The Golden Child Movie Poster Image

The Golden Child



Murphy gets mystical in '80s adventure comedy.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1986
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A classic good-vs.-evil story with the good guy not being a perfect angel, but learning from his failings. The "golden child" represents compassion in the world.


Martial arts-style fighting with weapons and injuries; a demon wants to kill a child; a girl is murdered and we see police taking pictures of her body, but her body isn't shown. The bad guys try to feed a child oatmeal with blood in it. Monks are killed trying to protect a child from demons, and a woman is shot in the back with an arrow.


Lots of innuendo with romance between two of the main characters. A woman appears in a man's dreams wearing a sexy outfit and tied up with toilet paper. A couple gets dressed in the morning making it clear that they spent the night together. A woman is described as being raped by a dragon.


Quite a bit of swearing. No f-bombs, but just about everything else, at least once.


Quarker Oats and Pepsi.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol and tobacco use by adults.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has satanic imagery, mystical theories about the world, and some violence, including martial arts-style fighting with weapons and deaths, and attempted violence against a child. There's also plenty of sexual innuendo between two of the main characters who eventually sleep together, but nothing is shown.

Parents say

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What's the story?

THE GOLDEN CHILD is a mystical, comedy adventure about Chandler Jarrell, a private detective who finds out his destiny is not just to find runaway children, but to save the "golden child," a bringer of compassion to the world, from the demon who has kidnapped him and will ultimately kill him. Beautiful, mysterious woman, Kee Nang, joins him on his quest. Though initially skeptical of Kee and her story of the golden child, he soon realizes that not only is the Golden Child real, the demons that are after him are, too.

Is it any good?


This is classic 1980s Eddie Murphy. He sails through a pretty weak plot with his trademark humor, almost lending some validity to the nonsense going on around him. Murphy's Chandler is an endearing bad boy who can be a bit of a jerk when he encounters cultures that differ from his own.

Kids will love the adventure, the cute kid playing the Golden Child, and will probably get a good laugh at the '80s special effects. Parents may cringe at the thrown-together romance and the disturbing satanic imagery, but will also enjoy Murphy's great comedic timing and ad libs.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about culture shock and comedy. Most of the laughs come from Eddie Murphy's character bumbling through unfamiliar traditions. What other comedies use this type of humor? When does it cross the line into stereotyping or laughing at other traditions? Does this movie do that?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1986
DVD/Streaming release date:March 9, 1999
Cast:Charles Dance, Eddie Murphy, J.L Reate
Director:Michael Ritchie
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, scary images, sexual humor, language and brief nudity

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySlendyDaMan March 24, 2016

Very Funny

This movie is very good and will make you laugh pretty hard. However, this movie is not for kids. There is some violence and action, a dead body (off-screen) blood in a bowl and more along those lines. No F-words, but a lot of all the other words, especially s**t. A woman is seen topless for a second, and although it is quick, you can see nipples. Two people sleep together. Skimpy, sexual clothing. Drinking and smoking. Sexual and adult humor throughout including rape by a dragon.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking