A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty, courage, and teamwork. Characters must fight for survival leading to regular acts of violence. Other antisocial and criminal behavior is also displayed.
Positive Role Models
The Warriors are part of a powerful, wide-ranging subculture of New York gangs who live outside the law and fight among themselves. But they do show intense loyalty and bravery toward one another. The other gangs in this fictional version of New York do the same, but all are frequently prone to violence. They also commit other antisocial behavior, such as murder, arson, and attempting to steal.
Strong diversity across the cast. But very few women characters, who are mostly subservient to male characters. However, some are shown to be stronger and smarter than male characters with sexist attitudes. Native dress worn by non-typical groups. Male characters have their masculinity challenged for not being violent and confrontational.
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Violence & Scariness
Characters fight with guns, razors, knives, baseball bats, and other improvised weapons. Punches, kicks, and knees thrown. Multiple people take on a single person in a fight. On-screen deaths. Bloody injuries but no gore. Gangs threaten and intimidate innocent bystanders. Attempts at sexual violence. Molotov cocktails thrown, property damage, and explosions.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References to sexual intercourse. Characters wear waistcoats with no shirts underneath. Other characters wear revealing outfits, but there is no full or topless nudity.
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Language used includes "s--t," "f--k," "ass," "f--king," "goddamn," "chickens--t," "whore," "d--kheads," "bitch," and "crap." Derogatory language about homosexuals including "f--got." The word "japped" is used in reference to Japanese soldiers in World War II.
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Products & Purchases
Some gang leaders have more elaborate clothes than their subordinates.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters are seen drinking and smoking socially. Some characters overindulge and are shown to be mildly intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Warriors is a classic action thriller about rival fictional New York gangs with violence -- including the use of weapons -- and strong language. Positive messages are few, but the main characters do display strong bonds of friendship between one another as well as teamwork and courage. Though the violence is frequent it's not graphic. The gangs fight with punches, kicks, and a variety of weapons, leading to some bloody injuries and on-screen deaths. Swearing is infrequent but can be strong. It include variants of "f--k" as well as homophobic language. There are almost no racial divides between gangs and their loyalties. But the cast is mostly male and they frequently display sexist attitudes to women, which includes physically intimidating them, although on occasion some of the women are shown as equal or superior to their male counterparts. Women are also frequently referred to as sex objects with the male gaze dominating for the most part. In one scene, a male character makes unwanted sexual advances. There is occasional drinking and smoking with some characters appearing slightly drunk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
An unlikely retelling of the Ancient Greek history text Anabasis, The Warriors was adapted from the book of the same name in 1979 and has enjoyed cult status ever since. Its iconic production design creates a New York like no other, as Swan (Michael Beck) leads his cohort through a night filled with rival gangs who give them a series of hostile receptions, after Swan and the other Warriors are framed for murder.
The plot is lean and straightforward, so anyone looking for a complex story and characters will be left disappointed. But it remains watchable after all these years because of its story world -- a vivid mix of cartoonish costumes and grubby street violence that plays out against a backdrop that's pure fantasy. While some of its portrayals of race and gender are aged by their era, the characters' friendships and loyalties largely ignore their social and ethnic differences. Often remembered for its catchy 1970s score and soundtrack, the movie's dark sense of humor and adventure will forever lie at the center of its appeal.
Did we miss something on diversity?
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.