Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Female-driven swimming biopic inspires; sexual assault.

Movie PG-13 2023 121 minutes
Nyad Movie Poster: Diana Nyad (Annette Bening), wearing a pink swim cap, is chin deep in the sea

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

Bening, Foster and Ifans are charming and help uplift this film

It is a pleasure to see Foster onscreen. It is a reminder on how much I have missed her presence and how much she gives and supports Bening in this film who is clearly playing for all of the marbles. I typically enjoy a good sports drama. And this film offers a lot of failure, which I tend to like to see. The road is long and there are many bumps along the way. And the human spirit as well as the human body seem to endure many hardships along the way and this film tries to succinctly offer them all to you. Bening, Foster and Ifans are charming enough and their charisma along with a bevy of water shots, carries this film.
age 13+

Great film, great acting!

I’m not sure children under 13 would be interested in this film. It’s definitely geared towards older teens and adults. I think teens drawn to real life stories and swimming/ocean would appreciate it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (2 ):

This is a fascinating biopic about a woman who embodies the power of sheer determination. In their first narrative feature, married filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi -- known for documentaries Free Solo and The Rescue -- use their ability to shine a light on audacious perseverance to create a movie that parents and coaches can use to show tweens and teens that "can't" is sometimes a nonsense word. (At this point, it seems fair to say that these two are obsessed with proving that nothing is impossible.)

Despite able assistance from other talented folks -- Foster, Bening, composer Alexandre Desplat, cinematographer Claudio Miranda, and editor Christopher Tellefsen -- the filmmakers didn't make this project easy on themselves. Swimming isn't a cinematic sport: Swimmers' faces are often in the water or hidden by gear, and there's not a lot of talking. Chin and Vasarhelyi also chose to embrace the difficult side of Nyad's personality instead of just highlighting the charisma that's given her a career in sports broadcasting. Like true documentarians, the duo don't tell viewers what to think about Diana Nyad: They show us why she is who she is, how her challenges fueled her, and the motivation behind her drive to succeed. Nyad is fully dimensional, and first-time feature writer Julia Cox boldly depicts a female athlete who gets pretty far because she's doggedly and sometimes unpleasantly insistent -- a trait often met with more acceptance in a man. Society is still grappling with accepting tough women who don't feel the need to smile when they're in the trenches, and perhaps Nyad is a step in showing that accomplished women should be allowed to be imperfect, too.

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