Ghostbusters II

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

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 27 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Kindness and warmth encouraged by the Ghostbusters to all New Yorkers as a way to stop this latest infestation of ghosts, demons, and slime. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters too cartoonish to be seen as positive role models. 


Some demonic imagery, including dozens of severed heads in the subway. A baby in a carriage rolls away from her mother and weaves in and out of NYC traffic. The Ghostbusters crew attacks the slime and the ghosts with laser guns that shoot light and goo. A baby walks out onto the ledge of a high-rise apartment building before being kidnapped by a ghost. Reckless driving. Explosions. 


Some sexual innuendo, including references to "gynecological exams" and "exposing ourselves." Implied sex between two characters who jump up nervously from a couch, hair and clothes ruffled, when someone else enters the room. 


Infrequent profanity: "a--hole," "s--t," "crap," "hell," "Jesus." Some sexual innuendo, references to "exposing ourselves" and "gynecological tests." 


The Ghostbusters make reference to various NYC newspapers and try to imagine what the headlines would be for each of them. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters suggest going out for a beer. Wine drinking at dinner. One of the Ghostbusters smokes a cigar. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ghostbusters II is the 1989 sequel to Ghostbusters. Amid the scenes of ghosts and slimes, there are some scenes of demonic imagery, including a scene in which dozens of decapitated cadaver heads are on stakes. Profanity is infrequent ("a--hole" and "s--t") and there's some sexual innuendo, including references to "gynecological exams" and "exposing ourselves." Sex is implied between two characters who jump up from a couch with their hair messed up and clothes rumpled when someone else enters the room. Cigar smoking is shown, as is wine drinking in an upscale restaurant. In one scene, an infant steps out onto the ledge of a high-rise building and hangs precariously over the edge. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAllAges August 14, 2020

More family-friendly than the first.

There’s still PG language though! A good movie; not as good as the first, but still good.
Adult Written byAnonymos June 26, 2019
Teen, 15 years old Written bylafrancophile February 7, 2021

Entertaining and better than the first

There is a really really really cool bit where a famous symbol of America saves the day in a very unexpected way!! And the awesome Ghostbusters theme tune is of... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old January 14, 2021

Good for kids 12 and up

Well I think this is a good movie well there are a couple sacry parts like when the ghostbusters go into the subway then there’s a bunch of bloody zombie heads.... 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's almost 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 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love ghosts and New York

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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