Three Amigos!

Movie review by
David Gurney, Common Sense Media
Three Amigos! Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Spoofy send up of Western films is OK for mature tweens.
  • PG
  • 1986
  • 105 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's a comedy, but the movie does include the violent aspects of a Western -- including violence against women and the plundering of a village. But there's heart behind the amigos' movie-star facade.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The initially selfish Three Amigos (led by Ned) become selfless defenders of justice by the end of the film. They help people in need, no matter that they look like fools in the process.


Lots of Western-style shootings in which dozens of people are killed. No blood or gore, but a real emphasis on gunplay -- though much of it is played for humor. Graphic threats about killing. References to rape and forcing a woman to have sex under the threat of death (also presented within the context of the film's comedic tone).


Some exchanges/one-liners about sex. (For example: "You know what foreplay is?" an old woman asks the innocent Carmen. "No," she replies. "Good. Neither does El Guapo.") Kissing scenes.


A few uses of words like "s--t," "d--k," "hell," "ass," "balls," and "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Upon arriving in Mexico, Dusty orders a beer but is given tequila instead. The guys then drink shots of tequila and make hilarious faces. Later in the movie, serious tequila drinking goes on among El Guapo's gang. Very drunken behavior follows.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the cracking sounds in this spoofy comedy aren't fireworks -- they're gun fire. Much of the action is played for humor, but in true Western-style shootouts, guys get shot and drop from rooftops and balconies with regularity, although without graphic consequences (no prolonged suffering or blood). Relationships between the heroes and they women they meet don't go beyond kissing, but the bad guy's desription of "forcing a woman's flower open" may give some viewers pause. Several scenes depict a dirty barroom filled with violent men drinking tequila.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 6, 10, and 13-year-old Written byshadowfc April 10, 2010

Love this oldie, but watch the language

Another great old movie that I watched growing up, but really this is for the older kids. I often caution parents that there are many great movies we remember... Continue reading
Parent of a 11-year-old Written bylittleone522 October 6, 2009

beware of the word foreplay

I made the choice to watch this movie with my 11 year old because of this site saying it was age appropriate for my child. Although we both enjoyed the movie, I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byuwu_rock March 5, 2021


This is an amazing movie! There is some swearing, but it’s mostly just comedy gold. I think it’s okay for tweens and pre-tweens, though some explanation may be... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMyrnaloy February 7, 2021

What's the story?

It's the 1920s, and the THREE AMIGOS -- Dusty (Chevy Chase), Lucky (Steve Martin), and Ned (Martin Short) -- are silent film stars who've been successful in a series of films casting them as crusaders for justice in the Wild West. When a villager of Santa Poco, Mexico -- desperate to find protection for her village -- stumbles into a movie showing in a small town, she confuses the men on the screen with the characters that they're playing. After summoning them to Santa Poco, the boys are met by El Guapo and his gang of bandits, and the amigos quickly become aware that the violent display the bandits put on is the real thing.

Is it any good?

Three Amigos is a truly inspired, and still somewhat light, comedy. It's chock full of laughs at every turn, with the Hollywood-raised Amigos constantly proving how much difference there is between film stars playing roles and men playing out those roles in real life. Although they're stars in the silent era of film, there are a few memorable musical sequences, including the opening theme song, a precious rendition of "My Little Buttercup" in front of an angry barroom crowd, and a campfire sing-a-long in which the horses and other desert animals join in as the chorus.

In keeping with Westerns, men are shot and killed, but these deaths are quick and cartoonish with none of the major characters being affected. For those families with some interest in action films, particularly older Westerns, this film will be pure pleasure as it makes light of the tricks always employed by those movies.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the difference between violence in comedies and in action movies. Which has more impact? Why?

  • Why do the villagers think that the amigos are real gunfighters? How do the amigos' attitudes change when they realize that the bandits are shooting real bullets at them?

  • Is it believable that the amigos are able to pull the villagers together to stand up against the bandits in the final showdown? Is believability even necessary for a comedy?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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