Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Thunderbirds Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Exciting kid space-action without being too scary.
  • PG
  • 2004
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 6 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Good triumphs over evil. It's one thing to say that you're old enough to handle responsibility, but something else entirely to prove it. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Through how he responds to danger and difficulty, Alan Tracy proves that he has what it takes to be one of the Thunderbirds. 

Violence & Scariness

Cartoonish violence, with fights and explosions. Characters punch, kick, and throw each other. A space station nearly falls into Earth's atmosphere. Two characters kick an enemy in the crotch at the same time. When antagonists cause damage to a monorail in London, innocent commuters are trapped in traincars at the bottom of the Thames River. 

Sexy Stuff

A boy mocks Alan for liking the "Thunder-turds." "Damn." A character with a stuttering problem says, "Fuh ... fuh ... fuh ... no way." 


Ford vehicles and the Ford logo are displayed prominently throughout the film. When the film cuts to scenes of news reports, the report is sponsored by Ford.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Thunderbirds s a vibrant-hued action movie starring Bill Paxton as the leader of the Tracy family, aka the Thunderbirds, a secret group of heroes dedicated to righting wrong wherever they find it. Based on the 1960s TV series of the same name, the film features bombastic special effects and an exaggerated, cartoonish violence in the battle and fight scenes. There's lots of punching, kicking, and, in one instance, a double kick to the crotch of an antagonist. When antagonists cause damage to a monorail in London, innocent commuters are trapped in traincars at the bottom of the Thames River. There's major product placement, with Ford vehicles are prominently displayed, and the Ford logo is shown each time news reports of the action are presented on TV. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bypincin April 9, 2008

Thunderbirds: Go!

"Thunderbirds" was THE kids show of the 1960s, and parts of this film successfully embrace the feel of that epic series. Best moments: Lex Shrapnel, e... Continue reading
Parent of a 7, 8, and 11-year-old Written byrinder September 30, 2019

A great action movie for elementary kids

My kids (7, 9 and 11 years old) all loved this movie. For me, I thought it was going to be painfully campy, but it turned out to be not too bad. I enjoyed watch... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byNonsensical_Reviews December 6, 2020

Trash reboot does not do the greatest show of all time justice at all.

Thunderbirds is a 2004 children's movie directed by... eh, this movie is so bad it doesn't even deserve the courtesy of the director and cast being me... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFluffysheep May 18, 2017


it is a good movie for kids who love adventure and action

What's the story?

In this live-action update the 1960s British television show, ex-astronaut Jeff Tracy (Bill Paxton) of International Rescue and his five sons live on a secret island in the South Pacific in a spectacular house filled with gadgets to help monitor the globe and operate their rescue equipment -- submarine, plane, rocket ship, space station, and pod vehicles. Super-geek Brains (Anthony Edwards) keeps all the technology running smoothly. Just as teenage son Alan (Brady Corbett) and his best pal Fermat (Soren Fulton) return from boarding school to the secret hideaway in the South Pacific, his father and brothers are lured away by the evil Hood (Ben Kingsley). Hood plans to use the rescue equipment to rob the world's biggest banks, bring down the global economy, and frame Jeff Tracy as the thief. The Tracy everyone thought was too young to go on missions has to work with his friends to rescue the rescuers.

Is it any good?

Corbett makes for an attractive and appealing hero and the kids have a nice natural chemistry together. Kingsley is clearly enjoying himself as Hood, but the highlight of the movie is the delicious Sophia Myles as Lady Penelope, who is always game to trounce the bad guys while tossing off quips and maintaining her exquisite coiffure.

The action sequences in Thunderbirds are exciting without being too scary. Kids will enjoy seeing the bad guys sprayed with Nickelodeon-style green slime and the way that Fermat uses Alan's retainer to save the day at a crucial moment. The equipment is also very cool, especially Lady Penelope's very chic pink car/plane and Alan's hovercraft. The film drags a bit when the kids are chasing the bad guys all over the island while we are impatient for them to just get on the darn plane, but overall, these Thunderbirds are GO!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how kids can sometimes feel that their parents don't  realize that they are ready to grow up and the importance of listening carefully. 

  • How does Thunderbirds compare with other space-adventure movies you've seen?

  • Do you like movies with lots of special effects and explosions? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

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