Parents' Guide to

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Silly time-capsule comedy ideal for older tweens.

Movie PG 1989 90 minutes
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 19 parent reviews

age 13+

Sex, swearing, but still very fun.

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is a sci-fi comedy about two teenagers (Bill & Ted) who need to complete their history report by going back in time and meeting the people they are studying. There is a good deal of slapstick, but nothing comes of it. Characters are shot with guns, and Bill & Ted almost die at one point. There is also lots of sexual references. Bill & Ted see Bill's mom's breasts, they call all woman "babes," and they fall in love with princesses and kiss. As for swearing, there is "s--t," "d--k," "d--kweed," "damn," and "fag." Other than all the inappropriate things previously listed, a five-year-old could see this movie.
age 8+

A Positive Comedy that All Ages Can Enjoy, in Different Ways

I saw this movie in theaters when I was 7 and pretty much loved it as it was a high-energy and high-spirited movie about two dim but likable central protagonists and some nifty sci-fi thrown in, some in blunt ways (like the extended time travel shots) and some in more subtle ways (like the future society). I later revisited it in College and enjoyed it arguably moreso because I was basically like them now (just hopefully more sophisticated). What makes the movie work, above all else, is that it has a positive attitude in regards to almost everything that takes place - Every setback is reversed quickly and the enthusiasm of the main characters never falters, which now, 30 years later, is something we could all use right now. And honestly, that's why I would ultimately recommend this to anyone with kids, because while it plays out almost purely in a fantastic way, the central theme to always remain hopeful and upbeat while dealing with problems, while at the same time refusing to ignore or run away from them, is a good one, and for once it's done in a movie without any violence, or even anyone losing. There's no real antagonist in this movie, so when everyone in the movie is either the same or better off at the end, it's as happy of an overall experience as one can hope for in escapist entertainment.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (19 ):
Kids say (60 ):

Some movies are irresistible junk food for the brain -- short, sweet, and so entertaining you want to watch them over and over again; this is one of those. It's a bonbon of a film, full of good looking, sweet scenes that make you feel giddy.

The great thing about Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is that it's perfectly paced and perfectly acted. Say what you will about Reeves' wooden-feeling delivery -- it takes a certain level of brilliance to come up with a character who's both maddeningly dumb and completely lovable. And there are other great scenes. Released on a modern mall, the historical characters act out. Joan of Arc rallies the troupes of an aerobics class. Billy the Kid turns out to be a bad flirt. And with one tilt of his corndog, Sigmund Freud is proven to be a perv. It's delightfully silly and eminently watchable.

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