Terminator Genisys

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Terminator Genisys Movie Poster Image
Good idea devolves into repetitive action, tons of violence.
  • PG-13
  • 2015
  • 125 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 13 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 40 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Briefly brings up the idea of freedom of choice; it's something that everyone wants, but what should you do with it once you have it? What's the best way to use your future?

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sarah Connor is a strong, feisty, and resourceful female character -- yet she lives a very solitary life, unable to trust anyone or connect with anyone except a robot. And, although she insists she doesn't need a boyfriend, the movie gives her one anyway.


Nearly constant sci-fi violence. Shooting with both laser guns and regular guns. Some blood shown. Terminators are shot, smashed, dropped, caught in explosions, and destroyed by acid. Vehicle chases and crashes. Explosions, destruction, and images of nuclear destruction, with millions blown away in a single blast. Stabbing with "liquid metal" blade-arms. Some scary scenes/jump-shocks/chases/pursuits.


Male and female characters time travel naked, but there's no graphic nudity (only torsos and legs shown). Brief innuendo and titillation.


One use of "f--k," and a few uses of "s--t." Also "a--hole," "goddamn," "bite me," and "Jesus" (as an exclamation).


Nike shoes shown more than once. Pepsi machine shown.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief references to "cold beer" and "moonshine."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Terminator Genisys is the fifth movie in the blockbuster sci-fi/action series, with Arnold Schwarzenegger back in his star-making role. The sci-fi/fantasy violence is intense and nearly constant, with tons of shooting (both regular guns and laser ones), fighting, perilous chases, big crashes, and explosions -- but very little blood or death. Both male and female characters time travel naked, but no sensitive body parts are shown (just torsos, legs, etc.). Language is sporadic but includes one "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t" and "a--hole." This is the first in a planned trilogy, and teen sci-fi nuts will be eager to line up for it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBan Moy July 15, 2015

O stars

Adult Written byEpicreviewz January 3, 2021

Kid terminator

The terminator might not be a kid-friendly franchise but this movie definitely speaks to kids maybe about 13 and up.
Kid, 11 years old July 15, 2015

Great story and good twist but frequent violence and language.

This movie is hard to talk about without spoiling it. I will say the story is great but kids under 12 will not get it unless your kid is extremely intelligent.... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 26, 2015

Average action thriller is better than T3 and Salvation

Lots of action violence, some bloody wounds. Characters are shown naked, but no sensitive parts are seen. One use of f*ck.

What's the story?

In TERMINATOR GENISYS, in the future night that John Connor (Jason Clarke) and his followers launch an assault on Skynet, they're too late, and the first Terminator is sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor. So John sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to protect her, but he unexpectedly arrives in an alternate timeline, where a tough, resourceful Sarah (Emilia Clarke) already has a guardian, a reprogrammed Terminator she calls "Pops" (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Armed with new memories from the time shift, Reese realizes that their next destination is San Francisco in 2017, where an operating system known as "Genisys" is about to launch. If they can stop that, they can prevent all the trouble from ever occurring. Unfortunately, Genisys has its own protector.

Is it any good?

The fifth movie in the series does well by ignoring the third and fourth installments, but after starting with a good idea, it devolves into a rather typical, monotonous shoot-and-smash fest. Far too much screen time is spent watching terminators shot at, bashed, dropped, and blown up ... only to reform again, with the whole cycle starting over. This might be fine if we hadn't seen it all before in the earlier films. And then everything comes down to a ticking counter, signaling the end of the world, that must be stopped.

Though Sarah Connor is a strong, resourceful woman, and all of the characters are appealing in a surface way (partly because of their familiarity from the earlier movies), they have little emotional draw other than the "business" they engage in between action scenes. Director Alan Taylor (Thor: The Dark World) keeps things looking good, but ultimately Terminator Genisys feels more like a business transaction than it does an attempt to tell a solid story.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Terminator Genisys' violence. How did it affect you? Was it exciting? Exhausting? Gruesome? What's the impact of media violence on kids?

  • How does the movie handle the fact that the characters must time travel naked? Does the nudity seem sexual in any way? Do the characters present unrealistic male or female body types?

  • How does it feel that the movie essentially ignores the series' third and fourth installments?

  • What's the appeal of time-travel stories? How does traveling through time affect a story's timeline?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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