The Perfect Storm Movie Poster Image

The Perfect Storm



Scary and sad are the main concerns here.
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 130 minutes

What parents need to know


Many deaths. Very intense peril.


Sexual references and situations.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Lots of drinking and smoking, scenes in bar.

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.

What's the story?

In this man-against-nature thriller based on a true story, captain of the Andrea Gail, Billy Tyne (George Clooney), must prove to himself and to the owner of the boat that he can bring in a good load of fish. Tyne's crew includes Bobby (Mark Wahlberg), who must choose between his love for the sea and his girlfriend Christina (Diane Lane), and Scully (William Fichtner) and Murph (John C. Reilly), who don't get along with each other. The fishing expedition is a success, but on the way home the crew runs into a devastatingly powerful storm with 100 foot waves. But Tyne is determined to bring his catch, and his crew, home safely.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way the characters evaluate their options and deal with the consequences of their decisions. After the first rescue, the Coast Guard is told that their superiors cannot order them to go to the second, because it is too hazardous. What went into their decision about how to respond? Captain Tyne had to decide whether to try to get home through the storm in time to save their catch or protect his men's lives while losing all their money. How did he decide?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 30, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:June 1, 2004
Cast:Diane Lane, George Clooney, John C. Reilly, Mark Wahlberg
Director:Wolfgang Petersen
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:130 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and scenes of peril

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Parent Written byPlague December 18, 2009

The Perfect Storm

A fantastic movie with great actors/acting. Very moving and edge-of-your-seat experiences. A good movie for everyone really.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written bydavstern1500 October 10, 2011

Great movie: The Perfect Storm

Intense peril, sad ending. Frequent coarse language, 1 F word For more information, contact me on YouTube - davstern1500
Teen, 14 years old Written byJadenp February 14, 2011
Suggested MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some strong language and intense sequences of peril and disaster throughout.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing