The Karate Kid, Part III Movie Poster Image

The Karate Kid, Part III



Disappointing, often violent sequel is for series fans only.
  • Review Date: August 1, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Mr. Miyagi continues his education of The Karate Kid: "You must not lose to fear, only to your opponents."  Brute strength and revenge lose out to hard work, inspiration, and firm belief in yourself.

Positive role models

The wisdom and quiet integrity of Mr. Miyagi continues to provide guidance to The Karate Kid.  He lives what he preaches. Daniel learns another valuable lesson from his mentor and once again proves to be worthy and rewarded.


Lots of karate, some with the authentic moves, poses, etc. In other instances, participants are more vicious and cheat, purposely trying to hurt opponents. A fight scene includes breaking car windows and bloody fists. Bad guys vandalize a shop, and fight with those who try to protect it. The hero and a friend are threatened as they climb down a steep mountain.

Not applicable

Mild cursing throughout: "ass," "s--t," "screw you," "damn," "Christ," etc. Two racial slurs: "slope," referring to an Asian.


TWA, Amtrak, Century 21.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Villain is seen smoking a cigar and drinking champagne.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that revenge and bad intentions move the plot here. Some of the karate is vicious, and the trouble-making participants do not adhere to the principles of the martial arts. There are a few bloody fights. One sequence that might be frightening to young viewers finds tough guys threatening and endangering two heroes on a steep cliff. Mild coarse language is heard occasionally. Mr. Miyagi, wise mentor to The Karate Kid, is referred to as a "slope," an Asian slur. One character smokes cigars and drinks champagne.

What's the story?

Shortly after a major defeat to Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), his vanquished opponent John Krees (Martin Kove) plots revenge on him and his beloved coach, Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita). Krees enlists the support of an unscrupulous businessman and the two set out to force Daniel to defend his title against a devious, unethical challenger, and to destroy Mr. Miyagi's lifelong dream, a fledgling bonsai shop. Daniel gets caught up in the corrupting atmosphere of revenge, and it's up to Mr. Miyagi to show him the way back to integrity and self-respect.

Is it any good?


A flimsy, predictable plot, ridiculous mustache-twirling villains, and some really bad acting make for a disappointing third outing in this successful 1980s franchise. With the exception of some nice visuals of Miyagi and Daniel in training and bonsai in a natural mountain setting, there's not much to recommend. Though the original's writer and director are on board again, it seems a feeble effort to capitalize on the built-in fan base. Even the karate bouts are shot with little flair or originality. It's harmless, mindless, and mostly charmless.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel much more than karate moves. What life lessons does Daniel learn? What other films have you seen that do a good job of portraying such a strong mentor-student relationship?

  • The filmmakers made the villains in this movie very cartoonish: sneering most of the time, laughing at the heroes, and fighting very unfairly. Were they believable villains? Memorable?

  • Daniel's spirit is compared to a bonsai tree. How does Daniel "choose how he grows" like the magical tree on the mountain side?

  • If you've seen The Karate Kid and/or The Karate Kid, Part II, did this sequel meet your expectations? Why or why not? What sequels have you seen that you liked as much as or even more than the original?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 30, 1989
DVD release date:February 1, 2005
Cast:Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio
Director:John G. Avildsen
Studio:Columbia Pictures
Topics:Sports and martial arts, Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of The Karate Kid, Part III was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Appealing kid-friendly comedy; some scary scenes.
  • Inspiring drama about a champion speller; OK for tweens.
  • Very edgy baseball comedy is funny, poignant.
  • Inspiring tale for older tweens and up.
  • Field of Dreams for tweens.
  • Excellent, gorgeous drama with uplifting messages.
  • '80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 15 years old Written byJahvonify96Sincerely September 14, 2011

PG-13 rating for ''The Karate Kid Part III''

My rating for this movie is rated PG-13 for martial arts action violence,some language and a scene involving drug use
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old November 13, 2010

It's good for kids that are in Year 4 and over

I love the Karate Kid but the language is kinda bad the use s--t, ass and other mild language. Mr. Silver is a bad role model so is Mike because firstly Mike breaks the rules in the tournament and he also enters a store and tries to beat up Daniel. Mr. Silver is teaching Daniel to be bad.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Kid, 10 years old March 29, 2011

Not for little kids!

Okay but very bad swearing!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement