Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

  • Review Date: November 11, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Basically one long, exciting chase scene.
  • Review Date: November 11, 2003
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 108 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Conflict resolution means killing.


Intense action sequences, characters killed. Intense peril and some mighty scary robots.


The terminators show up on the planet naked from the side.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Character steals drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film has profanity, violence (often with a sense of humor), edge-of-your-seat car chases and some mighty scary robots. There is a minimal amount of nudity in brief scenes, but both are shot from a distance and heavily shadowed. There is also a very sad death of a parent. But what has changed is that younger and younger kids want to see these movies that a few years ago were off their radars. Now, thanks to endless marketing, these tweens want to see these R rated action moves. Know that if you let your 10 year-old watch (and many will) that he or she is in for a side shot of a naked woman, extremely graphic violence, and really rough language.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Fasten your seatbelts: The Terminator is back. The new model has lots of upgrades, lots of new powers and some interesting new shapes. These changes lead to surprising plot twists and some funny lines. But the best part of Terminator 3 remains the old formula: one long, exciting chase scene. Fans of the Terminator series know the recipe well by now: a relentless, all powerful cyborg is sent back from the future by its machine masters to kill the young John Conner as part of a plan to exterminate the human race. Each time, fragile human beings must find the resolve and ingenuity to escape the terminator, with doomsday hanging in the balance.

Is it any good?


The recipe is so familiar that Terminator 3 contains in-jokes and occasionally pokes fun at itself, building on themes and expectations from past Terminator movies. There are some humorous moments that would not have appeared in the earlier movies, such as the indignant motorist in the path of destruction who wants to complain about his dented fender, or the scene where the muscular Schwarzenegger is mistaken for a male stripper.


The chase scenes in Terminator 3 are a little more clever and a lot more expensive. But their timing is perfect. The director establishes his credentials right from the start with a truck chase that is a carefully orchestrated hurricane of destruction. This is a wildly entertaining movie and should do well at the box office, but it has some significant flaws as well, most noticeably in the plot, which disappoints at important points in the story. However, plot flaws are not likely to discourage the hard core Terminator fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how we weigh the risks of technology.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 2, 2003
DVD release date:November 10, 2003
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken, Nick Stahl
Director:Jonathan Mostow
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:strong sci-fi violence and action, and for language and brief nudity

This review of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 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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Adult Written bychangster.eminem February 8, 2010

Don't Waste Your Time!

It is like pointless killing and has no end to it as it seems. Waste of time. Don't even bother watching the movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 8 years old May 21, 2015

Shocking, disturbing thriller has extreme graphic violence, and nudity.

My rating Hard R: for strong brutal violence, graphic nudity, and countless gory images.
Teen, 13 years old Written byCgd0911 March 30, 2015

Not the best one, but still exiting

This film is not as dark or violent as the past Insallments, with language that's not as rough, but this is an R film. The violence level is high, with the characters in the entire movies in constant peril and being chased. Many scenes contain violence with the use of: pistols, shotguns, a mini gun, explosives, nukes, plasma cannons, flamethrowers, knives, saws, fists and in one comical scene a paintball gun. Though much of the violence is bloodless, the scenes with some blood, scaryness are the following: when a woman is shot by the T-X, and the robot licks some of the blood on the wound to clarify who it is, when a man is attacked by the T-X with a buzzsaw (it's barely offscreen, but you see a small spray of blood stain the nearby pictures, when the T-X kills the officer in the driver's seat of the police cars sitting in front of her by shoving her arm right though him, staining her arm with some blood, and in the climatic battle, which contains some frightening scenes. Other battles are more exiting and thrilling that graphic. Sex is low, other than the terminatore being shown naked from the side, the female terminator's briefly shown fully nude fore a minute, but it's mostly blurry, shadowy. Language is mostly PG-13 with some uses of sh*t, asshole, b*tch, hell, damn, bastard, and a couple uses of f*ck. Otherwise, the film is okay for Tweens as young as 10 to watch the movie, but as old as 13 to. Know your child or yourself.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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