Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Solo Movie Poster Image
Survivor tale based on true story has swearing, violence.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 91 minutes

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Kids say

age 12+
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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Sometimes people won't correct their mistakes until they face death. You can choose freedom or love, not both.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alvaro is selfish, arrogant, angry, and loveless. He has chosen what he believes to be freedom, but is really isolation because he thinks love and commitment hold people back. The movie suggests that when he thinks he's going to die, he begins to see that he hurt people needlessly.


A man falls off a cliff into a rocky shore far below. He breaks his hip, tears his hand, and hits his head in the process. Some blood is seen. A man picks a fight with his ex-girlfriend's new man. A hungry seagull bites a man's arm.  


A man and woman kiss. A woman tells a man she just wants sex, no relationship.


"F--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "t-ts."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink a lot of alcohol.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Solo is a Spanish film with English subtitles based on the true story of a lone surfer who fell down a steep dune on an isolated Canary Island beach and dropped into the ocean, breaking his hip and tearing his hand open. Some blood is seen from the accident, but the film focuses on his efforts to survive as he fights off thirst, pain, and hungry seagulls. Language includes "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," and "t-ts." Adults drink a lot of alcohol. A man picks a fight with his ex-girlfriend's new man.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byHonestTeen05 March 26, 2019

What's the story?

SOLO is based on the true story of Alvaro Vizcaino (Alain Hernandez), a Spanish surfer who dropped from a cliff into rocky waters and broke his hip, among other injuries, in 2014. The night before the accident, he learns that his closest friend and surfing buddy has fallen in love and is moving to Canada. Alvaro's response is selfish and childish. He's had too much to drink, and when he sees his ex-girlfriend with another man, he starts a fight. In the morning, he wakes up hungover in his Jeep on a dune overlooking the ocean, where his fateful accident occurs. After the fall, isolated on a remote beach, he's in pain, dehydrated, and cold. He slips in and out of hallucination, reliving regrettable moments in his life. He conveys his understanding that there are many people he's hurt and many to whom he owes apologies, including his friend, his parents, a sister, and an ex-lover.  

Is it any good?

Solo, which means "alone" in Spanish, brims over with compelling photography, but the tribulations of a selfish man realizing his shortcomings as he faces death may not interest most teens. Like Robert Redford in All is Lost, Hernandez portrays someone stripped down to human fundamentals and survival instincts, giving a remarkable performance as a man battling pain, impending death, and inner demons all at once. This is definitely not for everyone, and it leaves open the big question -- does he live a better, more generous life after the accident?

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lessons Alvaro learned as he reviewed his mistakes and flaws while trying to survive. Does Solo suggest that he's going to try to live his life differently now?

  • Why do you think Alvaro berates himself for being arrogant and stingy with his love? Do you think stress and emergencies can sometimes make a person better or stronger? How?

  • Do you agree that you can have either freedom or love but not both? Why?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

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