Terminator 2: Judgment Day Movie Poster Image

Terminator 2: Judgment Day



Thrilling action film with lots of violence.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The idea of creating one's own future and fate is frequently discussed. This gives characters the hope and strength to try to change the destiny of the planet despite what they know of the future. 

Positive role models

John Connor teaches the Terminator sent to keep him safe not to kill. He also explains why people cry and have feelings. 


Frequent and unrelenting violence. Postapocalyptic sci-fi violence. Vehicle chases. Gun and artillery fire. Explosions. Characters killed by swords through the head. Blood. Characters shot at in their homes by machine guns. Broken mop handle to the skull. In a recurring nightmare, adults and children laughing and enjoying the rides on a playground burn alive from nuclear war. In the parking lot of a desert diner, two young boys are shown chasing each other with what look like real guns, pretending to shoot at each other. 


Brief scene depicting a guard licking the face of a restrained mental patient. Naked male buttocks when the Terminators make their first appearances. 


Frequent profanity: "f--k" and variations, "ass," "dips--t," "d--kwad."


A Pepsi can clearly shown. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Cigarette smoking. Tequila drinking. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Terminator 2: Judgment Day, released in 1991, is extremely violent and features multiple instances of postapocalyptic imagery. Characters are shot and killed, and blood is shown. Frequent profanity includes "f--k" and its variations. Naked male buttocks appear when the Terminators make their first appearances. However, the film does a surprisingly good job of addressing the issue of collateral damage, which is often glazed over in 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 this movie has more of a conscience than many other films in its genre.

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 acquired in the first film, is deemed insane and confined to an institution. The action is almost nonstop, with shopping-mall shoot-outs, 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.

Though he plays the character with the same steely stoicism as in the original, Schwarzenegger 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 with 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?

  • What comments does this movie make about fate, destiny, and the future? Do you agree or disagree? 

  • Why do you think violence is such a prominent feature in blockbuster action movies? Would anything have been lost from the story with half as much violence? Why, or why not? 

Movie details

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

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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 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
Teen, 15 years old Written bybibliophile December 1, 2008

Better than the first

Content: Sex - Nothing terrible. Maybe a few innuendos. Also, you see Terminator's bare backside, waist up, and all of his legs, getting extremely close to dangerous territory. Several women see him naked and whistle and stuff. Language: LOTS. Some very strong, which is expected in R. At least thirty swear words. Violence: Need I say anything? I highly recommend an edited version of this movie, such as ClearPlay DVD Player (clearplay.com)