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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Values promoted: fighting for a righteous cause, loyalty, having empathy for those who cannot act for themselves, putting aside grievances and focusing on what's important.
Positive Role Models
Recognizes various kinds of courage: reckless, thoughtful, self-sacrificing, and responding to a higher purpose. Main character is reckless but resourceful, determined, and lucky. Lone female character is as brave and competent as her male allies. White folks rescue whole communities of black Ethiopian Jews.
Violence & Scariness
War action: machine gun fire, snipers, multiple people shot at close range, brutal hand-to-hand combat (one fight shows a woman holding her own), bloody bodies en masse. Suspenseful chases, narrow escapes, innocents under assault from villainous armed men.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Skimpy bathing suits, including topless, in one scene. Rear view of naked male.
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Countless uses of "f--k," "s--t." Others: "a--hole," 'hell," "wild in the sack."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional social drinking. Multiple characters smoke cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Red Sea Diving Resort is a wartime drama inspired by a true story. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Ethiopian Jews in large numbers, marginalized in their country and with few resources, made a valiant effort to migrate to Israel, specifically Jerusalem. Harrowing journeys were common. One notable and continuing rescue effort during this period was conducted by members of the Mossad, Israeli's intelligence service. This movie recounts that effort. Suspense and violence are core elements of the film: gunfire, including vicious, repeated point-blank killings; intense transport chases; narrow escapes; brutal hand-to-hand combat. There are multiple scenes in which fleeing refugees and their determined rescuers come under enemy fire. Frequent expletives are heard (i.e., "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "hell"). Skimpy bikinis (including topless) are seen briefly in one beach sequence; the backside of a naked man is shown. Characters drink alcohol in several scenes; lots of cigarette smoking, one cigar. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A widely-known true story spills the beans on the outcome, but unfortunately this well-intentioned movie as a whole is also predictable. From the opening sequence when a little boy gets separated from his family and "Captain America" is on the scene, is there any doubt? The winning concept of a decrepit resort being resurrected as a stopover spot for the daring rescue of scores of despairing refugees is the best thing about the film. When German tourists mistake the undercover operation for the real thing, The Red Sea Diving Resort has moments of originality and wit. Otherwise, not so much.
Forced conflict between heroes is just that, forced. A cowboy Mossad operative feels like every cowboy cop when there's no depth to the character (a lame effort at giving Ari an estranged family is even cornier that it should have been). And the movie can't escape from the fact that it's another in what is sometimes called a "white savior" view of historical events. Little effort, if any, is made to bring an emotional heart to the despairing but hopeful people at the story's center. Coming in at over two hours, it feels even longer than that. The movie isn't a total dud, because it gives at least some exposure to what was surely a operation of tremendous import when it occurred, and has more than a little resonance given the immigrant crises still in play decades later.
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.