The Fugitive

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
The Fugitive Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Heart-pounding thriller with great acting.
  • PG-13
  • 1993
  • 125 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 37 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While the protagonist breaks jail and runs from police, he also risks his life to help others in need and non-violently steers police to the real killer, using his wits.


Disturbing scenes of a murderer's assault. Some shooting, stabbing, and bloody fist fighting.


A few mild expletives.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will see disturbing scenes of a murderer's assault, plus some shooting, stabbing, and bloody fist fighting. The protagonist is forced into numerous life-threatening situations. He survives a bus crash/train wreck and jumps from a dam into raging water.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 14-year-old Written bykristin1234 February 15, 2020

Exciting movie

I showed this to my 14-year-old who really liked it. An exciting bus crash / train wreck sequence near the beginning. A few sexy scenes between husband and wif... Continue reading
Adult Written byJIDDINS September 21, 2017

Plenty of Teaching Potential

I showed my students this film for several reasons. Right now my students are reading the IROBOT collection of short stories, along with some prequel fan fictio... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bysillycomb March 23, 2011

perfect especially for middle school and up

This was really my favorite movie. It was very creative. The action scenes are definitely age appropriate and fun to watch. The only violence I am concerned abo... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 4, 2010
I loved it! my 7 year old brother watched it too. i don't know what they're talking about on the main page? they say s**t and d**n in almost every sce... Continue reading

What's the story?

When THE FUGITIVE begins, it appears that Dr. Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford), a respected vascular surgeon, has killed his wife in their upstairs bedroom. He claims that a one-armed man did it, but the physical evidence isn't in Kimble's favor. Tried and sentenced to death by lethal injection, he's loaded onto a bus with a handful of other convicts being transferred to the Illinois State Penitentiary. The bus never reaches its destination. An uprising causes it to crash and gives Kimble an opportunity. He escapes and, relentlessly tracked by a team led by U.S. Marshal Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones), sets out to clear his name by finding the real culprit.

Is it any good?

Based on the 1960s TV series of the same name, The Fugitive isn't some cheap knockoff. Gripping from the moment it starts, this is a sterling example of how action pictures should be made. Clever storytelling and editing build the suspense. Director Andrew Davis frames Chicago beautifully through panning aerial shots. Throw in a moving score and super tight script and you'll get why it was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. The only use of sensational effects is a train derailment so convincing that you'll suspect the filmmakers crashed a real train to get the footage. They did.

Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for his supporting role, and, as Kimble, Harrison Ford is particularly sympathetic. Seeing him tracked cross-country through hospital corridors and a sewer system, we never forget that he's a man devastated by his wife's death. Strange to say about someone fleeing the law, but Kimble can actually serve as a role model of sorts for older kids. A loving husband, a caring surgeon who more than once risks his life to help others in need, he uses his wits to nonviolently steer the law toward the man they're really after. And, Tommy Lee Jones won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why being scared by films (or theme park rides and haunted houses) can be fun. Is it because we really long to experience dangerous situations, or is there another reason?

Movie details

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