A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Death doesn't make much of an impact here; characters briefly seem upset but move on quickly. A scientist bemoans the fact that humans seem bent on destroying anything we discover, but this thought is quickly swept aside and never explored in any depth. Several somewhat cartoonish depictions of nonwhite characters/cultures.
Positive Role Models
Jonas is capable of jumping fearlessly into the fray without questioning his own safety, and he sometimes makes difficult decisions. He's flawed and far from perfect, but he's definitely a guy you'd want to have around in a crisis. A female character is said to be smart and strong but also needs frequent rescuing and is required to fall in love with a man to be complete. A secondary Asian character heroically sacrifices himself to save others. Cartoonish cultural depictions that verge on stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Many characters die. Bloody wounds. Blood swirls in ocean water. A shark sliced open and stabbed in the eyeball. A woman is accidentally stabbed in the stomach with a screwdriver. Explosions. Sudden shark attacks. Tons of destruction and carnage. Dead sharks in the water, their fins removed by poachers. Dead whale with chunks torn out of its carcass. Young girl is briefly in peril. Images of "chum" (fish guts used for luring sharks). Brief rifle shooting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Jonas appears shirtless; a woman is flustered by this. Several scenes of flirting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Single uses of "s--t," "son of a bitch," "hell," "damn," and "bastard," plus "Jesus" (as an exclamation). A little girl uses the term "a--hole."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Two cans of Coca-Cola shown in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Early on, Jonas is said to "drink too much" and is seen holding or opening bottles of beer, but this seems to be instantly forgotten.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Meg is an action movie about a giant prehistoric shark and the team of heroes (led by Jason Statham) trying to stop it. Violence is definitely the biggest issue here: Many characters die, and there's some blood (wounds, blood swirling in the water). And of course, there are shark attacks (often sudden/startling) -- plus lots of explosions and tons of destruction and carnage. Many dead, mangled sharks and other sea creatures are shown, a woman is accidentally stabbed with a screwdriver, and a young girl is briefly in peril. Language is infrequent but includes "s--t," "son of a bitch," "bastard," and others. Statham's character, Jonas, appears shirtless, and there's a bit of flirting. He's also accused of drinking too much and is shown holding or opening bottles of beer early in the movie. Some nonwhite characters are portrayed somewhat cartoonishly. Shark fans are likely to be interested, but be warned: It's clumsy and slow and lacks genuine scares. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.