Terminator 2: Judgment Day

  • Review Date: October 7, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 147 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Tons of action, violence, and special effects.
  • Review Date: October 7, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 147 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Fetishized slow-motion shootings and car chases.


Brief scene depicting a guard licking the face of a restrained mental patient.


Very strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film is extremely violent and features multiple scenes of post-apocalyptic imagery and strong language. However, the film does a surprisingly good job of addressing the issue of collateral damage, which is often glazed over in similar big action films. The point is made by multiple characters, most importantly the child protagonist John Connor, that the killing of bystanders must be avoided at all costs, even though the fate of the world may hang in the balance. In this way, while a definitive big science fiction action film, this movie has more of a conscience than many other films in its genre.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Continuing the story of the first film, TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY finds The Terminator, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, sent back in time from the future again, but this time switching sides to become the protector of the human race's future hope, John Connor. Meanwhile, Connor's mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton), who tries to spread the knowledge of an apocalyptic future that she acquires in the first film, is deemed insane and confined to an institution. The action is almost nonstop with shopping mall shootouts, truck/motorcycle chases, and various other action set pieces saturating the film.

Is it any good?


This is the film that made CGI effects seem palatable and as such, can be considered a promulgator of all subsequent big budget action effects movies. Its greatest technical achievement is the shape-shifting T1000 character who pursues John Connor and makes it necessary for The Terminator to act as protector. The film continually ratchets up the tension as the T1000 comes closer and closer to destroying young John, making TERMINATOR 2 a thoroughly exciting thrill ride.

While playing the character with the same steely stoicism as in the original, Arnold obviously relishes the chance to be the "good guy" in this one, and the script provides him with plenty of silly one-liners to provide the otherwise dark film some levity. Linda Hamilton turns in a frantic performance as a desperate mother locked away because everyone thinks she's insane.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the development of such amoral killing machines as The Terminators? What would the ramifications of the existence of such machines be?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 1, 1991
DVD release date:October 29, 2001
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton
Director:James Cameron
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:147 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sci-fi action and violence, and for language

This review of Terminator 2: Judgment Day 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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Parent Written byrev78 July 4, 2012

Avoid it.

This is bad on numerous levels. No child under 15 should see this, given the "values" it posits, although I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. Firstly, it attempts to validate the lunatic fringe survivalist culture which suspects the government is out to get them. Next, both the kid and his mother are reprehensible characters. Violence-wise, both the "good" guys and the villain torture and kill indiscriminately; the fact that the kid tells Arnold not to kill two two people who try to help him hardly assuages the torture and pain inflicted on them. Finally, on a formal level the acting is shallow and the dialogue is irritating.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 10 year old Written byJustJulia09 May 4, 2011

Depends on your 10yr old's maturity level

My 10 yr old daughter loved it. She's "gifted & talented" & wise beyond her years. It's up to each parent to decide if the movie is suitable for their own child. I always watch them 1st then make that decison. It was pretty loud w/ gunfire, yelling and chase scenes, but at least when the terminators got shot, it wasn't a lot of blood & guts. No sex, no bathroom humor and a few curse words.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byFrankinf March 24, 2012

Funny and awesome

It has alot of violence and scary scenes but is not a very bad movie just make sure it is okay that your kids wan't say any words that you don't want them to say, but if you don't care if your kids say s*7/ and f=*k its a great funny movie that is heartwarming and violent
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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