[Screen It]



(1982/2002) (Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild Minor Mild *Moderate Minor
Moderate None Heavy None Mild
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor Minor Moderate Mild Minor

Sci-Fi: When a spaceship and its travelers accidentally leave one of their companions on Earth, a young boy finds and befriends the extra-terrestrial and then tries to help him get back home.
Elliot (HENRY THOMAS) is a normal kid who discovers a small alien in his backyard after the visitor's spaceship accidentally leaves him on Earth. Although they initially don't believe his story, Elliot's older brother Michael (ROBERT MacNAUGHTON) and younger sister Gertie (DREW BARRYMORE) eventually do once they see the extra-terrestrial. The three then try to keep him a secret from their recently separated mom, Mary (DEE WALLACE STONE).

They're not the only ones interested in the creature that's now called E.T., however, as government agent Keys (PETER COYOTE) and his team begin to zero in on the alien's location. As the kids learn more about E.T., they discover that he wants to go back home, and thus set out to help him do just that.

Yet, as Keys and his men eventually pinpoint E.T.'s location and the alien begins to grow ill, Elliot and the others race against time to do whatever they must to keep E.T. out of the government's hands and allow him to return home.

Of course they will.
For language and mild thematic elements.
  • HENRY THOMAS plays a young boy who finds and befriends E.T. and then does whatever it takes to protect him.
  • DEE WALLACE STONE plays his recently separated mother who doesn't believe his stories about his initial encounters with E.T.
  • ROBERT MacNAUGHTON plays Elliot's brother who initially doesn't believe him, but then helps him hide and then rescue E.T. He uses some profanity.
  • DREW BARRYMORE plays their younger, somewhat precocious sister.
  • PETER COYOTE plays the government agent who's perpetually in search of E.T., but we eventually learn he doesn't want to harm him.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    The following is a quick look at the film's content. Certain scenes (often accompanied by suspenseful/ominous music) may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to younger kids, but that depends on the viewer's age, level of maturity and tolerance for material. That includes moments that have spooky or mysterious elements or tones, chase scenes and, of course, when E.T. is dying and then dies (although he quickly comes back to life).

    Profanity consists of at least 2 "s" words, while a handful of other expletives and colorful phrases are also used. In one scene, the alien discovers and consumes beer, becoming intoxicated just like the young boy who has a sympathetic/symbiotic relationship with the alien (but the boy doesn't physically drink any himself).

    Various instances of imitative behavior are present, as is some minor violence where characters are bumped or tossed around, while some tense family moments include talk of the parents recently being separated and the father not being there.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

  • E.T. finds cans of beer in the fridge and quickly drinks one. He's instantly intoxicated and stumbles about the room, running into the counters and then falling down. Meanwhile, since he and Elliot share experiences, the boy begins to appear intoxicated while in school, slips down in his seat and then drunkenly smiles at a girl in his class. We then see E.T. drinking another beer.
  • Elliot nicks his finger on a circular saw blade and just a little blood is seen on both (but E.T. magically heals Elliot's wound).
  • Some will obviously see Keys and his team as having both for pursuing E.T., and the government men eavesdrop into neighborhood homes listening to private conversations
  • Some of Michael's friends make fun of Elliot and his stories of E.T.
  • Some could see the kids as having both for keeping E.T. a secret from their mom.
  • Some early scenes in the film (set in the woods at night), and as accompanied by suspenseful music, might be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to some kids (depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material) as things aren't initially made quite clear about what we're seeing (we only see partial glimpses of E.T. as this point).
  • As more such music plays, various trucks pull up, and E.T. lets out a scream-like sound and runs. We then see that E.T.'s spaceship is about to take off and the humans are chasing him. Some kids may find it unsettling that E.T. is left behind with men being after him.
  • Elliot hears noises outside at night and slowly approaches the family's shed. He throws a baseball into it and something (E.T. whom we don't see) throws it back out.
  • We then see Elliot out in the cornfield at night, looking around with his flashlight after hearing more noises. He then catches a partial glimpse of E.T. and screams, causing E.T. to scream and then run off with his noises surrounding Elliot in the cornfield.
  • E.T. slowly waddles/shuffles toward Elliot outside at night (seen mostly in silhouette) and Elliot can't get enough volume to his voice to call out for help (and looks nervous and scared). Accordingly, E.T.'s appearance may initially scare some younger kids.
  • As Elliot tries to get off the phone with his mom (and is thus distracted), E.T. climbs into the bathtub, and then slips under the water and appears to be drowning. Elliot then sees him, pulls him above the surface, but then sees that E.T. enjoys being under the water and was not in danger.
  • Some kids might not like a scene where a science teacher drops mothballs soaked in chloroform into jars containing frogs to kill them so that they can be dissected (none die, however, as Elliot frees all of them).
  • Kids may become concerned when comments are made about E.T. not looking good, and then again later when Michael finds him in a culvert (looking pale and as if dead).
  • Scenes where a government car chases after Michael on his bike could be suspenseful to some kids.
  • Scenes where the government agents show up at the family home in what look like spacesuits and reach out for the family that tries to run away, might be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to some younger viewers.
  • Kids might be upset when E.T. and Elliot are hooked up to medical equipment and when E.T.'s health begins to deteriorate and he's declared dead (although moments later we see that he's alive again).
  • Elliot tries to pull out some pins holding plastic tubing to the back of a van before two government agents manage to crawl through it and reach him. Government agents then chase Elliot and others (who are on bikes) in a sequence that might be adventurously suspenseful to some kids.
  • Fake Knife: Worn as part of Michael's Halloween costume (as if it's been stabbed into his head).
  • Phrases: "What's all this sh*t?" "Geek," "Douche bag," "Shut up," "Penis breath," "Give me a break," "How the hell do I know?" and "I don't give a damn."
  • As Mary bends over in the kitchen, one of Michael's friends licks a finger and points it out toward her clothed rear end, but nothing else happens.
  • Elliot fakes being sick by heating up a thermometer with a light bulb to make it look like he has a temperature. Later, when talking to his mom on the phone, he pours some soda onto the talking end to make it sound like he's vomited (so that he can hang up the phone and check on E.T.).
  • When the other kids hear about Elliot's "spaceman," one of them asks, "Where's he from, Uranus? Get it? Your anus."
  • Kids throw balled up pieces of paper at each other on a school bus.
  • Elliot loudly belches (due to E.T. being intoxicated).
  • Elliot lets some frogs loose in a science class so that they won't be dissected.
  • Elliot grabs a girl's hand in class, pulls her toward him and plants a kiss on her (while being subconsciously influenced by a movie E.T. is watching that shows the same thing happening between a man and woman).
  • As Mary goes to pick up Michael and Gertie out on the streets on Halloween night, we see many kids throwing toilet paper around, one egging Mary's car, and others rolling burning trash cans down the street.
  • Michael and Elliot steal a government van (with E.T. in it), and Michael drives away even though he doesn't have a driver's license, and then don't stop when government agents chase after them.
  • None.
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, ominous and adventurous music plays during the film.
  • None.
  • At least 2 "s" words, 2 damns, 1 hell, 1 S.O.B., and 2 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Oh God," "God" and "My God" as exclamations.
  • As Mary bends over in the kitchen, one of Michael's friends licks a finger and points it out toward her clothed rear end, but nothing else happens.
  • We see a lit cigarette in an ashtray on a table where Michael and his friends are sitting, but we don't see anyone ever smoking it.
  • E.T. watches TV and sees an old Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom appears to be holding a lit cigarette.
  • We learn that the family's father is in Mexico and talk of that upsets Mary and makes Michael mad at Elliot for bringing it up.
  • Later, we hear that Mary and her husband recently separated.
  • After finding one of his shirts, Elliot and Mike reminisce about their father taking them to ball games and movies.
  • Mary worries that Elliot has run away (but he hasn't) when he doesn't return home on Halloween night.
  • Whether life exists on other planets and if aliens have ever or will ever visit Earth.
  • Taking in unknown animals into the house without telling one's parents.
  • What the government men wanted with E.T.
  • Death and dying, and how when other living things die, they don't come back to life like E.T. does.
  • Michael accidentally backs into Elliot's shelves and causes them to collapse to the floor.
  • Mary opens the fridge door and unknowingly and accidentally knocks E.T. to the floor.
  • Elliot nicks his finger on a circular saw blade and just a little blood is seen on both (but E.T. magically heals Elliot's wound).
  • Elliot wipes out when his flying bike lands back on the ground, but he appears to be okay.
  • Michael accidentally bangs his head when jumping up in joy.
  • Some government men tumble across the street after Elliot removes the pins holding the plastic tube they're being pulled along in behind a van.

  • Reviewed March 19, 2002 / Posted March 22, 2002

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