*batteries not included

Movie review by
Alex Orner, Common Sense Media
*batteries not included Movie Poster Image
Fun '80s tale has profanity, nudity, and violence.
  • PG
  • 1987
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The movie emphasizes the notion of standing up for one's beliefs.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The "bad guys" are threatening and senseless.


A gang threatens people with weapons; a character beats up another. An arsonist burns down an apartment building.


One scene shows a nude painting of a topless woman; bare breasts are on full display. Implied robot sex (bright, blinking lights coming from a shed). Kissing.


More than you might remember: "goddammit," "bastard," "hell," son of a bitch."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character is shown binge drinking by himself.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that batteries not included is an '80s movie with more iffy content than you may remember. There are some scenes of violence. One includes an arsonist burning down an apartment building. Another scene shows characters threatening others with axes and baseball bats. A character is shown binge-drinking by himself. Profanity includes "goddammit," "bastard," "hell," and son of a bitch." One scene shows a nude painting of a topless woman; bare breasts are on full display. Implied robot sex (bright, blinking lights coming from a shed).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9-year-old Written bykaizenn January 17, 2015

The zero 'sexy stuff' rating is BS.

True, there is only the one painting scene.

But it is full on naked boob and nipple. I had to have a long talk with my 9 year old daughter about it today. I do... Continue reading
Adult Written byOrko August 22, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byNonsensical_Reviews January 17, 2021

Charming, iffy 80's story has cursing, peril, and nudity.

*batteries not included is a 1987 directed by Matthew Robbins and starring Jessica Tandy, Michael Carmine, Hume Cronyn, and Dennis Boutsikaris.

Language(3/5):... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheAce May 3, 2021

Decent film

I noticed a few Karens in the reviews so I just wanted to give my honest opinion.

This movie had a solid story. I don't think the BBFC "PG" rati... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in an impoverished section of New York City, *BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED tells the story of honest, blue-collar citizens threatened with eviction to make way for a modern housing complex. The tenants find their prayers answered by an unlikely source: mechanical alien flying saucers. The saucers have the uncanny ability to restore the decrepit apartment complex and defend the tenants from their evictors. It's a quintessential movie of good people vs. bad people.

Is it any good?

Although this film often drags at points, its message is warm and heartfelt. The movie emphasizes the notion of standing up for one's beliefs. The relationships between the characters are mature, but not overly complex for a child to understand. The movie features a unique plot and conveys an overall positive message that both kids and adults will appreciate.

However, one major flaw is Jessica Tandy's character. Her performance as a senile wife is not credible as she teeters in and out of senility like a metronome. Another is the edgy content that is completely unnecessary to the story. There is no need for the profanity and nudity featured here; neither add to the plot. Parents may also be concerned about the violence.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of home. Why were the tenants willing to fight so vehemently against those who attempted to evict them?

  • Discuss the importance of standing up for what you believe in. What are some causes that are worth fighting for?

  • Does this '80s movie stand the test of time or does it seem outdated? Why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love the '80s

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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