S.W.A.T. Movie Poster Image




By-the-numbers explosion flick -- no surprises.
Popular with kids
  • Review Date: December 22, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 112 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive role models

Very diverse characters exhibit teamwork and camaraderie.


Extensive action violence and peril, characters killed, suicide. Peril.


Some locker-room style sexual references.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking, reference to drug dealing.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has extensive action peril and violence (not much blood, not too graphic). Characters are hurt and killed. There are some bad words. There are sexual references and situations, but nothing explicit. A character barfs onscreen. Suicide is portrayed as an honorable choice following disgrace. There is a politically incorrect Polish joke.

What's the story?

S.W.A.T. follows Jim Street (Colin Farrell) and Brian Gamble (Jeremy Renner), Special Weapons and Tactics officers, who get into trouble in a hostage situation when Gamble shoots without authorization. They are thrown off of the squad, and Gamble quits in disgust. Street stays on, willing to serve time in the gun cage and earn his way back onto S.W.A.T. Gamble feels betrayed. Hondo Harrison (Samuel L. Jackson), a former S.W.A.T. commander, is called back into action and assembles a new team, including Street, Deke (LL Cool J), and Sanchez (Michelle Rodriguez). They pass their big test just in time for the biggest S.W.A.T. challenge ever. An international dealer in drugs, weapons, and other items offers a reward of $100 million to anyone who can break him out of jail. This attracts every kind of thug and the ones with no idea about what they are doing are just as big a threat as the ones who do.

Is it any good?


This generic summer explosion movie is as predictable as the rhymes in a limerick, but as predictably entertaining as well. There are no surprises in the story, but the action sequences deliver the goods that audiences for this film are there to receive. It is a shame to assemble a high-powered cast of some of the most talented and charismatic people in Hollywood and then not give them any opportunities to let them show us what they can do.

There is nothing distinctive about the characters, despite brief attempts to sketch in some details by showing one with a child, another on a date, and some tender partings when the officers' beepers go off. All these moments do is make stupifyingly obvious the supposed surprise plot twist half an hour before it occurs. Even more obvious is a "You're Chris Sanchez?" surprise that the officer played by Rodriguez is a woman; this from someone who is supposed to have selected her by reading through her file.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the other alternatives the character who commits suicide might have chosen.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 8, 2003
DVD release date:December 30, 2003
Cast:Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, Samuel L. Jackson
Director:Clark Johnson
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:112 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, language and sexual references

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written bykellie_v April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byZara360 December 8, 2010

M for Mature Kids

I LOVE this movie!!! I watch a lot of crime show. and there is more gore in them then this. Though ther is some drinking, a woman is put back on her shirt Becase a doc. was making sure she had no broken bones. there is some language too. there is some fight with guns, a civilian gets shot in a cross fire. but over all it's a good movie. with team work, betrayals. My brother (10) enjoys watching it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byfritzsky April 9, 2008


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