Box art for Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

action & adventure

Through the history of mankind, the times that are most recorded in mythology and song are those of great deeds and fantastic adventures. Such a time was the Hyborean Age. Such a tale is the story of Conan The Barbarian.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 16
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Raunchier and bloodier than you remember.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that -- even though Conan is a star in his own long-running series of Marvel Comics books -- there's R-level sex and bloodshed in the form of sword impalings, torture, dog attacks, bloody axings, and gladiatorial beat-downs (even of animals). There's female nudity, too, as a young, enslaved Conan is "bred" with unwilling females like cattle and enjoys a very physical relationship with his love interest, a beautiful thief. Not that most viewers will notice amidst the hard-R content, but the movie also contains some anti-religious themes.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the character of Conan, and what makes him ostensibly a good guy in this violent, brutish landscape. Also, why do you think that this incarnation of Conan is clearly made for adults and not for the ages who enjoyed the comic book series? Do you think this would be a compelling story without the hard-R content? Were you aware of some of the anti-religious themes (specifically a quote from Nietzsche), and why do you think they were included in a movie like this one?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews


- Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fresh: When it comes to the great lines (and mottos) of cinema, it doesn't get much better than this.

- Christopher Null,, Monday, May 14, 2007


- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Ok, it's not a great film but it is my most guilty of pleasures. Pure 80's cheese, and I'm not ashamed to declare my love for it. So bad it's fucking brilliant territory!

- SirPant, Wednesday, April 28, 2010

4 stars

When it comes to sword and sorcery films it still doesn't get much better than the first "Conan" film. Surely, it's dumb at times, has a few lousy dialogs and tacky sequences. But the rest is near-perfect. The atmosphere, the characters, the fights, the settings and cinematography, it all has a very special feel to it and makes for a really enjoyable and rewatchable fantasy experience. The story is actually a lot more complex than it is getting credit for. And Basil Poledouris' soundtrack is one of the most fitting and beautiful ones ever written.

- ironclad1609, Monday, April 5, 2010

5 stars

Arnold Schwarzenegger doing what he does best, crushing human beings with his bare hands and stabbing giant snakes. This is a great adaption, even though it strayed away from the source material. It kept true to the essence of Conan's character which is the most important thing. The sets and look of the film is amazing, complete attention to detail. The action sequences were done brutally, yet not overdone. It's a great epic and I love that it was told so gracefully, the viewer isn't overcrowded with meaningless exposition and pointless side characters.

- ythelastman89, Tuesday, November 17, 2009