Pacific Rim

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Pacific Rim Movie Poster Image
Loud robots vs. monsters movie could have used more heart.
  • PG-13
  • 2013
  • 131 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 22 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 65 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations
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.
Violence
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.
Sex
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
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."
Consumerism
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

What 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."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult 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 c... Continue reading
Adult Written byDrizzt Do'Urden August 11, 2014

Are you kidding me?

This movie is straight up awesome! I managed to see it and a movie theatre,and enjoyed every moment of it. This is the ultimate robot vs. monster movie, and any... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bySean Broucek July 11, 2013

Awesome

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... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMrMoviesGuy February 8, 2016

Awesome movie, it's like Transformers and Godzilla.

I think this movie is really really awesome. There is sci-fi violence and some language. There is some blood and gore from the giant creatures, not humans. This... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the future, giant monsters (the Kaiju) arrive from another dimension, emerging through a fissure in the ocean floor along the PACIFIC RIM. 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.

Talk to your kids 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?
  • How did teamwork help the characters realize their goal? If you'd been part of the team, which character(s) would you have wanted to work with? Why?

Movie details

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