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Firestarter | 2022 | R | – 3.7.5

content-ratingsWhy is “Firestarter” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “violent content.” The Kids-In-Mind.com evaluation includes many scenes of people being burned and killed in flames and involving a young girl, several scenes of gun fights causing death with blood splatter, a scene of the gruesome effects of a drug being tested on several people, discussions of genetic experiments, and at least 5 F-words and other strong language. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.


Based on the novel by Stephen King: A young girl (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) becomes aware of her ability to set things on fire and she must figure out how to control this talent before an unscrupulous agency finds her and employs her skills for nefarious reasons. Also with Zac Efron, Sydney Lemmon, Michael Greyeyes, Gloria Reuben, Kurtwood Smith and John Beasley. Directed by Keith Thomas. [Running Time: 1:34]

Firestarter SEX/NUDITY 3

 – An infant nurses from a woman’s breast and we see part of the bare breast and nipple. A woman wears a low-cut top that reveals cleavage and shorts that reveal her bare legs to the upper thighs. A man is shown shirtless in bed with a woman sleeping next to him (we see his bare chest). A woman wears a tank top that reveals cleavage and bare shoulders. A man is shown shirtless and we see his bare back. A man showers and we see his bare shoulders and chest. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.
 A man and a woman hold hands and embrace.

Firestarter VIOLENCE/GORE 7

 – We see a few scenes of people undergoing experimental medical testing and they scream and thrash; one man pulls his own eyes out (we see the darkened eyes sockets with blood on his face and the eyeballs on his hands covered with blood).
 A young girl hiding in a man’s car questions him and locks the doors, he tries to draw a gun on her and she blasts him with flames, burning him (we see his badly burned face and embers glowing) and he moans until she blasts him again killing him. A young girl sets a woman and a man on fire; we see them in flames and hear the woman screaming. A man causes another man to shoot a third man in the chest killing him (blood splatters) and then the shooter grabs his own chest and collapses on the ground (he was told to “stop breathing”). A cat scratches a girl and the girl causes it to burst into flames; we see the animal glowing with embers and hear it moaning until the child kills it with another burst of flames and cries. A young girl is held by a man with a knife to her throat and as she becomes angry, things in the room become hot, flames burst toward the man and he is thrown back as the house is engulfed in flames. A young girl yells at her parents, tells them she hates who she is and that she hates them; the woman’s arms catch on fire and she falls to the floor moaning (we later see her badly burned flesh). Flowers burst into flames in a child’s nursery; a man smells smoke and picks the child up from a crib that is in flames and the child’s head bursts into flames (this is a nightmare). A young girl is threatened by a woman and the child sets herself on fire as a threat (we see her sleeves in flames) until she douses the flames with no visible injuries.
 Several people wearing protective suits move toward a young girl and she lobs flames at them (they are unscathed), and a man shoots them and blood splatters on the girl’s face. A young girl unlocks containment doors and a man inside one of the rooms comes out; one man takes a gun from an agent and shoots him in the head while the girl sets several people on fire (their heads burst into flames) and two guards shoot each other; the girl throws a ball of fire at a man and sets a woman on fire after saying, “Liar, liar pants on fire,” and we see charred remains on the floor. Many police officers with guns drawn surround a house when they are called to investigate a suspect; a man in a field nearby shoots the officers and we see them struck and fall to the ground with blood spraying, and as the first man runs toward the house he is shot in the leg and collapses and a young girl creates a ball of flames that shoots out toward the gunman. A man in a woman’s home questions her about where her husband and child are and squeezes her face; she causes a lamp to crash into a wall and they fight with things being thrown around the room as she runs through a hallway and into a room; the man kicks the door open and she yells throwing more things in the room until he holds her around the throat (we see her tumble out of a closet dead later with blood on her face and throat). A young girl enters a facility where she disables security cameras and is pursued by security guards.
 Middle school aged children play dodgeball in a gym and a boy throws a ball hard into the back of a girl’s head; she becomes angry, storms out of the room, hides in a stall in a bathroom and the water pouring from the sinks’ faucets boils and fills the room with steam as a woman enters to try to console her; there is pounding behind the stall door, the woman touches the door and burns her hand, and a blast of flames bursts out of the stall throwing the woman to the floor (she is not injured). A man is shown strapped into a chair and a woman questions and slaps him in the face. Three teen boys bully a young girl and mock her, calling her names until she controls their minds and makes them do what she asks (she takes one of their bikes and some of their clothes). A young girl causes a building to burst into flames and we see explosions as she walks away.
 A man performs a treatment technique to help a woman stop smoking; he flicks his head to the side and we hear a crack, the woman’s eyes dilate and the man seems to be influencing her thoughts (we later see the man wincing in pain and holding his stomach as a stream of blood drips from his eyes). A man’s eyes bleed, and he collapses to his knees and convulses when he uses his powers to control other people’s minds. A young girl dissects a frog and we see goo pour out of the creature. A young girl practices setting fires in a forest with kindling and boils water in a nearby brook.
 A young girl runs through a forest alone and sleeps under a tree where she has a nightmare about her mother’s murder. A young girl accidentally falls through a screen in the window of a shed where a woman is seen on life support. A woman is startled when she hears pounding on her door. Agents put special contact lenses in their eyes so they can be impervious to mind control and they handcuff a man.
 A man tells a woman, “Terminate the girl.” A man and a woman argue in a few scenes. A man yells at a young girl. A man tells his young daughter that bad people are after them and if they are caught, they will go to jail. A man describes a car accident that killed his son and left his wife on life support; we later hear that the man was driving and caused the accident. Children in a classroom laugh at a girl when she says that she does not have access to the internet; she says, “Too much screen time can cause problems.” A young girl says, “Something feels weird in my body,” her father thinks that she is talking about puberty and the girl tells him that she is talking about, “the bad thing.” A young girl plays with a lighter and she says to her father, “You promised you’d quit.” A man says that he was raised in a group home. A woman says, “The internet rots your brains.” A man tells his daughter that people will send him to prison but that they will study her. A young girl plays with chickens and her father tells her, “Try not to cook any of them.” A teen boy asks a young girl, “Don’t you ever bathe?” A woman says that a man is having micro hemorrhages. A man tells a young girl, “Burn it down.”
 A man has a large tattoo on his back. A man is shown with a bloody wound in his shoulder. A man on a phone call asks, “How’s the nausea?” and talks about the first trimester of pregnancy.

Firestarter LANGUAGE 5

 – About 5 F-words, 4 scatological terms, 4 mild obscenities, name-calling (goober, weird girl, freak, monster, unwanted trash, old guard, lab rats, weirdo, dummies), exclamations (wow, ew, tough luck, oh), 8 religious exclamations (e.g. Holy [scatological term deleted], Jesus, oh my God, dear God, a man says a prayer over a spot where a cat has been buried). | profanity glossary |

Firestarter SUBSTANCE USE

 – A man and a woman are asked if they ever took hallucinogenic drugs. Two men drink beers together, and a man is shown with many empty beer bottles in a room and he says he is drunk. A young girl scolds her father for not having quit smoking (we do not see him smoke), and a man performs a treatment to help a woman stop smoking (please see the Violence/Gore category for more details).

Firestarter DISCUSSION TOPICS

 – Experimentation, telekinetic abilities, fear, anger, bullying, homesickness, nuclear power, exploitation, morality, greed, regret, genetics, natural law, premonitions, telepathy.

Firestarter MESSAGE

 – Manipulating people’s genetic makeup can have unpredictable consequences.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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