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4.4 out of 5 stars 168 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Firestarter, the unforgettable best-seller by esteemed horror author Stephen King, chronicles the extraordinary life of Charlene “Charlie” McGee. Eight-year-old Drew Barrymore stars as the child who has the amazing ability to start fires with just a glance. Can her psychic power and the love of her father save her from the threatening government agency, "The Shop," that wants her destroyed? Filled with blazing special effects and featuring an all-star cast including Martin Sheen and Heather Locklear, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher and George C. Scott, Firestarter is a must-own film for any fan of the supernatural.

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Drew Barrymore, George C. Scott, David Keith, Martin Sheen, Art Carney
    • Directors: Mark L. Lester
    • Writers: Stanley Mann
    • Producers: Jr. Frank Capra, Dino De Laurentiis
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2014
    • Run Time: 115 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B00KW3A6KE
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,944 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By A Customer on August 11, 1999
    Format: DVD
    I had first seen this film in bits and pieces when I was four. I thought it was okay. Recently, I rented the film and found that I really, really like it. I just bought the book and was shocked to discover how faithful the movie stays to it.
    I love little Drew Barrymore. Watching her in this movie when she was eight years old, I wish that she was my little sister. David Keith is excellent as Charlie McGee's father. I've never seen him in anything else besides this film. George C. Scott portrays John Rainbird very well. He steals every scene he's in with a wonderfully twisted performance, whether it be trying to be friendly with Charlie, or talking to Martin Sheen about disposing of her.
    I've heard many comments about laughable dialogue and acting. I'll admit that I have chuckled once or twice at some of the lines, but that's because I like those lines; I don't hate them. I especially chuckled a lot at the scene in which Rainbird fakes that he is afraid of the dark. My most favorite line is spoken by Freddie Jones (Dr. Wanless), which regards Charlie's power and how it could destroy the earth.
    After reading comments by people in which they say that the film is silly and laughable (especially Leonard Maltin's review), I cannot understand that these people do not feel any emotion towards Charlie McGee. What I mean is, after all the trouble she's been through, her parents are both dead, you just can't help feeling sorry for her. Every time I watch the film, I am in tears at the end because nothing left in her life. The music during the end credits is what really gets me. It's a beautiful, sad tune that makes you think of Charlie's face.
    I wonder exactly how this film was received upon its theatrical release in 1984.
    Read more ›
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    Format: DVD
    What I think people don't understand about this story is that in
    the year 1984, alot of the "Big Brother" theories were coming to life, meaning there were alot more authors writing stories about the secret factions of the United States Government. The Shop is the faction that Stephen King created, and the novel Firestarter takes you on the complete ride of what it feels like to have nowhere to hide. The movie is terrific, but in some parts I do feel like it may have been quickly knocked together, so they left out some important parts in the script. In the novel, Andy and Vicki McGee naively take part in a government experiment in college, but have no idea what they've gotten themselves into. The Shop is portrayed as diabolical, cold, and heartless. 'Either you be brainwashed, or you'll be exterminated. It's your choice.'
    And THAT was what made it scary. Charlie and her power was not meant to be the frightening part at all (even though it is at times (: ) The frightening part is that a little girl is born into a situation in which there is no way out. So that's why I think that the movie and the book are underated by most critics.
    But Firestarter is my all time favorite King book next to The Shining.
    Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
    They really did an excellent job with the Bluray transfer. I have seen some other movies of the same genre and of the same era (80s) that had very poor bluray transfer. Thank God, this is not the case here. This is the good news. Bad news is that there are no extras or bonus features.

    As for the film itself, I actually think it holds up better than I remembered it. I had seen it many years ago on VHS tape and I remembered liking the movie. I have recently started to build Stephen King movies collection so I picked this up to add to my collection. I think this is one of the best Stephen King movies out there. I don't expect movies to be hundred percent faithful to the source material so in my opinion, being a good adaptation and being a good movie are mutually exclusive things.

    I think the movie was very well-directed, flashback scenes were edited appropriately, acting was quite good (George C Scott steals the movie with a great performance; his Rainbird character is one duplicitous villain played with perfection) although I think Drew Barrymore did also a great job portraying Charlie, the little girl with a terrifying supernatural gift and affection for her father. Special effects were awesome. I've read some criticisms about the special effects in this movie; quite frankly I have no idea why anyone would complain about the special effects in this movie unless they are expecting CGI effects. Personally, I prefer old-fashioned special effects. I am happy this movie was made with the special effects that were used back in the day.

    I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes Stephen King movies, or enjoys fantasy/sci-fi genre. If you are fan of X-Men, you should definitely give this movie a chance (I could clearly imagine Charlie joining the X-Men). Other Stephen King movies that I like and recommend: Christine, Cujo, Carrie, The Dead Zone, Salem's Lot (1974), The Shining (1980), Silver Bullet and Misery.
    Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video
    Having just re-read the King novel, I was interested in seeing this movie again, just to see how close it stuck to the source material. I will say that it's a pretty good adaptation of King's story, and stay pretty close to the source material.

    As the movie opens we see Andy McGee and his young daughter, Charlie, running from some obvious 80's government henchmen. Using his psychic power, Andy tricks a cab driver to take them to a distant airport in hopes of eluding the agents. We get a quick flashback and learn that Andy met Charlie's mother while in college and taking part in a medical experiment for a drug called Lot 6. Once injected Andy was able to read people's minds both he developed psychic powers. Also because of Lot 6, Charlie can also has psychic abilities, her most powerful is the ability to ignite fires. At the airport Charlie takes a disliking to a soldier arguing with his girlfriend, and lights up his boots. We now know why and who the shadowy agents are after.

    I remember seeing this film ages ago, but remembered almost nothing about it except for the fiery finale. I wasn't the biggest fan of the novel, and the flaws that I found there are also evident in the film, if anything they are magnified simply because the novel provides greater character development and a slower pace. With that said, my favorite part of the novel is the same thing I really enjoyed about the movie, and that's the character of Rainbird, here played by George C. Scott. Scott just oozes an evil charisma that you can't look away from.

    The cast overall is really good, and you almost wish they were part of a better story. "Firestarter", both the novel and the film, feel pretty dated. Both seem to reflect the time of the Vietnam/Watergate/Kent State 60's & 70's, and now, 40 years later in the age of Wikileaks, 24-hour investigative news and the internet, the evil government agency trope has kind of lost it's fangs.
    Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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