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Parents' Guide to

The Rescue

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Inspiring, gripping doc full of real-life lessons; language.

Movie PG 2021 114 minutes
The Rescue Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

Rated PG-12 (sustained threat, emotionally intense scenes).

MAIN CONTENT ISSUES - The general subject matter of the film involves young children in peril, with the constant threat that they could die at any moment after being trapped in a flooding cave for over two weeks. There is real footage as well as reenactment scenes which depict the lengthy rescue that took place over the course of many days. Despite this, the film heavily focuses on the bravery of the people who helped get them to safety. There are also some emotionally intense and upsetting moments, including when the divers meet the malnourished boys for the first time, as well as when one of the rescuers was revealed to have died from lack of oxygen while trying to assist the rescue. | OTHER ISSUES - There is one censored use of strong language ("f*ck"), used incidentally and casually during an interview while someone is quoting what was said to them. There is also occasional use of other mild language ("sh*t", "bullsh*t" etc). There are also references to and use of medical drugs as the boys are sedated in order to be safely rescued from the caves. | RATED "PG-12" - Parental Guidance, some scenes may be unsuitable for children under 12. Contains some content generally suitable for persons aged 12 years and over, and parents/guardians are strongly advised to watch the film with any person below that age.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Filmmakers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (who also made Free Solo) expertly lay out that this modern-day miracle involved more than prayers; it involved layers. Saving the Wild Boars was accomplished through a complex combination of science, skill, medicine, ingenuity, determination, and courage in people who had no idea that this heroic moment was the event they were preparing for their whole lives. Watching The Rescue is much more than a way to pass the time: It's an unforgettable experience that's likely to offer viewers new perspectives and self-appreciation. It tells us that we are more powerful than we know, that the "silly" hobby that friends or family members might hound you to give up could have an important purpose, and that our "quirky" qualities have value. In capturing this most improbable rescue of 12 children and their coach, the film is both life-affirming and self-affirming.

The documentary feels like a miracle in itself. The filmmakers were able to acquire, compile, and assemble astounding footage that doesn't just re-create and recount the events leading up to and including the rescue, but also allows viewers to be part of the journey every step of the way, to see what the rescuers discovered as they discovered it. Without emotional manipulation, Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi allow the story to tell itself, the events unfolding before viewers' eyes. We are swimming in the darkness, we are pushing ourselves through the confined and craggy spaces, we are facing the impossible. It's terrifying. And all-encompassing. Knowing that the lives of a dozen children -- who even in their worst moment are sweet, upbeat, and trusting -- are on the line is almost too much to bear, even knowing that the mission will ultimately be successful. But witnessing the cross-cultural cooperation that went into pulling that mission off is uplifting, and the extraction is shown to be a team effort on a global scale. Everything about these events makes for a great story: The stakes couldn't be higher, the conditions couldn't be worse, and the heroes couldn't be more unexpected. Through Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi's marvelous storytelling ability, The Rescue performs one final miracle: revealing to viewers that we all have the potential to be heroes, that self-doubt is part of the process, and that, together, we can overcome anything.

Movie Details

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