Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Movie Poster Image

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines



Sequel is basically one long, violent chase scene.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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. 


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. 


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. 


Frequent profanity: "f--k," "bitch," "a--hole," "s--t," "damn."


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. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Terminator 3, 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. 

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 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: RISE OF THE MACHINES 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 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.

Families can talk about...

  • How is this third movie in the Terminator series different from the first two? How is it similar? 

  • Did the violence seem necessary to the story, or did it seem put in to keep audiences engaged? 

  • What are some other examples of sequels? Do you think sequels are generally better or worse than the original movie? Why? Why do you think sequels of hit movies get made? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 2, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:November 10, 2003
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken, Nick Stahl
Director:Jonathan Mostow
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Cars and trucks, Adventures, Robots
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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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
Kid, 8 years old May 21, 2015

Extremely violent,very graphic prequel has drugs,nudity,language.

My rating:R for strong sci-fi violence throughout,language,graphic nudity,and innuendo.
Parent of a 14 year old Written byTheGman447 March 3, 2011

Good for older teens.

Violence: Strong violence throughout, most is robot against robot but also has a few bloody shootings, the terminator looks real so he has bloody wounds. Sex and Nudity: The T-X appears naked, and walks across the street nude. her breasts are flashed for a few moments, but no nipples because of her hair. her butt is seen for a little while but it is dark because of the shadows. The Terminator appears nude, butt is seen for a brief moment between the shadows. he walks into a bar and women look at him suggestively. The T-X makes her breast bigger to look like a woman she sees on a clothes store. Language: A lot less than The Terminator Or Terminator 2, but does contain some f words and s words, along with some other mild swears. Drugs and alcohol use:John Conner breaks into a veterinarian clinic and steals drugs and takes them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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