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Dark Star (1973)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 24
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 5

A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.


Average Rating: 6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 2

A loopy 2001 satire, Dark Star may not be the most consistent sci-fi comedy, but its portrayal of human eccentricity is a welcome addition to the genre.



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Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 10,820

My Rating

Movie Info

The directorial debut of horrormeister John Carpenter comes in the way of Dark Star a parody of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001--A Space Odyssey. The story follows four hippyish techno-nerds in their mission through deep space to destroy planets and ward off boredom and loneliness as they attempt to hold on to what little they can remember of Earth. When their weapons system malfunctions, they are forced to deal with a "smart" bomb trapped in the launching mechanism, and the acting captain

Mar 16, 1999

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (5) | DVD (13)

By introducing human eccentricities into the cold structure of SF, Carpenter creates a vision of the technological future that is both disillusioned and oddly affirmative in its insistence on the unscientific survival of emotional frailty.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The dim comedy consists of sophomoric notations and mistimed one-liners.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sheer delight.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are some funny routines here, though Mr. Carpenter doesn't seem to have cared much about integrating or sustaining them.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A berserk combination of space opera, intelligent bombs, and beach balls from other worlds.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An enjoyable lightweight outer-space hippie spoof.

November 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

... a grungy, darkly humorous declaration that, in the end, boredom and human slovenliness trumps technology and high ideals.

November 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

It wouldn't be a cult classic if everybody liked it, now would it?

October 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

John Carpenter's guerilla undermining of the pomposity of space odysseys

June 21, 2010 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Hats off nonetheless to young whippersnapper John Carpenter, whose studenty tale of space tedium, aliens and molasses-black humour remains approximately a thousand times better than the director's last 15 years.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Uneven but enjoyable.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4

An intermittently hilarious satire on 2001.

June 6, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Isn't nearly as funny as it once was...but it nonetheless has its amusing moments.

April 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Conta com idéias e momentos interessantes e divertidos, mas a precariedade técnica acaba comprometendo a experiência.

March 24, 2007
Cinema em Cena

It's the wonderful combination of sly humor and intelligence that characterizes Carpenter's best work.

March 7, 2004 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

This little cult classic, even from the distance of nearly three decades and even with all limitations of its budget and age, looks much brighter than its title would indicate.

July 1, 2003 Full Review

John Carpenter's super-low-budget sci-fi pic gets a really slow start but becomes tons of fun for its last couple of acts.

January 30, 2003 Full Review Source:

Dark Star is, in many ways, the Anti-Star Trek, and deserves its cult classic status.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix

The plot is something only film school students making an independent film could get away with: the Dark Star in question is a star ship that floats around endlessly in space looking for unstable planets to demolish.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

Audience Reviews for Dark Star

Dark Star is an intelligent and funny parody of Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, 2001--A Space Odyssey, one of my favorite films of all time. If you're going to parody a great film, you've got to do it well, and they did. The budget was visibly small but the inventive camera tricks really work well and also add to what is so charming about it. Space film parodies have been made since but this is the daddy. I've got no doubt at all that this was the inspiration for the great British TV sitcom Red Dwarf. The beginning is a little slow and you may wonder what the hell is going on but the last 20 minutes is cinematic gold. The beach-ball alien had me in stitches too.
January 7, 2014

Super Reviewer

I suppose it would have been entertaining for its time (despite Star Wars) and I did find it a slow but thoughtful and interesting piece. I can see the similarities between this and 2001 which is not a bad thing. It was well thought out and had some great comedy moments (intended or not). A good watch but not something you could view again and again.
September 24, 2011

Super Reviewer

Probably the best space satire featuring a crazed beach ball. Loved the ending.
March 12, 2011

Super Reviewer

Carpenter's first movie is a dud! It's supposed to be a spoof of 2001, but it's even more boring, as the jokes are obvious and unfunny. I hated this movie, and I've been trying to sell my copy ever since!
December 30, 2010

Super Reviewer

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