The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
By Cynthia Fuchs,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Arthur and his alien friend travel the galaxy.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Some shooting and some scary moments; Earth is destroyed.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Some mild profanity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink beer.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
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.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Based on 5 parent reviews
So long and thanks for all the fish
Report this review
Report this review
What's the Story?
THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY begins as two friends, nerdish human Arthur (Martin Freeman) and space traveler Ford (Yasiin Bey), 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"?
- In theaters: April 29, 2005
- On DVD or streaming: September 13, 2005
- Cast: Martin Freeman, Yasiin Bey, Zooey Deschanel
- Director: Garth Jennings
- Inclusion Information: Black actors
- Studio: Touchstone Pictures
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Book Characters, Space and Aliens
- Run time: 110 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements, action and mild language
- Last updated: May 20, 2023
Inclusion information powered by
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
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