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Parents' Guide to

Road House

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Bouncer tames bar in '80s classic; sex, violence, drinking.

Movie R 1989 114 minutes
Road House Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+
age 8+
Fine for all mature kids. At the end of the day, it’s just karate!

This title has:

Great role models
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Teens probably won't have much interest in this '80s cult classic. After a just a few minutes into Road House, as choreographed fights keep coming, and the conflicts between coarseness and refinement keep repeating, it feels as if the movie is a kind of deliberate in-joke shared by the filmmakers. They made a movie that is a succession of fight scenes, strung together, one after another, like flowers in a lei. A flimsy plot provides the string to hang the fights from. This minimizes the need for everything else in the film, including the relationship between the beautiful Kelly Lynch character and the beautiful Patrick Swayze character, and the friendship between the older bouncer portrayed by Sam Elliott and his protégé the younger bouncer.

But questions nag anyway: In what small town is a falling-down barn right next door to a sprawling mansion? What small town can support a night club the size of Disneyland, where hundreds of drinkers and dancers crowd the place every night? Nothing in this movie makes sense. Nevertheless, Lynch, Swayze, and Elliot are so watchable, so smooth and likable, that anyone old enough to handle the material who's looking for this kind of violent, sexually-charged, mindless entertainment probably won't be too terribly disappointed.

Movie Details

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