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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Nobody ever wins a fight.
Positive Role Models
Dalton is a smart college graduate who beats up rowdy drunks for a living. He stays calm in difficult situations and never backs down in the face of violence.
Violence & Scariness
The movie is a series of fight scenes staged between moments of dialogue, dancing, and sex. Men beat each other with bottles, sticks, fists, and spears. Men shoot each other. A home and a place of business are burned in arson fires. A monster truck drives through a car dealership and destroys a building and cars. A man describes his bar as the kind of place where you have to "sweep up the eyeballs after closin'" every night. A man is stabbed to death. The knife is left in his chest, surrounded by blood. Someone slashes Dalton's tires and smashes his windshield nearly every night. A reference is made to rape in prison.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A man with his pants down has sex in a closet with a woman whose breasts are seen. Topless women are seen. A man and woman are seen nude from behind. A man tells another guy that for "twenty bucks," he can kiss his girlfriend's breasts. The man enthusiastically touches them, mostly covered, while explaining that he doesn't have twenty dollars. Graffiti on a bar wall says, "For a great f--k," call…" A woman does a striptease at a club for fun. Her breasts are seen. A man offers to get "nipple to nipple" with a woman.
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"F--k," "s--t," ass," "d--khead," "t-ts," "peckerhead," "bitch," "piss," "c--ksucker," "whore," "crap," "Christ," "faggot," "hell," and "prick."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol to excess. Someone deals drugs in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Road House is a 1989 Patrick Swayze vehicle that shows off the actor-dancer's physical attributes and skills throughout a plot designed to provide maximum fight scenes within a fairly generic plot. The atmosphere is crude, vulgar, and violent. As a night club bouncer, he and the people he hangs out with are prone to brawls. Drunks start them and he ends them. Plus, a rich thug is shaking down every business in town and doesn't hesitate to use violence to keep everyone in line. Language includes "f--k," "s--t" and "c--ksucker," and adults smoke cigarettes, peddle drugs, drink to excess, have sex (breasts and butts are seen), and hit each other. A man tells another guy that for "twenty bucks," he can kiss his girlfriend's breasts. A woman does a striptease. A man offers to get "nipple to nipple" with a woman. A man is stabbed to death. The knife is left in his chest, surrounded by blood. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.