Ghostbusters II

Movie review by
Colette DeDonato, Common Sense Media
Ghostbusters II Movie Poster Image
Slime-soaked sequel still has spirit and laughs.
  • PG
  • 1989
  • 110 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

Ghostbusters try their hardest to bring out the best in New Yorkers, defeating negative energy with positive.

Positive role models & representations

The good guys here may be a bit rough around the edges -- especially Peter Venkman, who also has a problem with authority -- but they always come through as heroes in the end.

Violence & scariness

The Ghostbusters crew attacks the slime and the ghosts with laser guns that shoot light and goo. A baby is kidnapped by a ghost and is threatened with possession by Vigo.

Sexy stuff

Some kissing and "making out" that is more suggested than graphic.


Some mild insults.


The city of New York gets great publicity.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver have wine with dinner. The slime substance has some mood-enhancing effects.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ghostbusters II is the 1989 sequel to Ghostbusters. There isn't much to shock tweens and up in this mock-horror film. There are numerous ghosts running rampant through NYC, but it's played for comedy over scares (like when the Titanic disembarks). Still, ghosts are the "bad guys" and get eliminated with laser guns by a crew of wisecracking guys. At one point a baby is kidnapped by a ghost and a sinister spirit tries to inhabit his body. The baby is rescued, of course, but there is another real person, hilariously portrayed by Peter MacNicol, who wants to steal the baby in order to woo its mother.

User Reviews

Parent of a 5 and 9 year old Written byangieland August 19, 2010

Concerned about language and adult situations

I rented this movie based on the rating, especially for language. My kids really liked it. The only problem is that the rating stated "some mild insults... Continue reading
Parent Written bySinfoniarc February 17, 2012

Terrible Sequel But Harmless

The biggest problem with this sequel to a great 80s movie is that it's really not very good. There's some bad language in it but the Ghostbusters rea... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 25, 2015

not for kids of 8

this is a graet movie but it is not for child because is scary with the babay kindnapt by a ghost
Teen, 14 years old Written byrebo344 July 14, 2016

Still got it.

Ghostbusters II still has the amazing chemistry between Bill, Harold, Dan and Ernie, the story is enjoyable, the effects are great and while it's not as go... Continue reading

What's the story?

The once-famous Ghostbusters are long-forgotten and bankrupt when the film begins. When some mysterious slime surfaces they gladly trade their gigs singing at children's birthday parties for their real ghostbusting duties. Dr. Peter Venkman's (Bill Murray) ex-girlfriend Dana (Sigourney Weaver), now a single mom, is forced to confront the paranormal after a strange slime incident involving her 9-month old baby, Oscar. Coincidentally, Dana works for the Met as a restoration artist, where she encounters a mysterious portrait of a long-dead madman. His evil spirit inhabits the artwork, waiting for his chance to come alive again. When he takes an interest in baby Oscar, you know who Dana's gonna call.

Is it any good?

Murray's in his prime here as one of four fearless slime fighters in a sequel that is just about as funny and entertaining as the original. GHOSTBUSTERS II was partially written by two of its actors: Dan Akroyd (who played Dr. Raymond Stantz) and Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler). It's hard not to laugh at anything Bill Murray says or does. He has a sly, wry, comic genius that makes even the simplest plot (which is what gives this sci-fi adventure its charm) a little more complex.

This hodgepodge of occult, paranormal, and plain bizarre elements means all kinds of zaniness is free to ensue -- especially when you serenade Lady Liberty with a little Motown. It's a nice little send-up to the world of psychics and other New Age types, as well, who take themselves far too seriously. It can even put some of those paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead in perspective for kids who can get caught up in the hype. However outdated the special effects might seem in today's light, the movie works as a not-so-scary comedic action film.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the idea of ghosts and what people believe and don't believe about them. Are they real? Are they imagined?

  • You can also discuss the "mood slime" the Ghostbusters discover and if there's a metaphor in there for real life: negative energy begets more negativity, and a positive outlook begets more positive outcomes. When have you found this to be true?

  • How does this sequel compare to the original? Are sequels ever better than the first movie?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love ghosts and New York

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