Box art for The Karate Kid (2010)

The Karate Kid (2010)

action & adventure, children & family, drama, sports


In Columbia Pictures' The Karate Kid, 12-year-old Dre Parker (Jaden Smith) could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's (Taraji P. Henson) latest career move has landed him in China.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    66%
  • Audience Score
    68%

common sense

ON for kids age 9
Consumerism
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
2 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Remake has new stars, new country, but same winning spirit.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Karate Kid remake is a faithful adaptation of the original but because the central character is 12 instead of 16, the language and romance is appropriately scaled back, even though the violence is a bit more startling. There's not much cursing (a few uses of the word "ass") or sexuality (mild flirting and one chaste kiss), but there are a whole lot of fight scenes. The Chinese bullies are pretty merciless both off and on the mat. They're even willing to do some unethical moves to secure a championship. But when it comes down to it, this is a friendship story between old and young, East and West, and that's a fine message for young kids.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how this is ultimately a fish-out-of-water story. How is Dre even more of an outsider than the original's Daniel? What are the cultural differences that make it difficult for Dre to fit in? Do outsiders always meet with bullying, or are there ways to make it easier to get along?
  • What do Dre and Mr. Han teach each other? Is it believable that an older man and a 12-year-old would become best friends?
  • While the first Karate Kid dealt with class, this one subtly deals with race and culture. How does Dre's different background affect his ability to fit in? Why? Did the movie challenge or reinforce any stereotypes? Kids: How do you treat people from different backgrounds or those who are new in town?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: It's not as good as the 1984 version. I say that not just out of nostalgia, but because I think that that was a more satisfying drama.

- A.O. Scott, At the Movies, Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh: If the movie's overlong (and it is, by about 20 minutes), it's long for a reason: It gives Dre time to grow.

- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, June 11, 2010

Fresh: The new Karate Kid brings fresh life and perspective to the classic tale of perseverance and cross-generational friendship, thanks to Harald Zwart's sensitive direction and two exceptionally appealing stars.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, June 11, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Entertaining. Pays a bit too much homage to the original and in a cheesy fashion while racing too fast to an overdone ending.

- jagfire, Saturday, November 13, 2010

3 stars

Better than initially anticipated remake of the 1980's classic of the same name. My main problem would be execution. In the original, you could really see the main character getting better, and the chemistry between teacher and pupil. But in this remake, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan effortless go through the motions, sprinkled in with a little modernizing back talk from a child to an adult. This lack of authenticity holds this film back from being something special, because otherwise, the writers did a good job modernizing it and making it wholly unique from it's predecessor.

- DerekA101, Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2 stars

Come on, would it have killed them to call this one The Kung Fu Kid? I mean they even make a point in the movie about there being a big difference between karate and kung fu. Really, guys, come on. If not for Jackie Chan, this movie would be a bust. Like Jet Li, he has become quite a good actor over the years. And it is Jackie Chan, so why haven't you seen this already : ) Can't beat the original Karate Kid, however, although Chan is at least as good in the mentor role as Pat Morita.

- binky013, Friday, November 5, 2010