Common Sense Media says

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

Users say

(out of 166 reviews)
age 13+
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Adult Written byBestPicture1996 June 25, 2014

The grandaddy of Ahhnald action movies

This may take away some of my movie buff points, but I don't really care for disposable 80s movies with the likes of Sly Stallone, Steven Seagal and Mr. Schwarzenegger. They're essentially big budget B-movies, but I knew that I had to catch up on my homework and finally watch "The Terminator." An absolute classic, the special effects here are revolutionary for the time, and Linda Hamilton comes off some times a bit too much like a damsel in distress, it's still good acting. This might be Arnold's perfect role because his lines are limited, and his menacing, blank glare works to his effect because...well...he's not a good actor. The story intrigued me, the movie's drenched in 80's nostalgia...it's definitely the cream of the crop of Schwarzenegger's career. There's a lot of bloody violence however, and a surprising amount of sex.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
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
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, 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.
Adult Written byWhatdoIthink? April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written byDestructo bot January 15, 2017

Better than the second

Some people say the 2nd terminator is better but I think this is.But there is a lot of violence the worst part is when the terminator takes out his eyeball I could barely watch that.Everything else is not so bad but there is about 10 F-words and another two used with mother.There is at least one use of a!$%ole in the film two.But there is no nudity if there is it is extremely hard to spot.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 9 and 10 year old Written byDylan1226 January 13, 2017

A classic, but watch it with your kid and skip one scene

My kids, 9 and 10 ask me all the time what my favorite movies are and the first two Terminator movies are always listed. I had always figured I would have to wait until my kids were in high school to share these movies with them, but one of my friends said, "There's one sex scene, skip that and it's really not that bad..." His point was a good one. There is bad language in the movie, but it's not over the top. I always tell my kids, "You can never completely avoid bad language, you just have to know not to repeat it." My 10-year-old loved the movie. I fast-forwarded through the sex scene, but I let him know what had happened since it's kind of a key plot point for the series going forward. The ultimate reason I wanted my kids to see this movie, aside from wanting to watch something with them that wasn't animated, was to teach them about heroes. There isn't enough of that with most of the movies that have come out recently and I liked the idea of them seeing Kyle Riggs and realizing that he gave his life (spoiler alert) to protect Sarah Connor from the Terminator. He had the reaction that I wanted him to have to the movie. I think if you watch this with your kids and interject where needed or explain certain things, this movie is fine for kids in the 10-12 age range as long as you skip the one sex scene. It didn't even interrupt the movie, I just tapped FF twice and we were past it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byAlexsmiles January 7, 2017

Must see

Hear me out the sex is not as bad as you think it would be for a rated R movie in fact the only reason this movie was rated R was because the invention of PG-13 was barely created and not many movie producers were not fond of the idea. In my opinion the only thing parents should be worried about is the mild swearing
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old January 7, 2017

Good, but very violent.

I think that kids only 15 years and older should watch this because I watched it, and it had two naked people in the beginning of the movie. The Terminator has no pity for the people it shoots... six times in a row. It also rips someone's guts out, and that was just bloody and violent. I see a very bad role model in The Terminator. I think that Arnold Shwarzenegger or however you say it is a great actor. I like the cool soundtracks and the movie, but it can get pretty violent from time to time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 5, 10, 13, and 15 year old Written byMike B. January 6, 2017

Great movie for kids!

My family and I watched this and the kids loved it!! Barely any gross death scenes, and everyone just loved it. DEFINITELY RECOMMENDED JUST A GREAT MOVIE FOR THE FAMILY!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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