Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 20
  2. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Wall to wall blood 'n' guts laced with surprisingly keen social satire, much of it targeting the fatuousness of media culture.
  2. A collection of shots and characters designed to circle the globe rather than to say anything much about either the filmmakers or the audience, a triumph of multinational capital at work rather than of people or ideas.
  3. 50
    Faithfully represents Heinlein's militarism, his Big Brother state, and a value system in which the highest good is to kill a friend before the Bugs can eat him. The underlying ideas are the most interesting aspect of the film.
  4. Paul Verhoeven's movie takes more action than ideas from Robert A. Heinlein's 1959 novel, which is just as well, considering the book's goofy suggestion that military veterans should control society from top to bottom.
  5. 40
    What makes the claptrap in Starship Troopers so flabbergasting is that it's monumentally scaled.
  6. The movie is sensationally exciting, but its hey-kids-let s-put-on-a-war! story line plays like Beverly Hills, 90210 recast as a military-recruitment film for the Third Reich.
  7. What Ed Neumeier's script provides instead is a cheerfully lobotomized, always watchable experience that has the simple-mindedness of a live-action comic book, with no words spoken that wouldn't be right at home in a funny paper dialogue balloon. Not just one comic book either, but an improbable and delirious combination of "Weird Science," "Betty and Veronica" and "Sgt. Rock and His Howling Commandos."
  8. Reviewed by: Jeff Giles
    An empty videogame of a movie about interplanetary pest control.
  9. 75
    Although none of the characters are fleshed out much beyond the comic book level, we nevertheless find our sympathies aligning with them.
  10. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    In this bizarrely discordant mixture of ultraviolent action footage, bad acting, crisp special effects and futuristic camp, the remnants of Heinlein's rhetoric of military pride stick out like a grimy Marine uniform at a high-toned Hollywood party.
  11. The film's special effects are astonishing, but the most notable and unexpected thing is its tone.
  12. Reviewed by: George Powell
    Jingoistic politics are not proper or prudent in the pluralistic human society of the 1990s. It's much easier to assuage these baser urges by facing a real nonhuman enemy that just wants to kill you. War is gore. You or them. That message is the real strength of "Starship Troopers," although many may find it morally flawed. No matter, this is powerful entertainment that appeals to our most basic instincts.
  13. The word "arachnid," as it's said so contemptuously in the movie, begins to sound suspiciously like "Iraqi," and indeed, we soon see the elite bugs are hunkered down in their desert fortress, resisting the mighty air assaults of the Federation. The conclusion of our story involves unearthing the chief bug.
  14. Pretty actors, grisly critters, brains sucked out of skulls, buckets of green slime and a plot that is half beach blanket bingo, half Iwo Jima.
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Maybe the filmmakers are so lost in their slambang visual effects that they don't give a hoot about the movie's scariest implications. [10 Nov 1997, p.102]
  16. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    This is a movie nasty enough to kill off the major characters twice and still manage to serve up a happy ending.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    This twisted space opera serves up carcasses in six-digit figures but is foremost a sendup for the ages.
  18. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    A spectacularly gung-ho sci-fi epic that delivers two hours of good, nasty fun.
  19. Nothing like the sight of thousands of scuttling, hideous, practically indestructible insects crawling up the sides of a fortress, hellbent on destroying the human race. As they keep coming and coming, they’re the only things in this movie earning your money.
  20. 20
    It's exactly like "Star Wars" -- if you subtract a good story, sympathetic characters, intelligence, wit and moral purpose.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
  1. AndyM.
    Oct 3, 2008
    One thing that immediately struck me about the film was the absolute gender equality that seemed to be present in this society. Such an aspect starts out as being novel and inspiring, until you realize it's just an excuse for the filmmakers to put hot women in scenes which would otherwise be all-male. In addition, the themes of war and violent conflict are addressed, as well as the morality of the destruction of life that may be sentient and intelligent. But these thought-provoking concepts are quickly thrown away for more entertaining things like dramatic visuals and gore. It is an entertaining picture, I'll give it that. The "brain bug" that is apparently intelligent looks like it has a vagina on its face. Yet, there are so many ridiculous things... the prominent one being the strange ability for overgrown bugs to attack other planets, yet without any kind of tool use other than "throwing a meteor". Additionally, I was constantly wondering why these troopers went around blasting fruitlessly at this unaffected bug-monsters with rifles, when they could just drop a huge bomb and be done with it! Oh, right, classic weapons make better cinema. I mean, despite the faults, one should watch it for free on, while it's up. Otherwise... you could skip it. Full Review »
  2. TomT
    Mar 8, 2007
    A thought-provoking, entertaining sci-fi action film based on Robert A. Heinlein's Hugo award winning classic sci fi military novel..that is not for the squeamish, the humorless or the knee jerk, politically correct. Full Review »
  3. A.Nonymous
    Nov 15, 2007
    It may not be the most original, epic or awe-inspiring movie ever, but it's FUN. You remember that? FUN? The thing we used to have before every movie is now rejected if it isn't a Jane Austen drama? Full Review »