A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes positive messages about teamwork, believing in yourself, and the triumph of the underdog. Additional themes include curiosity and perseverance.
Positive Role Models
The kids do their share of bickering, but they're also fiercely loyal to each other.
A tall man with a facial difference is considered a "monster" by his family and chained up under the stairs. Fat-phobic jokes are repeatedly directed at Chunk. The Fratelli family is a stereotype of Italian Americans as mobsters. Richard, nicknamed "Data," is the only character of color in the main gang and falls into the "geeky Asian" stereotype.
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Violence & Scariness
Death and torture are constantly threatened and implied. The film opens with a shoot-out involving the Fratelli family. Plenty of crushed/impaled skeletons along the way for maximum gruesomeness. Kids discover a frozen dead body. A teen boy adjusts a mirror to see up a teen girl's skirt without her consent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Kissing and off-color humor about a nude classical statue's genitalia. Panties briefly visible when a teen boy adjusts a mirror to see up a teen girl's skirt without her consent.
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Several uses of "s--t" (by both kids and adults), as well as "bulls--t," "damn," "goddamn," "ass," "hell," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Brands seen/used/mentioned include Pepsi, Domino's Pizza, etc. A Baby Ruth candy bar gets quite a bit of screen time.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
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.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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