A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
As in the previous two Terminator films, discussion of making one's own fate and that the only destiny and future is the one you choose for yourself.
Positive Role Models
John Connor is an aimless drifter who breaks into an animal hospital to steal and use prescription drugs. Though he becomes "heroic" in somewhat of the classic sense, this is with some reluctance and done more out of the circumstance of the moment. The "good" Terminator is simply programmed to be good.
Violence & Scariness
Intense action sequences, with characters killed. Intense peril and some mighty scary robots. Blood. The lead character puts a gun to his head and threatens to kill himself. The Terminator carves his chest open with a knife to fix his circuitry; blood shown around cuts.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The Terminators -- male and female -- show up on the planet naked from the side, with exposed buttocks. After getting pulled over by a police officer, the female Terminator sees a Victoria's Secret billboard and expands her breasts to a larger size.
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Frequent profanity: "f--k," "bitch," "a--hole," "s--t," "damn."
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Products & Purchases
The lead character is shown drinking from a Budweiser bottle. A billboard advertising Victoria's Secret is used in an attempt at humor.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character steals prescription drugs from an animal hospital and takes them. Teens drink beer at a party.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, released in 2003, has lots of profanity (including "f--k"); extreme, graphic violence (a character puts a gun to his head and threatens to kill himself; the Terminator carves his chest open with a knife to fix his circuitry, with blood shown); edge-of-your-seat car chases; and some mighty scary robots. There is a minimal amount of nudity in brief scenes of male and female Terminators, but both are shot from a distance and heavily shadowed. There also is a very sad death of a parent. A character steals prescription drugs from an animal hospital and takes them. Teens drink beer at a party. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The recipe is so familiar that this movie 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: Rise of the Machines are a bit 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's a carefully orchestrated hurricane of destruction. This is a wildly entertaining movie, 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 hard-core fans.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.