The Abyss

Movie review by Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Abyss Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Undersea UFO adventure is breathtaking but intense.

PG-13 1989 140 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 13 reviews

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.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
age 13+

A true review of The Abyss

"The Abyss", compared to today's standards, is most certainly a family film and a classic that's on par with "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". The story has very rounded characters, each with their own issues and quirks. The plot starts as a personal story but ends up being an event of huge proportions that effect everyone. What parents should expect: This movie can open dialogues about subjects such as - Life and Death - What lies in the sea - Otherworldly encounters and how could they effect us. - People's behavior and the differences with those behaviors. Another reviewer mentioned slight nudity and cruelty to an animal in this film. The slight nudity is justified as one protagonist is reviving another protagonist via CPR. The proper technique is to open the shirt or get to the lowest layer so the pressure applied can be more effective. The scene where a mouse is breathing water was carefully conducted, while initially shocking for some, it is a scene that should make one ponder on the ideology of oxygenated water breathing. Factoid: The mice used for the scene were totally fine and were thriving after the takes. Consider The Abyss as a one-time view. It is groundbreaking both cinematically during that time period and in story being so full of depth in many ways, one of which is the human condition to fear the unknown. I highly recommend this film if you've never seen it.

This title has:

Great messages

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • U-571 Poster Image


    A very tense and exciting war movie.

    age 14+
  • Crimson Tide Poster Image

    Crimson Tide

    War Games in the water; older teens and up.

    age 17+
  • K-19: The Widowmaker Poster Image

    K-19: The Widowmaker

    Intense wartime submarine movie celebrates heroism.

    age 15+

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate