A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Even though Petit's dream is both dangerous and illegal, it's still his dream, and he pursues it with a clear-headed dedication and purity.
Positive Role Models
Petit becomes something of a hero, despite the shaky origins and inherent danger of his stunt. He asks for help and lessons and does everything he can to achieve his dream. And in the end, even though he's arrested for what he did, he pays his debt to society by giving a free wire-walking show for kids. Parents may not want kids taking up wire-walking/trying out dangerous stunts, but Petit's dedication to his art is ultimately inspiring.
Violence & Scariness
Intense, heart-stopping, breath-holding peril. Some shouting and/or arguing. Stepping on a nail. Bloody wound on foot. Chewing on a candy, sound of a breaking tooth, yelping in pain.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Main character naked in long shot; only naked bottom briefly seen. Flirting, kissing.
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Language is infrequent but includes uses of "s--t," "bastard," "hell," "pissed off," "damn," "goddamn," "S.O.B."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Secondary characters appear to be smoking pot (played for laughs). Background smoking, brief social drinking. Reference to "being on drugs."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Walk is a fact-based drama based on the story of Philippe Petit, which was also told in the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary Man on Wire. (See also the children's book The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.) Expect intense, exhilarating, heart-stopping peril during the movie's second half -- when Petit (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) carries out his dream of walking on a wire stretched between the towers of the World Trade Center -- which may be too much for younger kids. There are also brief references to/jokes about pot-smoking, as well as some social smoking and drinking. Language includes a few uses of "s--t," plus "bastard," "goddamn," etc. The main character briefly appears naked, from far away, with only his bottom clearly shown. There's a bit of flirting and kissing, as well as some arguing and shouting. Petit painfully steps on a nail, which causes a bloody wound. Overall, Petit's dedication to his dream is inspiring, even though the danger (and illegality) of pursuing it doesn't exactly make him a perfect role model. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Robert Zemeckis' movie is relatively simple but wonderfully exhilarating; it has the power to make your palms sweat and catch your heart in your throat. (Don't try this at home!) Zemeckis is a whiz at technologically advanced movies that tell ever-so-slightly dark stories, but with a bright style and a warm heart. In re-creating this astounding feat of tightrope walking, his camera follows effortlessly, giving us a smooth, 360-degree view of the abyss around Petit's wire. We are with him on every step of his journey.
Some have complained that the 123-minute movie is a slow starter, but Levitt's feverish, dedicated performance energizes the first half. He narrates from the dizzying top of the Statue of Liberty, showing off a convincing French accent (and snippets of actual French), as well as his own freshly learned tightrope-walking and juggling skills. For those who can appreciate anticipation as well as a payoff, THE WALK is totally satisfying.
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.