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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Throughout history, progress has often been achieved by those willing to pursue their vision despite the negative reactions of those around them. This movie, based on the true story and classic book, is a testament to this idea.
Positive Role Models
In the face of skepticism and outright derision, Thor Heyerdahl stuck to his groundbreaking theory, putting it into practice under extremely dangerous conditions, proving the naysayers wrong.
Violence & Scariness
Peril and man-vs-nature violence. A young Thor Heyerdahl nearly drowns in icy waters while attempting to retrieve a saw on the thin ice of a freezing lake. Later during the voyage, a shark, after killing the raft's parakeet, is stabbed repeatedly and sliced open -- gushing and spurting blood and exposed entrails. Near-drownings, narrow avoidance of shark attacks.
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"Ass" used once.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking. Wine and liquor drinking, characters act drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kon-Tiki is a 2012 adaptation of the classic nonfiction adventure story by legendary explorer Thor Heyerdal. The movie doesn't shy away from the extreme peril Heyerdal and his crew faced when they crossed 5000 miles of the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia to prove that pre-Columbian South Americans could have conceivably been the first settlers of Polynesia. There are narrowly-avoided shark attacks, near-drownings, and a scene in which a shark is taken onto the raft, stabbed repeatedly and sliced open, resulting in lots of blood. The ship's parrot is killed by a shark. A young Heyerdal nearly drowns in a freezing lake after trying to impress his peers by hopping onto a thin block of ice to retrieve a saw. The inevitable tensions that arose amongst the Kon-Tiki crew are explored, as well as the derision Heyerdal faced from the scientific community. There's also regular cigarette smoking, and some alcohol drinking where the crew act drunk. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While overall a faithful recreation of the original nonfiction book, this movie manages to get some distance and dig deeper than the source material. While the classic book Kon-Tiki -- translated into dozens of languages with tens of millions of copies sold -- tends to focus on the immediate action, with some references to the difficulties faced with the endeavor beyond the 5000 mile journey from Peru to Polynesia, this adaptation reveals broader conflicts beyond the already daunting man-versus-nature story, including mockery from scientists, derision from fellow explorers, a worried family on the other side of the globe, and a crew of opposite characters driven to the brink by the extreme circumstances.
The result is a gripping adventure, brought to life through breathtaking camerawork and the sense in every aspect of the film's production that this was a labor of love and a tribute of sorts to both the story and to the men and women who made it happen.
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.