Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
S.W.A.T. Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
By-the-numbers explosion flick -- no surprises.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 112 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 13 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking, reference to drug dealing.

What 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.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 8, and 18+-year-old Written byreeeeeeeeeeeeeeee November 13, 2018

good representation of the lapd

lapd shoot good and bad guys very good. subscribe to pewdiepie and voiceoverpete.
Adult Written byUnknown Agent November 17, 2015


Just OK. Very Strong Violence and Language.
Teen, 16 years old Written bySophitsa July 14, 2016


I loved the movie. There were some bad words in it. I liked it because the trailer looked good and it has one of my favorite actors in it (Jeremy Renner). I lik... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byU.S.MARINES21 June 15, 2014


I think it's not for kids under the age of 13, because of its harsh language, and some sexual comments. Though it is a great movie and takes you in on the... Continue reading

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

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

Movie details

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