Speed

  • Review Date: March 22, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Explosive bus ride for mature action lovers.
  • Review Date: March 22, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1994
  • Running Time: 116 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Treatment of ethnic minorities is even-handed and inclusive. Members of the police force treat people well and are unselfish, respectful, and extremely courageous, willing to sacrifice their lives for the welfare of the people they serve. A female character, who is an ordinary citizen, is shown to be brave, capable, and strong. The heroes behave honorably; the villain is a maniacal criminal.

Violence

Opening scene: a knife into the head of a security guard, killing him instantly, followed by a scary sequence with a bomb in an elevator shaft. More bloody action follows, including: a bus explosion with driver inside, woman falling to her death under a bus, hostages shown with dynamite strapped to their bodies, a house blown up with several police officers inside, an on-camera decapitation, and multiple hand-to-hand fighting scenes. Leading characters are frequently in life-and-death situations, some of which end badly.

Sex

Minor flirting.

Language

Constant cursing throughout: "f--k" in all forms, dozens of times; "s--t" repeatedly. Lesser forms of swearing, ("Jesus," "Christ," "goddamn," "hell," "bastard," "ass") intermittently from beginning to end.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One scene shows police officers drinking at a celebration after a rescue operation.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is filled with violent images: a fatal stabbing to the head; a decapitation; a bomb activated in a house, which kills several people, including one of the heroes; an elevator plunging forty floors; a bus explosion with the driver trapped inside; hostages with dynamite strapped to their bodies; and a woman killed when she falls under a bus. The language is extremely crude throughout.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Two police officers from L.A.P.D.'s bomb squad prevent a madman (Dennis Hopper) from ransoming an elevator full of people for millions of dollars. The maniacal criminal plants another bomb on a Los Angeles city bus to get even with the policemen and to try and extort the money again. Officer Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves), aided by Annie Porter, one of the bus's passengers (Sandra Bullock), has to keep the bus moving faster than 50 mph or the bomb will go off. The speeding bus careens through the city, encountering one perilously dangerous situation after another.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

For action lovers, SPEED delivers. There are sensational crashes, thunderous explosions, vicious hand-to-hand combat sequences, valiant maneuvers aboard a bus, on top of a moving train, in an elevator shaft... nonstop suspense-filled feats of bravery to combat the nonstop evil of a brilliant, but unhinged, villain.

This is Keanu Reeves's first "action hero" role and he does just fine. It's the movie that made Sandra Bullock a star, and she's as adorable as she should be. As for Dennis Hopper, no one takes more pleasure in playing the psychotic misfit. The good guys (and gal) are very, very good. The bad guy is horrid. However, nothing in this film resembles reality. True-to-life events and authentic relationships are in short supply.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how closely this live-action movie resembles a cartoon or a superhero movie. Do you think anyone could really do all the things that Officer Jack Traven does? How believable are the events in this movie? How believable are the characters? Do you think the moviemakers are trying to tell a real story, or make a fantastical movie that is simply fun to watch? What other movies have you seen that fit into this category?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 10, 1994
DVD release date:February 1, 2005
Cast:Dennis Hopper, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock
Director:Jan De Bont
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:116 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:for violence and language

This review of Speed was written by

About our rating system

  • 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.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byhansolo5150 December 7, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

One of the best guy movie's of all time.

This is one of the best guy movie's ever! It's very violent, and the plot is there only so that the thrills and action can have a solid foundation. On-camera violence includes: stabbing in the head, decapitation on top of a train, a woman falling under a bus, and huge explosions (people killed in two of them). Plenty of cursing, "f" word "s" word, and more, used frequently. Sandra Bullocks character makes a joke about basing a relationship on sex, but almost nothing else related to that. Older teens who enjoy big booms, have fun!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byYadad April 24, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Crazy cussing, great movie

Skip this movie if you don't want swearing. They have limits, but very small ones. The violence is crazy, but since the movie is kind of old, the gore isn't convincing. Can be very scary for little kids, especially the elevator scence. But it's a perfect movie with great actors all the way through.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byjohnmarston February 22, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 
The violence isn't too bad, but they swear a lot. They say f**k a ton of times, but what makes that the worst swear word anyway.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential Apps Guide