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Firestarter (1984)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 52,791

My Rating

Movie Info

Firestarter is based on a bone-chilling novel by Steven King. Drew Barrymore plays Charlie McGee the young daughter of Andrew (David Keith) and Vicky (Heather Locklear) McGee, who years earlier had been guinea pigs for a top secret experiment. As a result, Charlie has acquired the unenviable ability to start fires simply by thinking about fires. Charlie is pursued over hill and dale by The Shop, a secret government organization bent upon using her skills for nefarious purposes. The special

Oct 10, 2000

MCA Universal Home Video

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All Critics (25) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (13) | DVD (3)

While no means a masterpiece, it's a Stephen King film worthy of viewing once or twice...

February 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

A scene-stealing performance by a menacing George C. Scott and a terrific musical score by Tangerine Dream elevate this entertaining companion piece to 1978's The Fury.

January 23, 2006

corny and overblown

April 18, 2005 | Comment (1)
Shadows on the Wall

Stephen King didn't like it, but it really ain't that bad.

November 2, 2004
7M Pictures

More interested in special effects than in dramatic flare.

August 21, 2004 Full Review
Spirituality and Practice

It's not great. It mainstreams all the novel's subversiveness, but it's watchable.

November 5, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Bad movie. Bad career move. Bad in all respects.

July 23, 2003 | Comment (1)
Juicy Cerebellum

One of the better King book-to-film adaptations.

March 5, 2003

"back off" indeed

September 19, 2002

Weak horror flick with sick overtones of pedophilia.

August 25, 2002
Laramie Movie Scope

A whole lot of explosions punctuate a whole lot of blather ... and it's one of the most woefully miscast adaptations I've ever seen!

July 25, 2002

Audience Reviews for Firestarter

The problem with Firestarter is that it is a horror film that relies way too much on elaborate special effects. The book written by Stephen King was good, entertaining, scary and effective at delivering thrills. This is a film that cheaply relies on the effects to try and create the same atmosphere that the book had, but the payoff is horrible. This is one of the worst Stephen King adaptations that I have seen. King himself, voted this film as one of the worst of his book to screen adaptations. This film was bad, and considering the cast, you'd expect something good, right? However this is a poorly constructed film that relies little on story and more on effects. I think the film would have been much better if the filmmakers would have developed the story a bit more and focused less on visuals. This is a sloppy attempt at bringing Stephen King's book to the screen. Firestarter could have been a good film, unfortunately the film fails and instead of elaborating on the story; it just becomes a visual feast for the eyes with no substance. If you're looking for a good adaptation of a Stephen King novel, you won't find it here. If you're a fan of the book, you'll be disappointed in this film. This is a film that only visually looks good, but doesn't offer anything else. If you're looking for good horror elements, look elsewhere. You won't find it here. The script and directing are horrible, and it's a shame that they couldn't bring a great book to the screen in a more memorable manner. This film is bad, and is quite forgettable.
April 16, 2012
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Another haphazard adaptation of a Stephen King novel, this quintessential eighties horror movie includes the cute factor of a young and drug free Drew Barrymore, still rising high off her role in E.T. and Hollywood acting dynasty status. The story has a simplistic premise, but the backstory and subsequent plot usually keep it interesting, including the cast of characters, each of which bring their own brand of lukewarm acting to the table. Keith is only present to give a Southern accented performance, grasping his temples and letting two trails of blood come out of his nose. Barrymore is still young, inexperienced in the craft that is acting, if we're being blunt. Sure, she's cute and can call upon her own baseless emotions to culp a performance, but she's years away from a decent portrayal of an actual human. Scott is supposed to be Native American but besides a ponytail and the name Rainbird is white as, well, George C. Scott. His, though, is the only performance truly worth watching, as he is diabolical, inserting himself into Barrymore's life with ease, eye patch and craggy voice narrating the entire tawdry deal. The effects were pretty lackluster, even for the eighties, even for the content they were dealing with. It's understandable why this wasn't given the proper attention, as it was the fifth Stephen King adaptation of that particular year. (Others included The Dead Zone and Children of the Corn). Still, it's an interesting if not obnoxious film, and it's always good to see Barrymore in the early years, before she became a decent actress and erased her childhood.
August 25, 2011

Super Reviewer

This is an incredible horror drama, and it stars Drew Barrymore as the kid, she does a great job. The story is fantastic, it's exciting and dramatic. I love this movie, it's one of my favourites.
January 17, 2011

Super Reviewer

This was one of my favourites growing up. Looking at it again now, I am not sure people watching it for the first time now would find it as good, but it was for it's time, and I still enjoy a rewatch. Drew Barrymore really was a good actress, even when she was younger.
March 7, 2010

Super Reviewer

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