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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Violence & Scariness
Many deaths. Very intense peril.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual references and situations.
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Some strong language.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drinking and smoking, scenes in bar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie has some strong sailor language and some sexual references that can get crude. Characters drink and smoke a great deal. For most parents, the primary concern will be the scariness and sadness of the movie. It is very intense and many characters are killed. Parents should be willing to give kids deniability ("I really want to see it but my parents won't let me!") if they sense that the kids do not want to go. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The special effects and the action scenes are excellent, but this film fails in many ways. It's very hard to make a good book into a good movie, even a good book that seems inherently cinematic, as this one does, with all its swirling winds and crashing waves. The dialogue is corny, with lines like "This is where they separate the men from the boys." The storm doesn't happen until an hour and a half into the film, and each of the characters is trotted out to show one identifying characteristic. Wahlberg, Fichtner, Lane, and Reilly, four fine actors, are left more adrift by the script than their characters are by the storm, while the talents of other good actors are wasted. The book tells a sad story, but the film just feels maudlin, and the scenes on land following the storm go on too long. This is where we really need some insight and some good dialogue, and we just don't get it. And there is one scene, just before one character dies, where he speaks to a loved one and sees her in an apparition that even the producers of "Message in a Bottle" would have been embarrassed to try.
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.