A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Humanity's capacity for survival and resourcefulness in the midst of extremely difficult circumstances is explored in this movie.
Positive Role Models
Chuck Noland lived a fast-paced life in which he never stopped to fully treasure what he had. After living five years alone on a desolate island, he notices all the creature comforts he previously took for granted. He demonstrates gratitude, perseverance, and courage.
Violence & Scariness
A plane crash is shown in real time inside the plane; also shown is the immediate aftermath as the lead character struggles to survive. With no other recourse, the lead character knocks out a painfully sore tooth with a rock and the blade of an ice skate; when he does this, the pain causes him to pass out. Lead character sustains a bloody injury in his side when he strikes a coral reef. A dead body washes ashore. Frequent peril, especially when the lead character struggles to find a way to escape from the island.
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In a moment of rage, the lead character calls the island he is trapped on a "goddamn s--thole."
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Products & Purchases
The lead character is an employee of FedEx; trucks, envelopes, planes, and warehouses all prominently feature the logo. The first act of the movie spends considerable time showing the ins and outs of how FedEx operates on a day-to-day level. A Snickers bar is prominently featured in a scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Alcohol consumption at a family holiday party as well as an office party. Characters sneak a bottle of wine on a plane and drink from it. No one appears drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Cast Away is a 2000 movie in which Tom Hanks plays a FedEx employee stranded on a desolate island for five years who must develop tremendous mental, physical, and emotional resilience to survive. There is frequent peril, beginning with the real-time plane crash in which Hanks' character must simultaneously avoid drowning and burning from the plane's wreckage. A dead body from the plane washes ashore. In a moment of rage, the lead character calls the island he is trapped on a "goddamn s--thole." In a scene that will definitely be too gruesome for more sensitive viewers, Chuck extracts a painfully sore tooth with a rock and the blade of an ice skate. His injuries draw blood, and his struggles to maintain sanity in the midst of so much isolation might be too intense for more sensitive viewers. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is a moving exploration of what happens when everything we hold on to is taken away from us. There may be crystal waters and azure skies, but this is no Blue Lagoon, and Hanks is no Brooke Shields. There is no music and almost no dialogue. Cast Away is brutal and painful. For 45 minutes, we are alone on the island with Noland. He shreds his leg on coral and has to extract an abscessed tooth. Noland is an engaging character, and Hanks is undeniably one of the world's most engaging actors. But the film is more impressive than involving and begins to seem more of an acting exercise than a saga about the triumph of the human spirit or the importance of love and family.
There are some moving and beautiful moments on the raft, especially the glimpse of a whale's eye peeking just above the water. But once he gets home, the movie falters. We know, though, that the world he left now seems strange to him and that it will take a long while for him to reorient himself and decide where he will go next. He has mastered the skill of spearing a fish and making a raft, but he has to learn a whole new set of survival skills back at home.
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