The Sea Inside

  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 125 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Fascinating story too complex for young viewers.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 125 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Ramón is paralyzed in a swimming accident.

Not applicable

Ramón fights with his brother about his desire to die.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie deals frankly with the suicide of Ramón Sampedro, a man who in real life spent 30 years fighting with the Spanish government for his right to die. The film addresses the last leg of Ramón's battle, as he works with an attorney named Julia and an organization called Death With Dignity to ensure his right to kill himself, an act he ultimately accomplishes through the aid of a number of friends and associates. In its treatment of questions of life, death, and suicide, this movie is quite complex and could be confusing and upsetting to younger viewers.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Paralyzed from the neck down after a swimming accident, Ramón Sampedro (Javier Bardem) fought the Spanish government for 30 years for his right to die. THE SEA INSIDE tells the story of his real-life struggle and ultimately, his death. Ramón writes poetry and prose, listens to records and works tirelessly toward his death. At the core of the film are Ramón's relationships with his family, as well as with two women: (Belén Rueda), the lawyer who hopes to help him win his case, and Rosa (Lola Dueñas), a single mother who hopes to convince him to live. Despite the objections of his brother and public criticism, Ramón remains constant in his desire to die. Much of the film is a character study of Ramón with pertinent background information relayed through interviews with Julia and conversations with other characters.

Is it any good?


As Ramón, Bardem is extremely charismatic, maintaining the character's wry sense of humor throughout the film. Another standout is Tamar Novas as Ramón's teenaged nephew. From a technical standpoint, the movie is beautiful, particularly in depictions of the beautiful Spanish coast.

Although the topic of The Sea Inside would easily lend itself to a tear-jerking melodrama, the film is for the most part a quiet, meditative film. It asks difficult questions, many of them open-ended, and many of them left unanswered.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the government's role in protecting its citizens and the ethics of suicide and euthanasia. Why do so many people feel that it is Ramón's duty to continue his life? What arguments do these people make? How strong are they? Should the state be able to police suicides? If Ramón were not paralyzed, he could have killed himself unaided. How does his paralysis play into the issues at stake?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 17, 2004
DVD release date:May 17, 2005
Cast:Belen Rueda, Javier Bardem, Lola Duenas
Director:Alejandro Amenabar
Studio:Fine Line Features
Run time:125 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense depiction of mature thematic material.

This review of The Sea Inside was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 16 years old Written bymoviemogul 2.0;... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Absolutely fantastic!

I rented this when it came out because it looked like a good movie, and I was right. Obviously, it was not the BEST movie I ever saw or anything like that, but it was still excellent. Plus, there wasn't really much content to worry about, though the (true) story might offset some people, seeing as it is about a man who is fighting for the right to end his life with dignity.
Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 March 7, 2013

A beautiful, life-affirming picture

I love movies where there is no Hollywood ending, no easy solution. This is a very real topic discussing the ultimate fear we have in life...not being able to be in love with it anymore. I lost a little faith in my beloved Oscars when I found Bardem didn't get a best actor nomination, his work here, principally with his eyes and his glowing charm, is something to admire. See "The Sea Inside" to truly value what we have in life.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence


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