A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
People of diverse backgrounds are treated well; one gay joke and two jokes about girls and women's bodies.
Violence & Scariness
Implied violence of nuclear war, many characters are threatened with guns. Some graphic deaths. A group of sailors are sealed in a flooding area of the sub to save the rest of the ship. One character has a heart attack.
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The characters curse like the sailors they are.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke cigars and cigarettes regularly.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that characters use profanity and make a few derogatory comments toward women and girls. The suspense in the film may make it too frightening for more sensitive viewers. Some of the younger characters die, occasionally graphically, and many characters carry guns. One character holds a gun to the head of two different men during a standoff. The film deals with war and violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With an all-star cast and a compelling subject -- nuclear war with an unpredictable adversary -- CRIMSON TIDE is worthy viewing for any teen considering joining the military. When the film was released in 1995, filmmaker Tony Scott couldn't have known terrorists would attack the U.S. and the whole country would be on high alert. This film channels those anxieties into dramatic fare that's sure to be remembered even if the suspense is sometimes hard to sit through. All the bells, whistles, red lighting, and operatic scores may be enough to keep most teens entertained, and some may delight in recognizing their favorite Soprano, James Gandolfini, as Lt. Bobby Dougherty. Likewise, they'll recognize Lt. Peter 'WEAPS' Ince as Lord of the Rings' Viggo Mortensen and even Chicken Little's Steve Zahn.
Still, teens may roll their eyes at the more talky parts. Indeed, some things don't translate. Kids growing up in the age of suicide bombers may not understand the grip the threat of nuclear war held on this country in the 1980s. And they are unlikely to relate to the bigger coming-of-age drama within the film -- that of diplomatic and quietly charismatic Hunter succeeding Ramsey's brute strength. Teens and parents may not be able to help themselves from asking which approach to war prevails today, and which they support. But for those interested in the reason for wars there's plenty of fodder. The film starts with jocular questioning of whether the U.S. should have dropped the bomb on Japan in World War II. Later, Hunter explains his view of war: "The purpose of war is to serve a political end, but the true nature of war is to serve itself. In a nuclear world, a true enemy can't be destroyed. In a nuclear world," viewers are told, "the true enemy is war itself."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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