Box art for G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

action & adventure

The story is set at Brussels-based GIJOE, Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, and revolves around an international co-ed force of operatives who use high-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil organization headed by a Scottish arms dealer.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
5 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
4 out of 5

Too violent for kids, too childish for grown-ups.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this relentless action adventure inspired by the '80s cartoon/toy line is filled with extreme (albeit minimally bloody/gory) violence. Kids will want to see it because they're the ones who play with the toys, but there's no end to the parade of characters who are slashed, stabbed, shot, or dispatched in various other ways. (Unlike in the similarly inspired Transformers movies, most of the victims here are people, not machines). There's also a lot of potentially scary medical imagery -- needles, scalpels, painful-looking procedures, and more -- and some intermittent strong language (including "s--t"). Hasbro, the company that makes G.I. Joe toys, co-produced the movie -- meaning that the story doesn't contain product placement so much as the product placement contains a story.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence. Despite dozens of on-screen deaths, the movie earned a PG-13 rating -- do you think that's accurate? Do bloodless deaths have less impact than gorier ones?
  • It's also worth talking about the consumerism side of things. What do kids make of the fact that this is a movie based on a line of toys? Is the movie's goal to sell more toys? If not, what is it?
  • Why do you think the movie takes a fantasy-oriented approach to both violence and terrorism? Does it make those issues any less scary?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: Joe is the latest bloated float in Sommers's sad parade of cinematic shame...a glorified Cannon Films production with a nasty case of ADD."

- Brian Orndorf,, Thursday, June 24, 2010


- Dawn Taylor,, Wednesday, July 7, 2010


- Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Considering the amount of bashing this film got when it was released, it is kind of surprising how entertaining it is, despite of all of its flaws. Of course there is not much of a plot and the characters remain rather shallow, even though they are trying to give them a background with a couple of flash backs. Their fate still remains somewhat indifferent to the audience. On the other hand, there is so much going on and the film is moving so fast, almost rushed, that you don't get bored with it. Unlike some other releases it also has as much action to offer as you'd expect from such a film. The power suit chase through Paris is particularly silly, but also great fun and the showdown is pretty huge. So even with couple of embarrassingly bad parts (like, sorry to report, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character) this is an overall spectacular and entertaining, even if dumb, piece of action cinema. For what it's worth.

- ironclad1609, Saturday, April 7, 2012

2 stars

If you're jumping into this movie to be emotionally invested into the characters and plot, don't watch this. Now I am one that hates "Transformers 2" with a passion because it didn't exactly understand what direction it wanted to go. "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra" is just as mindless, but has some life in it. The character's dialogue isn't only there to drive the action to a different locale. Some action scenes are spectacular to see, except for the last one. If you wanna see a scene just like the ending, watch Star Wars... you'll get what I mean. I recommend watching it though. It's a fun time.

- fb1463751009, Thursday, April 18, 2013

2 stars

Completely ridiculous and over-the-top, but never boring, this movie is flawed but not quite totally terrible popcorn entertainment. I was happy to see a live action version of a fun show I grew up on, but I wasn't totally happy with the treatment of the characters, specifically their connections to one another, their origins, that sort of thing. I didn't mind the sci-fi elements of the plot...too much, but it did make things a bit too over the top and kinda silly at times. I was able to handle the homogenizing of their uniforms though, a la X-Men, because it might have seemed silly to those who didn't grow up with the franchise originally had the traditional outfits been used. By giving everyone generic outfits though, it also took away some of the uniqueness and distinction of the Joes as an organization. The film's casting was passable, but the performances are pretty weak and unremarkable for the msot part. Some of the effects were okay, and the Paris sequence was cool, but Sommers isn't really all that great at coming up with a strong story and characters to match the action, which, while okay, wasn't really mindblowing either. All in all, it kept me from being bored, but it didn't keep me from wishing I was watching something better. C- (and that's being nice).

- cosmo313, Friday, March 29, 2013