The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Movie Poster Image
Arthur and his alien friend travel the galaxy.
  • PG
  • 2005
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 18 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 32 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some shooting and some scary moments; Earth is destroyed.


Some mild profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is partly kooky and partly philosophical, and not always accessible to younger kids. While the slapstick (pratfalls, face slaps) and puns can be amusing, the chatter alternates between clever and tedious. Characters drink beer and use mild language. Parents should also know that the movie has some scary, if abstract moments (the earth is destroyed from outer space; the image features no people, but the globe does go pffft), some shooting of science-fiction-ish weapons, a few odd, large, ugly creatures.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJdbarcelo September 16, 2018

Sexual innuendo.

The president guy is a womanizer. He smacks the zoey daschel on the rear. There is also the glorification of drinking.
Adult Written byOzmosis April 9, 2008

Read the book first

When I saw the beginning, which was funny, I thought this movie was to be entirely funny. The movie did have a lot of boring dragging parts. The love seen been... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byHylianHobbit April 11, 2013

Why has this got such a low score?

This movie is one of my alltime favourites! It's funny, crazy and has a suprizingly complex storyline. I've watched it many times and it never fails t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byCooltiger37 August 18, 2019

Surprisingly fun adaptation has some action, sacreligious elements

After putting it off for the longest time, I finally decided to watch "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" film on Netflix because of its sched... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY begins as two friends, nerdish human Arthur (Martin Freeman) and space traveler Ford (Mos Def), depart Earth just before it's demolished by the universe-roving Vogons, looking to make room for a "hyperspace bypass" (this parallels the destruction of Arthur's small home by a road crew building a highway bypass). Arthur and Ford (who brings along his book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) hitch a ride with the self-loving, two-headed President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and his girlfriend Trillian (Zooey Deschanel). As Arthur also has a crush on Trillian, he endeavors to win her attention. In search of the meaning of life, the crew visit with diverse communities on different planets, including a cult led by Humma Kavula (John Malkovich), who ritually worship a sneeze, and an architect of custom planets Slartibartfast (Bill Nighy), who offers to rebuild earth for the currently homeless Arthur.

Is it any good?

Perhaps this film's most provocative innovation is the POV (point of view) Gun, with which the shooter can instantly impose his perspective on a target. The Guide narrator tells us the gun was invented by "a group of housewives who had become utterly sick of ending every domestic argument with the words, 'You just don't get it, do you?'" Once Trillian gets a hold of this potent weapon, her vulnerability is exposed, which means she finally seems to break through Zaphod and Arthur's self-obsessions. But as the film never suggests how her life will improve once they "get it," Trillion seems left adrift.

Based on Douglas Adams' beloved BBC radio series (first aired in 1978, and thereafter turned into novel and TV series), this movie has been in the works, in some format, for over 20 years. This means that some of the ideas, in being faithful to the source also feel dated, that is, not new insights (media are deceitful, corporate workers are boring and shortsighted, boys are nervous about expressing their feelings to girls... well, okay, some old concerns remain unresolved).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the friendship between Arthur and Ford, who learn to appreciate each other's different perspectives and look out for one another. Families might also consider the symbolic roles played by the aliens Arthur meets (the two-headed president of the galaxy; the lumbering bureaucratic race called Vogons; the generous, sensitive Ford), or Arthur's passivity: how does he learn to act on his desires, look out for his friends, or have self-confidence? How can you define "normality"?

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