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Movie Review


MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some fantasy violence and risque humor

Reviewed by: Lori Souder

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens, Adults
Adventure, Romance, Fantasy, Drama, Adaptation
2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 10, 2007 (wide)
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
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Relevant Issues
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Witchcraft in the Bible

Sorcery in the Bible

Magic and magicians in the Bible

Kings in the Bible

Prophecy and the Bible

Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

Wolves in the Bible


Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Copyright, Paramount Pictures
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Copyright, Paramount Pictures
Featuring: Charlie Cox (Tristan), Claire Danes (Yvaine), Robert De Niro (Captain Shakespeare), Sienna Miller (Victoria), Michelle Pfeiffer (Lamia), Jason Flemyng (Primus), Sarah Alexander, Ben Barnes, Mark Burns, Adam Buxton, Henry Cavill, Ricky Gervais, Mark Strong, more »
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Michael Dreyer, Chantal Feghali, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Marks, Peter Morton, Tarquin Pack, Matthew Vaughn, Brad Weston, David Womark
Distributor: Paramount Pictures

“A star falls. The chase begins.”

In the provincial and claustrophobic little English village of Wall, there is an entrance to another world, the land of magic and sorcery and witches. The keeper of the entrance is called the Old Guard. He is the watcher at the hole in the cobblestone barrier wall protecting the village. The Old Guard is human, and very, VERY old, but quite wily as he has seen every possible trick imaginable. Apparently, it is quite a hobby for the young folk in Wall to try to foil him and distract his attention from his sacred duty. He must protect the villagers from the harm that could come if the protective stone fortification is breached.

This dark and very adult fairy tale movie opens with Dunstan (Nathaniel Parker) as a boy who amazingly foils the Old Guard and crosses over into the magical realm. He soon meets an attractive slave girl, and they enjoy a quick sexual tryst (off camera) in the gypsy wagon while her mistress is away. Dunstan returns home to the human side of the wall that night and never returns to the other side. Nine months later to the day, a basket from the magical side of the wall arrives at his door from the Old Guard and a baby boy is inside. This is the origin of Tristan.

Tristan (Casanova) is the somewhat likable main character of the movie, and he is played by Charlie Cox. You may not have seen him before. He is considered a young “up and coming” UK star. However, there are many well know actors in this film, from Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Robert De Niro, and Claire Danes to the venerable Peter O'Toole.

Tristan is a gawky youthful dreamer who makes a foolish promise that seems impossible to keep. He must penetrate the magical world behind the wall if he is ever to prove himself worthy of his heart’s desire, which happens to be, as in all fairy tales, a beautiful girl.

Victoria, played by Sienna Miller (Casanova) portrays the lovely young queen of hearts in the village. She has options and opportunities for a good marriage and a wonderful life with the rich and educated set in Wall. This leaves Tristan at the bottom of her list.

So, to distinguish himself from the rest, Tristan imprudently promises something that has boxed him into a corner. How can he bring Victoria a fallen star that descended on the forbidden side of the barrier wall? If only he could do that, it would bring him all that he desires and Victoria’s heart would be his. But it is so much more complicated than it seems.

Using a black magic candle from his mother that was found in his baby basket, our hero does get beyond the wall. What he finds there is not a star to bring home to prove his love, but a gentle and radiant girl that all are seeking for their own evil reasons. He must rescue her from her inevitable destiny and bring her back to his home. But first he needs to face down a few powerful residents of the kingdom. Can he fight them and win, or figure out the way to escape back to the safe side of the wall? Can he foil the scheming witch Lamia (Michelle Pheiffer) who has to save herself and her sisters from a fate worse than death—living all wrinkled up and weak, instead of hot and frisky. So they don’t have any anti-aging cream, vitamins, or plastic surgery in a whole kingdom full of magic? Even we have that on our side of the wall!

At one point in the movie, our main characters are plucked from the sky by a floating dirigible/pirate sky ship. It is filled with prerequisite nasty men who merrily rip off treasure from the clouds. Harvested and bottled lightning bolts can be traded for anything at Ferdy the Fence’s place. You don’t even want to know what the pirate captain (Robert De Niro) does in his spare time. It’s not what you think. Oh how it made me long for the wholesomeness of the charming Captain Davy Jones in “Pirates of the Caribbean”!

The movie is set in a time past, a never-never land, a once upon a time—a Victorian-flavored world with a medieval tone. The costumes are imaginative and lush, and the stone construction of the village adds to the fairytale feel of the movie. The special effects are well done, and the interiors dark and richly detailed.

What starts out as a great idea for a fantasy movie quickly becomes an seemingly endless parade of heartless patricides, murders, forecasting the future with runes made from bone, killing animals and foretelling the future with their entrails, torture, murder, and reanimation with a voodoo doll, discussion of ritualistic cannibalism, animals devouring living people, and so many adult themes that it would take more time for me to list them than to watch the movie. How can you enjoy watching a father gleefully murdering his son while his other sons laugh, or women greedily planning to rip a young woman’s heart out and eat it?

I thought this movie would be a visual feast, but there were too many scenes where I wanted to avert my eyes. Just for starters, every time another of the royal brothers murdered each other, a horribly disfigured, rotted, or axed-in-the-head ghost would appear in the line up of the “funny” guys who followed the still living brothers around. They made helpful comments that no one but us could hear, They popped up unexpectedly, watched the exciting parts of the story, including off-camera sexual activity (ok, only one of them wanted to see that). Then there was the demonic witch Lamia’s constant changes back and forth from vixen to age-spotted, Shar Pei-style, wrinkled witch, with her hair falling out, cleavage going up and down, and rotting teeth.

Slavery of young women is a big theme in the movie. Our hero, Tristan, enslaves the Yvaine (Claire Danes) with a magical metal rope before she even has a chance to crawl out of the crater created by her fall. Later, he chains the innocent and vulnerable girl to a huge tree and leaves her alone at night with no food, water, or protection! Ditchwater Sal, a witch, has a slave girl that she treats badly, and there is mention of the illegitimate child (Tristan) that the she was forced to give away. The slave girl is bound by an invisible force and cannot be freed until her owner is dead. The girl has no name, and of course, is very beautiful. Another reoccurring theme is the older woman preying on a younger one for her youth, beauty, and life energy. We see this theme as the wicked witch Lamia tries to literally suck the life from the “star” in the film, Yvaine.

I find the theme of the older women abusing, torturing, and stealing life from the younger women a deeply disturbing one. There is no representation of mature female nurturing or kindness in the movie; the only good characters are purposeless girls that are young and beautiful. The older women are cruel, scheming, and deceiving, clutching at life though abusing and/or murdering young women. The young women in the movie have no direction in life and are either in slavery (Una), bondage (Yvaine), or sell themselves off to the highest bidder (Victoria).

This movie is based on the novel of the same title by Neil Gaiman. He has many fantasy books that blend real life with pagan gods, magic, fairy tales, and fantasy. The director, producer, and screenplay writer of this film, Matthew Vaughn, previously directed only one other feature movie to date, the R-rated thriller “Layer Cake.” Despite its innocent sounding title, it earned its R-rating for strong brutal violence, sexuality, nudity, pervasive language and drug use.

In my opinion, “Stardust” is not suitable for children, due to the disturbing scariness and brutality of some scenes. It might confuse or upset some younger viewers to see a beautiful actress (Michelle Pfeiffer) being so wicked and physically rotting. As there are no good, mature females in this film, the film distorts women’s aging and maturing into an evil thing.

I really was looking forward to seeing “Stardust,” but I did not enjoy it at all. There were so many in-your-face adult themes in the movie, yet it garnered a PG-13 rating by not showing blood spurting out of all the stab and sword wounds. Apparently the new term for repeated murders without showing blood is “fantasy violence.” But everyone that is murdered in the film is gone for good, no one gets up and has more “lives,” as in a video game. I cannot recommend this film for any reason, and certainly not for children or teens. I think that it reduces females to possessions (young) or evil witches (mature). But somehow, even though Yvaine is called a “stupid cow” by Tristan and is enslaved by him as a present for another girl, she somehow falls in love with him, and they live happily ever after. Talk about a Hollywood ending.

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer Comments
Comments available:
Positive—For anyone who has seen Hallmark’s miniseries “The 10th Kingdom,” “Stardust” feels much in that vein. Both stories are pretty clean fairy tales that combine a real world with a magical one. As the story unfolds, the audience finds the usual rum of magic, romance, chivalry, interesting characters, and catchy humor—not all necessarily in that order. In addition, there are several, praiseworthy details that go beyond these. I’ll mention a few and then complain about a few others, but only briefly—this is a good film that exceeds the usual escapist entertainment. First of all, Claire Danes is in the movie. I like Claire Danes. This was a nice incentive for me to go. Fortunately, “Stardust” has a lot more to offer than ol' Danes, so you needn’t worry. This is not a Danes vehicle.

Robert De Niro is… great. Such a small word doesn’t do his performance any justice. Watching his crazy (and I mean crazy) antics and his band of airborne pirates alone give “Stardust” high replay value. Mucho recommend this movie if for nothing else than seeing these guys. And before I forget, the dead princes are hilarious! They remind me so much of the heckling Marley brothers from “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”

The story is very engaging. There is the inherit element of peril akin to any good fantasy story. A wayfaring hero must safely reach a destination with something or someone, all while being pursued by several forces in a race against the clock. Good formula. It’s tried. It’s tested. It works. It captivates the audience and holds their attention until the end. Works for me!

The battle of good versus evil… gallantry… self-sacrifice (not a heavy theme in this story, but still present)… always gems in any tale of romance and adventure, and “Stardust” is wise to include these themes. Speaking of the latter, I’ll make a sidestep. I loved “The Notebook.” Got a soft spot for certain romance stories. This is a good one, full of charm and gentle endearment. The only downside to it is the implied sex scenes. Doh! Yeah… one is a catalyst for the plot, the other… completely unnecessary. It ruins some of that sweet romance I was talking about.

Other than that and a few cheesy CGI effects (okay, a lot of kinky CGI), “Stardust” doesn’t boast anything subject to criticism, not mine anyways. This is a good, heartwarming tale that seems pretty original to me. I give it three thumbs up.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Jacob Keenum, age 21
Positive—I went to see this movie thinking it would only be mildy entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised. It was surprsingly engaging, and sometimes even funny. Certainly not the best movie ever, but it was good.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4½
—Josh, age 28
Positive— …“Young and shallow” or “old and evil” unjustly simplifies actions and themes surrounding women. Slavery, bondage, and property do not come across to me, a woman, as female centered, but more as part of the time period, and the magical land where these things occur. The main female character was quite well rounded, smart and demure. She wasn’t overtly sexy, she was beautiful. Immature perhaps, her captor, as noted by the critic, isn’t the only one who threw oral barbs; she verbally assaults and snubs him first. The men in the film fared no better. Only two showed any character: one who had to develop his, and the other whose chivalry was mixed with (or we are to assume stems from) a side of himself most of us would not agree with.

I found the killing of the animals done in a way as comically gross not morbidly gross. It is what witches are known for. I like that there is no glossing over magic or witchery here. They are bad. They are ruthless and selfish. And completely ready to kill, maim, and destroy anything and anyone in their way. This isn’t Harry Potter. I found the ghostly peanut gallery quite entertaining. Their sibling debauchery isn’t like watching Godfather: mob-like violence occurring in real life settings. This is completely for fantasy’s sake.

I am more concerned with sexual and homosexual content. “Stardust” pokes fun at both aspects. Ghostly peeping, one night stands and pre-marital sex in the name of love appear as usual in secularly, liberal adaptations. If it weren’t for the issue constantly being forced upon us, I wouldn’t mind laughing at some revelry cross dressing, but I take any such references with great skepticism, knowing it has the added effect of making this perverse and blatantly Biblical abomination more and more acceptable. One scene where a young man is turned into a goat and then as a ruse, turned back to human form, but as a “daughter,” immediately has him fascinated with “his” new endowments. It also has “him” very happy to help the heroine of the story into a bath—coming off as not only innuendo but lesbian-ish.

Notwithstanding all this, I loved this film as a well developed story and setting. The plot was interesting, the setting lavish and believable. I was immersed into its world much like Lord of the Rings—but just in the aspect of a complete world. The characters are sympathetic, charming, or evil and ruthless, all well developed for the most part. Ricky Gervais (Night at the Museum—Dr. McPhee) has a great stint as a shop owner who’s highly gregarious. Robert De Niro (not Duvall), the pirate captain, turns our zero to a hero teaching him sword play, fashion, as well as friendship. Claire Danes is beautiful, spunky and rewarding as the star of the show. Michelle Pfeiffer does her dastardliest as the scheming witch. Sir Ian McKellen of “X-Men,” “Lord of the Rings,” not Patrick Stewart, is the narrator and his voice works very well for the part.

Interesting aspects and themes to explore: the human world/village is separated by a wall with one breech guarded by a faithful old man. We are all part of a physical world and susceptible to a spiritual world with a breech called sin. If we are diligent with prayer we may keep ourselves guarded. However, if we—through curiosity or pride—cross that divide there are consequences that can affect us even to the next generation.

Unconditional love is explored, defined, and acted upon in the movie by our main characters. I thought it well done. The father is portrayed as loving and supportive of his son—a rarity in our feministic society. There is also the royal heritage to be thought of. Even though the human people could not see or recognize it, once it was found out, there was a certain regret shown on the faces of those who had scorned the thought-to-be “average” shop boy. We all have a royal heritage as Christians but we don’t live in our Father’s Kingdom; but we must still represent it. Through the film royalty is not disclosed but the ability to handle such an office is embedded through the many trials and adventures, as well as through love, friendship, and sacrifice.

No “bones” about it, this movie has magic, violence, innuendo, and non-marital sex off camera, but no cussing that I recall unless a “damn” was in there. But it is charming, funny, well done and worth seeing for older children (teens) and adults.
My Ratings: Average / 4
—Cheryl Floyd, age 36, Guam
Positive—While not a Christian, I frequently read the reviews on this site. They tend to highlight troublesome movies. That’s why the review for this movie had me stumped. In any narrative, there is some sort of conflict. You generally have characters that you can relate to (call them the good guys), and characters whose goals and motives you disagree with (call them the bad guys). This is fairly basic storytelling. That being the case, I agree that there are some bad things shown and discussed in this movie. Murder, cannibalism, and slavery do come up as the reviewer said, but they’re all done by the bad guys. The good guys fall in love, risk their lives for each other, and help each other to survive. Robert De Niro's character may offend some, in ways I won’t go into, but even he risks death rather than betray the young heroes. The bad guys, true to their natures, do bad things and pay for it by the end of the movie. They meet their ends largely as a consequence of their evil deeds. I find this theme to be quite Biblical. If you’re going to the theater to be told a story, you are going to have to accept a little conflict. The value is in how the conflict gets resolved. If the good guys can resolve it without compromising good values, that to me is a good story. By that criteria, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this movie to anyone.
My Ratings: Average / 4½
—David O'Neal, age 38
Positive—This was the single most enjoyable movie of the year. Not only does it convey amazing story telling with incredible visual effects, but it also delivers great characters with actors to match. Evil is clearly shown as Evil, Good is shown as Good. Strait up enjoyable.
My Ratings: Average / 5
—Daniel R.
Positive—…Many of us nit-pick entertainment for every tiny thing that is present in anything. And “present” is a neutral word, revealing the state of something being present or absent, implying nothing morally, just that it exists. And that is what is in the characters of this movie, the presence of qualities that make them seem like individuals, or, in other words: convincing characters. Now simply because convincing characters are in a movie does not at all mean that the movie supports such actions or traits. Quite the opposite in fact. For verisimilitude they are added, for theatre’s sake they are exaggerated.

…Some obvious clarifications: Captain Shakespeare (De Niro) is only a transvestite, or a man who likes to wear women’s clothing or frilly things or anything considered womanly. Fine perfumes, silks, sashes, dresses, hairstyles, what have you. …He may have been a homosexual character, but nothing regarding sex is even implied. All we know is he was a transvestite, one who wears and enjoys wearing women’s clothing and fine things like poetry, music and the grace of swordplay. He doesn’t “rip off treasure from the clouds.” He collects lightning, little different from a fisherman collecting fish in his nets or a miner mining. Do we consider mountains cheated when they yield to the pickaxe? No, this character shows admirable qualities in the way he helps the heroes and keeps silent under duress. No homosexual agenda promotion here, just a captain trying to enjoy fine things and not be judged a “whoopsie” for it. And his men all knew, proving that he never bedded a ny of them, for why would he try to hide it from crewmen who committed the very act with him?

The magic in the film was supposed to be evil, and does more to villify it than many other films. Harry Potter (which I don’t have any compunctions regarding anyway) does make magic seem costless and convenient, flashy and desirable. But real magic, as we know, is fueled by bargains made with evil beings, and done in rites which involve gore. This is exemplified in the movie. Something that brings power, yes, but at a price. Cutting open animals and dark acts involving blood and entrails, having to deceive, murder and remove the heart of a living being for something as petty as beauty and long life. But what sort of life? As the time goes on, they are slaves to the hunt of stars, not enjoying their many years but spending them always lusting after the next star’s heart. This is among the most moral portrayals of the cost to the self that playing with fire of this sort involves, showing children the ugliness of real-world witchcraft by presenting such a lifestyle as such. And finally, (though I could go on) it does not distort the aging process as a wicked thing, it shows that some can be so shallow that they regard beauty and power as worth the price of practicing witchcraft and murdering the innocent to obtain. These are the exceptions to the rule. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Matthew Lilly, age 23
Positive—…Apparently Ms. Souder missed the part where Tristan’s mother inspired him to “Be the man I know you are” at a moment in which he could choose to either run and spare his own life, or fight a horrendous evil to save Yvaine at the possible cost of his own life. She went from an irresponsible girl who had a one-night-stand to a mature woman who inspired her son to greatness.

Ms. Souder makes much of the fact that Tristan chains up Yvaine, calls her a “stupid cow” and takes her as a possession to present to Victoria, and completely misses the whole point of the story. The theme of the story is about how Tristan, an irresponsible, naive, selfish, petulant boy becomes a courageous, self-sacrificing man. …

…the movie depicts evil as evil. For example, all the witches are evil. What’s wrong with that? The witches use magic to appear beautiful, but their true physical self mirrors their inner evil. Sounds like a pretty accurate depiction of evil to me—a veneer of beauty on the outside, rotten on the inside. What’s wrong with that? As for violence, the movie depicts all violence, except in cases of self defense or defense of others as evil. Again, what’s wrong with that? Furthermore, except for Tristan’s use of the Babylon Candel, all magic is depicted as evil. …the Bishop says at one point that it would be good for Stormhold (the magical kingdom) to “finally have a benevolent king.” The king and all his sons are evil (except, maybe, for one), as were all their predecessors, and apparently as a result, almost all the characters living in Stormhold are evil. That changes, but in order to not give a way too much, I won’t say how.

Are there moral problems with this movie? Of course there are. It’s a Hollywood movie, not a church play. The movie doesn’t call all sin what it is. There are two cases of sex outside of marriage, and neither is criticized as sinful. The captain’s… er… hobby is sinful, and never criticized as such. Also, Tristan uses the Babylon candle, but his use of magic is not criticized. None of that takes away from the main theme of the story, an irresponsible, naive, selfish, petulant boy becomes a courageous, self-sacrificing man. Because of that, I recommend the movie to adults with enough discernment to weed the bad from the good, and mature teens—especially boys—as long as they watch it with their parents and discuss the good and bad aspects of the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Oscar Schneegans, age 33
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie; despite the unneeded sex scene and Captain Shakespeare’s cross-dressing (which was actually kind of funny, paired with the “can-can” music), I loved the classic good vs evil plot. The witches were, finally!, portrayed as witches should be: evil through and through. You also really wanted Tristan to be King, because after watching the late king’s sons kill each other, you were ready for a good king. The review by Lori Souder bugged me though; the typical “Christian” view that you can’t watch anything that isn’t blatantly Christian is wearing thin, and I’m a Christian. I have to wonder if Ms. Souder would have liked the movie if it had been based on a book by Tolkien or Lewis. The best parts of the movie are when Lamia explodes from the dark/evil in her not being able to stand the light/good of Yvaine shining; and when Yvaine is talking about the limitlessness of love. I’m getting tired of the idea that you can’t learn Godly principles from non-Godly movies, books and music. There is something to learn just about anywhere, but are we willing to look for the buried treasure?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Melody Johnson, age 26
Neutral—First of all this is not at all a movie for children. To put it in perspective, “Stardust” has much darker magic and a lot more violence than any of the Harry Potter films. The witches in “Stardust” are truly evil. There are a number of grotesque scenes. With that said, “Stardust” is a captivating fantasy with excellent acting from just about every main and minor character. It is an original good vs evil story with frequent comic moments. One of the more interesting movies of the year. Just don’t take your children unless you want them to have nightmares for weeks.

My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4
—Todd Adams, age 40
Neutral—In my opinion, “Stardust” is not suitable for children, due to the disturbing scariness and brutality of some scenes. It might confuse or upset some younger viewers to see a beautiful actress (Michelle Pfeiffer) being so wicked and physically rotting. I am curious since when does beauty equate a good person? Are we not supposed to be teaching that what is on the inside is more important than then shell out?
My Ratings: Average / 1
—Joe, age 25
Neutral—I’m not quite sure what to say about “Stardust” (hence the Neutral rating). On the one hand, it was entertaining and well-made; on the other hand, I found it lacking in the moral department on several occasions. Firstly, it was hard to be touched by Tristan and Yvaine’s romance when they met and had, within a week, fallen in love (and, incidentally, into bed). This is certainly not my definition of romance; it is more like my definition of lust. Also, though witchcraft is only practiced by those who are designated “evil,” it was still often uncomfortable to watch (particularly the last climactic sequence). “Stardust” was entertaining and sometimes sweet, but it was difficult to thouroughly enjoy due to the occasions on which I was disturbed by the immoral sexual content and use of witchcraft.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kendall, age 14
Negative—Why does Hollywood feel the need to add pre-marital sex and homosexuality to almost everything they produce—even fantasy movies. I would have said this movie was “ok” if not for those things. As it is, those extra slices of immorality did NOTHING to save this movie from a ho-hum story. Don’t let the special effects fool you. Go rent “Princess Bride”!
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Ann So, age 34
Negative—I saw this movie because I won a free pass otherwise I probably would have not seen it at all. I think I would have been sorely annoyed had I paid for it. The overall story was good, and at the end of the movie I had no questions left; I wasn’t left wondering anything. I knew the movie involved witches, and being a fantasy movie, I expected some spells and the like. It was the extras I could have done without. Divination from animal entrails—I didn’t see the point. There was also voodoo and the suggestion of homosexuality (cross-dressing Robert De Niro) which left me very uncomfortable. I’m not entirely sure why he couldn’t be cultured without this nuance, but I do admit it was funny to watch. There is also some nudity. I don’t recommend this movie for under 16s, even though our children are exposed to so much these days.
My Ratings: Offensive / 4
—Charmaine, age 37, Canada
Negative—This movie is on my top “personal worst movies that I have ever seen.” This movie was “good” or interesting for about 6 minutes. This quickly turned around when the main character’s father has an intimate relationship with someone who he just meet. This also happens later on with the main character himself and I personally found this to be offensive and just plain unnecessary.

In addition to this, this “magical” kingdom is run by a “noble” family that delights in the slaughter of fellow family members and they don’t mind bringing innocent victims into the mix. The really sick thing was that they wished for the viewer to find this funny as well… which I personally find disgusting.

Apart from the movie promoting moral atrocities, the movie itself was just plain awful. It becomes very apparent that they people who wrote this story started with specific fairy tale objects and simply wrote a story around it… for example the unicorn… it was not needed and was introduced to help direct the plot… and very poorly at that. This movie also brings in characters from other TV shows, such as the merchant who gets skewered by a man from the “noble” family. This is the same character as the British comedy show “The Office.” This clearly shows the creative ability of the writers for this movie… FYI when the merchant was stabbed everyone laughed at that as well since he could only make one sound… very sick.

I could personally write a whole book on how horrible this movie is but I’ll leave it at that. Overall, I would not suggest watching this movie; it’s neither worth the time nor the mental stress that this movie consumes or causes.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1
—Josh Lawson, age 22
Comments from young people
Negative—…I figured Stardust wouldn’t be that bad because it was rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and risque humor. I have only been a Christian for about a year and before my faith I watched anything and everything. Becoming a Christian has helped me realize that what we fill our heads with is extremely important. This movie was filled with sex jokes, witchcraft, gay jokes, swearing, God’s name in vein, sex, shallow ideals, revealing outfits, murder by family members?!?!, and plenty of other stuff that wouldn’t build a Christian’s mind up. There where a couple of moments where the main girl talked about love. She noted that love was unconditional and something that shouldn’t be earned. This is very true with Christ’s love for us. But the few redeeming moments were squandered with Hollywood filth, suprise, suprise. I wouldn’t waste your money on this movie. Christ calls us not to be involved with even a hint of sexual immorality and there was plenty more in this film than a hint.
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 4½
—Cody B., age 17
Positive—What others have said about this movie is broadly true. Certainly, the movie does present violence, slavery, mention of ritual cannibalism, etc. However, the thing to remember is that these are all presented as evil acts, done by evil people, not as things to be admired. The movie also presents a homosexual character. If that’s reason enough for you to hate this movie, fine; I won’t argue about it.

Where I feel other reviewers have missed the point is in the essential themes of the movie. This movie is a fairy tale, and like most fairy tales, it exalts some of the highest virtues—courage and unconditional love. Both Tristan and Yvaine are good people. They go through incredible danger to defeat the evil witches, out of love for each other and out of simple morals. Tristan protects and aids Yvaine, even though it’s not necessarily in his interests. The witches are evil and, surprise, they act evilly. They are defeated in the end by the good heroes. G.K. Chesterton said of fairy tales, 'They do not teach us that dragons exist, they teach us that dragons can be defeated.' This is no less true despite that the dragon is quite, quite evil, and that St. George is no saint, but rather a quite flawed man. This movie still teaches us that good can triumph over evil, and that is why it is ultimately moral.
My Ratings: Better than Average / 3½
—Doug Ryan, age 17
Neutral—While some may find the movie to be somewhat questionable, I found it to be very enjoyable. The occurences of thoughtless murder and premarital sexual intercourse is nothing new, although it is highly uneccessary. While the characters do not mention God in any way, the prevalent theme throughout is clear—agape, unconditional love. In lieu of the subject matter, I would recommend it for anyone over 13.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Elizabeth, age 16
Negative—Personally I thought that it was a horrible movie, and after watching this film, I was very disappointed. It had lots of witchcraft (even to the point of killing small animals), immorality, and not even that great of a movie either. After watching this movie, I tried to think what parts could be taken out to make it an O.K. movie, and I decided that after they took out all of the bad parts that there would not be much of a movie left. So if you’re wanting to watch a movie, and after watching a movie to not regret watching it, then I wouldn’t recommend “Stardust.”
My Ratings: Very Offensive / 1½
—Jacob Strickland, age 13
Positive—…I enjoyed the movie a lot, it was fast-paced enough to hold my attention, but not too fast to get lost in. The other reviews covered the plot, so I won’t go over that. The acting was pretty good (I didn’t think it would be very good, and was pleasantly surprised).

As for some of the content: there is a lot of magic involved, so if you’re the type to be offended by Harry Potter, I wouldn’t watch it. Most the magic used (if not all of it) is black magic, the minor forms of it being transforming people into animals and back again, causing a roadside inn to appear out of nowhere, fire, a candle that teleports you, and maybe a couple more that I’m missing. Some of the more questionable magic includes using runes for direction, slaughtering animals for various purposes, changing a man into a woman (he cheesily sprouts breasts), decapitating a woman (whose body then continues to run around), and trying to tear out the heart of a woman to live forever. A lot of it sounds worse than it really is (depending on your opinion of magic), so again, if you don’t mind Harry Potter magic, you won’t mind this magic. There are three main witches in the movie, along with another witch who claims to be neutral, but that’s questionable. Anyways, the three main witches are very evil, and are only ever shown that way.

As for the ghosts, I don’t see why that’s a big deal. Some of them can be taken as grotesque, but they’re there as a form of comic relief. If you’re offended by the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland you might be offended by the ghosts. There’s plenty of killing (sometimes a little graphic, but it is PG-13 after all). There is a man who is a tranvestite (the main review made it sound like he is gay, but there is no reference that he is partial to men). One of the witches decides to show off her newly youthful body to her sisters (without clothes on), not much skin is shown though.

So, it may seem like there’s a lot of offensive material in there, but it all depends on who sees it. I was offended by nothing except the premarital sex, and because of that, I was able to just enjoy the plot and the movie. Very entertaining, and I’ll look forward to watching it again when it’s on DVD.
My Ratings: Average / 3½
—Nick, age 17
Positive—I went to see Stardust with my older sister and my mom and expected to be bored. I had seen previews for the movie and didn’t really want to go see it. But, seeing as my sister was on break from college and she wanted to see it with me, I went. I LOVED it! Yes, there was objectionable material, but the movie itself was wonderful. I don’t like that Hollywood has to put in homosexuality, pre-marital sex, and truly evil witches into it, but it didn’t keep me from enjoying the movie itself. Fantasy is just that, fantasy, and should be taken as such. It was a really good movie that I would recommend, perhaps not for young children (because they wouldn’t get it), but definitely for ages 10+. A really enjoyable movie.
My Ratings: Offensive / 5
—Jackie Eastridge, age 17
Neutral—I’m not quite sure what to say about “Stardust” (hence the Neutral rating). On the one hand, it was entertaining and well-made; on the other hand, I found it lacking in the moral department on several occasions. Firstly, it was hard to be touched by Tristan and Yvaine’s romance when they met and had, within a week, fallen in love (and, incidentally, into bed). This is certainly not my definition of romance; it is more like my definition of lust. Also, though witchcraft is only practiced by those who are designated “evil,” it was still often uncomfortable to watch (particularly the last climactic sequence). “Stardust” was entertaining and sometimes sweet, but it was difficult to thouroughly enjoy due to the occasions on which I was disturbed by the immoral sexual content and use of witchcraft.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Kendall, age 14
Comments from non-viewers
I have not yet seen the film, but have taken the opportunity to read whatever materials I can find on the movie. From what I can tell, there are many significant changes from the book to the movie. In the book:
Yvaine’s eventual romance with Tristan is much more believable.
The witches are still evil. Much more so, in fact.
Tristan is a hero in the vein of many of the old fairy tale heroes. Yvaine has her good qualities as well. There are other characters who demonstrate heroism and self-sacrifice throughout the story.
The ship captain is never (to my recollection) depicted as a debauched individual.

On the negative side:
Una and Duncan’s tryst is given quite a bit more detail in the book. This was the only part of the book that never made sense to me, and as it is only needed to explain Tristan’s origin it is easily ignored.
Any viewer of film should probably read the book beforehand. It’s short and very enjoyable, and will help many to understand what’s going on in the movie.
—Mike Hines, age 22
…I have not seen the film yet but I know the source material very well and it’s obvious that the person who wrote your main review is looking at this from completely the wrong angle. First things first the book the film is based on was not written for children it was written for adults and is marketed for adults (don’t believe me check with the publisher), therefore it might be reasonable to assume that the film might have adult content. Just because it has a low rating does not mean it’s suitable for Kids, I mean Caberet is a PG but isn’t really a kids film. Secondly the source material takes the form of a fairytale and as such will be very dark in tone, all traditional fairytales that have persisted throughout the centuries (if not longer are). Your reviewer goes on about the themes of younger women being enslaved and abused by older women as though it’s never been a theme in kids’ film and literature before Disney has tackled the same themes countless times (cinderella enslaved and abused by stepmother and step sisters, Belle is kept captive by the beast and falls in love with him just like Yvaine and Tristan, Snow White and the Queen can be seen as similar to Yvaine and the witch Queens and their jealousy of the star’s beauty and in this case immortality). And like these fairytales Stardust keeps to fairly strict morals, those who are evil get their comeuppance, those that are good may be led astray (was not Christ tempted?) but return to the fold in time. Plus, it ends with a greater moral, that true love is not always found where you expect but should be searched for, which could in the right hands be used to promote abstinence in the young (Dunstan has sex outside marriage is stuck in a world he does not feel comfortable in, Tristan finds true love and has world of wonder to explore). Oh and thirdly there are three themes in art sex, death and religion and the bible contains all three in great quantities.
—Jonathan Bowgett, age 23, United Kingdom