Movie review by
Teresa Talerico, Common Sense Media
RoboCop Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Cyborg actioner is more graphic than Terminator.
  • R
  • 1987
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 17 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 46 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Some characters exhibit conniving, selfish, and greedy behavior. Others are sociopathic criminals who make sport of murder, rape, and other violent crimes. Some members of a corporation are shown to be corrupt and callous. One character capitalizes on the tragedy and misfortunes of others. Senior executives are corrupt. Several characters -- including Murphy and Lewis -- do the right thing, however, and remain noble. Also, several villainous characters do not triumph in the end.


Graphic violence throughout. Characters use weapons -- from handguns and sword-like objects to machine guns, grenades, and military-style assault cannons -- to kill and injure people or destroy property. Two men attempt to rape a woman in a parking lot, taunting and terrorizing her with a knife. Some scenes are exceedingly gruesome, as when a gang shoots off a policeman's hand and arm, or when a man is horribly burned and disfigured in a toxic-waste accident; a car then runs him over and decapitates him in the process. In a hostage situation, one hostage is shown lying dead and bloody on the floor. Various fistfights are shown, where people punch and kick each other violently. Emergency-room workers intubate and defibrillate a patient.


A man and two women snort cocaine and make out; he snorts the drug from one woman's cleavage. A locker-room scene shows some male rear nudity and female breasts.


A lot of profanity throughout, including "f--k," "s--t," "asshole," and "c--ksucker." Also, phrases such as "I'm going to blow his brains out."


A woman drinks from a Coca-Cola cup and appears to be eating from McDonald's containers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, and use cocaine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie is more of a bloodbath than you probably remember. Numerous characters are killed onscreen, many weapons are used, and there are some truly gruesome scenes, like when a policeman's hand and arm are shot off. Some characters snort cocaine, one off a woman's breasts; others commit crimes such as rape (attempted, taunting a woman with a knife before help arrives) and armed robbery. A corporation that controls the local police force is portrayed as corrupt.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byVohaul February 17, 2019

Too much swearing

I tried watching it once and gave up after half an hour because of the F word every five minutes.
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bySircjalot July 19, 2018

An ultra violent Sci Fi movie!

If you didn't know this already. Robocop is extremely gory/violent. In one scene the main character "Murphy" was being tortured by criminals. His... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old December 23, 2013

robocop= great movie messed up with this world's problems

great story I loved it but sex,viloence and horrible laguage
Teen, 16 years old Written byRobWithNoJob March 18, 2021

Very Violent

Really the biggest drawback to showing this movie to your family, is the violence. Paul Verhoeven (the director) loves including a ton of blood and violence int... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a crime-plagued future, Detroit is controlled by a corporation called the OCP, which is trying to develop a robotic law-enforcement agent. Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) is searching for a human volunteer for his "RoboCop" cyborg experiment, and he finds one in newly transferred Officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller). While on a dangerous assignment, Murphy is seriously injured and winds up becoming Morton's RoboCop, an organic system composed of titanium and Kevlar. All that remains of Murphy is his face, which is only partially visible under a mask and helmet. Soon, RoboCop is on the beat and making news with his heroic crime-fighting techniques. But RoboCop begins to have dreams and flashbacks of his past life, and his efforts to learn about his history lead him to expose a corrupt member of OCP.

Is it any good?

ROBOCOP could have been a great sci-fi movie for pre-teens. Its premise, after all, is fascinating: A police officer is transformed into a law-enforcing cyborg after being killed in the line of duty. Unfortunately, director Paul Verhoeven drenches his film in so much violence and profanity -- and occasional overacting -- that even some adults might feel squeamish.

Weller does a good job of humanizing RoboCop, and Allen is tough and loyal as his partner. The scenes of RoboCop's engineering are intriguing, and it's fun to watch him make the bad guys squirm. Still, some of the movie feels dated and over the top. In spite of that, Robocop still remains a thought-provoking action movie that examines the use of technology and the abuse of power.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it is ethical for OCP to turn Murphy into a cyborg when he never volunteered for the experiment. Does the corporation care more about money and fame or protecting the city's residents? What does this movie have in common with the Terminator series and with some M-rated video games?

Movie details

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