The best adventure movies for kids ages 9 and up!
We are back with a new list of the best action movies for kids. In our previous article, we suggested the most exciting movies for the youngest action fans between the ages of 6 and 8. This time, they are masterpieces for a slightly older audience of 9- to 11-year-olds.
There are plenty of PG-13 films for that age group that we can recommend kids see with their parents, but we still take a step forward in terms of the PG rating, as it leaves no doubt that the films on our list can be shown to anyone unconditionally.
Action movies such as Star Wars and Ghostbusters are not included here, as we are only looking for movies that make you feel like watching a pure and relentless action classic. The movies we review in this article take the intensity of the action to the absolute maximum without losing the innocent fun. So let’s start the countdown!
Top 10 stocks (8 years or less)
10) Masters of the Universe (1987)
Masters of the Universe was a classic from the legendary Pushkin Studios, but today it is more of a cult trashy movie than a directed action film. Anyway, it’s a really innocent and silly production, which means it’s perfect entertainment for kids! While fighting the evil wizard Skeletor and his minions on his home planet of Eternia, the hero Man and his companions are accidentally teleported to present-day Earth. They try to find their way back, but must also continue to fight against Skeletor, who has found a way to hunt them down. Masters of the Universe features fluffy looks, colorful costumes and country humor, making it mentally very close to the anime series it is based on.
Out of courtesy, let’s not talk about the quality of the plot and action, which the film rather lives up to on the action front. But when there is a lot of shooting, scandal and explosions, there is rarely anything worth remembering, and it is this lack of originality that prevents Masters of the Universe from being a truly great film. All of this is entertaining enough to be included in our list, and is a good example if you want to give your kids an idea of the atmosphere of an old school action movie.
9) “Commandement des banlieues” (1991)
Hulk Hogan, like other wrestlers before and after him, used his popularity to launch a film career after he left wrestling. His success as a film actor was limited, however, and he starred mostly in C-level action films and a few horror-comedies. A positive exception is his second film, Suburban Commandos. Space hero Shep Ramsay takes a leave of absence from Earth after his latest stressful mission and moves in as a tenant with neurotic architect Charlie and his family. As he makes his way through the daily suburban madness, he is confronted by two bounty hunters from outer space who are on his trail.
Suburban Commando takes the standard model of comedy and adds a heavy dose of burlesque comedy. Shep’s benevolent attitude, combined with his ignorance of local customs, is usually the cause of violence and/or (harmless) destruction. There are an inordinate number of old-fashioned jokes, such as Shep drinking antifreeze to combat the effects of a high-tech ice gun, or “helping” a mime who seems trapped in a force field. The film is quite gentle, and Hogan exudes a relaxed vibe in his role. In the end, we have a good bunch of rural action comedy with Hulkster in one of his best films.
8) The Sky Highway (2005)
Surviving high school can be difficult, and who wouldn’t want superpowers to help teens find their way through this minefield. When everyone at your school has superpowers, the playground is flat again and things can get even harder. Will’s parents are both superheroes and have high hopes for him as his successor. He attends Sky High, a high school for superheroes, but his superpowers are not apparent. To make matters worse, an unknown threat wants to eliminate all superheroes, young and old.
The first trilogy of X-Men movies dealt with the education and training of superheroes, but that school wasn’t exactly a fun place if you ask me. Sky High is a monster of a different kind, a light comedy that offers a lot of fun with the myriad of superheroes that exist in pop culture today. Sky High even has a “losers” class for kids who have unnecessary superpowers, like the ability to turn into a mud puddle or glow in the dark. And kids with lots of hormones, who also have to learn how to control their powers, have lots of explosive and destructive fights. As in almost every live-action Disney movie, there are no rough edges-we’ve seen it all before-but Sky High is still a fun movie for the whole family with lots of hilarious action sequences.
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7) Sidekicks (1992)
If you think Karate Kid needs more action and Chuck Norris, Sidekicks comes to the rescue! Directed by Chuck’s brother Aaron, the film is a real family affair. Barry leads a somewhat hectic life and frequently gets lost in daydreams in which he assists Chuck Norris in various action scenes. He receives karate training from Chinese restaurant owner Mr. Lee and prepares for a karate tournament. Even more than the original Karate Kid, the plot of Sidekicks resembles that of a science fiction film, with Barry undergoing an almost magical transformation from a frail asthmatic to an irrepressible martial arts master.
The film oscillates between zany comedy and rural drama, but all the action scenes are fun with their parodies of classic action tropes, including the appearance of Lone Wolf McQuade himself! The Norris brothers also show that they know how to make a movie and manage a great ode to the classic spaghetti western My Name is Nobody. Of the rest of the cast, Joe Piscopo stands out as a mocking, testosterone-fueled martial arts instructor who beats up Chuck and attacks him. Sidekicks is an action comedy that is a bit odd and unbalanced, but at least it is one of the best Karate Kid con films and shows us that Chuck Norris is perfectly capable of taking care of himself.
CMAU Review: Jonathan Brandis and Chuck Norris in Sidekicks (1992).
6) The Eliminators (1986)
The Mandroid Cyborg is on the run from his evil creator Reeves, who wants to get rid of him. Reeves is doing more sinister things, so Mandroid goes in search of him and puts together an unlikely team that includes a scientist, a ninja and a mercenary. Eliminators is every kid’s and fan’s dream of B-movies with a cyborg, ninjas, cannibals and a whole bunch of sci-fi nonsense all in the same movie! Although it almost seems like the ingredients of a modern parody of the genre, The Eliminators can actually claim to be one of the first films to plunder the treasure trove of modern B-movies and bring them together in a rather messy mix.
The script has a logic that only a child would find truly satisfying, and the overall plot is also pretty crazy. But it rarely gets boring, whether approached through dialogue or trickery. The eliminators never go down the drain, but the special effects and action scenes aren’t boring, and the overall quality of the production is good. And the Mandroid himself is probably the smoothest and most polite cyborg in the history of cinema. The Eliminators is a breezy and awkward film, nostalgically reminiscent of 1980s children’s action movies.
5) Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)
Long before Firefly and Mandalorian, the great space action western was made in 1983. Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone can be seen as a spiritual precursor to other science-fiction comedy classics such as Ice Pirates and Banzai Bukaru, which came out shortly after. Unlike its competitors, Spacehunter focuses on action, but has just as much country humor. Three women are the only survivors of an explosion in a spaceship, and their escape capsule crashes on a deserted planet. The women are kidnapped by the minions of the evil cyborg Overdog, and it’s up to the mercenary Wolf to save them.
The film is really nothing more than an action scene in which Wolf and his companions make their way through an infested desert populated by violent mutants and other dangers. Space Hunter takes Mad Max seriously with its bleak setting and many eccentric giant ships. There is dirt and grime everywhere, and monsters lurk around every corner. But it’s all harmless fun, with plenty of comedy and lame jokes. A nearly unrecognizable Michael Ironside leads a team of villains in one of his first villainous roles, that of a viciously brutal cyborg with two giant, scary claws. Space Hunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone is great fun and one of the few post-apocalyptic movies to recommend to kids.
4) The Rocketeer (1991)
In 1990, Disney’s Dick Tracy began a short series of colorful films inspired by pocket comics and superhero comics from the 1930s and 1940s. Films like Phantom and The Shadow were great, but another Disney production, Rocket Man, stood out as lighthearted children’s entertainment packed with action. A secret prototype jet rocket plane falls into the hands of stuntman Cliff. He becomes the “Rocketeer,” the attraction of the series, but soon must use his new gadget to thwart a conspiracy involving gangsters and Nazi spies. The whole thing is fantastic and there are enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.
The film is a great show with an upbeat atmosphere, and we have lots of great action scenes. There are chases of old people, stunts and falling propeller planes, and confrontations on, in and around the Nazi Zeppelin. The cast includes Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin and ex-James Bond star Timothy Dalton, and they all add a lot to the fun with a perfect balance of believable character portraits and just the right amount of pace. Rocketeer is an action adventure with a lot of heart, perfect for family entertainment.
Rocket Man: A funny love letter to a failed criminal operation.
3) Tron (1982)
Welcome to the world of Tron, a mystical realm of the computer tablet, populated by good and bad programs. Ex-programmer Kevin breaks into his former employer’s building to gather evidence that some of his code was stolen by a former colleague. He is captured by Master Control, an artificial intelligence, and digitized into a computer program. Trapped on the Encom network, he must fight for survival in a deadly tournament. Tron cleverly capitalized on the hype of arcades and the advent of home computers, which at the time were still a new and exciting world for many people.
The film is not a complex science fiction thriller, but pure popcorn action cinema, a spectacle from the first minute in a unique and fascinating environment. The digital world is just a playground for Flynn, where he has to run, shoot and fight his way out of the evil AI. The visuals were revolutionary at the time, and are still surprisingly entertaining today. Jeff Bridges, in one of his many great roles, plays Flynn, a charming little cunning guy who is constantly on the verge of being “abandoned,” but still finds time to crack a joke. Tron is an absolute classic of the 1980s and should please anyone who enjoys action movies.
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2) Speed Racer (2008)
Speed Racer. The name of the movie. Name of the main character. The name of the comic book. Made by the Wachowski’s. Better than the matrix. Better cars. Better jokes. Better colors. Colorful explosions. Car explosions. Car stunts. Car weapons. Cars bouncing like ping pong balls. Car madness. Crazy special effects. Crazy costumes. Crazy race tracks. Madness and genius. Film engineering and editing. Speed Racer, the greatest runner who ever lived. Speed Racer, racing against psychopathic opponents. Speed Racer fighting against evil corporations. So many great villains. So many terrible suits and ties. So many German accents. John Goodman fighting ninjas. John Goodman fighting gangsters. John Goodman, head of the Racer family. Family with a monkey. Great family. Great family movie. Perfect movie. Speed Racer.
Scott Adkins dissects action scenes from movies.
1) The Karate Kid (1984)
Probably the best known action movie for young audiences is The Karate Kid. It tells the story of Daniel, a local teenager trying to find his way in a new town. He falls in love with a girl, is intimidated by members of the disgusting Cobra Kai Karate School, and befriends old Mr. Miyagi, who trains him to be a master of the martial arts. With a nice balance of action, comedy and drama, The Karate Kid tells a simple story with an incredible amount of positive energy.
Daniel and Miyagi are a great team, a smart teenager and a great goalie. They both fight for their lives and learn to help each other and take care of each other. Thanks to one of the best endings you’ll ever see, the big karate tournament even relegated Rocky IV to second place. I think The Karate Kid is a movie that any fan of action movies, young or old, will enjoy, and if you are in the mood to watch a full 80s action movie with your kids, then The Karate Kid is the #1 movie worth watching.
Frequently asked questions
What are the movies that 9-year-olds should see?
What are the best movies for 10-year-olds?
55 important movies your child should see (before they are too old to see them).
Can a child of nine see the film?
My nine-year-old brother was allowed to see that movie. I think IT’s a movie that only older kids can see . . There is extreme swearing, but if you keep watching the movie, you learn to turn it off.
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