Jurassic Park

Terrifyingly realistic dinos run amok in sci-fi landmark.
  • Review Date: September 29, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 127 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Just like Frankenstein, there's an underlying message about the dangers of playing God. But through teamwork, determination, and smarts, the main characters triumph. They also learn and change; Alan learns how to protect/care for the children, and the kids learn to survive in the wild.

Positive role models

The two children are intensely likable, smart, and brave; the adults protect them and each other at every turn. Other characters are flawed and/or have problematic motives, but they all seem to learn a lesson one way (learning from their mistakes) or another (becoming dino food).


Plenty of people and a few innocent animals are eaten by realistic dinos. There's little actual blood and gore, but the scare factor is high, and one gruesome scene involves a severed arm. Suspenseful scenes of the kids being hunted by dinosaurs are particularly intense. Chases, crashes, constant peril.

Not applicable

Infrequent swearing includes two "s--t"s, plus "hell," "crap," "damn," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "and oh my God."


A few brands are seen -- Barbasol, Ford, Apple. Also plenty of Jurassic Park merchandise available, and there are other movies in the franchise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A secondary character smokes regularly. Rare drinking by adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids who watch Jurassic Park will see lots of people -- and a few innocent animals -- being hunted and eaten by very realistic-looking dinosaurs, but there's little actual blood and gore (although one somewhat gruesome scene involves a severed arm). There's tons of suspense, many "jump" scenes, and some chases/crashes; basically, the characters -- including children -- are in near-constant peril. (All of this is made more intense in the 3-D version, though the effects aren't as overbearing as some newer 3-D releases.) Expect a bit of mild swearing (as well as one "s--t") and some smoking and drinking, too. In the less intense environment of home, kids as young as 9 may be able to handle the fright factor with an adult at hand, but sensitive children should skip this one.

What's the story?

Brought to a secluded island, three scientists discover a wondrous jungle paradise where dinosaurs again walk the Earth. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) warns the creator of the preserve that nature won't be corralled into a theme park, and things go terribly wrong when a tropical storm strikes and a corrupt computer programmer shuts down crucial security systems. During a night of terror, Dr. Grant (Sam Neil), Ellie (Laura Dern), and two children are pursued by an escaped Tyrannosaurus Rex and several other violent dinos (including the vicious velociraptors). After many devourings and frightening chases, a showdown ensues.

Is it any good?


JURASSIC PARK boasts Academy Award-winning special effects, lots of frightful moments, and some good laughs. Director Steven Spielberg and his effects team deliver some stunningly realistic dinosaurs. Gone are the days of stop-motion lizards and jerking beasts of vastly varying sizes, replaced by animatronics and digital effects. The movie also has a superb soundscape; hear it with a top-notch sound system to get all the thrills. Of course, actually seeing the monster isn't always the best thing. In Jaws, Spielberg's early masterpiece, the audience didn't get to see the shark until well into the movie -- and the suspense was excruciating. That kind of storytelling elegance is missing here. And for all its technical achievements, a lack of character development weakens this thriller. Spielberg occasionally sacrifices three-dimensional characters and real human drama to the thrill of the effects.

The movie's terrifying realism is something to take seriously. In theaters, both children and adults have turned away from the screen, particularly during the young-children-in-peril sections. Viewed at home/on a smaller screen, the movie's effects are somewhat less fearful. Still, sensitive younger kids may want to avoid this one, and parents may want to watch ahead of time and gauge their children's response. It's worth noting that amid all the thrills, the movie has some very funny touches. The animated film detailing the genetic engineering of the dinosaurs resembles an elementary school educational movie from the '70s. Even funnier: "Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear" glimpsed in a side mirror as a huge T. Rex chases a fleeing vehicle.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how movies blur the line between science and science fiction, sometimes giving out misinformation in the process. Since it's not really possible to clone dinosaurs, why use cloning as a plot device?

  • Does using headline-grabbing scientific concerns make a story more believable -- and thus more thrilling? How can you find out which parts of a story are really based in science and which are made up?

  • What makes Jurassic Park scary? What's the difference between horror and suspense? Which has more impact on you, and why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 11, 1993
DVD release date:April 23, 2013
Cast:Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill
Director:Steven Spielberg
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Science Fiction
Run time:127 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense science fiction terror

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  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous October 5, 2014
age 10+

Jurassic Park review

=========================================================Sex/Nudity: Donald asks Hammond (about people seen on a tour of the island), "Are these characters auto erotica?" (thinking animatronics), but Hammond tells him they're real. Hearing that all of the dinosaurs on the island are female, Ian jokingly asks if that's determined by going around and pulling up all of their skirts. A screens saver photo on Dennis' computer shows a woman in a bikini (nothing explicit). It's later seen again. We see Ian with his shirt open. 3/10. ========================================================= Violence: Muldoon and others ready themselves with various weapons as something big appears to be moving through the thick foliage. But we then see that it's a large cage being moved into position to transfer a raptor from it into a paddock. But that transfer goes bad, the cage slides away and the worker is grabbed and pulled half way into the cage (and, for a moment, halfway up the side of it). While the raptor is never seen, we do see that it's pulling the man into the cage, he screams, and everyone panics while trying to save the man as Muldoon yells for the others to shoot it. We see such shooting and the use of shock rods, etc., but don't see the impact on the dinosaur. It's implied that the man dies from this. To put a kid in his place for doubting the ferocity of velociraptors, Alan tells how the creature would use its huge claws to slash the boy in various place, including his belly that would then spill out his intestines, followed by the dinosaur eating him alive. A cow is lowered down into the raptor's cage and while nothing is directly seen, the raptor's attack of the cow and painful mooing is heard as the creature attacks and eats the cow. Dennis accidentally hits a directions sign with his jeep. Ian and Alan (in one jeep) and Lex, Tim and Donald (in another jeep) end up stuck in front of the T-Rex area during a tropical storm at night. They hear impact tremors (footsteps), one after another, and then note that an earlier bait goat is now gone. One of its bloody legs then lands atop the glass sunroof of the kids' jeep. They then see the massive T-Rex there and it swallows down the rest of the goat. Donald then races from the jeep to the nearby restroom, followed by Lex finding a flashlight and turning that on. That draws the T-Rex to them, and Tim slowly closes the driver's side door as the T-Rex's head is right there, smelling the vehicle. It then lets out a roar and starts bumping the jeep, all as Lex's flashlight sends a beam up through the sunroof. The T-Rex then smashes down through that, pushing the glass piece onto the kids. It then overturns the jeep and starts biting the tires and causing other structural damage, while its weight pushes the jeep deeper into some mud. Realizing he needs to do something, Alan lights a flare to get the dinosaur's attention and then throws that flare over a wall. Ian then lights a flare and runs, with the T-Rex giving chase toward the restroom. Ian is knocked into the walls of that, which then fall down, revealing Donald seated on the toilet (not using it and fully clothed). The T-Rex then chomps down on him and swings him back and forth (no blood). Dennis accidentally drives through a fence in a blinding rainstorm at night. He gets out to try to winch himself free, but encounters a dinosaur slightly smaller than him. He's unnerved but then thinks it's harmless, but it opens its frills, shrieks and twice spits blinding goo onto Dennis. He tries to scramble back to his jeep, hits his head getting in, and then realizes the dinosaur is there with him. We then hear sounds of it attacking him as we see the outside of the jeep rocking back and forth. Alan, Tim and Lex take cover as a herd of large dinosaurs races by them. A T-Rex then suddenly lunges at the herd, grabs one dinosaur, chomps down and kills it, and then tears off a chunk of bloody flesh. Tim is shocked as the electric fence he's climbing over is turned back on again (Alan performs CPR on him and revives Tim). A raptor tries to attack Ellie, and as she tries to escape, a severed arm falls onto her, indicating that the raptor has already killed another person. Muldoon is attacked by the raptors, although we hear more of it than we actually see. A raptor charges at Lex, but hits her reflection in a metal cabinet instead. Alan, Ellie, Lex and Tim end up on a large dinosaur skeleton hanging from the ceiling of the visitor center. One raptor jumps onto that, causing it to spin and come apart. Tim falls and hits the floor hard, as does Ellie with some bone pieces hitting her. The huge rib cage then falls on top of Tim, but the bones all hit around him. Moments later, the four are surrounded by the raptors when the T-Rex attacks one raptor, biting into and killing it. The other jumps on its side and tries biting it, but the T-Rex yanks it off and chomps down into it, killing the raptor. 6.5/10. ========================================================= Blood/Gore: To put a kid in his place for doubting the ferocity of velociraptors, Alan tells how the creature would use its huge claws to slash the boy in various place, including his belly that would then spill out his intestines, followed by the dinosaur eating him alive. A video explaining the cloning process talks about a drop of blood being needed (we don't see any as Hammond's finger is pricked, but do see some being sucked up by a prehistoric mosquito in a cartoon segment). There's a little blood and goo on a baby velociraptor after it hatches from its egg. Ellie pops a blister on the tongue of a sedated triceratops and is later seen with her arms (up to her elbows) in triceratops dung, looking for berries the animal may have eaten, and some may find this very disgusting. The kids note that an earlier bait goat is now gone. One of its bloody legs then lands atop the glass sunroof of the their jeep. They then see the massive T-Rex there and it swallows down the rest of the goat. Upon seeing a T-Rex nearby, Donald runs from his jeep toward a nearby restroom, prompting Ian to state, "When you gotta go, you gotta go." Moments later, the T-Rex chomps down on the lawyer and swings him back and forth. There's no blood then, but Ellie and Muldoon later come across the scene and both state they think parts they've just found are from him (not seen). A dinosaur twice spits a blinding goo onto Dennis, the second shot hitting him in the face. Tim had a slightly bloody gash on his forehead and other scrapes, and states that he threw up during a dinosaur attack on the jeep he's in. Ian has a little bit of blood on his face. A brachiosaur sneezes snot all over Lex. Alan, Tim and Lex take cover as a herd of large dinosaurs races by them. A T-Rex then suddenly lunges at the herd, grabs one dinosaur, chomps down and kills it, and then tears off a chunk of bloody flesh. This is seen from a distance, but Tim then comments in amazement about how much blood there is (we don't see it). A man's bloody, dismembered arm falls down onto Ellie. Alan has a slightly bloody scratch on his face while Tim's ear is fairly bloody and Lex has a little bit of blood on her face. 5.5/10. ========================================================= Profanity: At least 5 "s" words, 7 hells, 6 damns, 1 ass (seen written after mud covers the J, I and C in the Jurassic Park sign), 1 crap, 1 S.O.B., and 5 uses of "Oh my God" and "Oh God," 3 uses of "G-damn," and 2 uses each of "God" and "Jesus." 5/10. ========================================================= Alcohol/Drugs: Hammond opens champagne for himself, Alan and Ellie. Malcolm drinks from a flask and offers some to Alan who declines. Ellie states that she gave Ian a shot of morphine for his injury. 2.5/10. ========================================================= Smoking: Ray smokes at least 5 times. We see a photo of a man with a pipe. 5/10. ========================================================= Jurassic Park is my favourite movie ever made, and is definitely worth watching. I give it 9.5/10. =========================================================
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 6, 12, and 15 year old Written bycab87670 November 27, 2010
age 6+
A great time for kids of all ages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 14 years old Written byskinner2 May 2, 2010
age 8+
Very good.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old August 16, 2010
age 13+
very violent movie is very good
What other families should know
Too much violence


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