Predator

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Predator Movie Poster Image
Arnold vs. alien action is violent, ultra macho.
  • R
  • 1987
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 98 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No real positive messages. Dutch says that he and his men are rescuers, not assassins, and he never seems to kill an "innocent" person. But it's hard to tell the difference with his weapons-happy (albeit diverse) team of bruisers.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A U.S. Army commander turns out to be dishonest. The men are stereotypically hyper-macho characters right out of Soldier of Fortune; the only female character (a communist guerilla survivor) isn't given much to do.

Violence

High-powered artillery slaughter. People are riddled with big bullets from big guns, knifed, set on fire with grenades, and so on. Mayhem, pummeling, and stabbing is inflicted on the vicious alien as well. People are shot in the head or blasted through by alien beams. The Predator dismembers people (at a distance) and leaves hideously skinned human corpses.

Sex

Double-entendre dirty jokes and sex talk.

Language

Language includes "f--k," "bastard," "son of a bitch," "damn," and "bulls--t." One African-American character calls another the "N" word, and not in a remotely friendly fashion. Some swearing in Spanish.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Recreational drinking, smoking, tobacco-chewing, references to drugs.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Predator is a  macho sci-fi action adventure with lots of bloody violence -- not to mention artillery and gun fetishism (although, in the end, it's the low-tech death traps that prove most effective...). The villain is a laser-wielding alien that cuts down many of the heavily armed heroes, leaving hideously skinned corpses in its wake. Lots of strong language; some drinking, smoking, and drug references. The lone female character doesn't get much to do compared to star Arnold Schwarzenegger and his fellow male soldiers.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTheTruthMayHurt D. November 11, 2016

A truck load of 80s greatness!!!!

A triple A movie! Action,Arnold and an Alien,what more could you ask for? Now everyone....GET TO DA CHOPPA!!!
Adult Written byscottb80 October 9, 2019

A classic 80s action flick

It's rated R, has lots of violence and death. Should be fine for older teens though.
Kid, 11 years old December 1, 2019

great movie!!!

this is a great first rated R movie to watch with your kids. also a classic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. my only concerns were that there were a couple not nee... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byKnightRyder10 October 22, 2019

One of the best 1980's movies I have seen!

Great thriller movie! There is a lot of swearing, so a lot of maturity is recommended to watch this. There is a bit of smoking/chewing tobacco Besides that, it... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in the jungles of Latin America, PREDATOR follows a team of super-commandos on a U.S. military rescue mission to liberate hostages taken by leftist guerillas. Only after eliminating the guerilla headquarters do the swaggering heroes, led by Dutch (Arnold Schwarzenegger) find out that their target was really a Soviet spy-invasion camp that the Pentagon wanted destroyed after an earlier Green Beret squad went missing. Meanwhile, an alien spaceship lands nearby and its deadly occupant observes the bloodshed. The creature is a tall, vicious extraterrestrial, and it was what killed the Green Berets. Now it's after the commandos, leaving Dutch to figure out how to overcome its invisibility and superior death-ray firepower. In the process, he runs out of guns and regresses to basic hand-made booby-traps and snares.

Is it any good?

Cited by those who keep track of such things as one of the ultimate "guy movies," this is a violent, militaristic, hyper-macho spectacle of biceps, bombs, and guns. Predator has plenty of catchphrases tossed out by bigger-than-life actors (for example, Jesse Ventura's oft-quoted line "I ain't got time to bleed!"). If you can appreciate its cartoonish aspects -- for example, the fact that the cast members, despite having been savagely slaughtered, reappear for the end credits to take a bow and smile -- you'll likely be entertained.

Predator definitely is more fun than its 1990 sequel, Predator 2, in which the alien went hunting gangstas and FBI agents in a stereotypically hyper-violent Los Angeles, with Danny Glover grievously miscast in the Arnold role as a one-man-army cop. After that, the creature mainly appeared in video games and crossover comic books (even Batman fought the Predator!) until Alien Vs. Predator came along and filled in some of the questions about the Predator's eons-old interaction with the human race.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of scary movies. Why is it fun to watch something that puts you on the edge of your seat? How do the scares in a movie like Predator compare to those in a typical slasher movie? Which do you find scarier? Why?

  • How does the time period in which a movie is made affect it (beyond the quality of the special effects, that is)? What political and historical events does the movie reference? If you don't know, how could you find out?

Movie details

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