• Review Date: August 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 126 minutes

Common Sense Media says

A smart, smooth technological thriller.
  • Review Date: August 12, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1992
  • Running Time: 126 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Some bloodless violence handled discreetly plays a minor role.

Not applicable

Only one strong expletive, but it's a shocker since Sidney Poitier utters it.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a thriller, not a shoot-'em-up action-adventure, and as such, there's no gore to worry about. There is intensity in that Redford's character gets knocked out and held captive.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In SNEAKERS, Martin Bishop (Robert Redford), a former radical still wanted by the FBI, runs a security firm that's hired by the National Security Agency to find a computer inside a box that's fallen into the hands of the Russians. Marty and his men (Sidney Poitier, Dan Aykroyd, River Phoenix) recover the box and crack its secret: the means to decode and control any computer system in the world. Marty's brilliant former associate Cosmo (Ben Kingsley) steals the box, which he hides in his high-security headquarters, and Marty's team has to break in to recover it. Cosmo's men catch Marty in the act, and the team must rescue him under very difficult circumstances.

Is it any good?


Sneakers is a cleverly written, rapidly paced, and blessedly non-violent thriller. It's a terrific vehicle for Robert Redford, who's in top form in a role tailored to his strengths. His relaxed, intelligent charm is a good foil for the eccentric characters of his colleagues, including David Strathairn, who plays a blind computer whiz. Each of them has his own quirky appeal, and together they create a team that functions according to its own loopy logic.

The movie is at its best in scenes that show the team inventing and putting into action various high-tech shenanigans. It's loads of fun to observe the gang staking out Cosmo's headquarters, or using Marty's ex-girlfriend to tape record a computer geek's secret password. Children who can follow the sophisticated twists and technological lingo will enjoy the ride; others may get lost in the hijinks. The movie stumbles towards the end, when the blind man has to drive a truck in reverse according to Marty's instructions over headphones. Reality flies out the window, and almost ruins the entire enterprise.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Robert Redford's character. Can you think of other movies where he has some of the same traits? Why do actors get typecast? Do you think actors are often like the characters they play? This may lead to a broader discussion about performers and alter egos.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1992
DVD release date:June 3, 2003
Cast:Dan Aykroyd, Robert Redford, Sidney Poitier
Director:Phil Alden Robinson
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:126 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and some violence.

This review of Sneakers was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byDr3w November 17, 2011


Just wanted to clarify a few things since common sense media doesn't accurately describe the content in this film. There is only one f-word, but there are probably 20 to 30 other swear words in this film including prominent uses of the s-word. There is a sexually suggestive scene in which Redford's team watches a couple start to have sex before the camera pans away to their reaction to it. The actual act is mostly off-screen. Not a horrible movie (especially if you catch an edited cut on tv), but there is more than one curse word here and there is at least one sexually suggestive moment.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Adult Written bysusyq April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age


"Sneakers" is one of those movies that I would allow my kids to watch with me. I happen to REALLY like Robert Redford and could basically be entertained just watching him tie his sneakers. But the rest of the cast are smart and funny, too. And Sidney Portier is simply, well, Sidney Portier...sigh. Yes the ending is a bit silly but as I said, my kids could watch this and be pretty entertained. Enjoy!
Educator Written byMrsDrC November 15, 2011

Great movie, neat tech.

I've loved this movie from the first time I viewed it. I am very excited to show it to my technology class as a little fact, a little fiction and a good technological adventure. ETA: Now that I've re-watched the movie the language is a little stronger then I remembered, and there is one 'near' sex scene that a sensitive student had a problem with. Still glad to show it to my class, they are really enjoying it. It's going to make a great discussion on what tech in the movie is real and what is made up.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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