A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Persistence, perseverance, and encouragement are valued/effective; characters work together.
Positive Role Models
Haley is an excellent athlete in her daily life and shows extraordinary strength and bravery in a challenging situation. She risks her life several times to try to save her father (and their dog).
Violence & Scariness
Intense blood and gore. Many alligator attacks. Characters are chomped and torn to bits, with blood swirling in the water. Bloody, gory cuts and wounds. Arm chewed off. Dead, chewed-up bodies floating in the water. A gun is fired at an alligator. Moments of terror. Gator thrashes a woman against walls. Character sets his own broken leg. Character nearly drowns. Dead animal in trap.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mention of two characters being "caught together" when they were teens.
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A few uses of "f--k," plus several uses of "s--t." Also "son of a bitch," "goddamn," and "oh my God."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Open bottle of whiskey on a kitchen table.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Crawl is a "creature feature" horror/thriller about a woman (Kaya Scodelario) who's trying to rescue her father (Barry Pepper) from deadly alligators in a slowly flooding house. Expect lots of blood and gore: Characters are chewed to bits, limbs are ripped off, there are gory cuts and wounds, and you'll see dead, chewed-up bodies floating in the water. A gun is fired at an alligator, a woman is thrashed against the walls, and a character painfully sets his own broken leg. Language includes a few uses of "f--k" and "s--t," plus "son of a bitch" and "goddamn." Sex and alcohol aren't really issues. While this movie may not have much to say about the world, it's simple, compact, ingenious, and flat-out terrifying. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Insidiously simple, compact, and clever, this killer alligator movie, complete with slowly rising floodwaters, is relentless and absolutely terrifying. It's a career best for director Alexandre Aja. Crawl may have little to say about the world -- except perhaps a hint of the dangers of climate change -- but what it does do, it does exceptionally well. Screenwriter brothers Michael and Shawn Rasmussen spend just a little time establishing Haley's swimming skills, her tattered relationship with her father, and the scope of the storm before letting go with wallop after wallop. Their basic idea of the claustrophobic crawlspace married with the attacking monsters is the stuff of classic thrillers, and the storytelling pace is positively brilliant. Gimmicks like a slowly submerging radio and a hand-cranked flashlight add immeasurably to the scenario.
Aja, whose fun remake of Piranha was a high point in a pretty uneven career so far, ought to stick to movies about water-based predators. His work here is so fluid that it's almost elegant. He even manages to avoid dumb jump scares -- the first alligator appearance on-screen is a masterful moment -- and uses the compact space with lucid clarity. He expertly ramps up the tightly coiled tension, revealing one surprise and shock and solution after another; even the rest breaks aren't entirely restful. Those alligators could be lurking anywhere, just below the surface of the rising water. In the end, Crawl feels like a white-knuckle roller coaster ride, and while viewers may leave smiling, they may also feel totally wiped out.
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.