt sci-fi classic.
  • PG
  • 1979
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Crew models cooperation as the best plan for problem solving.


Shoot-outs between bots and numerous explosions, but no blood or gore. Maximilian the robot shreds a crew member with his whirly appendages, but the scene is implied and not seen.


Kate is the only female on the voyage, and the lecherous Dr. Reinhardt wants to keep her for his own.


The word "hell" is used as an explicative and as a description. Harry uses the word "damn" when he suffers a fall.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that some scenes with robots and humanoids may be frightening for younger viewers; there are shoot-outs and explosions but no gore. Maximilian the robot is a threatening presence, and the robot "goons," as one character calls them, are sinister en masse. This is good fun for sci-fi buffs who want to see Disney's attempt at Star Wars.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMarius P. November 14, 2016

Robots! And Science!

This movie left quite an impression on me, and I recall being terrified of Maximilian. Also creeped out by the "goons" with the mirror masks. It'... Continue reading
Adult Written byThe Fuzzy Dan May 31, 2016

Gothic sci-fi not afraid to take the time to set a mood

The Black Hole was one of my favorite films from childhood. While everyone else thought Star Wars was the pinnacle of science-fiction films at the time, I alway... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bySamfan4 November 19, 2019

Great movie, too scary for young children

The Black Hole is a classic science fiction movie with action, mystery, and suspense! There are great shootouts mixed with a great score to make the movie even... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymario.geo April 6, 2017

I waste of time and money

Black Hole had many good sci-fi scenes, but the movie dragged on for a very long time. After about 10 minutes the movie lost me, maybe I should have payed more... Continue reading

What's the story?

The crew of the Palomino is innocently going about its mission in the year 2130, when suddenly their course is re-routed and heading toward a black hole. Even more cause for concern: when they approach an abandoned U.S. space station lost 20 years ago, they find it's still inhabited by a lone mad scientist and his robotic companions.

Is it any good?

Sci-fi fans will want to see this film for its cult appeal, trippy ending and all. Released in an era when robots like R2-D2 were all the rage, Disney's 1979 answer was V.I.N.CENT, a friendly, philosophical robot who plays a main role in THE BLACK HOLE. The silent, malevolent Maximilian, however, steals the show, with his ultra creepy red eye, bass-heavy sound effects and his whirling appendages that can shred sheet metal. Tweens might enjoy watching the robots engage in battle with one another.

Set as an epic science-fiction journey into the deepest corner of space, The Black Hole attempted to marry grandiose visions of life among the stars with cutting-edge effects. It succeeded in the effects department (for 1979) but the movie loses steam as it progresses to a lukewarm ending. Anthony Perkins as the malleable Alex, and Maximillian Schell as the mad genius Dr. Reinhardt score points for their intelligent portrayals of scientists. The ending, however, offers a less than satisfying denouement.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what could be frightening about the unexplainable forces in our universe. In this film, the black hole presents a hellish gaping opening to the unknown. Is this accurate? How do concepts of heaven and hell feature in the movie? Do any of the ideas match your beliefs or not?

Movie details

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