Australian Council on Children and the Media

Terminal, The

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Short takes

Under 8’s may be bored, PG to 13.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Terminal, The
  • a review of Terminal, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 20 October 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended for under 8s due to its mature themes.
Children aged 8-13 Children in this age bracket may need parental guidance to see this movie.
Children over the age of 13 Should be ok to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Terminal, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Low level coarse language, Mature themes
Length 129 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Victor Navorski arrives at JFK airport in New York to discover that his passport is invalid as his country of Krakozhia has been overtaken in a coup. Speaking very little English, Victor understands that he cannot return to his country or leave the terminal and enter New York. He soon realises by watching the television news what has happened in his country which upsets him greatly. Newly appointed Field Commissioner Frank Dixon, a most officious man, tries to encourage Victor to leave the terminal so that he will be arrested and become someone else’s problem. Victor however has no intention of breaking any laws and so stays put.

Victor is quite resourceful and for several months makes a home for himself in the airport terminal, befriending various airport workers and falling in love with Amelia, a beautiful flight attendant. He teaches himself English, gets some part time employment with a building firm and helps various people out, including translating for a traveller from an Eastern European country who is threatening to kill himself.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is one violent scene in this movie, when the man from Eastern Europe threatens to cut his throat with a knife.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Children in this age group would be scared by the above mentioned scene. Also towards the end of the movie, one of the airport workers walks out in front of a plane and it looks as though the plane will run him over.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Some children in this age group could also be concerned by the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group would not be scared by this movie but some could be concerned by the man threatening to kill himself.

Product placement

As the movie is set in a replica of the JFK terminal, the following shops and brand names are shown frequently:

  • Borders
  • Burger King
  • Swatch
  • Starbucks
  • Baskin Robbins
  • Hugo Boss
  • Pepsi.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie:

  • Amelia is having an affair with a married man – she says the sex is ‘so amazing’.
  • The workers play poker and gamble for left luggage including a pair of Cher’s panties.
  • One of the workers says air hostesses are always ready for sex.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances:

  • a man is arrested for smuggling cocaine inside walnuts.
  • one of the airport workers, Joe, brings in marijuana for the poker game.
  • there is drinking of alcohol at the poker game, during dinner and as a celebration when the war ends in Krakozhia.
  • Joe smokes.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie including the following:

  • occasional use of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Oh my God’
  • ‘shit’
  • ‘arse’
  • ‘arsehole’

In a nutshell

The message of this movie is that rules are made for the overall best interests of man but occasionally the best interests of man are not served by strict adherence to the rules and therefore need to be bent.

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • honesty
  • integrity
  • compassion
  • humanity
  • empathy
  • kindness.

The following content could be used by parents to discuss with their children what their own family’s values are, and what the real life consequences can be of some actions and attitudes:

  • sexual relationships
  • spitefulness.

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