Arnold Schwarzenegger films, from most appropriate to least appropriate for children.

I am a child of the 80’s. I grew up watching the Arnold Schwarzenegger films against the age rating attempts. Sure,  I never saw the films in the cinema but it didn’t stop adults for realising that most of his movies were pure popcorn, ridiculous violence, over the top stunts and way too many “Son of a B*tch” lines.

I’m going to delve into his films now and look at a list, watching them with my 9 year old and warn you about the more taboo angles or of any that I may have gone a step too far with.

Note that slight cameo films we didn’t bother with, The Long Goodbye, Stay Hungry, The Villain, Scavenger Hunt, Berettas Island,  The Rundown,  The kid & I and  The Expendables series. Further note that around the world in 80 days is in here but just because she really wanted to see it 

So, introducing… from most to least appropriate, the Arnold Schwarzenegger list of films you should watch with your children.


Around the World in 80 Days (2004) PG | 120 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Our rating 5

Steve Coogan film with Jackie Chan. Its very light hearted and a bit of fun. Arnie is only a bit part but that is okay. His part is actually quite amusing as it sounds like he is doing his best to put on an accent and failing brilliantly. This is obviously a very family friendly film, no cursing or threat. Chan has a couple fun fight scenes in it.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 2
Language:  0

 


Hercules in New York (1970) PG | 91 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Our rating 3

This film is pretty much drivel. It’s not offensive in anyway and well deserves the PG rating. BUT it does have a saving grace to it. His sidekick in it completely falls in love with him and it gets accidentally homoerotic which is really funny. So, it’s accidentally hilarious but a very missable watch. The score was decided because I thought it was so funny but she didn’t get on with it being too slow and aimless.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 2
Language:  1

 


Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask (2019) 2h | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Our Rating 1

This isn’t an Arnie film, but a Chinese film that has him in it briefly. He’s dubbed so it was really hard to even gauge if he’s any good in it. Anyway, after seeing the rubbish non-event cameos, this film isn’t worth it. Oh its kid friendly, but it’s not worthy of being watched by humans.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 1
Language:  0

 


Batman & Robin (1997) PG | 125 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Our rating 5

Unless you are offended by bad jokes and terrible editing and cartoon violence, there is nothing to offend or upset here. If anything, this film offends the franchise of Batman for being so terrible. Now, I personally hate this film but the 9 year old really enjoys it and says “not bad”. So… I’ll meet her half way with the final score.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 1
Language:  0

 


Jingle All The Way (1996) PG | 89 min | Comedy, Family
Our rating 8

All films of family variety should aspire to be more like this. It has charm and a ridiculous setup. The jokes land incredibly well and having a bad guy that is just another casual shopper is borderline genius. Fighting Santa is a highlight. It has a Christmas theme too for good measure. This film is a serious winner for me and the kids for Christmas now. But my wife was somewhat underwhelmed. Can’t please em’ all!

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 2
Language:  2

 


Collateral Damage (2002) 15 | 108 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Our Rating 4

This is an Arnie film that has very little substance. The story telling is a revenge story but it’s pretty paper thin honestly. Looking at the 15 cert, I really have to question why? There is the usual violence of people getting shot but in the least suspenseful way possible. There is a real distant feeling to any real damage being done. In a nutshell, this film does not teach the true impact of violence and war. It begins with a bomb going off and killing his wife and kid (which is as near to why it’s a 15s I guess) but there is no real feeling of it being that devastating, rather a plot point why Arnie needs to go on a killing spree. It’s not a terrible film but it’s so uneventful its really forgettable. The end fight with the bad guy is so cliché is pretty sick. I think there is one bad word in the film.

 

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 2
Language:  1

 


Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003) 12A | 109 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Our Rating 3

This film is completely kid safe. There is nothing offensive about it except it is so inferior to the previous 2 films. Why? Because it mimics them, has no substance, terribly cast actors, ruins the plot points of T2 and unfolds into honestly nothing. It reuses jokes from the first 2 terminator films willingly and poorly. On its own, unaffiliated to the Terminator brand it would have been an average film. Attached, it discredits a great franchise so deserves a poor mark. Arnie is on form, but shame the rest of the film wasn’t.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 1
Violence: 3
Language:  1

 


Terminator Genisys (2015) 12A | 2h 6min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi | 2 July 2015 (UK) 12A | 2h 6min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Our Rating 1

Let’s pretend this one never happened… Hollywood has forgotten already.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 2
Language:  1

 


Junior (1994) PG | 109 min | Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi
Our rating 4

This film is really random. Starring at the time, the world’s biggest action star, and then making a rom-com. I don’t think it exactly works but at the same time is not out of place. At times I could see my kid’s brain wanting to ask some weird questions because the setup of this film almost makes you question “why can’t boys have babies?” In fact, that is the entire premise… With the wrong kid at the wrong moment you may get asked some weird questions.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 1
Violence: 0
Language:  1

 


The Running Man (1987) 18 | 101 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Our rating 6

The Running Man is pretty entertaining. It really is a better version of the Hunger Games through its narrative of media spin and entertainment. Honestly, it makes sense that the most despicable humans are here for our amusement.

Anyway, I can’t believe this is an 18s. There is a couple swear words and some of the deaths are pretty imaginative, but no more so than any superhero film done today. In fact, I’d say this is far tamer. There is no gore and there are no raunchy scenes. This film is just full of ideas that may seem dangerous about the governments and media in power. In that instance though, it’s more dangerous for idealist twenty somethings than kids.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 3
Language:  2

 


Conan the Destroyer (1984) 15 | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Our Rating 5

The sequel to Conan the Barbarian does away with nudity, gore and attempts at horror with a pretty vanilla hack and slash D&D style adventure. It really is quite child safe in my opinion but it obviously features sword fighting and some very tame death scenes. It’s not a bad film, but it’s not overly interesting either. The setup and introduction of the characters is probably the best part of the film before it meanders into generic predictable fight scenes. The first one is better just because of the snake people angle it throws at you which is weird and kind of cool. He does fight an Orc though, that made my day!

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 1
Violence: 3
Language:  1

 


Terminator: Salvation (2008) 12A | 109 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Our rating 5

Not a return to form for the terminator franchise, but put on a better track. This film is very kid friendly and there is barely any on screen violence. I admire that they went away from the usual present films with a chase to instead deal with the post apocalypse future. As good as that sounds, it’s not the grim future we have seen previously which is a real missed opportunity. Where are the lasers and rag-tag military? It’s really confused with its own lore as the humans have planes and nukes and are not rag tag at all and call themselves the resistance. I would have liked more depth with the machine lore as the t-600s are pretty cool. It’s nice to see John Connor proficient at killing them. This film seriously lulls at points like it doesn’t know how to keep the momentum rolling. High point is when the t-800 comes to life. It’s great to see a brutish Arnie again. Low point is how many times we hear “my name is Kyle Reese”. Jesus. He is a gimp.

 

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 2
Language:  1


Dave (1993) 12 | 1h 50min | Comedy, Romance
Our rating 3

There are some suggestive sex scenes in this. It’s pretty flash forward and missable however. This is a film that focuses on a guy pretending to be the president and doing his duties. Honestly, none of us found it that exciting or interesting. It was a bit like an American version of King Ralph.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 1
Language:  2

 


Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) 15 | 2h 8min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Our Rating 6

Basically the real T3. Its passable really. I think the first 30 minutes are brilliant. It has a very intriguing angle and the action is really engrossing. Its issue is it runs out of steam. Imagine in Fury Road did this, after 30 minutes just went quiet for a long spell. It would have been an average film with a good start and unfortunately that’s the issue here. It gets worse too as for whatever reason the stakes gets dumber in planes and nothing making much sense. By the end it feels like a very different film to the one you started.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 4
Language:  1

 


Escape Plan (2013) 15 | 1h 55min | Action, Thriller
Our Rating 5

Stallone with Arnie here it should be great right? Well, it certainly has glimpses of brilliance here and there. I think the opening act is really strong. It has a bit of an Oceans 11 vibe to it and you can see there is slickness to Stallone’s character.

Now, Arnie isn’t awful in this film but he doesn’t really enhance it. When they get to the maximum security prison there is a feeling of “I hope they are not stuck here for the next hour and a half”. Spoiler alert… they are. This film drags on a bit even though it’s crammed with pretty big names with very little to do.

It’s probably worthy of the 15s cert just because of the gore. Needles in arms and knife wounds. Everything is shown in full so a queasy person may find it at times pretty revolting. Generally speaking though, it’s a pretty tame film and if you are that person that can’t stand blood, it’s very easy to look away for 2 seconds as you know it’s coming. The longer this film goes on the more it loses its thread of what it’s about but at times, it shines.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 4
Language:  1

 


Aftermath (2017) 15 | 1h 34min | Drama, Thriller
Our rating 6

I actually enjoyed this film quite a lot when I discovered it is based on a real story. It seems like a predictable action film for a while and then none of that comes to be, instead there is a focus on two characters with very different motives from the same event. Its worthy of being a 15s just because of one scene with a pretty violent act. I won’t spoil it, but it doesn’t hold back on it. Other than that one scene… It’s a good film to be honest.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 4
Language:  2

 


Kindergarten Cop (1990) 15 | 111 min | Comedy, Crime
Our rating 6

Oh every young man’s nightmare (probably) is to become a teacher to the 2-3 year olds. This film sets itself up in a really nice way as to why Arnie needs to take the job. The payoff at the end with the fight and the bad guy is a little deflating but it sets itself up for that moment the entire time. It’s actually a really good idea that was executed well in areas and could have been funnier and more daring in others. For example, it’s really funny on his first day but they kind of get over that pretty quickly. There are some needless rude words put in there and some of the adult nods will just have your kids asking you what does that mean. I know, because I remember doing it when I was 10.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 3
Language:  2


Red Sonja (1985) 15 | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Our Rating 2

This is a really poor clone of the Conan series. The acting is all terrible and it’s missing a good mythology of its own. It’s very tame really by today’s standards and does not deserve a 15 cert. I suppose you could say there is a good bit of tension in some of the sword fights and although not gory, it does show people getting stabbed and the likes. But that is it. Otherwise a bit of a waste of time. Arnie can’t save this one.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 1
Violence: 2
Language:  0


Maggie (2015) 15 | 1h 35min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Our Rating 6

Maggie is almost a good film but somewhere in the mix it falls down. Its about a teenage daughter that is becoming a zombie and how the family deals with the fallout. Its odd because I was more interested in the actual world and how it happened, what is being done about it and the state of everything more than this one isolated family, which also doesn’t go into much detail about inner thoughts or bigger movements beyond people being sad or lonely. I would happily watch this with a 10 year old but warn them that it is a bit sad because inevitably, she will die. There could have been bigger heart string moments throughout but when big questions arise, it does shy away. Arnie isn’t bad in it but its easy to imagine someone else taking his role instead. It’s a semi-serious film too which may be the issue as it doesn’t really have horror or action elements to it so leans into drama. Some intense violence as Arnie does kill the odd zombie but close your eyes and its very easy to miss.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 3
Language:  2

 


Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Our rating 10

This film is just full of amazing lines and moments. The part where Linda Hamilton goes to take down Dyson and can’t bring herself to do it is just such an amazingly powerful scene. The start just nails it too. There are few films that can match T2. Big pat on director Cameron’s back for this one!

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 3
Language:  2

 


Last Action Hero (1993) 15 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Our Rating 7

Pretty funny and very aware Arnie film that knows you know! It’s a 15s and it really shouldn’t be. It teeters on the edge of taboo now and then but never gets there. It’s very mildly comic violent and the stunt work is really obviously over the top.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 3
Language:  2

 


Eraser (1996) 15 | 115 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Our rating 3

Eraser had a decent premise to it, a guy fixes situations, killing the assassins and yet completing their mission. Basically, frees people up that are in danger and hides them where possible. There is the introduction of a new weapon too, a rail gun that can see and shoot through walls. But that’s as far as the film really gets. Its got a comical villain, a bland damsel in distress and Arnie doesn’t have much to work with. Its 2 hours long, most of it feeling like filler. The CGI has aged horribly too. The film has numerous swears and violence is on the cusp of gory at times.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 3
Language:  3

 


Twins (1988) PG | 107 min | Comedy, Crime
Our rating 8

Danny DeVito steals the show. He’s just such a nob to his brother. Arnie plays innocence so well too. Warning though, as DeVito is a scoundrel he has a tendency to let out the odd curse word. There is lots of sexual references too which for the most part went over the kids head but she did stop and ask what a virgin is. It’s a pretty balanced film otherwise that treads the line of inappropriate at times.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 2
Language:  4

 


Raw Deal (1986) 18 | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Our rating 2

You know, we watched this and straight after couldn’t remember what happened. It was a bad film all in and not funny bad. Unmemorable bad. Boring scenes, terrible script and really straight forward. Doing a sort of undercover spy film takes a lot of work, and more than any of the actors could cope with. I’m not sure why it’s an 18’s as the violence is dumb looking, there is no nudity and the cursing in it is generic and out of place. Thumbs down.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 1
Violence: 4
Language:  4

 


Commando (1985) 18 | 90 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
Our Rating 8

Another really great Arnie film. The humour is spot on and timeless. I love how quickly the action kicks off and it carries on throughout. I do think the first half is a lot more fun than the second half, full of puns and smart fight scenes. The ending is just so daft, it’s sort of fun but it is a cliché too. A very brief nudity scene and some swearing somehow landed this film an 18s cert. If this was out today it would probably be a 12a, with some smarter editing of the nudity and choice of swear words.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 2
Violence: 4
Language:  3

 


Predator (1987) 18 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Our Rating 9

Bloody brilliant film. Amber was well confused seeing nothing in the jungle for ages but that built that cool tension. Arnie was just great. Really suited to the role of a comic team leader. Very iconic and unforgettable team too.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 0
Violence: 3
Language:  3

 


The Terminator (1984) 18 | 107 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Our rating 8

The Iconic Arnie film is just so good. It’s weird that this film is a hard 18s nowadays when a lot of it looks, not exactly real. Sure it was on a bit of a budget but I wonder if given the same opportunity to do it again would Cameron have done it this way rather than cut away scenes or just not used it. Blood aside, it’s really not a gore fest and the actual acting in it is really spot on. Very hard to fault this aside from some aging scenes.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 3
Violence: 4
Language:  4

 


The 6th Day (2000) 15 | 123 min | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Our rating 6

Most of the way through, this film is fine. The violence is really tame and not over glorified. In fact, there is a good educational message throughout that asks should humans play God and who are you? Most of the way though, the film deals with real life topics and possibilities. Set in the future however it does at time like to show off its high tech and his mate loves his virtual girlfriend which gets really raunchy too quickly at times. Nothing ever happens but I had the remote in hand ready to stop it if it went one more second too far and the innuendo is not subtle… Seriously, this film nearly goes X-rated quickly.

So, it almost goes too far but it never quite does. Maybe it’s just as an adult I know exactly what is being said that made it more award. Some mild cursing.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 3
Violence: 2
Language: 2

 


True Lies (1994) 15 | 141 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller
Our Rating 6

An average to pretty good Arnie film. It plays safe on everything really but does have some taboo words here and there that could have easily been changed. It’s not worth the 15s cert at all. Sure, there is a tense plane action scene at the end and a man gets shot by a rocket in the most comic scene ever, but that doesn’t lead to an argument suggesting this film should be a 15s… Oh… except the scene where his wife does a sexy stripper dance. Jesus, I thought it would never end. It’s really suggestive and leading up to it I was worried it was going to get worse judging by his task at hand. So, for once here is a film that should be an 18s from one scene.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 4
Violence: 1
Language:  1

 


Total Recall (1990) 18 | 113 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Our Rating 8

Man I love this film. It’s an absolute gem. Everything in it just makes sense and sets out how Mars is weird very well as it goes along, from the start Arnie declares he’s never been to Mars so it sets the tone that we discover it with him. There is quite a lot of violence, the woman with 3 boobs is hilarious and they don’t hold back on strong language. It doesn’t matter though, clever plot twists and motives really make this one of Arnies best films.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 5
Violence: 4
Language:  2

 


End of Days (1) 18 | 122 min | Action, Fantasy, Horror
Our rating 7

This is an underrated film really. I totally forgot about it. There is something pretty harrowing about the idea that the church, acting as the good guys want to murder a girl who has no idea about her heritage. There is plenty of graphic violence but it’s done pretty tastefully. Somehow, the effects stand up to today’s standards well too.

Arnie feels like a relatively believable character too. I loved how many times he shoots the devil throughout the film to no real advantage.  In terms of nudity, the devil has his way with women throughout seemingly random at times. Bad language is kept to a minimum too all put in context.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 4
Violence: 4
Language:  1

 


Sabotage (2014) 18 | 109 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Our rating 4

I wanted to enjoy Sabotage. I really did but there is just so much cliché stuff going on it was a little bit embarrassing. It follows a really tired story of an elite squad of badasses that get greedy and rob money from a planned heist. It really is whatever.

The film opens up with loads of d**k jokes and romps up a lesbian scene in the very beginning seemingly just to get your attention. It feels like there are tricks in there to get you interested but really the film is quite bland.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 4
Violence: 4
Language:  4


 

Conan the Barbarian (1982) 18 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Our rating 5

You know, I have fond memories of this film and I’ll just let it out, this has not aged well at all. Mainly due to the choreography which is a real joke, the director must not have had a clue about that end. But saying that, the story is pretty well paced, the characters are all introduced well and the script is pretty generic fantasy. Now, is it kiddy friendly… no. It’s got tons of nudity and women slave culture is a real element. This ties in well for the film, but is quite hard to take for a kid. The gore is a joke, as is the sword play. There are some real out there ideas in this film and some of them work. I love the religious element to it and the snake enemies look quite cool. Overall, it’s not a terrible film but it gets very dated in certain scenes. This deserves a 15s cert at least!

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 5
Violence: 4
Language:  3

 


Red Heat (1988) 18 | 104 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
Our rating 5

Red heat is not a kid’s film. The theme is, but the content isn’t! It dives right in with some nudity, porn playing on TV, a lot of swearing and the usual gore you expect in an Arnie film. I think I could handle one element okay but every scene just felt like an exercise in being angry and proving its 18s cert. The film isn’t bad though. Some nice back and forth and Arnie has someone to work with.

Marks out of 5
Nudity: 4
Violence: 4
Language:  3

Lord of the Rings LCG Quest log with notes