Movie review by
Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
Innerspace Movie Poster Image
'80s sci-fi adventure comedy has some drinking, swearing.
  • PG
  • 1987
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Characters work together for a common goal despite differences. Bravery and initiative are rewarded; negative thinking and fear of change are shown to be limiting factors.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jack and Tuck have their flaws and are both guilty of acting selfishly/irresponsibly, but they step up when it counts and help each other become better people. Lydia is a smart, independent female character. The villains are clearly bad guys.


A supporting character is shot and dies after dramatically fleeing and collapsing in public; a little blood is shown. A main character is abducted and threatened with pain/torture. Frequent scenes of suspense and peril, including a punching/kicking fight in a careening car; characters are also Tasered, chased, slapped, punched, menaced with guns, tied up, knocked out, and more, though nothing gets too serious/scary. A menacing bad guy in a robotic suit meets a fairly grisly end (more is implied than shown). While Tuck is inside him, Jack's innards are shown (blood stream, organs, etc.).


Tuck is left naked in the street after chasing Lydia (it's suggested that they've had sex) and having his wrap caught in a cab door (his backside is shown). Kissing between two couples; Jack ogles Lydia's legs. In one scene someone thinks Jack is giving his penis a pep talk (he's actually talking to Tuck) and says "Play with it, pal; don't talk to it." One bad guy has a fake hand; it's implied in one scene that he attaches a sex toy to it (though kids likely won't pick up on this). One of the bad guys is shown in Speedo-style underwear.


A few uses of "s--t," "damn," "ass," "crap," "hell," and "son of a bitch."


Jack works for Safeway, and the store/logo is shown/mentioned several times.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It's implied that Tuck likes to party and drink; he's quite drunk in the beginning of the movie and acts overly flirty and belligerent. Later, Jack and Tuck get drunk together and dance. Other drinking includes cocktails, wine, and champagne. Supporting characters smoke cigarettes and cigars.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Innerspace is a fun, if often silly, sci-fi adventure from the '80s about a miniaturized pilot (Dennis Quaid) who winds up injected inside the body of a neurotic store clerk (Martin Short) when an experiment goes awry. They face frequent peril from sometimes-menacing bad guys; violence includes one gunshot death (minimal blood), threats of pain and torture, fights, and more. There's also a fair bit of language (including "s--t"), drinking, and sexuality (including a shot of Quaid naked from behind), but the movie's overall tone is light, and the goofy humor will appeal to tweens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJAinVA November 26, 2020

So much sexual innuendo

Great story, good action, but so much sexuality. Cigarette smoking from the 80s was allowed everywhere. Women only get to be smart if they are also sexy.
Adult Written bygoodgirl December 31, 2016

Nice movie a young cute Dennis Quiad

Good movie. although some bad language and a part where you see Dennis Quiad's naked butt. but its PG . its enjoyable to watch. its about the human body.
Kid, 11 years old February 7, 2014

I can't believe what I saw.

Dennis Quaid was shown naked. You can see his butt.
Teen, 13 years old Written byRichGirl1245 July 10, 2020

I liked this one


This was a really good movie! If you like adventure/sci fi movies, you would like this.

What's the story?

In INNERSPACE, cocky pilot Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) volunteers for a cutting-edge military science experiment: He'll be miniaturized inside a special submersible and then injected into the body of a rabbit. But after bad guys storm the facility and chaos erupts, Tuck ends up inside neurotic grocery store clerk Jack Putter (Martin Short) instead. Once Jack stops thinking he's hearing voices and enlists the help of Tuck's on-again/off-again girlfriend, reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), the race is on to find out who raided the lab so they can retrieve the special chip Tuck needs to reverse the miniaturization process before he runs out of air.

Is it any good?

Directed by Joe Dante, who also helmed Gremlins, Explorers, and episodes of Steven Spielberg's sci-fi anthology series Amazing Stories, Innerspace has an unmistakably '80s feel. And not just because of Ryan's spiky, bleached hairdo and shoulder pads; there's something about the movie's mix of lighthearted spirit, engaging adventure, and slightly edgier content (including drinking, swearing, and sexual humor) that has a kinship with fellow '80s movies like The Goonies, Splash, and Ghostbusters.

Innerspace isn't quite as memorable as those movies, but it's fun, and if you like Short's showy style of humor, there's plenty to laugh at (he even gets to dance around goofily a la Ed Grimley). As long as you're OK with things getting a little bawdy at times, you could do a lot worse for a tween-friendly adventure.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays drinking. Are there any consequences for the characters who drink? Do you think there would be additional/different ones in real life?

  • Is the movie scary or exciting? Why is some violence upsetting, while other action scenes are thrilling?

  • How do Jack and Tuck change over the course of the movie? What does each one learn from the other?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventures

Themes & Topics

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