Note that there will be a change of plans for the forthcoming Saturday reviews. The next three weeks will be reviews of the three Terminator movies. A new schedule will be posted within the next week.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

James Spader as Daniel Jackson.

Kurt Russel as Jack O’Neil
Alexis Cruz as Skaara
Jaye Davidson as Ra
Mili Avital as Sha’uri
Erick Avari as Kasuf
French Stewart as Ferretti
John Diehl as Lieutenan Kawalsky

Written by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich

Directed by Roland Emmerich

Complete information is available from the IMDB.

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Past movie reviews can be found here.


In 1928, technology beyond anything we’d be able to create today was found buried in Egypt. In 1994, the genius of Daniel Jackson allows the military to finally turn the thing on and travel to another world.

High Point

“I have an idea.”

Low Point

Constellations are terrible reference points. They should have at least mentioned something about how the reference must be a particular star within the constellation, but they don’t know which one. This still has a problem, though, in that most of the stars in the constellations found that long ago look bright because they’re really, really close, and there’s no way they could be sent to “the other end of the known galaxy” using them as guides.

The Scores

This is Devlin and Emmerich’s best and most original collaboration. It has a blend of the heady sci-fi Emmerich worked on with Moon 44 (where the two met) with just enough of the action and mass audience appeal that Devlin brought to the team to make it commercially viable. (It was the increasing amount of this contribution that turns me off their later collaborations.) There are few areas where the exploration of ancient Egypt will turn into a sci-fi action film, too. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects work fairly well for the budget. There are times when the sand beneath the pyramid is clearly CGI, and other times when the city is clearly a model, but most of the effects work well. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is well done. In this, the Director’s Cut, we get a few scenes about the other item found at the dig site (that didn’t make a huge contribution to the movie as a whole), but the biggest difference when compared to the theatrical edition is that the other soldiers (and Ferretti in particular) play larger roles, providing some of the information provided by Jackson and/or O’Neil in the theatrical release. It makes this feel more like a team effort and less like a pair of effective individuals surrounded by incompetants. The main story is interesting as well, with some decent justification for the lack of long-term development of a culture over 1000 years. I also like the fact that the cause of death of O’Neil’s son is clear, but never stated aloud. It shows a lot of respect for the audience, and makes us realize that we may have misjudged O’Neil’s intentions the first time we saw him. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was well done. Spader and Russell are certainly recognizable, but neither was a major star when this came out. The casting was chosen based on ability, which is also why every major Israeli actor and actress found a spot here somewhere. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is fairly strong. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat, but I was entertained, even on repeated viewings. I give it 4 out of 6.

The production was well done. David Arnold’s score was great, particularly for a relative newcomer. The lighting didn’t have a lot of variation, and the scenes with the second relic should have stayed cut, but it’s a decent little movie by some (then) little known creators.

I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decently entertaining movie, worth checking out, particularly as a lead-in to the series. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, the director’s cut of Stargate receives 31 out of 42.