Naval cadet becomes a man in unoriginal drama.
  • Review Date: June 26, 2006
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 108 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Growing up is good, but whining, arguing, and resisting authority are not so good.


Boxing scenes are fast and hard-hitting; other scenes show physical tests and some fighting among cadets. A suicide attempt.


Brief kissing, some girls dance seductively at a bar. Reference to a prostitute.


Mild cursing ("hell") and some crude language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Beer-drinking in bar scenes, one scene with smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes several hectic, noisy boxing scenes, with the camera taking alternate points of view for punchers and punchees. The fast cuts and framing make these images potentially disturbing for younger viewers. Some of the training rituals for the Annapolis cadets are brutal (falling in mud and falling off obstacles in slow motion, sweating and groaning). An officer has a cadet get into a body bag and be zipped up, to show other cadets their responsibility to their charges. Depressed cadet jumps out a window. Characters drink alcohol in a bar, a romantic couple exchanges gazes and kisses in pretty lighting. One prostitution reference.

Parents say

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What's the story?

In ANNAPOLIS, second generation shipbuilder Jake (James Franco) aspires to be a U.S. Naval officer. Though his father Bill (Brian Goodman) discourages such dreaming, Jake applies and gets in. At school, Jake learns to get along with his multicultural bunkmates: insecure Twins (Vicellous Shannon), self-loving Estrada (Wilmer Calderon), and hardworking Loo (Roger Fan). While Lt. Cmdr. Burton (Donnie Wahlberg) quietly supports him, boxing coach McNally (Chi McBride) treats Jake like a plebe. At the same time, Jake finds trouble with Midshipman Lt. Cole (Tyrese Gibson), a most excellent boxer, former marine, and hardnosed unit leader, and imminent romance with another older classmate, Ali (Jordana Brewster). Jake learns important lessons, including how to persevere even when facing adversity.

Is it any good?


A masculine melodrama, Annapolis suffers from a script that is both formulaic and inconsistent. Predictably, Jake runs smack into the requisite inspirational father figures (see also: Louis Gossett, Jr. in An Officer and a Gentleman).

Roger Fan, who played Daric in director Justin Lin's previous, better film, Better Luck Tomorrow, is charismatic and could have easily pulled off the lead role in this film, and Tyrese Gibson turns in a truly compelling performance.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Jake and his working class father, Bill. How does the son's aspiration first threaten Dad, then make him proud? How does the movie use traditional means to define "masculinity" -- boxing, physical tests, dominance over other men? How does the film's diverse cast suggest that different individuals might work together?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 27, 2006
DVD release date:June 27, 2006
Cast:James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Vicellous Shannon
Director:Justin Lin
Studio:Buena Vista
Run time:108 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some violence, sexual content and language.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written byswim2win♥ April 9, 2008
age 0+

i cried!

this is a very good movie, with a little of everything... it came across to me mostly about determination and friendship.
Kid, 10 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
Kid, 12 years old July 16, 2014
age 13+

Good movie

"Annapolis" is an interesting movie, appropriate for teens.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence


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