TRON: Legacy

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
TRON: Legacy Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Techie reboot is visually dazzling but short on story.
  • PG
  • 2010
  • 125 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 109 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

There aren't many life lessons in this movie other than that humanity's imperfection is also what makes humans special and that the "digital frontier" is inescapable and constantly changes, which is definitely applicable to our techno-obsessed world. The unconditional nature of father-son relationships is also explored via Kevin and Sam.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sam tries to save his father from the Grid, and Kevin ultimately shows his selflessness. Quorra, who's not human, values the "users" enough to willingly turn herself over to Clu.


In the Grid, Sam (and later Kevin and Quorra) are nearly killed by Clu and his minions many times. Sam has to fight in a series of to-the-death "games" with fierce opponents who shatter like glass when they die. A few prominent characters die in the Grid. Quorra's arm shatters, and she looks like an amputee until Kevin fixes the damage. A few drops of blood in one fight scene.


In a random sweep of the grid, programs are shown cuddling, flirting, and kissing. Sam and Quorra flirt with each other and embrace. Four female-looking programs are dressed in skintight gear and stiletto heels. Some innuendo.


Language includes "damn it," "stupid," and "hell."


Parts of the film feel like a commercial for Ducati, the luxury Italian motorcycle. Sam and Alan drink Coors beer.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Programs "drink" at dinner and at a club, but it's within a simulated computer world. Sam and Alan have a drink together.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this highly anticipated sequel to 1982's Tron features some intense sequences that are made even more impactful because the movie was shot in 3-D. While the violence (which includes several near-death encounters) is lessened by the fact that programs shatter instead of bleed, it's still shocking to see and may frighten younger viewers. Language includes exclamations like "damn it" and "stupid," and the sexuality is mostly in the form of female-looking programs who wear second-skin uniforms and stilettos. There's also some flirting and embracing between two major characters. Programs kiss, dance, and drink, though you can't tell for sure that it's alcohol. Messages about technology and father-son relationships are central to this stylized action-adventure.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMalvern Girl January 2, 2011

Ok if kids can handle hero's sacrifice and not entirely happy ending

I must say I disagree with many of the other reviews. I don't think it was in any way short on storyy, although I suspect the story was too esoteric for ma... Continue reading
Adult Written byvalinor May 30, 2011

These kids loved it

I liked this movie, but my kids liked it even more. I found this cute site that gives reviews from a kids point of view and those kids loved it. You can see i... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byDogcat December 4, 2019
Teen, 16 years old Written by03Sheldonerdmov... September 11, 2019

I really wanted to see this, and now I wish I would have listened to my dad.

The plot was hard to follow. The dad's face as well as Clu's face is animated and stupid. The female actress that helps Flynn (I forgot her name)... Continue reading

What's the story?

Two decades after computer programmer and video game designer Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) disappeared -- but was actually trapped inside the digital world of his computer game -- his son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), is prompted to track down a mysterious page. Snooping around his father's ancient video arcade, Sam is unexpectedly sucked into the "Grid" as well, where his father's virtual clone, Clu (a digitally enhanced, youthful Bridges), attempts to kill him. Sam is rescued by Quorra (Olivia Wilde), an enigmatic "program" who serves as Kevin's apprentice in a secret digital landscape that's considered "off the grid," where Kevin lives an almost monastic existence and has given up on ever getting out of the virtual world. With Quorra's help, Sam attempts to defeat Clu and get the three of them out of the Grid and back to reality.

Is it any good?

TRON: LEGACY is a visually stunning film. But while many of the action sequences are truly awesome -- including the memorable light cyle race -- the story is a bit lacking in emotion. There are some highlights -- like the hilarious nightclub scene (thanks largely to Michael Sheen, who's deliciously campy as the club's owner). Really, once the novelty of seeing two Jeff Bridges wears off, there's not too much too pull you in beyond the effects ... luckily, for fans of the original Tron, that might be plenty.

Newbies might notice that for a loud and action-packed thriller, TRON: Legacy drags a bit, with an ending that doesn't culminate in the payoff they might have hoped for. There's no denying that the computer-generated effects are worth checking out in 3-D -- If you or your kid is into all things Tron, you'll enjoy the high-tech eye candy -- but the plot almost can't help but pale in comparison. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's themes of technology and how it changes our lives. Do you think these ideas are more relevant today than in the '80s when the original came out? Why or why not?

  • How are Clu and Kevin's approaches to the digital world in opposition? What do they each represent?

  • What did you think of the movie's special effects? Were they impressive or distracting?

  • How does this movie compare to the original? Do you think it will have as big of a following?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sci-fi

Themes & Topics

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