Parents' Guide to


By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Battle epic tries hard but is too long, hard to follow.

Movie PG-13 2019 138 minutes
Midway Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 24 parent reviews

age 15+

Good Historical War Action Flick

I was pleasantly surprised by this one! Being a World War 2 history buff I’m both heavily biased towards these types of films but also highly critical and am often disappointed by many films of this genre, like that Pearl Harbor movie with Ben Affleck, which was more about bad acting, being overly dramatic and over the top action. This one felt different, in a good way. First off I like how it did it’s part to inform the audience of events that led up to this historic battle that changed the course of the war, in the US’s favor...6 months after the Pearl Harbor attack that began America’s official entry into the WW2! It didn’t just go right to the battle and skip or rush through key events that led up to it, in order to focus on the main characters, clearly the battle was the main subject here. So time spent with intimate love scenes and background stories with various characters was either nonexistent or minimal, which was very refreshing, especially for families. There was a fair amount of graphic violence, but not overly so. There were charred bodies were quick and fairly distant scenes, enemy airplanes were gunning sailors on their ships and clearly killing or hurting many but more of the aftermath was shown rather than the actual death. Sailors were also seen falling From their ships into the ocean, with a few falling into water that was burning with oil and fuel. So not for young kids. There were displays of courage and pushing forward despite improbable odds and men from both sides were shown dealing with difficulties. There were not a lot of women or diversity but this was the 1940’s. While I do like that women and minorities have been getting more and more screen time, one shouldn’t add women and minorities for diversities sake, in lieu of historical accuracy. Overall a good movie, I definitely recommended this
age 14+


It's a good family movie. There are some stuff in there where a couple in bed together. There was 2 scene that showed inappropriate pictures on the wall, as the guys were talking.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (24 ):
Kids say (31 ):

Overly long and overstuffed with both characters and battle scenes, this film (based on the same-named 1976 movie) clearly has its heart in the right place, but it's not much fun to watch. The obvious aim is to honor the soldiers, both American and Japanese, who fought in the pivotal WWII battle. But the effect is numbing, with too many lookalike faces and confusing, endless shots of planes wheeling in the sky. How come movie makers haven't figured out that battles are a drag to watch if you can't figure out who's fighting and what's happening, no matter how well they're made? If Midway had leaned into that chaos and made the battle scenes visceral -- like the bravura opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan -- it may have earned more than the reflexive wince viewers feel at watching yet another human being die a horribly violent death.

Concentrating more closely on one or just a few characters would also have given the action more emotion. We're introduced to nine main characters on the American side at once, at least four of whom look incredibly similar (Aaron Eckhart and Alexander Ludwig: separated at birth?) and all wearing the same clothes -- OK, it's a uniform, but it doesn't help. On the other hand, the portrayal of the Japanese military officials is one of this movie's bright spots: Though Midway's overall vibe is fiercely pro-American, Axis decisions are depicted sympathetically, and their stories are given dignity. Jun Kunimura is a solemn-faced and magnetic Admiral Nagumo; the resolution of his storyline is one of the few emotional moments that really connects, amidst otherwise eye-rollingly trite scenes of soldiers hugging wives and children. Wait, who's hugging who? And why? We don't know, so it's hard to care, for these scenes, and for this so-so movie.

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