For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
2,964 Ratings

Starship Troopers

Directed by Paul Verhoeven
United States, 1997
Sci-Fi, Comedy, Action


Loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein, this special effects-laden sci-fi action film takes place in a fascist 23rd century Earth, as the planet wages war against an army of Arachnids from space.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Starship Troopers Directed by Paul Verhoeven

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1998 | Nominee: Best Effects, Visual Effects

Hugo Awards

1998 | Nominee: Best Dramatic Presentation

One of the most merciless satires of its time, Paul Verhoeven’s gung-ho, bug-squashing Reich-fest confused critics and audiences when it hit theaters in 1997; from the gruesome effects and rousing battle scenes to the insidiously quotable script (“Would you like to know more?”) and darkly stirring score, it’s just too damn well-made for its own good.
August 10, 2017
Read full article
I must admit to admiring Verhoeven’s serious films somewhat more than the blockbusters. Spetters (1980) is a gritty motorcycle racing movie that introduced Rutger Hauer to the screen. The 4th Man (1983) is his masterpiece, about a writer drawn into a vortex of seduction and murder. Almost as good is Basic Instinct (1992), another Hitchcockian homage. But I have watched Starship Troopers more often than any of these, both for its pop philosophy and for its inspired mayhem.
June 22, 2017
Read full article
At first, few knew what to make of it. A soapy, brainless space opera with Hollywood’s toothiest young stars, or a startlingly prophetic indictment of military policy? Hey, why not both? Informed by Verhoeven’s memories of Nazi-occupied Holland, plus screenwriter Ed Neumier’s satirization of the 1959 source novel’s pro-fascist stance, Starship Troopers is the garish outlier among the self-serious war tales of the 1990s.
July 01, 2015
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    What i learned from this film is the next time ants invade my kitchen, to use weapons of mass destruction.

  • Z's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    Genocide as a party. Fear, vilification and quite finally extermination are the subjects of this film and yet it’s so fucking funny. The bland, toothpaste model kids are all perfectly cast. Verhoeven pokes and prods at the warmongering mentality with hilarious, astute amusement. You have to watch it about 20 times until you fall in love with it. It represents the apotheosis of intelligent, loaded, berserk pop cinema.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    'Do you want to see more?' Verhoeven's clever satire of totalitarianism and propaganda is well contained within the framework of adapting Robert A. Heinlein's classic sci-fi grunt novel. From its plastic fantastic casting to its fetishism of costume and perfect body types this black satire pulls no punches. Characters are simply intentionally planned cardboard cutouts save Dina Meyer who scores here.

  • Richmond Hill's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    With cartoonish impact akin to Lichtenstein pop art & Barbie-like plastic sexuality this is foreign policy as pantomime - which would be hilarious were it not ruinous in reality. Similar in technique to the earlier Robocop (media inserts etc.) this takes broader swipes at the hand that feeds it, although not satire all the way with some second-half longueurs between parodic outbursts. Plastic fantastic however. Pow!

  • T. J. Harman's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    A brilliant satire of fascist agit prop dressed up as summer sci fi popcorn flick (in a style crying Milius = Eisenstein = Riefenstahl) played so straight, there's no comfortable distance for some viewers due to a lack of prestige to the main cast or obvious "wink''s. One of Verhoeven's best US films, this could be an effective propaganda in the right presentation, which is the highest compliment a satire can get.

  • Tigrão's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    It starts out as an idealistic society depicted like a Leni Riefenstahl movie, then it goes into an absurd war against absurd enemies. The amount of violence, the character's indifference to their comrades' deaths, the "roughneck" humor derivated from all the clichés of Nam, and of course the film, constantly interrupted by TV spots. This is extremely clever.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    I'm amazed that so many in 1997 missed how clearly this is a satire. By the halfway mark, its skewered war movies, sci-fi, high school melodrama, and action heroes—and it makes a sly proposition that if our cultural avatars are bland, cheerfully fascistic action figures whose most defining characteristics are bloodlust and sex appeal, maybe we deserve to be eaten by giant space bugs after all. 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Mark Garrett's rating of the film Starship Troopers

    A beautifully stupid and epic film. Sprinkled throughout are elements of trashiness (the shower scene, the menu-like narrator, the end titles) but they all support a singular, epic vision of the Earth in the future, one that is critical and doubtful, sad and jacked-up. It's a masterpiece though, a many-edged sword, and tragically endless.

Related films