Parents' Guide to

Licence to Kill

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Darker version of James Bond has more violence, language.

Movie PG-13 1989 133 minutes
Licence to Kill Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 14+

Uff...what a mess, but Dalton does the best he can

Oh Timothy Dalton...I saw this film when it was first released (on cable) and thought it was forgettable. Upon seeing it again however I can say with more assurance that this film is a mess. The first 15 minutes are ALL OVER THE PLACE. And it just continues from there...however, if you take into consideration how the film is trying to compete with contemporary hits like Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Terminator then the choices make a bit more sense. Bond going through a film without an Aston Martin and without Q's superior tech and having him rely on his wits and fists was in interesting way to go, oh if only the story would stick together better. The Bond women are not necessarily known for their character development, but considering Talisa Soto's screen time the writers really seemed to just have her exist strictly for a male gaze exotic woman diet. She seems wasted in this meandering film.
age 15+

Has more violence and cursing than usual Bonds

Very gory and violent blood is shown in nearly every scene a mans head explodes at one point blood splatters all over one of the more darker bonds. Language includes bulls**t, s**t, a*s, b**tard, g*ddamn, da*n are used frequently. There is less sex than usual bonds though. This movie has a drug dealer as the criminal so you should expect lots of drinking, and smoking. Adults smoke frequently.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (27):

LICENCE TO KILL was a new effort to try to "darken" the James Bond franchise, with a PG-13 rating, a use of harsher language, bloodier violence, and a plot that had Bond going rogue. But unfortunately these were superficial touches that didn't really help the movie at its core. Timothy Dalton was never a great choice as Bond, and neither of the Bond girls (Talisa Soto and Carey Lowell) are particularly interesting, nor even very good.

Meanwhile, director John Glen had been a second unit director on the Bond series since 1969 and had directed five of them himself; this was his fifth, and he seems tired. The movie often feels sloppy during certain fight scenes or lethargic during dialogue-driven scenes. But at least it was a step up from Roger Moore's ridiculous final entries, and it's still a fan favorite. Robert Davi makes a nasty villain, and Benicio Del Toro has an early role as a vicious thug. Las Vegas crooner Wayne Newton has a cameo, and Gladys Knight sings the theme song.

Movie Details

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