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‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Review: A Play for Nostalgia and Merch

Jason Reitman, son of the original “Ghostbusters” director, delivers a toothless film with Paul Rudd as a love interest and plenty of cutesy ghosts.

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In “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” the main characters are adorable, wide-eyed children, played by, from left, Celeste O’Connor, Finn Wolfhard, Logan Kim and Mckenna Grace.

By Manohla Dargis

If it seems that the only movie Big Hollywood knows how to make is the one they made last year — and the year before that — there’s a reason. The industry’s franchise fever is real, though much depends on timing. My colleague Kyle Buchanan once determined that while successful sequels tend to be rolled out every few years, those that wait six years are often doomed to fail. That may be welcome news for the latest “Ghostbusters,” a cautious, painlessly watchable kid-centric romp that is opening precisely five years, four months and four days after the previous installment went splat.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” was directed by Jason Reitman, whose father, Ivan Reitman, directed the first two movies in the 1980s, and was in line to take on the third. Over many years and after many more studio notes, a new director, Paul Feig, was brought in, and the third movie became a female-driven reboot . Before it even opened, the reboot became the target of viciously sexist and racist trolling and rage, a casualty of the culture wars . But much like the troublesome apparitions that haunt this series, profitable franchises (and even barely profitable ones) rarely truly die in Hollywood. And “Ghostbusters” is simply too goofy, too smart about dumb fun and too potentially lucrative to stay buried for long.

And so: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife,” which is as cuddly and toothless as you would expect from a relaunched studio property in which the main characters are children and Paul Rudd plays a love interest. They’re all predictably adorable and have big, easy-to-read eyes, the better to widen in feigned surprise or mock fear when various ghosts come a-calling. For their part, the cartoonish apparitions range from the cutesy to the PG-13 snarly and include a roly-poly metal muncher, a pair of slathering hellhounds and some puffy, gurgling creatures whose wide-open arms and demonically cheerful smiles have been engineered for toy shelves and maximum nostalgia.

There’s a story, sure, though you don’t care and neither do I. What matters are the jokes, energy, boos and characters, who are appealing mostly because the performers playing them are too. The main kids are a brother, Trevor (Finn Wolfhard of “Stranger Things”), and his younger brainiac sister, Phoebe (the very good Mckenna Grace). With their mom (the reliable Carrie Coon), they move to a desolate farm in the middle of Oklahoma (played by Alberta, Canada), near one of those small, non-depressed towns straight out of classical Hollywood. There, the kids pick up two charming second bananas (Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor), crack jokes, battle demons, solve mysteries.

Jason Reitman makes easy-watching, frictionless mainstream comedies and dramas for adults (“Up in the Air,” “The Front Runner”) that deliver their laughs softly and their sanctimony seriously. Like his father, he is sentimental, but his father’s comedies are brasher, more down market and high concept: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are “Twins,” etc. The Reitmans have split the duties on “Afterlife,” with Ivan serving as the producer and Jason sharing script credit with Gil Kenan. Whatever influence the father had on the son, one of the nicer things about this joint venture is that, while the adults in the story tell the young’uns what to do, the emphasis remains on the action, not the life lessons.

Franchise sequels bank on dependability and giving the audience exactly what it expects. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” certainly makes good on that contractual promise: There are ghosts, and they are busted. By design, there isn’t a single genuine surprise in the movie. Instead, the movie leans heavily into the previous installments in an effort to create the kind of self-generating franchise mythology that can support further sequels (and so on). It trots out the familiar gadgets, ghosts and goo as well as beloved faces and Ray Parker Jr.’s indestructible earworm of a theme song. Like the younger Reitman, Phoebe and her Scooby Gang battle ghosts on every front.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Rated PG-13 for ghostly peril. Running time: 2 hours 4 minutes. In theaters.

Manohla Dargis has been the co-chief film critic since 2004. She started writing about movies professionally in 1987 while earning her M.A. in cinema studies at New York University, and her work has been anthologized in several books. More about Manohla Dargis

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‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Review: Ivan Reitman’s Son and a Teen Cast Resurrect the Not-Quite-Dead Franchise

Back from the dead, 'Ghostbusters' gets a fresh jolt of energy from 'Juno' director Jason Reitman, who offers fan service alongside a new entry point for younger audiences.

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer

In the lead-up to releasing “ Ghostbusters: Afterlife ,” Sony has played it fairly tight-lipped about what exactly this movie might be: Is it a prequel, a sequel or some kind of spinoff? Pretty much any discussion of the answer will come as a spoiler to those who like surprises, so be warned that this review is not intended as a marketing tool for the studio (those seeking coy teasers are better off watching the trailers), but as a critique of what this unnecessary but enjoyable movie actually delivers.

The good news for “Ghostbusters” fans is that “Afterlife” does nothing to tarnish what has come before, overseen as it is by Jason Reitman , carrying on the legacy of his father (and “Ghostbusters” director) Ivan, who played an important behind-the-scenes role in shaping this 21st-century update. The franchise has made the family rich, spawning a sequel, an animated series, a comic book line and an ill-fated 2016 reboot. After those wildly uneven expansions, the new movie aims to bring things back around, serving to deepen the mythology of the 1984 blockbuster by focusing on the estranged grandkids of one of the original Ghostbusters, who are forced to move to middle-of-nowhere Summerville, Okla., after the old coot kicks the bucket.

Mom ( Carrie Coon ) is still sore about being abandoned many years earlier, but intends to sort through the mess her dad left behind, hoping 15-year-old Trevor (“Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard ) and science prodigy Phoebe (terrific young actor Mckenna Grace of “Troop Zero” fame) can adjust. Turns out, the kids take it better, adjusting almost instantly. Trevor gets a job at the local burger joint — a ploy to get closer to crush Lucky (Celeste O’Connor) — while Phoebe enrolls in summer school, taught by amateur seismologist Gary Grooberson (Paul Rudd). There, she makes friends with a kid (Logan Kim) who calls himself Podcast for obvious reasons (he insists on documenting his life, regardless of whether anyone cares).

It takes nearly an hour (51 minutes, to be exact) for any ghosts to appear, although the movie does tease their presence much earlier with a familiar sight: an ominous, swirling cloud positioned directly above the town’s long-abandoned mine. Now here’s the part where I take a moment to admit that I don’t care for the original “Ghostbusters.” I like the song, the costumes, the car and the cartoony no-ghosts logo, but find myself exhausted by the gobbledygook pseudoscience and bizarro end-of-the-world finale. What’s more, I blame “Ghostbusters” for decades of lazy blockbuster imitations (including “Men in Black” and more than a few Marvel movies) in which we’re meant to fear the worst when some apocalyptic weather pattern swirls into formation, sending a glowing beam of purple light down from the heavens. (Only “Independence Day” has used that technique well.) And yet, here we go again.

After the movie’s leisurely, kid-centric buildup, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” eventually reveals itself to be a rural, 21st-century rematch of what has come before: what remains of the Ghostbusters — both old and new members — reassembled to thwart Gozer’s return. The movie essentially disowns the gender-swapped reboot, though that movie (which featured cameo appearances by five of the original cast) gives a pretty good idea of who’s available and willing to reenlist.

Whereas Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson projected too much smarmy, oversexed swagger the first time around, it’s fun to see them looking a little more rickety and vulnerable in their old age, while still holding their own against Terror Dogs and whatever other demons are trying to break through from the other side. Special effects have advanced light-years since 1984, and yet Reitman (the younger) makes the respectable decision to stick to the look of the original film, opting to use models and practical tricks where possible, but not ruling out CG where necessary.

In place of Slimer, we get a corpulent computer-animated ghost named Muncher, who gobbles metal and then sprays shrapnel on anyone who tries to wrangle him. And the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man returns in a slightly different (adorably self-destructive) form. Watching one of these gremlins cozy up between a chocolate-bar blanket and a graham-cracker bed has gotta be one of the year’s best sight gags. And considering how randy the earlier film was, it’s nice to see a much doofier romance blooming between Coon’s and Rudd’s characters (the “Ant-Man” star continues to prove himself a comedy MVP, earning half the movie’s big laughs).

Some years back, there was talk of a possible “Ghostbusters 3,” but then Harold Ramis died, leaving the team incomplete. “Afterlife” finds an emotional way to honor his legacy, using a combination of technology and creative screenwriting to make his character felt in the run-up to the movie’s supernatural battle royal. In retrospect, there was only one right answer, and “Afterlife” nails it. But shifting the action from the big city to a “dirt farm” in Oklahoma seriously undercuts the feeling that Gozer’s return could spell the end for humanity. It probably would have been just as effective if said demon — liberated like some kind of evil genie from its decades of captivity — were content to seek revenge on the Big Apple ghost-catchers who locked it up before.

Between “Stranger Things” and the upcoming “Top Gun” sequel, ’80s pop culture nostalgia seems to be at an all-time high, but “Afterlife” tries not to lean too heavily on that sentiment alone. It’s designed to work for those who’ve never seen any of the franchise’s earlier incarnations, and though the film adopts an unmistakably Amblin-esque vibe — there’s an obvious “what if the Goonies were Ghostbusters?” sensibility at work here, reinforced by Spielbergian magic-hour shots of kids assembling around a Devils Tower-shaped rock formation — you needn’t have grown up on such movies to appreciate how they elevate adolescent rejects to hero status.

Reviewed at AMC Century City 15, Los Angeles, Oct. 10, 2021. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 124 MIN.

  • Production: A Sony release of a Columbia Pictures presentation, in association with Bron Creative, of an Ivan Reitman production. Producer: Ivan Reitman. Executive producers: Dan Aykroyd, Gil Kenan, Jason Blumenfeld, Michael Beugg, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth.
  • Crew: Director: Jason Reitman. Screenplay: Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman, based on the 1984 film “Ghostbusters,” an Ivan Reitman film, written by Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis. Camera: Eric Steelberg. Editors: Dana E. Glauberman, Nathan Orloff. Music: Rob Simonsen.
  • With: Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Paul Rudd, Celeste O'Connor, Bill Murray, Day Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver.

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Review: Listless ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ fails to reanimate fun of the original

Three kids stand in front of a converted ambulance in the movie "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

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It’s arguable whether franchise filmmaking is inherently a bad thing, but “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” certainly makes a case for those who proclaim the irredeemable soullessness of the model. Rarely has a sequel been this listless, this creatively bankrupt or this unaware of the charm and appeal of its predecessors. Rarely has a film been this craven in appeasing an imaginary audience by mimicking what came before it and refusing to challenge itself in terms of dreaming up a new world, crafting new characters or fashioning new stakes.

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is an ouroboros of nostalgia cannibalizing itself over and over again, an exercise in feeding contemporaneous buzzwords and concepts into a sentimental machine that chews them up and spits them out. It is not an enjoyable movie.

Arriving in theaters five years after filmmaker Paul Feig delivered a (mostly) female version of “Ghostbusters” that some (petulant) fans of this franchise decried as an abomination and helped make into a box office bomb, “Afterlife” essentially wipes clean that film’s attempt at a franchise reboot. And it also mostly ignores the events of 1989’s “Ghostbusters II,” instead focusing on 1984’s “Ghostbusters.” That approach makes some sense, given that the film’s director and producer, Ivan Reitman, is the father of Jason Reitman , who directed and co-wrote “Afterlife.”

Making this franchise a family affair isn’t the worst act of nepotism this industry has ever seen. But one of the many frustrations caused by “Afterlife” is how boxed-in this film feels, how beholden to that first “Ghostbusters” and how unwilling it is to experiment with anything new. Horror genre conventions are flirted with and abandoned; characters’ heel turns are suggested and then reversed. When it comes to deviating from an established path, “Afterlife” can’t even take the first step.

“Afterlife” is set in the present day and follows a family comprising single mother Callie ( Carrie Coon ), teenage son Trevor ( Finn Wolfhard ) and preteen daughter Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) as they move to the small, dying mining town of Summerville, Okla. Callie’s father, who abandoned the family in her youth, recently died and left her the failing farm where he spent the second half of his life. Everyone in town called the man the “Dirt Farmer,” and he was as much a mystery to them as he was to Callie.

A man holding a device in the movie "Ghostbusters: Afterlife."

While Callie struggles with the myriad emotions dredged up by her father’s death and unexpectedly connects with Phoebe’s summer school teacher, seismologist Gary Grooberson ( Paul Rudd ), Trevor and Phoebe try to fit in. Trevor crushes on fellow teen Lucky (Celeste O’Connor), while Phoebe makes her first friend in Podcast (Logan Kim); that character’s nomenclature provides a sense of this film’s sense of humor. (Nonexistent, overly reliant on simplistic wordplay, exhausting.)

For the super-smart, super-sardonic Phoebe, who has always been on the receiving end of contrasting advice from Callie and Trevor about whether she should really be herself, the dirt farm is full of mysteries. What was her grandfather working on in his secret lab? What is this backpack and wand duo that shoots energy? What was he holding in what looks like a metal trap? What are these strange etchings and mysterious rumblings found in the town’s long-unused mine?

The film fashions its action sequences around Phoebe’s discoveries, with chase scenes galore and a practically beat-for-beat re-creation of the first film’s climactic ending.

But what derails the energy of these sequences is that “Afterlife” is reliant on Phoebe and Gary, whom the film initially presents as intelligent people, making the absolute dumbest, most nonsensical decisions to move the film’s plot along. And even then, the script still links scenes together with leading dialogue like “What do you mean?” and “What is happening here?” unfurling unneeded exposition that grinds forward momentum to a stop. Why should we pay attention to “Afterlife” when the movie’s characters don’t?

Most everyone here is going very, very broad, from Wolfhard’s and Kim’s slapsticky deliveries to Grace’s persistent scowl and frown. It’s impossible to root for or sympathize with anyone, given how underwritten they are and how their only functions are to slot into preexisting character dynamics left over from previous “Ghostbusters” films. And while some might applaud “Afterlife” for making the STEM-obsessed Phoebe the film’s primary hero, it’s frustrating that the film falls into the same trap as “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” with the suggestion that female characters can only wield power when they are connected to established male characters whom audiences already like.

Everything is in service of Easter eggs or recycled elements, from a return of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (admittedly, in the film’s funniest, most subversive scene) to the refashioning of the chunky, hungry Slimer into this film’s chunky, hungry Muncher, to — of course — someone asking, “Who you gonna call?” There is no identity to “Afterlife” past those nods backward, and no looks ahead.

Reitman’s career up until this point — in particular “Young Adult” and “Tully,” his collaborations with Diablo Cody and Charlize Theron — has been pointedly anti-nostalgic. But “Afterlife” makes one wonder what Reitman retained from those preceding projects or how much studio control was wielded to fashion this film into something they thought would sell. This isn’t homage; it’s fealty, but sapped of the zany creativity that brought this franchise to life in the first place. “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is bleak stuff.

'Ghostbusters: Afterlife'

Rated: PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references Running time: 2 hours, 4 minutes Playing: Starts Nov. 19 in general release

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Paul Rudd in Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters: Afterlife review – a slimy, stinking corpse of a sequel

Jason Reitman takes over his father’s franchise and immediately tanks it with a tonally misjudged blend of pandering fan service and bizarrely played-straight spectacle

T here’s a certain advantage to seeing a film like Ghostbusters: Afterlife among the cosplaying faithful at its New York Comic-Con premiere. Crowd response in the cavernous convention hall had a way of clearing up any lingering confusion over why the original Ghostbusters, a crude-ish comedy featuring Saturday Night Live alumni doing sci-fi-flavored shtick, would be revived as a played-straight action spectacle in which children learn that science rules and nothing’s more important than the love of family. The appeal of a sequel systematically stripped of everything that made its predecessor into enough of a hit to merit this treatment quickly grew evident as the attendees voiced their high-decibel approval for what they saw as the true draw of this misbegotten project. An attendee couldn’t help but hear the instantaneous focus-grouping.

Every time another anti-spectral doohickey first appeared on screen, it was met with orgasmic roars of excitement from the audience. Same goes for the awestruck glimpses of the old car, the old costumes, some of the old dialogue, and the rest of the myriad nods to Ivan Reitman’s canonized blockbuster. His son Jason, the director who announced a desire to see his installment launch a whole universe of Ghostbusters content during his pre-screening panel, aspires to little more than this deadened rat-pulls-lever pleasure of recognition. His approach banks on a sycophancy proved reliable in real time at the Javits Center, that the automatic delight of knowing what things are will supersede the need for the humor or smart-ass charm that initially made Ghostbusters worth watching. At the box office, this underhanded tack may very well pay dividends. This is for the fans, after all, but a peculiar breed of fan more interested in identifying objects than what’s done with them.

There’s no other explanation for an approach trading the ironic quippiness embodied by Bill Murray for a guileless, earnest Amblin knockoff in line with the on-trend Stranger Things. In case we couldn’t make this connection for ourselves, shared cast member Finn Wolfhard stars here as Trevor, teenaged son to the hard-luck Spengler family. He, beleaguered mom Callie (Carrie Coon), and stem-disciplined sister Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) relocate to the abandoned farmhouse left to them by the kids’ recently deceased deadbeat granddad, which just so happens to be situated on a hotbed of ecto-activity. Alongside new pals including a kid with a podcast named “Podcast” (Logan Kim) so no one forgets what his defining thing is, and sarcastic schoolteacher Mr Grooberson (Paul Rudd, forced into a comic relief role with Coon that only underscores the brutal unfunniness of everything else), they’ve got to defeat another one of the CGI energy-cyclones apparently mandated to close out today’s tentpoles.

It’s pandering all the way down, the shocking part being the variety of Reitman’s ploys. It’s not all groaners like a cop offering a jailed-for-the-night Trevor the phone and asking, “Who you gonna call?” There’s the set piece with cutesy, nattering mini-Stay-Pufts scratching the itch for cloying mischief-makers planted by the Minions. Consider the casual cowardice of a script that uses its own mythology to subtly erase 2016’s all-gals reboot from the canon, giving the rage-choked trolls carpet-bombing IMDb with zero-star ratings the vindication they’ve always craved. Even the championing of scientific expertise comes off as overreaching and aggrieved, from Grooberson’s declaration that science is “punk” to the smug superiority of the pint-sized Phoebe. The message is clear, as are its intended recipients: there’s nothing more powerful, important or cool than being a nerd.

Mckenna Grace as Phoebe.

It’s impossible to fully appraise this film without getting into spoiler territory the PR team has wrapped in yellow “DO NOT CROSS” tape, but the howling obviousness of the third act’s surprise appearances may enable talking around its specifics. To speak in broad terms, a crucial ethical line is crossed whenever computer technology starts marching around the ghostly form of a dead person, doubly so when that person was famous for their smirking irreverence and their digitally reanimated corpse instead arrives just in time for a movie’s most nauseating cornball moment.

There’s a disturbing sense of ownership over the past in Reitman’s continuity-building, as if he’s the heir apparent entrusted with sacred texts rather than a guy running roughshod over the memory of a movie still a staple of middle-school sleepovers for its laugh quotient. Perhaps it’s appropriate and telling that the 2021 incarnation of an 80s artifact would be imbued with all the issues most endemic to the current studio release. Here, we can find a damning summary of modern Hollywood’s default mode – a nostalgia object, drained of personality and fitted into a dully palatable mold, custom-made for a fandom that worships everything and respects nothing.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife is released on 19 November

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Behold the craven exercise in hollow nostalgia that is “Ghostbusters: Afterlife.”

In taking over the “Ghostbusters” mantle from his father, Ivan, director Jason Reitman trots out all the characters, props, gags and famous lines from the 1984 original as if the mere presence of them were enough for a laugh, or at least a familiar chuckle. His movie wallows in the superficial trappings of the franchise without ever recapturing—or seemingly grasping—what made it such a phenomenon in the first place. It’s essentially a two-hour version of that meme in which Chris Evans , as Captain America in “ The Avengers ,” says earnestly and with more than a little pride: “I understood that reference.”

This is sort of a sequel and sort of a reboot, but it’s definitely an erasure of the 2016 “Ghostbusters” starring Melissa McCarthy , Kristen Wiig , Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones , which caused such a stir because it dared to feature women busting ghosts. That’s men’s work! Women are allowed to answer the phone at Ghostbusters headquarters, and they can be possessed by an ancient demon from another dimension as long as they still look sexy, but that’s about it. Come on, guys. When Ray Parker Jr. sang that busting made him feel good, we all knew what he was really talking about. (And yes, that catchy theme song is in here, too, playing over the end credits. It’s truly bizarre in retrospect to realize that it was a massive radio and MTV hit in 1984.)

But first, we must establish why we are taking this slog down memory lane. Reitman, in co-writing the script with Gil Kenan (who directed the 2015 “Poltergeist” re-do), has contrived to send the estranged relatives of one of the original Ghostbusters to middle-of-nowhere Oklahoma. The prodigious talents of Carrie Coon , one of the most insightful and exciting actresses working today, go depressingly to waste as Callie, a single mother of two. Son Trevor ( Finn Wolfhard ) is a sullen teen with a knack for mechanics. But 12-year-old daughter Phoebe ( Mckenna Grace ) is a misfit science whiz, a gift she apparently inherited from her grandfather, whose identity is revealed to us in the most eye-rolling way. They all schlep to fictional, small-town Summerville to take over Grandpa’s dilapidated farm, but when they get there, they soon realize there’s something strange in the neighborhood.

Despite his last name and his filmmaking lineage, the director Reitman rips off most here is Steven Spielberg . He tries to establish a feeling of mystery about this place right off the top through low-angle camerawork and misty moonlit nights, with Rob Simonsen ’s score working hard to create a sense of wonder. This “Ghostbusters” takes the series’ mythology way too seriously, approaching what should be a light, silly comedy as if it were serious science fiction. The result is an awkward and unwarranted feeling of reverence.

Decades later, we’re supposed to believe, people still talk about what happened that summer in Manhattan. The one friend Phoebe makes is a supernatural-obsessed kid named Podcast ( Logan Kim ). “I call myself Podcast. Because of my podcast,” he explains. These are the jokes. Podcast enlightens Phoebe about the original Ghostbusters—as in, they literally sit in front of a laptop watching clips from the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters” on YouTube. A hidden lair beneath the farmhouse reveals all the archaic technology, and in the barn beneath a tarp rests the rusty, dusty car from the original film. In case we couldn’t tell what we’re looking at, Reitman repeatedly lingers on the converted Cadillac’s ECTO-1 license plate and the famous, red-and-white logo on the doors. At one point, a character has to make a phone call, prompting another character to ask: “Who you gonna call?” prompting me to groan “Oh my God” out loud to no one in particular in a nearly empty movie theater.

It's like that, over and over and over again. There’s a thing you know, and there’s another thing you know. And look! For the serious fans, there’s a super-nerdy, arcane thing that only a few people know. The Stay-Puft marshmallow man is back, but this time in the form of a bunch of adorably evil, normal-sized marshmallows who wreak havoc at Walmart. (And the interior logic in this bit is confusing. They want to attack Paul Rudd ’s middle-school teacher character, but they also try to make s’mores out of each other. So they’re cannibals …?)

“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” is actually more interesting when it’s not a “Ghostbusters” movie—when it’s about a family struggling to fit in among entrenched locals in an insular place. When Rudd and Coon are together, they have a playful, deadpan banter that’s intriguing. When Trevor tries to make friends, he strikes up a flirtation with a pretty, young waitress, but the charismatic actress who plays her, Celeste O’Connor, gets woefully little to do. Grace brings intelligence to her role, but a running bit in which she tries to connect with people by telling bad jokes always falls flat, and watching her here is especially frustrating given the range she’s shown in projects as disparate as “ I, Tonya ” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Ultimately, though, “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” isn’t about any of these people. It’s about the ghosts of the pasts: the original performers, who show up and sleepwalk their way through their cameos. The film’s depiction of the late Harold Ramis is especially cringeworthy. But at least those guys all realized what this is supposed to be: a goofy good time, and nothing more.

Exclusively in theaters today. 

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie poster

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some suggestive references.

124 minutes

Finn Wolfhard as Trevor

Mckenna Grace as Phoebe

Paul Rudd as Mr. Grooberson

Carrie Coon as Callie

Sigourney Weaver as Dana Barrett

Bill Murray as Dr. Peter Venkman

Dan Aykroyd as Dr. Raymond Stantz

Ernie Hudson as Winston Zeddemore

Annie Potts as Janine Melnitz

Josh Gad as Muncher (voice)

  • Jason Reitman

Writer (based on the 1984 film "Ghostbusters" by)

  • Dan Aykroyd
  • Harold Ramis


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What Parents Should Know Before Letting Their Kids Watch Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters in an elevator

"Ghostbusters"  is an all-time classic comedy. It stars some of the biggest comedic talents from the '80s, including Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Dan Aykroyd, and it brought a new franchise to the masses with various sequels and even a cartoon series. It still holds up to this day, so it's only natural some parents may wonder if it's all right to introduce the flick to their young children. 

After all, 1984's "Ghostbusters" is rated PG, making it seem like it'd be appropriate for kids. However, it's important to note that "Ghostbusters" came out before the PG-13 rating was even a thing. The film was released on June 8, 1984. Meanwhile, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced a new PG-13 rating on July 1 of that same year, with "Red Dawn" becoming the first official PG-13 movie to be released in theaters. 

It's safe to say that if "Ghostbusters" came out today, it would probably get the PG-13 treatment, as evidenced by "Ghostbusters: Afterlife"  getting rated that. That doesn't mean you have to hide "Ghostbusters" from your children entirely, but it's crucial to take certain factors into consideration before you play it, lest you have some awkward conversations with your kids afterward.

Language, sex, and scary situations abound in Ghostbusters

Right off the bat, "Ghostbusters" would be PG-13 these days for language alone. The word "s***" is spoken three times, and some other choice profanities include usage of the words "b***h" and "d***." There are also sexual situations that aren't appropriate for younger viewers. Most notably, there's a scene where Ray (Dan Aykroyd) is in bed, and it's implied he receives sexual gratification from a ghost. Dana (Sigourney Weaver) also makes some sexual advances while inhabited by Zuul, saying things like "I want you inside me."

It also deserves to be said that while "Ghostbusters" is considered a comedy, it's still about ghosts and can be downright scary at times, with numerous scary-looking creatures populating the film. There's also a fair amount of smoking, mostly from Ray and Peter (Bill Murray), and there's sexual harassment, particularly when it comes to Dana and how many of the men's actions toward her wouldn't fly in this day and age. 

Ultimately, parents know their kids better than anyone else, so it's up to you to make the judgment call on what you're comfortable with your children seeing. Common Sense Media suggests that only kids 11 and up would be mature enough to watch the movie, but there are plenty of comments on the site of people saying that it's appropriate for kids who are 8 and 9. Just know going into it that just because it's PG doesn't mean it's on the same level as something like "Frozen."

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Ghostbusters world, common sense media reviewers.

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Ghost fans get slimed by the spectre of microtransactions.

Ghostbusters World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Zapping ghosts is a relatively straightforward poi

Ghost busting can be a little violent, with player

Like most free-to-play games, Ghostbusters World t

Parents need to know that Ghostbusters World is a free-to-play location-based adventure game, available for download on Android and iOS devices. Players use their mobile devices in real world locations to capture various ghosts and then use them to battle other ghosts. There's some violence in the battles, though its…

Ease of Play

Zapping ghosts is a relatively straightforward point and shoot affair. It can get a bit tricky switching between weapons and countering while simultaneously shooting and capturing ghosts, but it’s not overly complicated. Battling in the Ghost Dimension are simple turn-based matches, with basic gameplay and an optional autoplay option.

Violence & Scariness

Ghost busting can be a little violent, with players using a variety of weapons to weaken or completely destabilize ghostly foes. Ghost Dimensions battles between teams of spectres are equally violent, with characters using special skills to knock each other out. Still, the violence is cartoonish in nature, without blood of any kind and defeated enemies simply fading in a flash of light.

Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Products & Purchases

Like most free-to-play games, Ghostbusters World thrives on microtransactions. There’s a particularly heavy push to spend real-world money here. While the game gives players just enough to get through the tutorial stages, later progress relies heavily on the use of Gems, an in-game currency purchased with real world money.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ghostbusters World is a free-to-play location-based adventure game, available for download on Android and iOS devices. Players use their mobile devices in real world locations to capture various ghosts and then use them to battle other ghosts. There's some violence in the battles, though its style is more like a Saturday morning cartoon. The game's free to play, though there's a heavy reliance on microtransactions. Players will need to either commit a lot of time split between building resources and waiting, or simply spend real world money to make any substantial progress.

Where to Download

Videos and photos.

Ghostbusters World screenshot #1

Community Reviews

  • Parents say (1)

Based on 1 parent review

Good but need to have a way to earn gems

What’s it about.

When there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? In GHOSTBUSTERS WORLD, you’re the one getting the call. As the latest recruit to the Ghostbusters roster, it’s up to you to track down and capture the latest wave of spectral visitors popping up around the globe. Take a walk through your favorite real-world hangouts and redefine the phrase “local haunts” as you use your trusty proton beam to trap any invading spirits before converting them to your cause. Then take the fight to the source, putting together your best team of ghosts to venture to the Other World and battle against other pesky poltergeists. Defend the living from the legions of the undead and do it in style, proving once more that busting really does make you feel good.

Is It Any Good?

This real world adventure game features incredible content for fans of this franchise, but its heavy reliance on microtransations slimes the fun for gamers. Ghostbusters World has no shortage of fan service pulled from the Ghostbusters movies, cartoons, games, and more. From instantly recognizable icons like Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man to more obscure references like Gozer’s Tower and Tobin’s Spirit Guide, the location-based action/adventure is packed with references. But the game is more than just fan fluff though, with a surprising amount of depth and range in its play. Catching ghosts requires swapping weapons to wear out the spirits, knowing when to throw out traps, and sorting out which to keep and which to “destabilize” for materials. Players don’t just collect ghosts for the sake of collecting them, but rather use them to build teams to take into battle against other spectral strike teams in the Ghost Dimension. These turn-based fights add an extra layer of strategy and planning that makes this feel more substantial than most mobile games.

As much fun and as fully features as Ghostbusters World may feel, there’s one thing that haunts the overall experience: microtransactions. Microtransactions are nothing new to games, especially the free-to-play mobile kinds. But Ghostbusters World takes it to an extreme. The game walks players through the early tutorials with no problems, but afterwards, you’re left with very little in-game resources to progress with. Worse still, the grind to earn more borders on absurd. It takes hours to build just a handful of traps, which can get burned through in minutes during standard gameplay. It’s the same with power cells for your different weapons. Since you can only build one type of item at a time, you’ll spend a lot of the game just checking in long enough to pick up what you’ve built and start building again. The only way to avoid this is, you guessed it, by spending money for in-game “Gems”, which in turn are used for everything from speeding up actions to buying new materials to leveling up your spectral army. It sets up a hefty paywall to break through if you expect to make any real progress beyond the glacial pace of grinding.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about playing games safely. What are some of the hazards of playing location-based games such as Ghostbusters World and Pokémon GO ? What are some ways to ensure personal safety while playing?

What are the ways that free-to-play games push players to spend money on microtransactions? What are some ways to help keep spending from getting out of hand in the mobile market?

App Details

  • Devices : iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Android
  • Pricing structure : Free
  • Release date : October 22, 2018
  • Category : Adventure Games
  • Topics : Magic and Fantasy , Adventures , Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
  • Publisher : Four Thirty Three
  • Version : 1.7.0
  • Minimum software requirements : Requires iOS 8.0 or higher; Android 6.0 and up
  • Last updated : February 15, 2019

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

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'Casper' starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci in 1995.

There are plenty of friendly ghosts out there.

“I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” Classic punchlines from movies such as Ghostbusters instantly come to mind when we think about our favorite movies about ghouls that go bump in the night. But not all ghost movies are scary.

Yes, there are a lot of scary ghost movies that keep both kids and grown-ups up at night. There are still adults well into their adulting years that still can’t bring themselves to say “Candyman” three times in a mirror. But some spooky movies can also make us laugh. Who can forget the singing heads in the Haunted Mansion or Casper cooking Kat eggs and pancakes? And let’s not forget the adorable, young Leonardo DiCaprio in that movie.

While other ghouls can teach valuable life lessons about friendship, loss, love, and acceptance. It was a tearjerker moment when Sally forgave her sister for cursing her in Tower of Terror or when Constance's spirit is finally released from the Monster House.

These are a few examples of how the afterlife can delight us as much as spook us... but not in a way that will keep us up with the lights on at night. They’re the perfect mixture of creepy, thrills, and family fun. As the countdown to Halloween begins, we’ve gathered a list of kid-friendly movies that families can enjoy.

Coco (2017)

You will most certainly remember this Pixar animated movie. Coco is about a young boy named Miguel who aspires to be a musician but because of his family's tragic history with music, the idea is banned by his loved ones. visiting the grave of his favorite musician, he plays his guitar and is transported to the Land of the Dead. There he comes face to face with the spirits of Ernesto, his favorite musician and his dearly, departed relatives. But there is one special, family ghoul that holds the key to a family secret that will change everything Miguel believed in.

Watch Coco , rated PG, on Disney+.

Ghostbusters (2016)

Ghostbusters (2016), rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime Video.

The reboot to the 1984 classic comedy horror follows three women who try to prove that ghosts are roaming around in New York City (with their mayor backing them up in private and hilariously discrediting them in public). Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, and Kristen Wiig make up the trio and will have you laughing throughout the whole movie! The fight scene with the Pilgrims and the Mafia ghosts may be our favorite scene in the movie! Thor’s Chris Hemsworth is their clueless assistant. Ghostbusters is rated PG-13. Common Sense Media gives it a 3-star rating for kids 11 and up with “ghosts and girl power.”

Watch Ghostbusters, rated PG-13, on Amazon Prime Video and Vudu.

Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters (1984) rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount TV, and Apple TV.

You cannot appreciate the reboot without giving kudos to the original. Ghostbusters is a spooky, family classic staple that both kids and parents can enjoy. Not only do these New York scientists discover the existence of ghosts, but they also find a way to contain them! Oh and three words: giant marshmallow man! Who you gonna call? The classic is given 4-stars for kids 11 and up from Common Sense Media.

Watch the original Ghostbusters, rated PG, on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount TV, and Apple TV.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife

Ghostbusters Afterlife (2021) is rated PG-13.

We still ain't afraid of no ghosts! One more from the Ghostbusters saga to check out. Dan Aykroyd returned to the franchise in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. According to its synopsis , when “a single mom and her two kids arrive in a small town, they begin to discover their connection to the original ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.” it takes place over 30 years after the original and ones that true fans can appreciate.

Disney star McKenna Grace and Ant Man star Paul are among the stars in this sequel.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, rated PG-13, and. An be streamed on Starz.

Monster House

Monster House (2006),  rated PG, on Netflix.

There’s nothing scarier than your basketball bouncing into that ‘creepy house on the street’ which also happens to eat trick-or-treaters and police officers. A group of kids must figure out how to stop the monster house from terrorizing the neighborhood while trying not to become its next victim. What makes this a ghost story is that the house is actually possessed by the spirit of a woman who just didn’t like trick-or-treaters or anyone messing with her house. Go figure. Monster House is rated PG-13 and rated “frightful fun” for kids 10 and up on Common Sense Media.

Watch Monster House, rated PG, on Netflix.

Paranorman (2013), rated PG, is available on Netflix.

Like paranormal, you get it? Just like the Sixth Sense , this kid sees dead people too. But it's nowhere near as spooky and the ghosts are actually pretty friendly. As a matter of fact, they’re more than friendly, the ghosts are pretty comical in this movie. There are even some zombies for good measure. The main character, Norman Babcock, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, prefers talking to these ghouls over the living. With their help, he must save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Common Sense Media gives it a 4-star rating and calls it cool and creepy but maybe a little much for smaller children. Kids ages 10 and up will enjoy this flick.

Watch Paranorman, rated PG, on Netflix.

The Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion, rated PG, is available on Disney+.

First of all, it's Eddie Murphy in a Disney movie so get ready to laugh. Based on The Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, this movie is about a family that gets locked in a haunted Louisiana mansion overnight and is spooked by singing heads, talking crystal balls, ghost maids, and a not-so-friendly ghoulish butler. Not to mention the ultimatum of facing your fear of spiders or saving your dad and sister from a gang of zombies in a creepy cemetery. It has a one-star rating for kids 10 and up on Common Sense Media . But again, it's Eddie Murphy. Whatever he is in, it’s bound to be a delight!

Watch The Haunted Mansion, rated PG, on Disney+.

Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror (1997), rated NR, on YouTube.

Another movie inspired by a Disney attraction. Teenage Kirsten Dunst stars in the 1997 movie about five people who vanished from a hotel elevator on Halloween in the 30s. A young girl’s jealousy prompts her to curse her little movie star sister and four others. But in the end, forgiveness and love prevailed. The movie is based on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Walt Disney World Resort’s Hollywood Studios attraction. Common Sense Media calls this movie a “tame, cliched spooker for tweens and up,” ages 10 and up.

Watch the Tower of Terror movie, rated NR, on YouTube .

Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers

Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers (1987)

Scooby-Doo fans will appreciate this classic. Shaggy inherits his uncle's spooky mansion haunted by the ghost of a Confederate soldier, who happens to be his late relative. So who did he call for help? The Boo Brothers: Freako, Meako, and Shreako. When Shaggy asks how they can be ghosts and ghost exterminators, they replied, “It takes one to know one.” Touché. For once, these are ghouls that Scooby and Shaggy are not afraid of. This cartoon TV movie classic is rated G and has “silly scares” according to Common Sense Media .

Watch Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, rated G , on Boomerang, YouTube, Amazon Prime and Apple TV.


Beetlejuice (1988), rated PG, on Hulu and Apple TV.

In this Tim Burton classic, a deceased couple wants the living inhabitants out of their home and call a troublesome ghoul named Beetlejuice, played by Michael Keaton, to get help them get rid of them. Needless to say, the service does not roll over well. From stairs that turn into a giant snake to alien minister and involuntary teenage weddings, Beetlejuice has some “dark fun” and “some violence,” which makes it best appropriate for kids 13 and up, according to Common Sense Media . No one says the ‘B word’ and don’t forget your handbook for the recently deceased watching this one.

Watch Beetlejuice, rated PG, on Hulu and Apple TV.

'Casper' starring Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci in 1995.

What’s a more family-friendly ghost movie than a movie about a friendly ghost? All Caspar wants is to be friends with the new girl on the block but his uncles are trying to scare her and her dad away! Also, nostalgic vibes for the 90s kids to see teenage Leonardo DiCarpio before he officially stole our hearts two years later in the Titanic! Casper is rated PG. The movie is not as “mild as the cartoons” as the cartoon, according to Common Sense Media , and is best for kids 8 and up

Watch Casper, rated PG , on Amazon Prime Video.

Casper Meets Wendy

Casper Meets Wendy,  rated PG, on YouTube.

Another friendship attempt from the world’s friendliest ghost. This time with an equally friendly witch! Lizzie McGuire’s Hilary Duff is adorable as Wendy the Witch in this original Disney movie. The two meet at a vacation resort and together they join plasma and wands to fight off an evil warlock who wants to banish Wendy forever because she is more powerful than him. Casper’s ghostly uncles also get some human skin in this one. Casper Meets Wendy g ood tween fun for kids 6 and up by Common Sense Media .

Watch Casper Meets Wendy, rated PG, on YouTube .

Susie Q (1996)

A teenager and his family moves into a home haunted by the ghost of a high school cheerleader who died in a car accident on her way to a school dance with her boyfriend. The teen finds her bracelet in the lake, where the accident occurred and is able to see the ghost. Together they work together to help her parents who were left with some unanswered questions about an important family document left behind by her grandfather.

Watch Susie Q on Disney+.

We hope you have a boo-night with these titles!

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Screen Rant

Ghostbusters had 1 immediate impact in 1984 that people don't realize.

Ghostbusters had a surprising impact on pop culture when it hit theaters in 1984, and the specific influence it had has stood the test of time.

  • Ghostbusters had a significant influence on pop culture, with its quirky humor and pioneering visual effects captivating audiences for four decades.
  • The film introduced the suffix "-busters" to the Western lexicon, which became widely used in common vernacular and commercial messaging.
  • The impact of Ghostbusters on language demonstrates the film's massive influence, reflecting how pop culture can shape societal thinking and values.

Pop culture was influenced in more ways than one by the release of the supernatural comedy film Ghostbusters . Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring an ensemble cast including Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, and Ernie Hudson. Ghostbusters broke box-office records and became a cultural phenomenon spanning four decades. The blockbuster forever enchanted audiences with its quirky humor, pioneering visual effects, catchy theme song with a strange true story behind it, and spooky stories.

Ghostbusters still holds up today for its memorable characters, famous quotes, iconic spooky monsters, and even its iconic Ghostbusters logo . Beyond its entertainment value, the 1980s classic has a special place in pop culture, with references to it being found often in other films, TV shows, and everyday conversation. Not only that, but it also had an effect on a realm that often goes unnoticed: language.

Ghostbusters Added "-busters" To The Western Lexicon

The use of the suffix " -busters " exploded in popularity after Ghostbusters , with the word infiltrating common vernacular. The suffix "-busters" had already seen some use before Ghostbusters , tracing back to the 1920s term "Booze Buster," in The Oxford Dictionary, which described someone who fought crime or wrongdoing. However, Ghostbusters took its usage to a whole new level. Scholar W.A. Brewer started noticing the suffix’s usage growing exponentially, to the point that by July the following year, 50 different words incorporating "-busters" were cataloged. The term became predominantly plural and was often used commercially and in marketing messages.

In fact, the "-busters" phenomenon could be compared to the impact of the Watergate scandal, which gave birth to the suffix "-gate" being instantly attributed to any scandal. Just like how Watergate led to the coining of similar phrases each time there was a new political scandal, the "-busters" suffix was added to a variety of words, usually to describe an effort to oppose or fight the subject. " Crimebusters " is one of the most common examples of how it's been used since Ghostbusters. Even the legendary director Ivan Reitman could not have predicted that one of his movies would change shift the language's lexicon.

Influencing Language Shows How Massive Ghostbusters' Influence Still Is

Ghostbusters ' impact on the English language extended to the whole Western cultural landscape. As one of the most evident markers of culture, Language captures the essence of its time and provides context to various forms of human interaction. Ghostbusters ' ability to contribute a suffix to everyday language signifies the film's widespread influence beyond box office numbers or merchandise sales. The shift is a testament to how pop culture can directly influence language, which in turn reflects societal thinking and values. Not only did Ghostbusters provide eternally unforgettable phrases and characters, but it also became a part of the audience's cultural history.

What to watch with your kids: ‘Goosebumps’ and more

Here’s what parents need to know, the exorcist: believer (r).

Sequel to demon-possession classic has violence, blood.

“ The Exorcist: Believer ” is the sixth movie in the famous demon-possession series that began with 1973’s classic “ The Exorcist .” It feels a little like a cash grab, but it’s also skillfully made, with fine attention to detail and performances. Violence is intense and includes young girls in peril, deaths, a woman being stabbed in the eyes, lots of blood, a head twisted around backward (resulting in a broken neck), scary demon faces, jump scares, unsettling/creepy moments, characters being hit or hurled across rooms, scratches on skin, mangled fingernails and toenails, vomiting, and more. There’s a tender kiss, a rude sexual gesture, a young girl appearing to touch herself sexually, an examination related to potential sexual assault, and dialogue about pregnancy and abortion . Sporadic language includes uses of “f---,” “c--t,” “son of a b----,” “damn,” “hell,” “whore” and “oh, my God.” Characters share whiskey in one scene. (111 minutes)

Goosebumps (TV-14)

Fun, nostalgic scares may be too spooky for some kids.

“Goosebumps” is a scarier, more mature version of the same-named 1990s series . It’s about a demon seeking revenge by inhabiting the body of a high school’s new English teacher ( Justin Long ). While there’s no extreme horror or gore, there’s a general ominous feeling that something bad is always about to happen. The teen characters are frequently in distress, and there are jump scares, ominous music and dark scenes. Parents should consider their kids’ usual enjoyment of scary media: Some tweens and young teens will be thrilled by “Goosebumps,” while others may find that watching leads to nightmares. Other content includes underage drinking, moderate language (“a--,” “damn,” etc.), and some romance and sexual innuendo (including a verbal reference to a “porno”). Scary stuff aside, the show does have positive messages about friendships, teen romantic relationships and navigating high school. (10 roughly 45-minute episodes)

Available on Disney Plus.

The Burial (R)

Winning legal drama about justice vs. racist corporation.

“The Burial” is a courtroom drama inspired by true events. Based on a real 1995 court case that was profiled in 1999 by the New Yorker, the movie stars Jamie Foxx and Jurnee Smollett as opposing lead attorneys and raises questions of racism, history, the legacy of racist historical traumas, and large corporations taking advantage of and exploiting Black people for greedy gain. Characters occasionally use strong language like “motherf---er,” “f---,” “s---,” the n-word, “a--hole,” “a--,” “b----,” “balls” and “hell.” There are references to racism, slavery and the Ku Klux Klan. A White man admits to being prejudiced against Black people, and a man suggests that another man’s grandfather probably raped enslaved people. An attorney says that his client was incredibly drunk while trying to kill himself. A corporation admits to taking advantage of Black people. People talk about how burial fields for enslaved people were covered up by Confederate monuments. Adults drink alcohol (like bourbon), and one scene shows a man with a cigar. Amid the mature content, the film features positive messages of perseverance, courage, teamwork and integrity. (126 minutes)

Available on Prime Video.

The Fall of the House of Usher (TV-MA)

Modernized Poe-inspired horror series is addictive but gory.

“ The Fall of the House of Usher ” is a horror series that features boatloads of sex, violence, nudity and profanity. This is the bloodiest, goriest work from creator Mike Flanagan thus far; graphic, bizarre, inventive depictions of murder and violence are found throughout. A cat is stabbed, and there are potentially upsetting depictions of animal testing and surgery involving chimpanzees. Expect many make-out and sex scenes, including shots of fully nude men and women. The family at the center of the story made its fortune peddling addictive pharmaceuticals, so addiction and drug abuse are recurring themes. (Eight roughly hour-long episodes)

Available on Netflix.

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Ghostbusters, common sense media reviewers.

ghostbusters common sense media

Paranormal '80s classic has some scares, indication.

Ghostbusters Poster View

A Lots press a Bit?

What thee will—and won't—find in is movie.

A uncommon movie where scientists save the day-time. Friend

Main characters use scientific and work as a team to

Nope meaningful diversity, especially among speaking

Plenty of blasting from special ghost-busting lase

AMPERE fantasy scene implies Ray receives oral joy

"S--t" is said triplet circumstances, "bitch" formerly, "ass" an

Coke is watch a few times, a Twinkie is used as a chiliad

Lots for smoking, mostly due Peter and Ray, who ofte

Parents need to see that Ghostbusters has an iconic '80s movie such mixes a ton of humor -- some regarding the gags support up poorly over time -- in are its story about catching scary ghosts and the possibility end of the our. The scariest part is expected the tall tiere with glowing eyes that attack both possess…

Positive Messages

ONE rare movie where scientists save one day. Friendship is also an important theme, though the friends are far from perfect. Curiosity and teamwork.

Positive Role Models

Main characters use science and labor as a team to save NYC. However Peter Venkman especially is a flawed role model. He and Dana's neighbor Louis both chase women in ways this are now widely recognized as harassment. It's played for laughs, seemingly calciniert up to "boys becomes can boys." Danish winds up receptive to Peter's aggressive advances, whatever include both her on to chest while she's unconscious and a blockage to innuendo-laced comments while he's on this working and she's his client. Fired Up! (2009) Parents User and Certifications from circle the world.

Diverse Representations

No meaningful multifariousness, especially under speaking rollers, despite setting in ultra-diverse NYC. Ernie Hudson's Winston Zeddemore does get hired as an Ghostbuster midway via the video and doesn't fall into stereotypes info Black men, but he has minimal dialogue. Fatphobia in the form from Slimer, an green ghost her voracious appetite and rolls of fat are meant to incite disgust in spectators. Casual on-screen ableism -- several disparaging remarks about people being "crazy" or "schizo" -- is slightly offset by the knowledge this one of this film's writers or leading actors, Dan Aykroyd, is neurodivergent and has Tourette's . Most flagrant is the film's objectification is wife, in one case a college student who is hit on by a male professor. Sexual harassment by deuce men in key functions, including main character Peter Venkman, is played for laughs. Venkman still "gets the girl" as provided Dana is a trophy up be conquered.

Has we miss something upon diversity? Proposed an update.

Act & Scariness

Wide of blasting from special ghost-busting land. A hotel ballroom is destroyed, and another building explodes, in main characters running for own lives. Ghosts make pass NYC, many scary-looking (with disintegrated skeletal showings and wicked grins). Two characters are possessed by bigger dog-like creatures. Ready features waffenindustrie and grabs a character through adenine chair; you screams as she's hurled through the room. A building crumbles; pieces fall at a crowd below, who also almost receiving destroyed by a 50-foot running marshmallow. Mentions of religious sacrifice. A demi-god attacks with lightning bolt coming for ihr weapon. Dana a demoniac and, without her consent, writhes, sensate bares her shoulders press foot, and makes sexual advances on Peter. Whereas she's unconscious, Peter puts her to bed and smooch her clothed chest before walking. Dana's neighbor follows her gloomy the hallway in hier apartment door, repeatedly asking her outwards press ignoring her politely declines; the has to literally squeeze into her apartment the slam the on in his face. The film doesn't critique the harassment. Up in the Air (2009) - IMDb

Did you know you can pin iffy pleased? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.

Sex, Romance & Nudity

ONE fantasy scene implies Ray receives oral pleasure from a ghost; you see his bottoms mysteriously unzipped go to his underclothes and his eyes cut in pleasure. Dana makes bold sexy advances during possessed, writhing around and showing much of leg. She round says, "Do you want this body?" "Take me now," real "I want you inside me" to Peter, who jokes that she already has more than one person inside her. Plus ampere few kisses and plenty of innuendo, including ampere joke about getting the Stay Puft Marshmallow "laid."

Did you know it can flag undeclared content? Modify limits for Sexy, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.

"S--t" has said three times, "bitch" single, "ass" and other versions a few periods, "pissed," "hell," "mother puss bucket," "schizo," also jokes about an EPA official having no "d--k."

Done you know thou can flag inconclusive happy? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment tour.

Products & Purchases

Coke is seen a low times, a Twinkie is used as a metaphor, and one of an Ghostbusters shouts, "it's Miller time." Cheez-Its and Budweiser is consumed. A montage shows that Ghostbusters set one cover of some prominent magazines like Time and This Atlantic with voices of Casey Kasem and Larry King in technical.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lots out smoking, usually in Peter or Ray, who many have a cigarette dangling from their lips during fishing ghosts. They also share a flash of hardness alcohol after being fired from their jobs and have seen drinking beer a few ages. A ghost chugs wine that goes right through i. Thirteen Days (2000) - IMDb

Did you know them can flag iffy content? Customizable limits with Drinking, Drugs & Stop in their kid's entertainment guide.

Parents Need to Know

Parents must in know is Ghostbusters exists an icons '80s movie that mixes a ton out humor -- all of the jokes holding up poorly across time -- at with its story with catcher scary ghosts and the possible cease of the globe. The scariest part is probably the large dogs with glowing eyes that attack and possess couple characters, though the now-dated special gear may not faze older kids. There's some strong language (including "s--t" a few times) and of sexually charged scenes, including ne in which a char fantasizes briefly about a ghost present him oral pleasure and another where ampere possessed woman writhes around and saying "I to you inside me" to an virile character, who laughs it off. Remain an eye out by two male font who aggressively pursue women and crossover professional and physical boundaries; their behavior your played since laughs and even presented as romantic, at least for the main character. Double Ghostbusters do a lot of tobacco, often dangling a tabakwaren out of their mouths while hard to catch minds.

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Community Reviews

  • People say (71)
  • Kids say (154)

Based on 71 parent reviews

Bonafide Classic!!!

Report this review, not for kids.

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What's the my.

In GHOSTBUSTERS, the comedic group of Bill Murray , Dan Aykroyd , plus Harold Ramis combat ghosts and ghouls how paranormal sanitation labourers. With fully charged proton cartons strapped to its backs, they hazard around Fresh York City exterminating pesky emergence. Paul Venkman (Murray) falls for Dana Barrett ( Sigourney Knitter ), a professional musician who unwillingly becomes the doorkeeper for an apocalyptic religious dimension. The team, along with a late-hire Ghostbuster played by Arren Hudson , face off against devilish crew with cataclysmic magnitude. One indelible scene involves the eradication of a 50-foot Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Is It Any Good?

Director Ivan Reitman 's movie succeeds in combinations comedy, action, and some scary stuff. Although Ghostbusters had einige frightening moments -- and its "boys bequeath be boys" handling on romance holds up extremely slow -- Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis provide enough comic relief to lighten the fears. Considering her 1984 share schedule, which film's exceptional effects are impressed, though today's kids may find them eye-roll-inducing. Younger kids might need their eyes covered during scary moments, and post-viewing conversations about what constitutes sexual harassment would not go amiss.

Talk to Your My About ...

Featured can talk about what defines a hero. Beyond Ghostbusters , what other movies feature scientists and professors who save the days?

Talk about how the scares mixer with humor. For kids normally spooked of thingy favorite ghosts, as did the humor help? How did vision a being like the 50-foot Stay Puft Marshmallow Person make you laugh, even though the Ghostbusters were in danger? No; People refuse workstations and fittings after beings fired. Were see adenine fantasy sequence of a character through a gun ready to shoot his boss for firing him (very ...

In about ways do Petr Venkman and Dana's neighbor Louis demonstrates unacceptable personality toward women? What extra ways are there to express interest in someone without hybrid personal and professional boundaries?

Do you believe in shadows? How, with why does?

How do the type included Ghostbusters demonstrate curiosity and teamwork ? Conundrum are these key font strengths ?

Film Details

  • In theaters : June 1, 1984
  • On DVD or streaming : September 16, 2014
  • Cast : Bill Murray , Dan Aykroyd , Sigourney Weaverbird , Harbourold Ramis
  • Director : Ivan Reitman
  • Studio : Sony Pictures
  • Genre : Comedy
  • Topics : Magic and Daydream , Friendship , Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampirism
  • Nature Strengths : Curiosity , Teamwork
  • Run time : 107 minutes
  • MPAA rating : PG
  • Ultimate updated : January 5, 2023

Did person miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and postive portrayals in media. That's why we've extra a new "Diverse Representations" section to our news that will be rolling out up an ongoing grounded. You can help us help boys by suggesting adenine diversity update.

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