Into the Storm



Disaster pic has intense storm sequences but so-so plot.
  • Review Date: August 8, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 89 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The overwhelming message is that storms can turn from severe to lethal, and people should always evacuate when asked to seek shelter. But if your family or people you love are missing, you must also do everything in your power to get them to safety. Also, as the movie makes clear, pretending to be a storm chaser when you have no credentials is a bad decision.

Positive role models

Gary is always looking out for others; whether it's his students or his sons, he won't stop until he's protected those he cares about and loves. Some characters make selfish and dangerous decisions (like Reevis and Donk, who are just trying to shoot YouTube videos), while others are genuinely committed to helping track storms but not at all costs, like Allison. Pete redeems his early greedy behavior by sacrificing his safety to save others, and Donnie does his best to keep Kaitlyn calm during terrifying circumstances. Trey and Donnie are loving brothers to each other. 


The tornado scenes can be really intense, with large-scale destruction to the town of Silverton and many people killed, including a couple of major characters. People are sucked into the vortices despite desperate attempts to stay attached to something on the ground. One particularly horrific scene shows a man being sucked into a fiery vortex screaming and pleading. Another man is shown in a vehicle as it's sucked up into the air and then comes slamming down, instantly killing him. Other characters nearly drown, have to be revived, and are injured during the storms.


Not much actual romance beyond the opening scene, when a teen couple is shown making out in the backseat of a car. Otherwise, limited to holding hands, mid-peril embraces, and a chaste kiss. But there are verbal references to desire and sex, like a teenager saying that in 25 years he hopes to have a "smokin' hot" wife he can "bang," or a sophomore taking photos of a "hot" teacher with a great "rack" and lots of cleavage, or a high schooler asking his brother to "get some skin on camera" when he's with a pretty girl.


Most scenes include strong language, particularly the exclamation "s--t" and its derivatives ("bats--t," "bulls--t," "s--tless," "oh s--t," "holy s--t," "chickens--t," and more), as well as occasional use of other words, like "d--k," "jackass," "ass," and "goddamn."


Lots of recognizable brands are featured fairly prominently, especially electronics and cars: Nikon, Apple (iPhone, MacBook, desktop), Dell, Skype, GMC, Coors beer, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Two supporting adult characters and their friends drink a lot of beer in the movie and are often drunk or on their way to drunk. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Into the Storm is an extremely intense natural disaster film about how a group of storm chasers and a high-school assistant principal and his two teenage sons handle a deadly series of tornadoes that hits an Oklahoma town. The storm sequences are violent and deadly; each one leaves more devastation to buildings and people. Characters die, sometimes horrifically, during the storms, especially those who are swept up into a tornado vortex. The body count includes a few prominent characters, and everyone is in life-threatening peril. Language, which includes "s--t" and its many derivatives, is used in nearly every scene once the storms start hitting the town. There are also some references to sex and banging and hot women, but only a couple of actual kisses, one at the beginning and one at the end. Disaster movies can frighten some younger viewers even more than monsters or aliens or paranormal horror, so make sure you know whether your tween or teen can handle realistic depictions of weather catastrophes.

What's the story?

INTO THE STORM is a disaster film about filming disasters. Documentarian Pete (Matt Walsh) leads a five-person storm chasing unit: He drives a reinforced "Titus" tank that should withstand 170 mile-per-hour wind gusts, while meteorologist Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies) rides in a van with all of her satellite equipment. Desperate to get footage from right inside a storm, Pete pushes Allison to predict where the next tornado will hit, and she suggests heading to Silverton, Oklahoma. There, high-school junior Donnie (Max Deacon) is filming time capsule footage with his younger brother, Trey (Nathan Kress), as an end-of-the-year project for his emotionally distant dad, Gary (Richard Armitage), the school's assistant principal. When Donnie's long-time crush, Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey), needs help shooting a video internship application, he sneaks off with her to an old mill at exactly the same time as the first tornado heads to the school. After the first storm, Allison and Pete are astounded to see multiple additional tornadoes headed toward town, while Gary and Trey attempt to find and rescue Donnie and Kaitlyn, who are trapped underneath debris. As the storms keep coming, the storm chasers have to decide between profitable footage and possibly their lives.

Is it any good?


Audiences looking for the most jump-worthy storm sequences since Twister are in for some killer, genuinely gasp-worthy moments with Into the Storm. Because there are multiple tornadoes, there are plenty of harrowing, catastrophic scenes of the twisters touching down, plowing through neighborhoods, and sucking up everything from cars and planes to people (of course). Distracting from all the devastation is comic relief provided by two drunk yokels who think that if they follow the actual storm chasers around recording the storms with their phones, they'll score instant YouTube celebrity. It's not so funny when characters start getting killed, but these disaster movies apparently need all the laughs they can get -- like a throwaway one-liner about the aftermath looking like a zombie apocalypse, a wink-wink joke directed at Callies' devoted Walking Dead fans.

There's not much of a plot here beyond "storm chasers head to a town suffering from a day of awful back-to-back storm systems," but at least the performances are all up to the task. Armitage, best known as the severe dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit trilogy, is possibly the fittest high-school assistant principal ever and a believably righteous dad who will stop at nothing to save his sons; Callies is the level-headed foil to Walsh's greedy filmmaker, who seems to care more about tornado footage than possible casualties, and the young actors do their best to seize the moment, however doomed it might be for everyone else. Some laughable plot details might be hard for adults to overlook, but once the storms hit, you'll be too busy oohing and ahhing (or closing your eyes) to care.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the type of violence in a natural disaster movie versus that in war or sci-fi/superhero action movies. Are deaths and devastation scarier when they're caused by weather phenomena than by humans, aliens, or superheroes? 

  • There's a lot of language in Into the Storm, but people are in life or death situations; does that make the language more believable or excusable, or is it unnecessary?

  • What makes for a good disaster film? How does this movie compare to similar movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 8, 2014
DVD release date:November 18, 2014
Cast:Richard Armitage, Jeremy Sumpter, Nathan Kress
Director:Steven Quale
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Science and nature
Run time:89 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense destruction and peril, and language including some sexual references

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  • 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, 13 years old Written byilikefruit November 21, 2014

Good film, depends on age

This film had a number of loud noises which kind of made the film a bit more scary. My advice: Under 10 - don't watch it. 10-12 - should be supervised by an adult. 13 plus - sutible.
Adult Written byjoshua martinez November 28, 2014

13 and up.

this action/adventure movie into the storm is an average movie about storms and destruction good for your young teens to watch but parents you need to know that into the storm has intense but some what violence's even though there's no blood at all but the body count is high and the destruction of property is intense there's some mild language used and some drinking used such as beer and the role model is that Gary is always looking out for others; whether it's his students or his sons, he won't stop until he's protected those he cares about and loves. Some characters make selfish and dangerous decisions (like Reevis and Donk, who are just trying to shoot YouTube videos), while others are genuinely committed to helping track storms but not at all costs, like Allison. Pete redeems his early greedy behavior by sacrificing his safety to save others, and Donnie does his best to keep Kaitlyn calm during terrifying circumstances. Trey and Donnie are loving brothers to each other.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byrebo344 November 16, 2014
The only thing good about Into The Storm is the special effects and destruction. The only good character in the movie is Gary(Richard Armitage).
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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