Mortal Kombat: The Movie

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Mortal Kombat: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Cheesy and very violent adaptation of '90s video game.
  • PG-13
  • 1995
  • 101 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No real positive messages. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are walking, talking, and fighting clichés that use violence to solve all problems. 


Frequent martial arts-style violence. This movie is basically one fight after another. While the fights are usually done with fists and kicks, there is also gunfire, pistol whipping, and a fighter's head getting frozen and decapitated. A man is impaled to death. A fighter burns to death and explodes. Demonic imagery. 


A reference to the attractive figure of one of the female fighters. 


"Ass," "hell," "bulls--t," "a--hole."


This is the popular '90s video game turned into a feature-length movie. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Mortal Kombat: The Movie is the 1995 adaptation of the popular and extremely violent video game. There isn't much of a story, and the characters speak almost entirely in clichés. There is profanity, including "bulls--t" and "a--hole." Even the martial arts scenes, as bountiful and excessive as they are, are nowhere near as entertaining as other martial arts films. A man is killed in a battle, complete with the sounds of bones breaking. One of the fighters resorts to punching his enemy in the crotch to win. A warrior's head gets frozen by one of the bad guys and is decapitated. Fighters explode and get impaled. All of this happens through the laziest of storylines; this is little more than an attempt to make a movie cashing in on what was at the time -- and to a certain extent still is -- a pop culture phenomenon. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCodyHH April 25, 2021

Great watch.

Stays true to the spirit of the game based of with excellent fight sciens great music and good special effects a satisfying watch for anyone liked action with f... Continue reading
Adult Written byI am a superhero fan April 20, 2021

Honestly, could let my little sister watch this

Violence 4.5/5
Yes, the movie is RELATIVELY VIOLENT, with the movie beginning with the murder of Liu Kangs brother by Shang Tsung, the main villain of this mov... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byander12 June 30, 2020

don't really remember it

I think 10 and up is good a lot of violence in it not all of it looks real though there is a weird guy with four arms I think little kids would be afraid of bu... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byYougotitnow2 May 29, 2020

Really good movie guys, really!

Ah, Mortal Kombat. This must be the most mixed reviewed film ever. Many adults find this film Cheesy and overall bad, Many 8 year olds would find it fascinating... Continue reading

What's the story?

In MORTAL KOMBAT: THE MOVIE, to prevent Outworld from winning their 10th Mortal Kombat competition and thus allowing them to invade and take over Earth, Raiden (Christopher Lambert) finds and sends a Shaolin monk eager to get revenge for the death of his brother, a vain Hollywood actor, and a tough-as-nails military officer (Bridgette Wilson) to Shang Tsung's island to fight to the death against evil fighters of the earthly and alien realms. While they initially more than hold their own, true danger emerges in the form of Prince Goro, a four-armed half-human, half-dragon who will stop at nothing to defeat them. And even if they defeat Goro, they still must find a way to defeat Shang Tsung, save Earth, exact their revenge, and prove their worthiness in both the Earthly and Outworldly realms. 

Is it any good?

Much like the video game on which it's based, Mortal Kombat: The Movie is endlessly violent, with only the barest of narratives and simplest of character motivation to justify the violence. The acting is subpar at best, and the dialogue is an endless cliché of the "We've got company!" variety. No one is very likable -- the "good guys" seem good only because they don't look monstrous or speak in demonic voices. Even the fight scenes aren't terribly interesting, especially compared to martial arts movies that actually have likable characters and engaging storylines.

By the time the movie reaches its climax, you don't care who wins or even if the Earth survives, just so long as all this seemingly endless fighting stops already. Action in action movies is supposed to be entertaining, not exhausting. And over 20 years after its initial release, the style, special effects, and overall mood of the movie result in '90s entertainment that has not stood the test of time. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about movie adaptations from popular books, TV shows, and video games. Why do you think successful books, TV shows, and video games get adapted into movies? What are some other examples of movie adaptations? 

  • Did the violence in this movie seem necessary to the story, or did it seem like it was done purely for the sake of gratuitous entertainment? 

  • Why do you think there were only two women in this movie? 

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love martial arts and action

Themes & Topics

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