Spy Kids

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

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 73 reviews

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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

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

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

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

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRluke March 8, 2020

Creepy factor terrified my kids

Common sense media is my bible for movie watching with my kids. I’m baffled how this movie got such a young age rating. My almost 12 year old who has seen some... Continue reading
Adult Written byTwoDrummers September 1, 2019

Common Sense missed the mark again

It was just okay. But the amount of cleavage displayed by "Mom" was very disappointing. I check out potential movies to watch on Common Sense Media sp... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old August 9, 2012


This movie is okay(not that good). And it is overrated. It's silly and babyish. Not the worst movie ever,just bad,but luckily has some positive messages.... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byHannah K. April 9, 2008


It was a pretty cool movie. It had a lot of action in it which I loved. The story was good and all of there neat gadgets were really cool to. I loved this movie... Continue reading

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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

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