The Pitch

A group of kids searches for a lost pirate treasure (1 hr 54 min)

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 10+ Common Sense Media: 10+

Content Advisories

Rated PG. 1980s-era profanity, vulgarity, rudeness, insults. Fat jokes, sex jokes, drug jokes. Fun with a detached plaster penis. Threats with a knife. A skeleton crawling with bugs, a frozen corpse, and other human remains. Makes a helmet-free bicycle lifestyle seem pretty cool. Disability advocates may have a lot to say about Sloth.

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The only thing we serve here is tongue

If you grew up with The Goonies, you’ll remember most every line as they come out of the characters’ mouths. (You might want to take time to remember before going in, because depending on your household your kids may have never heard language like this.) Yet at the risk of blaspheming I’ll assert that it’s not a great movie. The riddles are nonsensical, the filmmaking is shoddy, and the performances involve everyone shouting at the top of their lungs. But the VHS era turned the film into a beloved American classic, as latchkey kids of divorce processed their powerlessness through the Goonies’ improbable triumph over the foreclosure of their parents’ homes. For kids today the film retains the capacity to reach corners of the imagination where modern Hollywood fears to tread. Current sensitivities would prevent a character like Sloth* from traveling the distance from mystery to monster to playmate to pal to hero to one of the Goonies gang. And the Fratellis seem meaner and more menacing than we might encounter today, even if in the end their villainy remains fairly low-rent. The film’s true nemesis is the looming adult world. While Mikey is left with just enough gems and gold in his pockets to save the neighborhood, he emerges from the caverns having had a taste of real victory, in both the discovery of One-Eyed Willie’s ship, and a momentary kiss in the dark. —Chris Ereneta

*Whose physical deformity and developmental disability have been designed to create discomfort

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.