Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Sharknado Movie Poster Image
Blood, gore in hilarious B-movie make this best for teens.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 57 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Perhaps an argument could be made that these characters show through talk and discussion the importance of being prepared for every kind of emergency, but the utter ridiculousness of the story line makes this argument both difficult and absurd.

Positive Role Models

Although the lead character Fin displays incredible acts of valor and preaches the importance of being prepared for every kind of emergency, the total and complete unreality of the premise overshadows the bravery on display.


Unrealistic and ludicrous violence. Frequent bloody shark attacks. Characters are shown getting limbs bitten off by sharks. Characters are shown being eaten alive by sharks. A character is crushed to death by a Ferris wheel that rolls off its foundation during a hurricane. Another character is killed by a giant piece of debris.


A drunk man at a bar makes frequent sexual advances toward the cocktail server.


"Hell." After sharks attack the first floor of a house, kill one of the characters, and leave the house a mess of bloody flooded water, a character says that it looks "like it's that time of the month down there."


Banners advertising J.C. Penney are prominently displayed on a half-pipe being ridden by skateboarders.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The main character, Fin, owns a bar, where characters are shown drinking and behaving in an intoxicated manner.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sharknado is a 2013 made-for-TV movie that is so bad, it's brilliant. The gore and the blood -- sharks eating people whole or biting off their limbs -- make this one to avoid for younger kids, but for older teens and parents looking for something campy and mindless, you could do much worse. The dialogue, the "special effects," and the very premise of the story itself are -- intentional or not -- so ludicrous, it needs to be seen to be believed. Aside from this, there is some drinking throughout -- the main character is the owner of a beachside bar -- and a tasteless and gratuitous joke made by one of the characters about how the first floor of a house flooded with bloody water looks like "that time of the month."

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byJswurd August 7, 2017

Hilarious spoof is ridiculous, and very unrealistically bloody.

This spoof is hilarious, and my daughter laughed her face off. There's lots of blood but it's obviously fake. Humans die everywhere, and sharks are m... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 and 9-year-old Written byatrolard April 20, 2021
This movie is very gory. I saw it when I was nine with my friend we both loved it but that is because we like gory movies so if you do not like gory movies then... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old January 18, 2014

Cheesey but funny

It made me laugh because it was so cheesy and fake. Although this, there are some bloody scenes and stuff. Weak tummy people might have a problem with all of th... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byKingMathis December 31, 2018


Don't read, just grab your kids and turn on the TV

What's the story?

Hurricane David is making its way up from Mexico toward Southern California, and, besides high winds and flooding, it's also bringing with it hundreds of ravenous sharks attacking every human being they come across. This is especially bad news for Fin (Ian Ziering), a surfer who owns a beachside bar in Santa Monica. As the hurricane comes in, Fin witnesses firsthand the brutal shark attacks, escapes from the bar with his employees and one of the regulars (John Heard), and decides he must rescue his estranged ex-wife (Tara Reid) and his kids before seeking higher ground. But the storm is relentless, and the sharks keep finding ways to swim through the floodwaters throughout the Los Angeles area. Hurricane David culminates in a giant tornado filled with these sharks, and it's up to Fin, with the help of his helicopter-flying son, his friends, family, and coworkers, to try to stop the "sharknado" from claiming any more lives.

Is it any good?

Citizen Kane it ain't, but SHARKNADO, with the right attitude, is pure entertainment. True, the special effects, the dialogue, and the very premise of the story are completely stupid and ludicrous, but that's all part of the fun. You don't watch Sharknado to bask in a cinematic masterwork; you watch it because it's hilariously mindless, a deliberately campy romp of a cheesy horror film. To expect more from something like this is downright absurd.

Does it even make sense within the already insane parameters it has set for itself? No. It's a fun B-movie -- pure and simple -- one that basks in the conventions of the form. Yes, it's bad, but that certainly doesn't make it unwatchable. The blood and the gore, however, should reserve this one for teens and older folks, but even those who fear sharks should find this too unbelievable to be anything but laughable.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about B-movies. What is so appealing about these types of films?


  • Do you think this movie was deliberately or unintentionally a B-movie, or was it a bit of both?

  • Where did the movie seem somewhat satirical? Was it clever in any way? What do you think you're supposed to take away from the movie, if anything?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love not-too-scary thrills

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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