Point Break (1991)

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Point Break (1991) Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
'90s hit with intense action, graphic violence, and surfing.
  • R
  • 1991
  • 122 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The power of friendship and loyalty.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are not always admirable. Johnny Utah is an FBI agent who is law-abiding but finds himself trying to do the right thing to understand a criminal's motives. Bodhi is a spiritual surfer and good friend but a thrill junkie and criminal who puts his need for adventure above all else. 


Graphic shootings and multiple deaths from gunshot wounds, including shots to the head, neck, and gut with a few intense bloodbath scenarios. A few scenes involve bloody, violent fistfights. A woman is bound and gagged and head-butted to unconsciousness. A man tries to force a man's face into a running lawnmower blade. Knives and guns are routinely wielded.


Brief nudity when a woman is shown topless and in a thong during a shoot-out. A guy moons a bank. A few scenes of kissing and shots with a couple in bed implying intercourse. Seductive dancing; a woman changes clothes under a towel.


Dozens of instances of profanity, including "f--k" throughout. "Son of a bitch," "a--hole," "hell," sexual references to "jerking off," "bulls--t" in multiple instances, "s--t," "goddamn," and the expression "young, dumb, and full of cum."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual drinking throughout; cigar and cigarette smoking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Point Break (remade in 2015) is an entertaining 1990s action movie that's too graphically violent and profane to be appropriate for kids. There are multiple violent and bloody shoot-outs, tons of profanity (especially "f--") throughout, a few scenes of implied intercourse, and a brief scene of nudity featuring a topless woman. The action is intense and well shot, and the story is an interesting one about surfing and criminal minds, with some interesting questions raised about ethics when trying to enforce the law and the power of friendship. But the intense violence, profanity, and gray area of right and wrong make it best for very late teens or adults.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGingy8480 March 1, 2021

Fine for teenagers

Lot's of violence and swearing but apart from that I would be ok to let a mature 11 year old to watch this movie.
Adult Written byPres February 15, 2020

Don't bother - Gratuitous nudity and objectification

Horrible storyline. Women used as objects.
Teen, 13 years old Written byella.__.rose August 6, 2020

awesome movie but pretty violent

This is one of my favorite movies and it made me want to learn how to surf and now I occasionally compete. However, it’s really violent and if i was a parent I... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byNF ATHayes88 February 23, 2021

Ok for ages 12+. Awesome action, awesome drama, awesome story, some intense violence

Intense scenes of violence, including bank robberies, a house raid, shootout on a runway, etc. Frequent but not extreme swearing, f---, s---, etc. Brief shot of... Continue reading

What's the story?

Agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) is on the case tracking a group of violent bank robbers when he's led to a thrill-seeking bunch of surfers led by Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), who may or may not fit the bill. The friendships he forms leave him enamored of surfing but confused about how to do his job due to the strange newfound respect he has for the criminals he's tracking and their adventure-seeking lifestyle.

Is it any good?

This is a high-action, intense, outrageous film that manages to blend a lot of action movies into one. There are gorgeous surfing shots, intense bank-robbery scenes, violent shoot-outs, turf wars, and unlikely friendships that offer buddy-picture tropes on both sides of the law. It's Keanu Reeves at his best, playing the unassuming smart guy who comes off as dumb and likable enough to infiltrate a group of surfers who teach him about the real meaning of thrills and adventure with a dose of cheesy California spirituality. 

Older teens already inured to violent films may find this retro-amusing, and there are some interesting questions about doing the right thing when the criminal you're tracking becomes not only a source of admiration and respect but also a friend. Though the acting and pace are satisfying for a big blockbuster night, it's way too over the top in terms of violence, profanity, and general lawlessness to be a good fit for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about surfing movies. What makes them so fascinating? Does this seem like an accurate portrayal of surfing culture? Why, or why not?

  • Was Agent Utah's decision at the film's end the right one? Why did he make that choice?

  • Why are such graphically violent movies so popular? What do they say about our culture?

  • Have you seen the remake of this movie? How does it compare?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action and thrills

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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