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Parents' Guide to

The Meg

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Lots of shark-movie clichés and violence, not many thrills.

Movie PG-13 2018 113 minutes
The Meg Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 48 parent reviews

age 14+

Common Sense needs to do better

The official rating fails to mention early-in-the-movie banter about sex and "penetration". Why does this happen so often with Common Sense's official reviews? Fine movie, but this scene really should be mentioned in a rating that contains a specific section for "sex and nudity". Startling -- and disappointing -- to read the review, then encounter this unmentioned scene a few minutes into the movie. Why would the review mention Jason Statham occasionally taking his shirt off -- but not mention a conspicuous episode of wordplay about sex and "penetration"?
age 8+

Jurassic Park in the sea!!!

Watched with my 9 year old son - for context we have recently watched Jurassic Park films 1-6. My son found the beginning slightly eerie and scary, the music and the fact that it is dark and shadowy and underwater and you don't actually see the Meg. However he quickly relaxed into the pace of the film and we both loved it! There is definitely more blood than Jurassic Park but it's a similar pace to the films 4-6. It's pretty funny - doesn't take its self too seriously. The dog does not die. The romance was quite light and bearable for a 9 year old.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (48 ):
Kids say (126 ):

Despite the enticing promise of Statham vs. a giant shark, this action movie lamely steals just about every shark-movie conceit ever invented, while draining the suspense, terror, and fun out of them. The Meg starts well enough with its clever scientific discovery, which could have been explored a little further, but director Jon Turteltaub proceeds to barrel right past it with instant and relentless attacks that feel more like bludgeons than thrills. Shark fans will already know all the moves in this one -- quite a few of them taken straight from Jaws -- and the movie fails to conjure up anything even remotely like a surprise or a scare.

The action sequences are, if not exactly terrible, certainly clunky, with plenty of largely meaningless, largely bloodless slaughter that doesn't have much impact. And of course, the movie drags on way too long. Via a prologue, a half-hearted attempt is made to add some depth to Statham's character, specifically a rescue mission in which his decision resulted in two deaths (leading to lots of guilt for him afterward), but this rarely seems to give him any pause during the movie's present-day action. And while The Meg assembles a multicultural cast, with a couple of exceptions, not many of them are terribly nuanced (some even border on stereotypical) or have much to do. Sadly, not even the shark is very interesting.

Movie Details

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