The Fugitive

  • Review Date: September 6, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Heart-pounding thriller with great acting.
  • Review Date: September 6, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 125 minutes





What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable

A few mild expletives.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 6, 1993
DVD release date:September 25, 1998
Cast:Harrison Ford, Julianne Moore, Tommy Lee Jones
Director:Andrew Davis
Studio:Warner Home Video
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:murder and other action sequences in an adventure setting

This review of The Fugitive was written by

About our rating system

  • 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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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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Parent Written byElizabeth Darcy October 19, 2011

Great but intense

This is a spectacular but VERY intense movie. In the beginning there are numerous, disturbing flashbacks to a very violent murder. There is a very bad bus accident with plenty of blood shown, and there are several bloody fight scenes. As far as sexual content goes, Richard has a definitely suggestive dream about his wife, although nothing explicit is shown. Highly under-clad women are shown briefly at a party. The swearing is really more than just "a few mild expletives", with countless instances of the s-word, one (although hardly noticeable) use of f***, several uses of d***, and one prominent use of SOB. All these negative elements aside, however, it really is a great movie with a positive message. The good guys win in the end and the bad guys are defeated, and all throughout the two main characters, Richard and Sam, are honorable and gentleman-like. However, this is a very intense movie, and I would definitely not recommend it for anyone under 14, MAYBE 13 at the very youngest.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old January 28, 2012


Oddly, this film was just too long and I will never get those two hours back. That's just my opinion. Most people like it, so I am sure you will like it too.
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 about is the scenes of Helen's death. There is a few bad words, but they are not an issue
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models


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