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Ghostbusters II Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times

    As amiable and formfitting as Ghostbusters II can be, it's a thin, dimly conceived affair. For all its rave-up special effects, it adds little to director Ivan Reitman's original, which itself was no fountain of wit but at least had a fresh gimmick going for it. [16 Jun 1989, p.37]

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    The film gets by on the sheer good-naturedness Reitman is able to place in all of his efforts, though it doesn't seem likely to inspire the same level of affection as the original. Innocence is one quality that can never quite be recaptured. [16 Jun 1989, p.28]

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    Jumbo budget and the same talent notwithstanding, the element of surprise is missing. And ghostbusters, it seems, need that every bit as much as their targets. [16 Jun 1989, p.1D]

  • 80

    out of 100


    Ghostbusters II is babyboomer silliness. Kids will find the oozing slime and ghastly, ghostly apparitions to their liking and adults will enjoy the preposterously clever dialog.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Even the special effects are more to the point of the comedy than they were in the first film. For some reason, this appears to leave more room for the sort of random funny business that Mr. Murray and his friends do best, or to which they react with most aplomb.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Slime-soaked sequel still has spirit and laughs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there isn't much to shock tweens and up in this mock-horror film. There are numerous ghosts running rampant through NYC, but it's played for comedy over scares (like when the Titanic disembarks). Still, ghosts are the "bad guys" and get eliminated with laser guns by a crew of wisecracking guys. At one point a baby is kidnapped by a ghost and a sinister spirit tries to inhabit his body. The baby is rescued, of course, but there is another real person, hilariously portrayed by Peter MacNicol, who wants to steal the baby in order to woo its mother.

  • Families can talk about the idea of ghosts and what people believe and don't believe about them. Are they real? Are they imagined?
  • You can also discuss the "mood slime"the Ghostbusters discover and if there's a metaphor in there for reallife: negative energy begets more negativity, and a positive outlookbegets more positive outcomes. When have you found this to be true?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Ghostbusters try their hardest to bring out the best in New Yorkers, defeating negative energy with positive.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: The good guys here may be a bit rough around the edges -- especially Peter Venkman, who also has a problem with authority -- but they always come through as heroes in the end.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: The Ghostbusters crew attacks the slime and the ghosts with laser guns that shoot light and goo. A baby is kidnapped by a ghost and is threatened with possession by Vigo.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Some kissing and "making out" that is more suggested than graphic.

  • language false1

    Language: Some mild insults.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: The city of New York gets great publicity.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver have wine with dinner. The slime substance has some mood-enhancing effects.