Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Intense, based-on-a-true-story survival tale is riveting.

Movie R 1993 126 minutes
Alive Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 7+

serious, horrific, interesting and inspirational

I remember watching this when I was around 10 and it left an impression on me. This evening I watched it with my own children 3, 5 and 7. The younger two fell asleep but my oldest watched it all with interest. Even afterwards he was keen to read with me about the real events on Wikipedia. Parts of the movie are quite intense like the actual crash but overall it is all handled seriously and seems quite realistic. In my opinion, this sort of movie is perfect for children (and adults) to learn about all kinds of things such as the qualities of good character, determination, humour, team working, spirituality etc etc.. You may want to avoid showing this to your kids if you think they can't handle it but it really depends on how you have chosen to raise your children; the serious theme of the movie must be given due respect in my opinion.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 14+


This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time although the sets are a little cheezy the acting is great and the story is epic Little gore (worst part is a wounded leg you see up close) and some canibilism as a last resort Very little language about 2 uses of Fuck No sex or nudity Only violent during plane crash seeing people (very cheeseily) get torn out of the back of the plane and go flying

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (4):

This film pulls no punches in showing the horrors of the actual plane crash and the many ways the survivors respond to the shock. The real takeaway from Alive, however, is not that the survivors were forced to resort to eating the meat from the bodies of their dead companions -- although that is the best-known aspect to both the true story and the movie. What really emerges here is a testament to spirituality, willpower, and perseverance in the midst of life-or-death conditions. The desperate measures they employ to survive are not exploited for a cheap and easy sensationalism but are shown to be passionately argued, pro and con, through the prisms of survival, ethical, and spiritual concerns, to say nothing of revulsion at the idea itself.

No one in the story is brave, virtuous, and rational all the time, and what comes through are the assorted psychological mechanisms the survivors employ as the days turn into weeks. Spirituality and prayer are shown and discussed, but unlike so many movies that talk of religious belief, it's not heavy-handed but a reflection of the faith inherent in these characters.

Movie Details

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