The X-Files: Fight the Future

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The X-Files: Fight the Future Movie Poster Image
Same TV show sci-fi on a king-sized f/x budget.
  • PG-13
  • 1998
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Not too many positive messages here.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though government authorities are repeatedly shown as untrustworthy, corrupt, and potentially evil, Agents Scully and Mulder uphold the FBI traditions and rules (including not abandoning a fellow officer). They also represent two different aspects of human inquiry. Mulder is imaginative and open to even the weirdest possibilities. Scully is more hard-headed and scientific. They have an incipient romance, not explored in depth here, but show professional appreciation and loyalty to each other.


Alien claws gash humans; humans stab aliens. Explosions and gun shots. People bleed and get shot in the head and there are massive explosions.


A few off-color references. Agent Scully is supposed to be naked in suspended animation, but we don't see much.


"S--t" and "a--hole."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Agent Mulder gets drunk in a bar. A villainous character ("The Smoking Man") smokes a lot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is pretty much what you'd expect from a typical X-Files TV episode, but with PG-13 amped-up profanity and violence. Fox Mulder curses, people bleed and get shot in the head, and there are massive explosions. A heavy paranoid-conspiracy mindset suggests that acts of terrorism (specifically the Oklahoma City bombing) could be perpetrated by untrustworthy U.S. government officials doing inside jobs -- a worldview some parents might not want to encourage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDiscernmentDad August 14, 2020

Good movie

Its a good movie with a lot of action and themes that X files fans love (conspiracies, aliens, plot twists galore)

One slightly sexual thing was not included i... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byThe Mighty Neb April 24, 2021
Teen, 15 years old Written byLucan1010 August 23, 2015

Essential movie to tv show plot is a little dissapointing

Violence: Surprisingly little violence, but what there is is pretty intense. Building explodes, aliens slash humans leaving some blood, humans stab aliens, som... Continue reading

What's the story?

Fans of TV's The X-Files are the main audience for this theater-screen extrapolation of the paranormal-paranoia one-hour chiller. Dovetailing with a long, complicated saga threading in and out of TV episodes, THE X-FILES: FIGHT THE FUTURE finds FBI investigators Fox Mulder (David Duchovney) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), formerly running a special branch devoted to the weird and supernatural, now demoted to "routine" police work -- like a mammoth terrorist explosion leveling a government building in Dallas. Mulder, however, learns the bombing was a diversion, to destroy evidence that an extraterrestrial virus had been unearthed from its Ice Age cave nearby and is infecting humans. Apparently space beings, aided by a worldwide conspiracy of elite human traitors, have been slowly colonizing Earth for many years. But thanks to the vicious monsters produced by the virus, the process now looks less like a peaceful Invasion of the Body Snatchers infiltration and more of a grisly Alien massacre -- unless Mulder and a slightly disbelieving Scully can expose the plot before it's too late.

Is it any good?

Though one might expect an X-Files-based feature to take the series and its themes into fresh directions, this UFO-show doesn't gain much more altitude. The cast has the privilege of swearing, and the special effects and sets are more expensive. One very minor character held over from the TV show dies (or...does he?); others make brief fan-pleasing cameos. That's pretty much it.

As with the small-screen scripts, we get a tantalizing sci-fi plotline, full of questions, maddeningly unresolved by the finale, with shadowy villains still gloating that Mulder (who pops up mysteriously in Arctic for an especially farfetched and mystifying climax) still don't know what's really going on. If he doesn't, neither do we, and the show's repeated message to "trust no one," especially government authorities, starts to seem a little stale and lazy. When a drunken Mulder urinates on an alley poster for Independence Day, it may be a clue to what the filmmakers here thought of that simple-minded blockbuster. At least it had a storyline any average viewer could follow.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between the TV show and the movie. Which do you prefer, and why?

  • How has the world and the political climate changed since The X-Files became popular? Does its message of endless conspiracy and shadowy cabals manipulating events still feel relevant?

  • Do you trust the government to tell the truth about UFOs? Why or why not?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

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