A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie has two big themes. One is a question of humanity: how human is human, and where is the line drawn? The sub-theme is one of politics: how much freedom should one give up for the promise of safety? The movie also has something to say about greed: the employees at the company building the robots seem to be more interested in profits than in making safe machines.
Positive Role Models
It's hard to argue for RoboCop as a role model, since he's both so tormented and so emotionless, and also because he's sometimes prone to unprovoked violence. But on a very surface reading, he's a pretty cool superhero, and one that tries to uphold the law.
Violence & Scariness
The movie is filled with guns, shooting, and dead bodies, but it just barely achieves a PG-13 rating by showing hardly any blood. There are a few cuts and scrapes shown, and when one character is shot, we see a spray of blood (and a pool of blood from under his corpse). Thousands of bullets fly in this movie. Suicide bombers are part of the story. A robot shoots a teen boy holding a knife (he's determined to be a "threat"). The hero is caught in an explosion, which ravages his body. We see brief images of his wounds as well as his organs inside the RoboCop armor and some creepy "operation" footage. RoboCop sometimes beats people up with his hands, rather than with his guns.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Before the accident, when the main character is human, he is shown passionately kissing his wife. He removes her top, and she is shown wearing a black bra. They fall onto the bed, kissing, but they are interrupted.
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Language is infrequent, but includes a few uses of "s--t." Other words include "a--hole," "holy Christ," "hell," "damn," "goddamn," "ass," "crap," and "bitch." A TV commentator uses the words "motherf----r" and "horses--t," but these words are bleeped.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
RoboCop catches some young men doing a drug deal. When he scans one of them, the readout comes up as "totally stoned." This arrest leads RoboCop to a drug lab, and we see quick images of various workers making illegal drugs before the hero arrives and shuts it down. Additionally, in an early scene, the hero (as a human) is seen having a beer at home after work.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Robocop is a remake of the 1987 action classic that's less bloody than the original, but still fairly violent, with intense, frequent gun battles, thousands of bullets flying, and dead bodies (with very little blood shown). We briefly see gory photos of the main character after an accident, and his organs are shown inside the RoboCop armor. There's one moment of sexuality as the main character, still a human, kisses his wife and falls onto a bed with her (she is shown wearing a bra). Language is infrequent, but includes a few uses of "s--t," as well as "bitch" and "a--hole." (One use of "motherf----r" is bleeped out.) In one scene, RoboCop arrests some drug dealers/users and then busts a drug lab. Overall, it's not nearly as good as the original film, but it's a solid effort. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Very few movie remakes ever live up to the originals, and that's certainly the case with the 2014's RoboCop. However, taken on its own, the new movie is a fairly solid entertainment with some interesting ideas, strong visual and sound effects, and a great cast. As an action flick, it's quick, intense, and rattling. Brazilian documentary filmmaker José Padilha (Bus 174) forgoes the original film's humorous satire and over-the-top violence in favor of a more political view.
Specifically, he plays with Benjamin Franklin's assertion "They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety," as well as with the theme of corporate greed at the expense of common people. Lead actor Joel Kinnaman isn't very expressive or personable, but he's surrounded by strong support, including Samuel L. Jackson as a persuasive TV commentator. Overall, while it's not entirely necessary, it at least has more heft than the original movie's two sequels.
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.