A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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."
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love not-too-scary thrills
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch