A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
When the star volcanologist of the U.S. Geological Survey tells you a volcano is about to blow, it's advisable to listen.
Positive Role Models
Harry demonstrates his resourcefulness and calm in stressful situations.
Violence & Scariness
Many people narrowly escape death and some are killed as a volcano erupts. A man is nearly crushed in a car by falling boulders. A woman is burned by lake waters turned to acid by volcanic activity. Her raw wounds are seen briefly. Cars crash into each in the rush to escape disaster. A bridge collapses with cars on it. A man on the bridge escapes his car but is swept into the water. Burning lava melts a car's tires. A small boat carrying evacuees starts to melt in an acid lake. Burning lava rolls through a living room. A man is hit by falling rocks and breaks his leg. A naked couple is roasted by lava bubbling up through a hot spring. Buildings collapse and burning lava flows in rivulets through town. A steeple crashes, as does a helicopter.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two adults kiss. The word "nooky" is mentioned. A naked couple take a dip in hot springs. No body parts are seen.
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"S--t" and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults drink beer and whisky in a bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dante's Peak is a 1997 disaster movie about a small town called Dante's Peak that sits at the foot of a dormant volcano of the same name. When seismic activity detected by the U.S. Geological Survey suggests the possibility that the volcano is coming to life, a team of experts come to have a look and discover, too late, that the thing's about to blow. The second half of the film dwells on the violent demise of the town and many of its citizens and structures. Buildings come down, cars crash, and bridges collapse, sending people to their deaths in churning rivers. A woman walks through an acid lake to help save her family, leading to her death. Some evacuees drive into a mine to hide from the catastrophe outside and get trapped there as debris shuts them in. Language includes "s--t" and "ass." The word "nooky" is mentioned. A naked couple take a dip in hot springs. No body parts are seen. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
If nonstop chaos is your thing, then this will be your cup of tea. It provides all the harrowing special effects -- disintegrating buildings, volcanic fireballs, collapsing bridges, fiery lava rivers -- that you could want. Dante's Peak doesn't really bear deep analysis, but if one did give it much thought one might agree with Harry's superior, who first advised against evacuating an entire town just based on Harry's gut instincts, even though Harry later turned out to be right. Science ultimately, a little too late, bore out Harry's assessment, but the delay in evacuating in the face of impending doom certainly added tension to the otherwise predictable plot. Linda Hamilton does a fine job in the thankless role of the town's plucky mayor and generic love interest for Harry. But then the whole movie is no more than a well-executed exercise in the generic.
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.