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Ghostbusters Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 10+

Paranormal fun with some scares, innuendo.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this iconic '80s movie is pretty tame for it to be about catching scary ghosts (only a few are skeletal and scary) and the possible end of the world. The scariest part is probably the large dogs with glowing eyes that attack and possess two characters. Viewers will find some language that's strong for a PG ("s--t" a few times, for starters) and sexually charged scenes, one where a character fantasizes briefly about a ghost giving him oral pleasure, and another where a possessed woman writhes around and says "I want you inside me" to Peter, who laughs it off. Two Ghostbusters do a lot of smoking, often dangling a cigarette out of their mouths while trying to catch ghosts.

  • Families can talk about what defines a hero. What other movies feature scientists and professors who save the day?
  • Families can also talk about the scares mix with humor. For kids normally scared of things like ghosts, how did the humor help? How did seeing a creature like the 50-foot Stay Puft marshmallow man make you laugh, even while the Ghostbusters were in danger?
  • Families can also discuss ghosts and the supernatural. Do you believe in ghosts, and why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: A rare movie where scientists save the day.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Peter Venkman is shown as a bit of a womanizer for comic effect, but figures out he'll have more chances getting the girl through heroism. The Ghostbusters band together and trust each other in difficult situations.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Plenty of blasting from special ghost-busting lasers. A hotel ballroom is destroyed and another building explodes with the main characters running for their lives. Ghosts take over NYC, some scary-looking (with decomposing skeletal appearances and wicked grins) some not (slimy green blobs who eat a lot). Two characters are possessed by large dog-like creatures. One has arms grab her through a chair and screams as she's hurled through the room. A building crumbles and pieces fall on a crowd below who also almost get smashed by a 50-foot walking marshmallow. Mentions of ancient god worship and sacrifices, as well as judgment day and what it meant according to the Bible and other traditions. A demi-god attacks with lightning bolts coming from her arms.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A fantasy scene implies Ray receives oral pleasure from a ghost; you see his pants mysteriously unzipped down to his underwear and his eyes cross in pleasure. Dana makes bold sexual advances while possessed, writhing around, and showing lots of leg. She even says, "Do you want this body?" "Take me now" and "I want you inside me" to Peter who jokes that she already has more than one person inside her. Plus a few kisses and plenty of innuendo, including a joke about getting the Stay Puft Marshmallow "laid."

  • language false3

    Language: "S--t" is said three times, "bitch" once, "ass" and other versions a few times, "pissed," "hell," "mother puss bucket," and jokes about an EPA official having no "d--k."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Coke is seen a few times, a Twinkie is used as a metaphor, and one of the Ghostbusters shouts, "it's Miller time." Cheese-Its and Budweiser are consumed. A montage shows the Ghostbusters on the cover of some prominent magazines like Time and The Atlantic with the voices of Casey Kasem and Larry King in the background.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of smoking, mostly by Peter and Ray who often have a cigarette dangling from their lips while catching ghosts. They also share a bottle of hard alcohol after being fired from their jobs and are seen drinking beer a few times. A ghost chugs wine that goes right through him.

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