Story

Terminator Genisys is the latest movie in the Terminator series. It opens in the year 2029 when resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) launches an attack on Skynet. During the attack John and his resistance fighters discover a time displacement machine and realise that a terminator has been sent back to the year 1984. Its mission is to kill Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), John’s mother. In response, John Connor sends Sergeant Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to stop the terminator. 

When Kyle arrives in 1984 he finds the past has been altered, with timelines merging together. The Sarah Connor in the other timeline isn’t what Kyle was expecting. Instead of being defenceless, this Sarah is trained, ruthless and resourceful. And this Sarah already has her own guardian, a reprogrammed T-800 (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

Using a time displacement machine built by the guardian, Sarah and Kyle travel to San Francisco in the year 2017 where Skynet, disguised as a new operating system called Genisys, is about to be launched. This will ensure both Skynet’s survival in the futures and also the destruction of humanity. If Sarah and Kyle can destroy Genisys before it goes online, Skynet will never exist. But before they can do this, they must overcome a significant problem – John Connor has been transformed into a prototype terminator and sent back to 2017. His mission is to kill Sarah and Kyle.

Themes

Time travel; fate; genocide; nuclear holocaust 

Violence

Terminator Genisys has sequences of intense violence, images of nuclear war, scenes that show battles and multiple deaths, and blood and gore. For example:

  • During global nuclear strikes, hundreds of nuclear missiles shoot across the sky and fall on populated cities. Large explosions destroy cities, and mushroom clouds rise into the sky. Later scenes show the destruction caused by the nuclear strike, including cities levelled to wasteland and rubble, and ground littered with hundreds of human skulls. Three billion people have died.
  • This movie has many scenes that show brutal battles between terminators, which are humanoid robots. In one scene a terminator is shot in the chest, and the gunshot leaves a large gaping hole. In another scene two terminators fight, punching and kicking each other, and slamming each other into the floor and through walls and glass panelling. By the end of the fight, one terminator has pieces of flesh ripped from his skull, revealing a metal skeleton beneath. They bash each other with poles and pieces of heavy equipment, and one terminator is repeatedly cut and slashed. One terminator is speared with a metal pole, and one terminator is decapitated.
  • There is violence between terminators and humans. In one scene a terminator threatens to kill a main character, holding talon-like fingernails to her neck. There are many scenes that show terminators and humans shooting guns at each other, which results in injury and many deaths. In one scene a terminator with a sniper rifle shoots and kills over 20 police. The ground is littered with dead bodies, and no survivors are left.
  • There is battle violence involving futuristic war machines that fire lasers. Dozens of soldiers are killed, and multiple explosions destroy buildings and vehicles.
  • In one of the movie’s most brutal scenes a terminator’s arm becomes a sword, which it thrusts through a man’s chest, lifting him off the ground.
  • One scene shows a woman with a long laceration on the back of her neck. A hospital attendant uses a staple gun to hold the wound together.
  • Two terminators attack each other on an out-of-control bus, which crashes into traffic and then rolls over several times as the passengers are tossed around inside. The bus comes to rest hanging from a bridge. A man and woman dangle in mid-air while holding on to the bus by their fingertips. A terminator lifts them to safety as the bus plummets into the ocean.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Terminator Genisys has some scenes that will scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:

  • A couple of scenes show the aftermath of nuclear holocaust, which includes ground littered with hundreds of human skulls. 
  • There are many scary characters and disturbing scenes of transformations. These include terminators that look like large metal skeletons with large human-like teeth. Other terminators are made from liquid metal and have a human appearance. The liquid metal terminators can transform. Their arms transform into swords and stabbing weapons. 
  • Flames engulf a terminator. The fire consumes its flesh and reveals a metal skeleton underneath. 
  • A terminator is sucked into an MRI machine and appears to be slowly disintegrating, as the flesh is sucked off its bones.
  • One of the movie’s main characters has a badly scarred face.

 

From 8-13
Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the violent and scary scenes and characters mentioned above.

Over 13
Younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

Terminator Genisys has occasional low-level sexual references. For example:

  • There are repeated references to a man and woman being sexual ‘mates’ and having ‘mated’.
  • After a woman and man stand together naked, the woman says, ‘Don’t think me holding on to you naked means anything, because it doesn’t’.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Terminator Genisys shows some use of substances. For example:

  • A man says that he’d like a cold beer. 
  • A man has a half-smoked unlit cigar between his teeth. 
  • A man holds a brown paper bag that looks like it contains a bottle of alcohol.
  • Characters drink socially.

Nudity and sexual activity

Terminator Genisys shows some nudity and sexual activity. For example:

  • A couple of scenes show naked men, but their genitals are covered up.
  • A man and woman take off their clothes, walk onto the platform of a time machine naked and stand facing each other. Next they tumble, naked, onto a busy freeway. They’re shown from behind.
  • A man and woman kiss passionately for a brief time. 

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Terminator Genisys: Nike shoes and Pepsi.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in Terminator Genisys.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Terminator Genisys is the fifth movie in the Terminator series. It’s a familiar-looking science fiction action movie that targets teenagers and adult fans of the series.

Rated M, it features constant violence and some disturbing scenes and characters, as well as coarse language that might concern some parents. Therefore we don’t recommend this movie for children under 14 years, and we do recommend parental guidance for children aged 14-15 years.

These are the main messages from this movie:

  • We make our own fate. We have freedom of choice. 
  • Old doesn’t mean obsolete. 
  • Technological development can be dangerous. 

You could also talk with your children about the character of Sarah Connor, who is a strong female role model.