Innerspace

  • Review Date: March 9, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1987

Common Sense Media says

'80s sci-fi adventure comedy has some drinking, swearing.
  • Review Date: March 9, 2012
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1987

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Characters work together for a common goal despite differences. Bravery and initiative are rewarded; negative thinking and fear of change are shown to be limiting factors.

Positive role models

Jack and Tuck have their flaws and are both guilty of acting selfishly/irresponsibly, but they step up when it counts and help each other become better people. Lydia is a smart, independent female character. The villains are clearly bad guys.

Violence

A supporting character is shot and dies after dramatically fleeing and collapsing in public; a little blood is shown. A main character is abducted and threatened with pain/torture. Frequent scenes of suspense and peril, including a punching/kicking fight in a careening car; characters are also Tasered, chased, slapped, punched, menaced with guns, tied up, knocked out, and more, though nothing gets too serious/scary. A menacing bad guy in a robotic suit meets a fairly grisly end (more is implied than shown). While Tuck is inside him, Jack's innards are shown (blood stream, organs, etc.).

Sex

Tuck is left naked in the street after chasing Lydia (it's suggested that they've had sex) and having his wrap caught in a cab door (his backside is shown). Kissing between two couples; Jack ogles Lydia's legs. In one scene someone thinks Jack is giving his penis a pep talk (he's actually talking to Tuck) and says "Play with it, pal; don't talk to it." One bad guy has a fake hand; it's implied in one scene that he attaches a sex toy to it (though kids likely won't pick up on this). One of the bad guys is shown in Speedo-style underwear.

Language

A few uses of "s--t," "damn," "ass," "crap," "hell," and "son of a bitch."

Consumerism

Jack works for Safeway, and the store/logo is shown/mentioned several times.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

It's implied that Tuck likes to party and drink; he's quite drunk in the beginning of the movie and acts overly flirty and belligerent. Later, Jack and Tuck get drunk together and dance. Other drinking includes cocktails, wine, and champagne. Supporting characters smoke cigarettes and cigars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Innerspace is a fun, if often silly, sci-fi adventure from the '80s about a miniaturized pilot (Dennis Quaid) who winds up injected inside the body of a neurotic store clerk (Martin Short) when an experiment goes awry. They face frequent peril from sometimes-menacing bad guys; violence includes one gunshot death (minimal blood), threats of pain and torture, fights, and more. There's also a fair bit of language (including "s--t"), drinking, and sexuality (including a shot of Quaid naked from behind), but the movie's overall tone is light, and the goofy humor will appeal to tweens.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's the story?

In INNERSPACE, cocky pilot Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) volunteers for a cutting-edge military science experiment: He'll be miniaturized inside a special submersible and then injected into the body of a rabbit. But after bad guys storm the facility and chaos erupts, Tuck ends up inside neurotic grocery store clerk Jack Putter (Martin Short) instead. Once Jack stops thinking he's hearing voices and enlists the help of Tuck's on-again/off-again girlfriend, reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), the race is on to find out who raided the lab so they can retrieve the special chip Tuck needs to reverse the miniaturization process before he runs out of air.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Directed by Joe Dante, who also helmed Gremlins, Explorers, and episodes of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories, Innerspace has an unmistakably '80s feel. And not just because of Ryan's spiky, bleached hairdo and shoulder pads; there's something about the movie's mix of lighthearted spirit, engaging adventure, and slightly edgier content (including drinking, swearing, and sexual humor) that has a kinship with fellow '80s movies like The Goonies, Splash, and Ghostbusters.

Innerspace isn't quite as memorable as those movies, but it's fun, and if you like Short's showy style of humor, there's plenty to laugh at (he even gets to dance around goofily a la Ed Grimley). As long as you're OK with things getting a little bawdy at times, you could do a lot worse for a tween-friendly adventure.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays drinking. Are there any consequences for the characters who drink? Do you think there would be additional/different ones in real life?

  • Is the movie scary or exciting? Why is some violence upsetting, while other action scenes are thrilling?

  • How do Jack and Tuck change over the course of the movie? What does each one learn from the other?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 1, 1987
DVD release date:July 9, 2002
Cast:Dennis Quaid, Martin Short, Meg Ryan
Director:Joe Dante
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Innerspace was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old February 7, 2014
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

I can't believe what I saw.

Dennis Quaid was shown naked. You can see his butt.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families