The Golden Child

  • Review Date: January 22, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1986

Common Sense Media says

Murphy gets mystical in '80s adventure comedy.
  • Review Date: January 22, 2008
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1986

Age(i)

2
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8
9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A classic good-vs.-evil story with the good guy not being a perfect angel, but learning from his failings. The "golden child" represents compassion in the world.

Violence

Martial arts-style fighting with weapons and injuries; a demon wants to kill a child; a girl is murdered and we see police taking pictures of her body, but her body isn't shown. The bad guys try to feed a child oatmeal with blood in it. Monks are killed trying to protect a child from demons, and a woman is shot in the back with an arrow.

Sex

Lots of innuendo with romance between two of the main characters. A woman appears in a man's dreams wearing a sexy outfit and tied up with toilet paper. A couple gets dressed in the morning making it clear that they spent the night together. A woman is described as being raped by a dragon.

Language

Quite a bit of swearing. No f-bombs, but just about everything else, at least once.

Consumerism

Quarker Oats and Pepsi.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol and tobacco use by adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has satanic imagery, mystical theories about the world, and some violence, including martial arts-style fighting with weapons and deaths, and attempted violence against a child. There's also plenty of sexual innuendo between two of the main characters who eventually sleep together, but nothing is shown.

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What's the story?

THE GOLDEN CHILD is a mystical, comedy adventure about Chandler Jarrell, a private detective who finds out his destiny is not just to find runaway children, but to save the "golden child," a bringer of compassion to the world, from the demon who has kidnapped him and will ultimately kill him. Beautiful, mysterious woman, Kee Nang, joins him on his quest. Though initially skeptical of Kee and her story of the golden child, he soon realizes that not only is the Golden Child real, the demons that are after him are, too.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This is classic 1980s Eddie Murphy. He sails through a pretty weak plot with his trademark humor, almost lending some validity to the nonsense going on around him. Murphy's Chandler is an endearing bad boy who can be a bit of a jerk when he encounters cultures that differ from his own.

Kids will love the adventure, the cute kid playing the Golden Child, and will probably get a good laugh at the '80s special effects. Parents may cringe at the thrown-together romance and the disturbing satanic imagery, but will also enjoy Murphy's great comedic timing and ad libs.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about culture shock and comedy. Most of the laughs come from Eddie Murphy's character bumbling through unfamiliar traditions. What other comedies use this type of humor? When does it cross the line into stereotyping or laughing at other traditions? Does this movie do that?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1986
DVD release date:March 9, 1999
Cast:Charles Dance, Eddie Murphy, J.L Reate
Director:Michael Ritchie
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, scary images, sexual humor, language and brief nudity

This review of The Golden Child 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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