Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

  • Review Date: September 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

Common Sense Media says

More gore, gross-outs than the other Indy blockbusters.
  • Review Date: September 13, 2005
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 118 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Perseverance, teamwork, and trying to do the right thing are ultimately rewarded, although some of Indy's methods are iffy. There are very clear lines between good guys and bad guys.

Positive role models

Indy is brave, resourceful, loyal, and smart, and he's dedicated to preserving historical artifacts and protecting them from those who would misuse them. That said, you probably don't want your kids imitating him, especially given the violence he's forced to use -- and his tendency to break the rules. Willie becomes stronger and more resilient throughout the movie. On the downside, many of the movie's ethnic characters are shady or downright barbarous.


Hand-to-hand combat and gunfights. Indiana Jones is severely scourged. Some very scary scenes set in the temple that include torture and human sacrifice, including the removal of still-beating hearts. Also some gross-out scenes with bugs, unusual foods (monkey brains!), and more. Indy frequently uses his whip.


Generally mild flirting/sexual banter between Jones and Willie. Some cleavage and short/suggestive outfits. Innuendo. Indy must push on a statue's breast to open a secret passage.


Language includes one "s--t," "bastards," "oh my God," and "for Christ's sake" (as an exclamation).

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Glasses/bottles seen in a nightclub; champagne is poured.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this installment in the Indiana Jones trilogy -- along with Gremlins -- is the reason the PG-13 rating was ultimately created. In addition to the fights that marked the first Indy movie, this one also has potentially nightmare-inducing scenes of things like a man's beating heart being torn right out of his chest. Children are also worked near to death in the mines, and there are lots of gross-out activities -- none more nauseating than the eating of monkey brains and live snakes. There's also a bit of language and some flirting/sexual banter.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Set before Indiana Jones tangled with the Nazis over the lost ark, INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM finds the archaeologist-adventurer on a mission to recover another priceless artifact and rescue enslaved children. After a narrow escape from Chinese gangsters, Indy (Harrison Ford), nightclub singer Willie (Kate Capshaw), and precocious 12-year-old Short Round (Ke Huy Quan) are asked by humble villagers to take on the Thuggees, an evil cult that practices human sacrifice. Indy and his friends face trained assassins, mind control potions, enormous bugs, and a wild ride in a mining cart as they try to retrieve the village's sacred stone -- and their kidnapped children -- from evil Mola Ram and his gang of Thuggees.

Is it any good?


Despite superior chase sequences and dazzling stunts, this loud and frenzied sequel is mostly an exercise in excess. It's loud, creepy, violent, and, at times, incoherent. While the pacing and tone of the first movie felt spot-on, Temple of Doom never really finds its rhythm. What the movie does have are some of the best stunts of the series, as well as outstanding chases.

Intrigue quickly disintegrates into endless pandemonium and the antics of two annoying sidekicks who never stop shouting and shrieking. Ford, so effortlessly heroic in Raiders, just seems mean in this film. Children will probably like Short Round and the movie's silly elephants, but parents should note that PG-13 rating was invented for this movie, after so many children who went to see it had the living daylights scared out of them.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stereotypes in movies. Do you see any stereotypes in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom? How can a stereotype be fun -- and how can it be offensive? Where do you draw the line?

  • What does Indiana Jones stand for? If he's a good guy, why does he break the rules? Is that OK? What separates him from the "bad" guys? Are real-life bad guys as thoroughly evil as the ones in movies?

  • Talk about the history behind the PG-13 rating. Do you think it was a good addition to the rating system? Why do you think this movie contributed to that decision?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1984
DVD release date:October 26, 1999
Cast:Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan
Director:Steven Spielberg
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:violence

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Adult Written byBlaWhCorgi May 13, 2011

Hearty Review

There is a scene where a guy's heart is taken out and he is then sacrificed to a false god.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byDVS Cable Polenin April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

sorta disapointing

This movie was sort of a disapointment. it started great and continued to carry on great adventure and all that but i just got turned off a bit at the temple of doom. it was a bit demonic n that kinda ruined for me. other than that it might actually have been my favourite out of the series. almost :P
Kid, 11 years old April 28, 2014

Anything goes... FOR THIS MOVIE!

It was awesome! The best (and most intense) Indiana Jones movie! It had violence! I like violence!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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