Classic '80s adventure has lots of swearing, some scares.
Based on 96 reviews
Based on 154 reviews
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Goonies is a thrilling '80s pirate-themed treasure hunt action-fantasy -- all the ingredients that kids will love. Kids are in constant peril, as they're being hunted by thieves who are after their treasure map. Beyond the (now-dated) special effects, cavernous sets, stunts, hideous skeletons, and outsized props, there's a message about being yourself and bonding with your friends and siblings -- even if they're outcasts. Some stereotyping includes fat-phobic jokes, an Asian character who's a gadget fanatic, Italian American mobsters, and, most offensively, a tall man with a facial difference who's considered a "monster" by his family and chained up under the stairs. Expect some crass humor and swearing (including "s--t"). There are jokes about a nude classical statue's genitalia, and panties are briefly visible when a teen boy adjusts his mirror to see up a teen girl's skirt without her consent. However, characters do demonstrate curiosity, perseverance, and teamwork. The movie may be too scary for some kids.
I Can’t Believe this is rated PG!
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What's the Story?
THE GOONIES is set in a coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, where a slightly ramshackle neighborhood called the Goondocks is threatened with foreclosure and redevelopment by corporate types. Local kids, motley outcasts known as "goonies," are cleaning out when they find a treasure map and clues to the legendary loot of a 17th century pirate, "One-Eyed Willie." With that kind of windfall, the goonies could save their homes. Clues lead the kids beneath a closed-down restaurant, the lair of a crime family of counterfeiters, who keep Sloth (late football star John Matuszak), a super-strong son with a facial difference, chained in the basement. Villains chase after the kids, who must negotiate a number of deadly booby traps set centuries ago by One-Eyed Willie, as they explore a maze of underground caverns and skeleton-strewn chambers.
Is It Any Good?
This adventure romp is like Bad News Bears meets Pirates of the Caribbean. The Goonies comes from the imagination of Steven Spielberg, who wrote the story, and screenwriter Chris Columbus (who would later go on to direct the first two Harry Potter features). Director Richard Donner (whose Superman: The Movie is made the subject of one gag reference) got solid performances out of an ensemble of young talent -- Mikey (Sean Astin), Brand (Josh Brolin), Mouth (Corey Feldman), Chunk (Jeff Cohen), and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan). While Mikey's older brother, Brand, tries to disassociate himself from the misfit goonies and hang out with the cooler guys at high school, by the end of the movie he's bonded with his kid brother. Of course, little emotional details like that are sometimes lost with the theme park-scale waterfalls, waterslides, drawbridges, and full-sized treasure ship around which the plot is set up. For what it's worth, though, The Goonies does feel every bit as long as its 114 minutes and contains some obnoxious commercial-product placements, but overall it's an exciting, timeless adventure that can be enjoyed by all members of the family.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the excitement within The Goonies. What about the film inspires adventure in your kid?
What kind of bond do these friends have? Are the characters relatable?
How do the characters in The Goonies demonstrate curiosity, perseverance, and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?
The film features displacement due to gentrification. What happens when rich people force the middle class and/or low-income families to leave their homes?
- In theaters: April 6, 1985
- On DVD or streaming: September 14, 2000
- Cast: Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, Sean Astin
- Director: Richard Donner
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Pirates
- Character Strengths: Curiosity, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 114 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: January 24, 2023
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