Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

'90s medical disaster movie has violence, peril, language.

Movie R 1995 131 minutes
Outbreak Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

This title has:

Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (8):

This is a Hollywood cliché of a disaster movie, trying to tackle an "important" issue but using the language of overwrought, stiff 1930s dramas. A guy in a hazmat suit comes rushing in and dramatically declares, "Doctor, I think you're going to want to see this." Another chides his superior for not doing enough to help with the outbreak, citing "the sacred oath" they took as doctors. Beyond that, even to a layman, some of the science seems a little shaky. For more than two hours we are persuaded that simply finding the "host," a monkey that all by itself, probably -- who knows -- passed the virus to humans, will magically enable a bunch of doctors in a remote little town to then immediately whip up an antidote and also cook enough gallons of that serum to cure a town full of 2,600 victims.

Some of this may sound familiar in the time of the coronavirus, as Outbreak describes a spreading pathogen causing flu-like symptoms, but this one has a 100% mortality rate. For kids worried about the current public health situation, this movie might pose an opportunity to discuss real and imagined threats.

Movie Details

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