Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Maiden Movie Poster Image
Poignant, thrilling tale of groundbreaking female sailors.
  • PG
  • 2019
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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

Positive Messages

Strong messages about teamwork, friendship, confidence. Tracy Edwards and her all-female crew have to believe they can  make it around the world, despite everyone around them betting they'll fail. They have to persevere under difficult, dangerous circumstances, have to communicate with one another to stay in the race. They demonstrate a good sense of humor, know how to encourage one another and keep spirits up, particularly Tracy, who, as leader, takes every loss, misstep personally.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tracy and crew of the Maiden are all fascinating, brave women who believe in teamwork, perseverance. They prove they can work together, answer to their skipper, believe in themselves. Although the all-female crew represents various countries, there are no women of color included (and no people of color featured in the race or documentary at all).


Discussion of storms and difficult legs of the race that can be dangerous, especially to less experienced sailors. The women recall how, on one of the other boats, two sailors were swept off and recovered, but only one was resuscitated -- the other died.


A sports journalist calls the Maiden a "tin full of tarts." One sailor says the media believes they must be "easy." The women decide to play into stereotypes by finishing one leg of the race in their bathing suits.


Strong language includes "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "bloody," etc. Sexist language such as "little ladies," "tin full of tarts," "side show," "easy," etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The women discuss drinking (sometimes to excess); in a couple of scenes, people are shown smoking cigarettes. Champagne is opened when a boat wins a leg.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Maiden is a documentary about the pioneering all-female crew of sailors, led by Tracy Edwards, who raced the titular boat in the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989-1990. Director Alex Holmes (Stop at Nothing: The Lance Armstrong Story) interviews Edwards and her crew -- as well as male competitors, sports journalists, and Edwards' family and friends -- to chronicle the groundbreaking story. Expect occasional strong language ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) and sexist comments about the Maiden's crew, as well as some discussion of storms and dangers at sea (the women recall a sailor from another boat perishing). Drinking is talked about, and people are shown smoking. Ultimately the film has strong messages about teamwork, communication, perseverance, and courage.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKatenvironment March 16, 2020

Great movie about perseverance

It's a wonderful documentary about the first transatlantic sailing race with a team of only women. There is some cursing and the main character deals with... Continue reading
Adult Written byjimkaplanacts July 20, 2019


I don’t understand why it is PG, but this is an amazing movie otherwise! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! I think kids 9+ would enjoy it, but it mig... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bykatey kat May 11, 2020

very very good

I don't think anyone under 13 would really be interested in it... but if you like documentaries it's definitely one to check out... it's amazing... Continue reading

What's the story?

MAIDEN chronicles how 24-year-old Brit Tracy Edwards went from being a cook on charter and racing boats to becoming the skipper of the first all-female crew to enter the prestigious Whitbread Round the World Race in 1989 -- which, at 33,000 nautical miles, is the longest boat race on earth. Through interviews with the now 50-something Tracy, as well as the rest of her crew (a mix of experienced sailors, adventurers, and friends), male competitors, sports journalists, and others, director Alex Holmes explores the sexism and incredulity the women faced. Although no one even expected the Maiden (the boat that the crew refurbished to compete) to finish the first leg of the "ultimate race for a yachtsman," the women went on to prove that they weren't just an attractive side show: They were real competitors who deserved respect.

Is it any good?

A surprisingly moving and thrilling adventure, this little-known story makes for an epic documentary. Audiences don't need to know anything about sailing or yacht races to appreciate and feel utterly absorbed in Holmes' chronicle of not only Edwards and her crew's mission to get the sponsorships necessary to compete in the Whitbread, but also the pulse-quickening details of the race itself. Holmes and editor Katie Bryer capture the tension of the race, interspersing vintage footage with the first-hand accounts.

Although this isn't a game-changing documentary, the women certainly broke noteworthy ground. It's a shame that it's taken decades for these pioneers to get the attention they deserve. Of course there were news pieces about the crew and race in 1989 and 1990, but they mostly covered the "novelty" of the crew rather than the general awe-inspiring nature of Tracy, Jeni, Mikaela, Sally, Dawn, Angela, Claire, Nancy, and the rest of the crew's accomplishment. The story of the female sailors who restored the Maiden (a much smaller-than-average boat) to race in the great ocean race -- and kept going despite a lack of respect, support, or confidence -- sends an outstanding message of perseverance and believing in your dreams.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the issue of sexism in sports. How have things changed since the late 1980s? Are women athletes and competitors still treated differently? Are there gender-based expectations?

  • Discuss whether any of the women in Maiden are role models, and why. How does the crew display perseverance, teamwork, communication, and courage? Why are those important character strengths?

  • What message does the movie send young athletes who, despite their gender, race, or background, want to compete in a particular sport?

  • Why do you think young Tracy "hates the word 'feminism'"? How does she change her mind later in life? Do you think the idea of feminism can be misunderstood?

Movie details

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