Common Sense Media says

Terrific sci-fi action, but too violent for some.

Users say

(out of 160 reviews)
age 13+
Review this title!
Teen, 15 years old Written byhansolo5150 May 1, 2011

An amazing, yet cheesy, 80's Sci-Fi flick. NOT for younger kids!

I just recently finished The Terminator. It was my first "Terminator" movie, so no comparisons to any of the sequels. This one is a bit of a mixed bag. Even for a movie from 1984, this one is cheesy. I guess I shouldn't have expected different however, considering the plot. Despite that, it is still a very dark, very tense, and very good movie. I absolutely loved it. :) Violence: Wow, where do I begin? To start off, over 30 people are seen killed in this film, and a soldier sent to the past speaks of almost everyone dying, and himself and a few others being kept alive to man the body dumping units, which he says "ran day and night". The 30+ people killed were all victims of the "Terminator", almost all of which were killed using various types of guns, while the very first victim had his heart ripped out onscreen (yes, you read right). One other victim was killed when "Terminator" ran him over with a car, while the man was still sitting at his office desk (still reading correctly). Scattered throughout the movie are flashs to the future that the "Terminator" was sent from, a horrific, war-torn future. Skulls litter the ground, and at one point, a female soldier is shot with a laser gun-armed machine, and is blown to pieces, literally. Sexual Content: At the very beginning of the movie, when the "Terminator" appears, he is completely nude, and his buttocks are clearly visible. Immediately following this, Kyle Reese, a soldier from the future, appears, also nude, though nothing sensitive is seen. Closer to the end of the movie, Kyle Reese and Sarah Conner have sex, and her breasts are shown. Language: Several uses of f*** scattered thoughout the movie, including one from "Terminator" which surprised me, seeing as it is a machine. Also a few uses of s***, a**hole, and lesser words. No product placement that I noticed, though I don't usually care about that. No noticeable drinking or drug use, though there is one comical scene where a police chief asks for a cigarette while he is already holding one. That about covers it. Enjoy!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old September 11, 2010

Awesome.

Great movie, but there are some things to be worried about (extremely graphic explosions, the terminator is shown ripping his false eye out and cutting open his false arm to reveal his robotic parts, nudity, and the strong language).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old August 31, 2010
Oy, James Cameron showed his knack of making explicit movies for today back in only 1984. Excellent movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written by4Spice June 9, 2010

good movie

lots of action some partial nudity and language 15 and over for partial nudity
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old April 28, 2014

Amazing, just a largely awkward sex scene

I was watching and it was amazing, great story with amazingly realistically unrealistic violence with a robot vs man theory. WARNING abrupt sex
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old October 24, 2013

NO NOT FOR KIDS ONLY TEENS AND ADULTS

this movie will scare kids pre teens and young teens. the scene where he cuts his eye you will scare kids and there is a sex scene.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written bygrapelover46 September 12, 2012

I didn't think this was as good of a movie as people said it was.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bybalto the hero July 24, 2012

don't show it to your kids and teens

Not okay for kids and teens. but for adults. it's a good movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bycharlie2411235 July 13, 2012

Loved it!

The movie revolves around a machine that assasinates people. Also, it says b---h, w---e, f--ker, a--hole, d--n, and s--t. We view a naked man at the beginning of the movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bylizzie3276 January 9, 2011

AMAZING!!!

I'm 14 and I absolutely love the first Terminator. I've probably seen it fifteen times. It keeps you hooked and it has action, suspense, a little romance, and it's actually more thought-provoking than it has the reputation of being.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byKScottA December 22, 2009

Good movie, but "Classic Action Film" might be a bit much.

Perhaps "The Terminator"'s reputation as a "Classic Action Film" led me to expect a bit too much from this movie. Now don't get me wrong, this is a good movie, and I did enjoy it. It just wasn't as incredible and jaw dropping as most people have said it is. Had I watched this and never heard of it before, I probably would have given it four stars. However, seeing as my expectations were very high, and it let me down a little bit, I'm giving it three stars.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written byKIdX13 January 1, 2009

I saw it edited too

This is a good movie! but note, i saw an edited t.v version, it still had issues though... 1.LOTS of violince, many people are shot with bloody wonds, and the terminator himself (with or without his skin on) may scare the younger audiances, The terminator is shot, lit on fire and blown up (but none of it works). 2. mild languge of the D--n variety 3. the sex scene is skiped altogeter, and people are naked when they arive from the future. So this is a clasic actin movie that teens can watch if it's edited on t.v!
Teen, 14 years old Written by<flyboy> April 9, 2008

Terminator In Black & White Terms

THE CONTENT: I wouldn't say you should see it unless your 14, but otherwise I don't see why not. It has a sex scene, but besides that the violence and language is tame by today's standards. THE MOVIE'S APPEAL: If you don't like this movie, you probably didn't like the Matrix or Alien (&amp; Aliens)either. One of my friends thinks Matrix was weird and disturbing, so I wouldn't recommend Terminator to him. THE ACTUAL MOVIE: It's a classic. The action and effects are amazing. Kudos to James Cameron for his awesome screenplay and direction.
Teen, 14 years old Written byStellarMan1546 August 24, 2016

A CLASSIC! MUST WATCH!!!!!

This is one of the best movies ever made! However, parents need to know it is not for kids! The violence is mostly PG-13, except for the Terminator ripping out a punk's heart and performing surgery on himself, there are 10 F-bombs (1 used by the Terminator) and 2 sex scenes (which I wasn't allowed to see). If you skip the sex scenes, it is okay for 14 and up! This is the best Sci-Fi classic ever! If you love this movie, be sure to watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Martian, Star Wars, and Back to the Future! The message is that courage can save you even in the darkest of times, like when Sarah (SPOILERS crushed the Terminator SPOILERS).
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Kid, 10 years old June 22, 2016

Terminator

This is a brilliant movie but be prepared for lots of rude romance
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 3, 2016

THE BEST SCI FI FILM

this has only some f words and it has some violence it has 1 gory scene but that was alright
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written bysnoopdogg February 1, 2016

REALLY GOOD ACTION MOVIE

DO NOT WATCH UNTIL AT LEAST 12! I watched and it was a VERY good action movie, but it had 3 sex scenes and 1 was VERY passionate. And there is 3 f words in the movie and a bunch of other swearing!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byYodacat2001 February 1, 2016

Nothing bad

Nothing bad perfect for family
Adult Written byerict January 24, 2016
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byBuffy Rules January 20, 2016

Review #5 - A suspenseful, violent 80s' classic that put Schwarzenegger on the map.

DISTRIBUTOR: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer RATING: R Considering the budget of $6.4 million and the gross of $78.3 million, that's 12x the budget at $76.8, so that means $1.5 million upwards from 12x its budget, The Terminator has firmly established itself in pop culture. The opening alone features a nude Terminator asking a punk for his clothes when that punk draws that switchblade and yells "F**k you, a**hole!" when that punk, I believe, Bill Paxton, gets his heart ripped out with the Terminator's BARE HANDS. And that's just the beginning of this relentless, intense thrill-ride. But anyway, it all came from James Cameron having a nightmare, a nightmare where that robot was chasing him. And that's when he knew... THE TERMINATOR, bringing Orion Pictures (rights for these films belong to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, hence the studio description) a film they had little faith in and feared the worst, and boy were they wrong. So when this R-rated action-thriller came out to 80s' audiences who wanted this ride, it became a hit. And so it goes, the legacy and the juggernaut that it is today. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Parental guidance section: This film is quite violent and overall contains some profanity. As I described above, Bill Paxton's heart is ripped out of his chest with the Terminator's bare hands in the opening scene, in addition to Arnold Schwarzenegger's buttocks being shown completely on-screen; also, a man and a woman in two separate scenes face a close-range gunshot that kills them in the respective scenes (it cuts away on impact from their point of view); it only gets more violent as the Terminator, human-looking as he is, cuts open his own arm (with blood) and his own eye socket, revealing metallic skeleton bones, a cyborg. There's gunshots fired, especially in one famous scene at a police station (not much blood), in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment a soldier is blown into matter (minimal blood), and a gash on a woman's thigh via shrapnel renders her unable to walk and in pain; she screams and this is intense. The action sequences are very suspenseful. Meanwhile, there are a few sex scenes: The roommate and her boyfriend have sex for several seconds, rolling around, maybe a little bit of thrusting; the second one shows two characters and the woman's breasts are shown, thrusting and rolling around are shown, but it feels very romantic. As for the language, there are maybe eight F words in there, tame for an R rated film. As for consumerism: I honestly can't remember anything about consumerism, perhaps action figures, perhaps the MGM and Orion logos at the start? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This, along with its sequel, are two of my favourite science-fiction films ever. They are just wildly entertaining from start to finish. "I'll be back", Arnold says. He was back for three sequels and a reboot, but I didn't see Rise of the Machines and Salvation based on negative reception. However, this one ranks as instant classic. As the suspense, thrill-a-minute as it may be, will never let you get lost from the story, it will let you get lost in the suspense. There's a difference. Arnold may not be the best actor ever, but who cares? He's an icon, the man. And with T2 being even better, surprisingly, up there with Toy Story 2, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Toy Story 3, well, these two films can happily stand on their own. This film is very impressive, especially as its budget is read. Wow. And a final side note: I know, in Australia it's M (average PG-13, light R), but for those who say *this* could get a PG-13, maybe possibly the violence would be that level on appeal, but the sex scenes and occasional language would prevent this from getting a PG-13, anyway. Maybe if the sex scenes were cut and the profanity lessened, it could pass. Please let teenagers watch it and its sequel. Watch, love, enjoy. Thankyou for reading.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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