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The Pacific



Intense drama for older teens about less-known side of WWII.
Parents recommend
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 400 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The message of this show is clear: War is hell. The realistic battle scenes show the enormous human cost of battle, and show how even the survivors are rarely left unscathed.

Positive role models

The young men who went off to war demonstrate the entire range of reactions to battle, from abject cowardice to terror to noble self-sacrifice, though the main characters tend toward the latter. The soldiers might tease each other mercilessly, but when the bullets start flying they all have each other’s backs. Their fear during combat is entirely understandable, and their quiet bravery is often inspiring.


This wartime drama features numerous grisly combat sequences using machines guns, handguns, knives, and bombs. There are close-ups of mangled corpses and wide shots of beaches strewn with corpses and body parts. The battle scenes are very realistic, and the mayhem and carnage are all shown here.


Some episodes -- though not all -- include sex scenes, including female nudity. Soldiers often talk about missing female company.


A good bit of swearing, including unbleeped uses of “f--k,” “s--t” “piss,” “screw,” and “bastard.”


A few mentions of specific products, including Ford cars and Johnny Walker whiskey.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Many characters smoke cigarettes, as was common in the era, and the soldiers often drink.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this powerful World War II drama, which follows a group of soldiers through the island-hopping campaign in the Pacific theater, includes realistic battle scenes that are quite intense, and show the confusion and terror of combat, as well as the terrible human cost. There are plenty of grisly images during and after skirmishes, along with a good bit of swearing and some smoking and drinking. The series is intense, and might be a bit too much for young teens, but it offers an unsparing look at war for older teens and adults.

What's the story?

When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, the youth of America rushed to enlist. Defending their country seemed like a noble undertaking and their spirits were high, at least until they reached the battlefields of THE PACIFIC. Most G.I.s understood the basics of the European campaign -- they knew the places where they were fighting and they felt like they understood the enemy, but the war in Asia was totally different. This stunning series follows three Marines, Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), Eugene Sledge (Joe Mazzello) and John Basilone (Jon Seda) through the war, as they battle an unfamiliar enemy on tiny islands that nobody had ever heard of. As they work their way closer to Japan, the boys who enlisted become combat-hardened men, and learn that the horrors of war exact a heavy toll even on those who survive unscathed.

Is it any good?


This gritty film is not always pretty to watch, but it’s an amazing look at an important chapter of history. The Pacific is the companion series to HBO’s Band of Brothers, which followed a World War II Army unit across Europe. This series follows the same format and comes from the same team, executive producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. Based on books by actual veterans of the Pacific campaign, the series offers a realistic, and generally historically accurate, look at the other side of the war: the campaign that took place far, far away.

The series brings the viewer tight into the jungles of Guadalcanal and the beaches of Peleliu, where terrified soldiers faced off against the determined Japanese in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. The harrowing and realistic combat scenes showcase the horrors of war, as well as the often-noble reactions when ordinary soldiers go way beyond the call of duty in valiant, and sometimes vain, efforts to save their comrades. Yes, some of the moments are dramatized, but for the most part The Pacific paints an accurate picture of wartime life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about World War II. Was it a just war? Was it necessary? What do you think would have happened if the United States had not entered the war?

  • How does this series, and especially the battle scenes, compare to some of the classic World War II films that often glorified combat? Why do you think there are so many more films about the war in Europe than the fights in the Pacific?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:November 2, 2010
Cast:James Badge Dale, Joe Mazzello, Jon Seda
Directors:Carl Franklin, David Nutter
Studio:HBO Home Video
Run time:400 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Parent Written bylt. dan November 8, 2011

very unnecessary sex and F bombs in this series. a real shame.

this series is smut. no way you could watch this with any of your offspring under 30 years old. this should only be about the pacific theater in ww2. the sex scenes are vivid and totally unnecessary to tell this story. the same goes for the F bombs and profanity. it happened but when you read historical books about the war in the pacific, e.g., the one by william manchester, you cannot put the book down and there is not the sex and cursing. the producers, and particularly tom hanks should be ashamed to have produced such an important piece about american history and war but felt they had to make this a series that would entertain a bunch of horny 30 year olds. i hope hanks has to watch a show like this one day with his 13 year old daughter and has to suffer through the graphic intercourse scenes and cursing. band of bros was not this way. guess the tropical weather got the best of their of their libido. very sad.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent of a 7, 13, and 15 year old Written byjack reading November 13, 2013

the pacific review

I am a captain in the Coldstream guards. I think the sex in the movie is not needed to make the film good but ignoring the sex the film is really explaining what real war is like. I think it is inappropriate for my youngest daughter but I think it is fine for the other two. so this is the point from a real soilder. hope I helped
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Teen, 14 years old Written bychallenger November 13, 2010
This is a piece of american/world history. If you hate this, you hate america and the people who gave their lives for others. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just wanted to mention a piece of counterism that wasn't mentioned. All the soliders smoke the same very famous american brand. (Luckey Strike)
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Great role models


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