Greyhound

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Greyhound Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Intense WWII combat in the Atlantic; brief language.
  • PG-13
  • 2020
  • 92 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 8 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Subtle messages about devastation caused by war. Unassuming but courageous, resourceful individual can be a quiet hero when called upon. Spotlights without comment the fact that in wartime, it's the very young who are called upon to fight. Values promoted include courage, teamwork, integrity, compassion, loyalty.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Captain Kraus is brave, dependable, intuitive, compassionate, honorable. Despite private misgivings, he perseveres. A respected and respectful leader, he demands excellence, is appreciative when he gets it.  

Violence

Taut, suspenseful wartime action on the ocean. A convoy of Allied ships faces off against a "wolf pack" of Nazi submarines in extended battle: torpedo fire, machine gun fire, depth charges, cannons, artillery. Ships and submarines are hit, catch fire, explode. One bloody, wounded sailor is briefly on camera; very few close-ups of the injured and dead. A sad scene takes place as three crew members are buried at sea.

Sex
Language

One "damn," one "hell," one "f--k," for which the sailor apologizes.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Greyhound is a World War II drama starring Tom Hanks. It tells the story of a days-long battle between Nazi submarines and a convoy of Allied ships carrying essential arms and supplies across the Atlantic Ocean to England. The action is fierce and frequent, and suspense is high. Torpedoes, machine gun fire, and artillery hit their marks. Ships and U-boats catch fire and explode. The filmmakers have opted to register the loss of life on the faces of the mostly very young men who watch in fear and horror from a distance, rather than via those being injured and killed. One wounded sailor is shown, and three flag-draped bodies are buried at sea. Language includes one use each of "hell," "damn," and "f--k" (after which the speaker immediately apologizes). The film makes a strong statement about the tragedy of war, as well as about integrity, teamwork, compassion, and grace under fire.

Wondering if Greyhound is OK for your kids?

Parents: Set preferences and get age-appropriate recommendations with Common Sense Media Plus. Join now

Continue reading Show less

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written bySyboney August 5, 2020

Good movie and fine for kids

This is a war movie, so soldiers die and ships are destroyed. But nothing grotesque or bloody. It shows how how hard this part of our history was, and why we sh... Continue reading
Parent of a 15-year-old Written byRhartsock August 3, 2020

Exciting glimpse at history

My 16 year old loved it and learned some great stuff about naval warfare in WW2. Tom Hanks is great as to be expected.
Kid, 12 years old July 24, 2020
This inspirational story showing the courage that men had to put into war has very strong messages of courage,teamwork,perseverance,trust and empathy. It has st... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bylimes and goldfish August 6, 2020

Insightful with excellent graphics

A significant amount of war violence is obviously depicted, although besides a few infrequent swears there are no other areas of concern.

Another excellent per... Continue reading

What's the story?

GREYHOUND (the name of the film's ship) is told from the viewpoint of Captain Krause (Tom Hanks, who also wrote the screen adaptation). In his first assignment in charge, Krause is the captain of this U.S. Navy Destroyer, in service as escort to a large convoy of Allied ships carrying supplies and armaments across the Atlantic in early 1942. Based upon C.S. Forster's novel The Good Shepherd, the movie is a fictionalized account of one event in the Battle of the Atlantic, a conflict that began in 1940 and continued through 1943, the longest ongoing battle of WWII. In an area of the Atlantic called "The Black Pit," the convoy is out of range of friendly air cover and must face off with a Nazi "wolf pack," a fleet of deadly Nazi submarines that patrol the area. In a matter of only a few days, the clashes are frequent and deadly. Aware of the great responsibility he carries, the captain lets his spiritual faith guide him and calls upon an enormous reserve of knowledge and skill to lead his crew on this dangerous mission. 

Is it any good?

Suspense accelerates, the stakes get higher, and the explosions gets closer in this visually artful, wonderfully performed look into the hearts and souls of WWII's fighting Navy service members. Greyhound can be added to the expanding catalog of Tom Hanks' "everyman" movies in which someone who at first seems ordinary and unassuming is called upon to be indomitable and rises to the challenge. As in Captain Phillips, Sully, Charlie Wilson's War, Bridge of Spies, and more, Hanks brings quiet truth and emotion to his characters. Director Aaron Schneider and his team deliver a timeless story about the strain and poignance of war. There's no pause for backstories; characters develop in the moment. There's no place for artificial conflict among team members; everyone works together. Other than the cryptic scenes in which Krause's significant other is introduced and quickly dispensed with and the arch radio transmissions from a Nazi tormenter, the movie rings true. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence shown in Greyhound. How much actual human death is shown during the battle sequences? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to focus on those witnessing the tragic events rather than those being killed and wounded? Was their concept effective? Why or why not? Did you feel the horrors of war as it unfolded?

  • Captain Krause was shown as a religious man. How did that aspect of his life help define his character? What valuable character strengths does the captain rely upon to lead his crew? Pick one of those traits and show why it was important. 

  • Were you surprised by the ages of most of the Navy service members on the Greyhound? Did it feel realistic? Many other war movies show the combatants as fully grown adults. How does the portrayal of the very young make the misery of war even more poignant?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate