Critics Consensus

Firestarter's concept hews too closely to other known Stephen King adaptations, though it's got nice special effects (including scenery-chewing George C. Scott).



Total Count: 24


Audience Score

User Ratings: 55,066
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Firestarter Photos

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 effects are undeniably startling, even when the script and dialogue are straight out of the funny papers (it's hard to keep a straight face during the New York Times final shot!) The high-priced cast--including George C. Scott, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher--seems to be having a grand ole time. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Drew Barrymore
as Charlene 'Charlie' McGee
George C. Scott
as John Rainbird
David Keith
as Andrew 'Andy' McGee
Heather Locklear
as Victoria 'Vicky' Tomlinson McGee
Freddie Jones
as Doctor Joseph Wanless
Martin Sheen
as Captain Hollister
Art Carney
as Irv Manders
Louise Fletcher
as Norma Manders
Moses Gunn
as Doctor Pynchot
Antonio Fargas
as Taxi Driver
Drew Snyder
as Orville Jamieson
Jeff Ramsey
as Steinowitz
Jack Magner
as Young Serviceman
Lisa Anne Barnes
as Serviceman's Girlfriend
Larry Sprinkle
as Security Guard
Cassandra Ward-Freeman
as Woman in Stall
Scott R. Davis
as Bearded Student
Nina Jones
as Grad Assistant
William Alspaugh
as Proprietor
Steve Boles
as Mailman
Stanley Mann
as Motel Owner
Robert Miano
as Blinded Agent
Leon Rippy
as Blinded Agent
Carole Francisco
as Joan Dugan
Etan Boritzer
as DSI Technician
Joan Foley
as DSI Technician
Orwin Harvey
as DSI Orderly
George P. Wilbur
as DSI Orderly
Carey Fox
as Agent Hunt
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News & Interviews for Firestarter

Critic Reviews for Firestarter

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Firestarter

  • Sep 10, 2016
    Despite the nice special effects and musical score, this is more a mere excuse for pyrotechnics instead of a story made to offer us anything close to real drama or character development, and it doesn't even understand the character's power enough to make it consistent.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 08, 2013
    Stephen King's Firestarter is a mediocre and underwhelming horror thriller. The story follows a father and daughter with psychic abilities who are on the run from a secret government agency that seeks to capture and experiment on them. Starring Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, Martin Sheen, and Heather Locklear, the film has a strong cast. However, the writing is rather poor; especially the dialog. And the directing is also quite weak, relying on a lot of cliches and stereotypes. There are a few intense thrills and scares in Firestarter, but overall it's a lackluster film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 01, 2011
    not a great movie but the actors make it watchable. Heather Locklear and George C Scott in the same movie!
    Grifty G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 03, 2010
    Firestarter is a film based on a powerful novel by author extraordinaire - Stephen King. OK, this movie is outdated, but it sure was fun to watch. The Plot: College couple takes an experimental government sponsored drug. Years later they get married and have a child (Drew Barrymore). The wife played by actress Heather Locklear, is murdered by agents from the secret government agency and now father and daughter find themselves on the run against the determined government outfit lead by Martin Sheen who wants to conduct experiments on Barrymore because she is gifted with a very dangerous power; she has the ability to set anything on fire just by merely thinking about it. Drew Barrymore was adorable and her innocent demeanor could melt a heart of stone. She really was the cutest child starlet next to Shirley Temple.
    Deb S Super Reviewer

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