Pacific Rim Movie Poster Image

Pacific Rim

Loud robots vs. monsters movie could have used more heart.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 131 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
The movie promotes the idea of different cultures coming together for a common cause; in general, characters tend to face fears and go up against terrible odds for the greater good. The movie's most interesting idea is "the drift," in which two people must join minds and sync up in order to control the giant robots together; it's the ultimate metaphor for teamwork.
Positive role models
Some of the characters are cocky and obnoxious, but the main characters are strong, brave, and noble, fighting against impossible odds and employing teamwork. There's a strong, savvy female character, and two scientists are shown to be smart and heroic, even if they're also silly and ridiculous.
The many fight scenes between the giant robots and giant monsters have lots of punching, smashing, extremely loud destruction of property (including the near-complete annihilation of cities), and collateral loss of life, but they're mostly bloodless. One important (albeit minor) character dies. In one sequence, a character has trouble with "the drift," and viewers see some somewhat scary flashbacks to her as a young girl, chased and terrified by monsters. Fights between pilots being tested for compatibility, plus another fist fight. Constant peril. A character suffers nosebleeds.
The main character (a man) is shown shirtless more than once. In one scene, a female character breathlessly admires him. The male and female leads banter, fight, and bond over the course of the movie in a mostly non-sexual way. At the end, they share an almost kiss (but not quite).
Language includes a couple of uses of "s--t," plus "bitch" (or "son of a bitch"), "ass," "bastard," "goddamn," "hell," "damn," "oh my God," and "for Christ's sake."
During the prologue, there's a sequence in which the Jaegers become popular as cultural icons/consumer objects. (Toys from this movie could become just as popular.)
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pacific Rim is a giant monsters vs. giant robots movie from Oscar-nominated director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth). Fighting and violence are the film's biggest issues, though the huge, loud clashes are more about punching, pummeling, and the rampant destruction of property than bloodshed (the only blood shown is in the form of a bloody nose). One minor but key character dies. There's a romantic connection between a male and female character, but their bonding is mostly non-sexual (aside from a scene in which she breathlessly looks at his naked chest). Language is infrequent but includes a couple of uses of words like "s--t," "bitch," and "goddamn."

What's the story?

In the future, giant monsters (the Kaiju) arrive from another dimension, emerging through a fissure in the ocean floor. After much destruction, the humans figure out a way to fight them: giant robots (called Jaegers). But these Jaegers are so complex that they must be piloted by two people, mind-melded together (a phenomenon called "the drift"). One such pilot, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam), barely survived a Kaiju attack that killed his brother; he wants nothing more to do with Jaegers. But his old boss, Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba), needs him back for one, last big attack. And tough, pretty Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) may have some influence in Raleigh's decision as well. But can scientists discover the secret of the Kaiju in time?

Is it any good?

This movie is so big and loud that the characters are eventually stifled, none more so than the two romantic leads (Hunnam and Kikuchi). The great, visionary director Guillermo Del Toro has always loved monsters, but his previous movies (HellboyPan's Labyrinth) have demonstrated a taste for the intricate as well -- in particular, clockwork and mazes. In PACIFIC RIM, anything intricate or delicate has been obliterated.
Interestingly, Del Toro showers special attention on the comical scientist characters, played by Charlie Day and Burn Gorman. It's likely that he identified with their passion for monsters. Likewise, Del Toro's favorite actor, Ron Perlman, appears in a showy, hilarious role as a black market monster parts dealer. Not surprisingly, the battles and effects are spectacular, making clear use of space and creating a sense of size and weight -- unlike the clumsy, shaky Transformers movies. It could have used more heart, but Pacific Rim gets the job done.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Pacific Rim's violence. Does it have the same kind of impact as more realistic fighting/destruction? Could the movie have succeeded with less violence?
  • Director Del Toro has said he wanted to make a "movie for kids." Did he succeed? Which parts seem right for kids, and which don't?
  • What's admirable about the main characters? How about the scientist characters? Are any of them role models?
  • The movie uses an international cast, is set all over the world, and is about different cultures coming together for a common cause. How does it succeed in this message? Does it use any stereotypes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 12, 2013
DVD/Streaming release date:October 15, 2013
Cast:Charlie Day, Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba
Director:Guillermo Del Toro
Studio:Warner Bros.
Topics:Space and aliens
Run time:131 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief language

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Parent Written by8to15 July 14, 2013

Think Twice Before Taking Little Ones

The synopsis does not provide accurate information about this movie by soft-pedaling the violence and death... The most aggregious errors are that a number of characters die in this movie (9 by my count), one of which occurs in a horrible scenario that has emotional remifications for the lead character through the rest of the movie, and another somewhat graphically, both of which involve being eaten. The amount of blood exceeds that depicted in the synopsis, though not by much. The creatures are scary enough to inspire nightmares, terrifying in some instances. Parents be cautioned, it's a good and exciting movie but its not for the little ones or those with sensitive souls. I nearly took my intelligent but sensitive 8 year old who did fine with the action and violence in Ironman 3 and Man of Steel based on the synopsis, and that would have been an error because I found this movie to be more disturbing than those others two.
Kid, 11 years old July 13, 2013

Great if your kid can handle the violence and infrequent use of language

THIS MOVIE IS AMZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But I think that if your child is a bit scared of monsters because in this movie there are alot of monsters that look like dinosaurs and Godzilla.There is alot of intense violence and infrequent use of bad language. Know your child is he or she a bit scared Was he or she scared when watching transformers or real steel.if they we not then they can probably handle the content.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek July 11, 2013


Parents, this new apocalyptic thriller from the director of "Pan's Labyrinth" will probably be on your kid or teen's radar, but the violence and language makes it better for a teen audience. Violence is constant, and strong. It includes intense fighting, explosions, emotional deaths, scary nighmare imagery involving young kids, collapsing buildings, peril, and a vicious fight. Language is very mild, with infrequent use of h-ell, but includes one use of f--k. In the end, this fun and intense action-packed movie could have used a little more heart, but still brilliant and great. It's best for teens 14 & Up. Rated PG-13 For Extended Scenes Of Sci-Fi Violence Including Intense Images, Intense Action Sequences Throughout, And Some Brief Strong Language.