Spy Kids

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Spy Kids Movie Poster Image
Just the right combination of fantasy and comedy.
  • PG
  • 2001
  • 88 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 47 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value
Positive messages

Strongly emphasizes the importance of family and teamwork. Villains get their due, and it's clear who the good and bad guys are. Some potty humor. Other themes include courage and perseverance.

Positive role models & representations

The kids have relatable issues and are brave and resourceful. Strong female characters and a diverse cast. 

Violence & scariness

A good bit of peril and fantasy/cartoonish action violence, though it's often played for laughs. Fights and chases, plus falls, crashes, and explosions. Mutant creatures could be scary to some little kids.

Sexy stuff
Language

One brief almost-use of "s--t" (but it's turned into "shiitake mushroom"). Also "oh my God."

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Adults are briefly seen drinking wine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Spy Kids is an action-packed adventure that includes a little bit of potty humor (which most kids will find hilarious) and one almost-swear word. Younger children might be scared by the mutant creatures, but most will find them more silly than frightening. Characters are frequently in peril (though it's usually played for laughs), and there's a certain amount of head-bonking violence. But no one even gets a scratch, except for one villain, whose encounter with flames leaves her having a very bad hair day.

User Reviews

Educator and Parent Written bychristian-witness June 28, 2012

ok

A bit of peril and fantasy/cartoonish action violence, though it's often played for laughs. Fights and chases, plus falls, crashes, and explosions. Mutant...
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written bysarafmc December 9, 2011

Creepy, depending on the kid.

Consider your kid carefully with this one. My ten year old, who is not a particularly fearful kid but has a very vivid imagination, was extremely disturbed by t...
Teen, 15 years old Written byWhiteBoogeySense April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

So Good!

It was so good I cried at the end instead of chearing! The language is mild, the term shittakie Mushrooms is used alot. Other than that it's fine for any...

What's the story?

SPY KIDS Carmen and Juni Cortez (Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara) are the children of Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino), once the cleverest spies in the world but now loving parents who make a living as consultants. Or so they say. It turns out that once the kids go to bed, Gregorio and Ingrid flip a few switches to connect to a command center that keeps them involved in spy missions, though now from a safe distance. When top secret agents start disappearing, Gregorio and Ingrid call on "Uncle Felix" (Cheech Marin) to watch the kids and climb back into their spy gear to go off and save the world. But then they, too, disappear, and it's up to Carmen and Juni to rescue their parents -- and, while they're at it, the rest of the world.

Is it any good?

Imagine James Bond crossed with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and you might have an idea of what to expect in this, one of the best family movies of 2001. Spy Kids has just the right combination of giddy fantasy, exciting adventure, wonderful special effects, and sly comedy to be ideal for 7- to 12-year-olds and their families. It's also notable for featuring strong female characters and and characters and performers from the Latino culture.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the conclusion of Spy Kids that spy work is easy compared to keeping a family together. What does it take to keep a family together and functioning well so that everyone's happy?

  • How does the violence in this movie compare to what you've seen in other movies? How does the fantasy element affect its impact?

  • How do Carmen and Juni demonstrate teamwork, perseverance, and courage in Spy Kids? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

See which skills this movie can help your kid develop.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love adventure

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate