THX 1138 Movie Poster Image

THX 1138



Slow sci-fi drama for die-hard Lucas fans only.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1971
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

THX's strictly controlled society is disturbing.


Physical fighting, electrical pole prodding, and an extended car chase.


Nudity and depiction of sexual intercourse.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

People are forced to take drugs by the government.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is a science-fiction film taking place in a future where the government controls human reproduction by banning sexual intercourse. A character watches naked male and female holograms dancing on a viewing console. Nude characters are also shown having sex. Robot cops prod men with poles that seem to electrically shock them. Physical skirmishes take place in the detention center among prisoners.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

What's the story?

THX 1138 is the name attached to a man (Robert Duvall) living in a future world where the government tightly controls all aspects of life including marriage and reproduction. Control is achieved through close video monitoring and enforced prescription of sedative drugs. THX's female roommate, LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie), secretly prevents him from taking the drugs that kill his libido. As a result, THX and LUH develop a physical attraction to each other and break the law by having sex. Very shortly after the act, THX and LUH are arrested and brought to a detention center. It is there that THX meets fellow prisoner, SEN (Donald Pleasance) with whom he attempts to escape.

Is it any good?


George Lucas produced this film as a short while attending film school; his visionary depiction of a future world is striking, and contains some elements that definitely pop up in his later work. With the help of Francis Ford Coppola and the success of his previous work on more commercial films, Lucas was able to expand THX 1138 into a full-length feature film. Demonstrating his early interest in science fiction, the film is much slower and more thoughtful than Lucas's later Star Wars (1977), its sequels, and its prequels.

While certainly an interesting allegory and interesting to look at, THX's lack of character development will leave viewers feeling cold and empty, kids will find it boring due to its slow pace, and it will most likely appeal to die-hard Lucas fans only.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether this 1971 movie's vision of the future and its technology seem possible. Should the government have the power to involve itself in one's personal issues such as love and family? In THX 1138's version of the future, citizens must be under constant video surveillance, and are compelled to take prescription drugs. What kind of effect does this have on THX and LUH's ability to think freely?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1971
DVD/Streaming release date:September 14, 2004
Cast:Don Pedro Colley, Donald Pleasence, Robert Duvall
Director:George Lucas
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality/nudity

This review of THX 1138 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written by4kidshater September 21, 2010

It may be Lucas's first film, but has lots of sex and nudity. Only for perverted frat boys

This film is bad. It has sex. Ewww!!!!! it has nudity. ewww!!!!!! It's bad. It's very satanic. Definetly not like Star Wars(1977) or American Grafitti(1973). I highly skip this title.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?