Parents' Guide to

Thirteen Lives

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Teamwork, ingenuity shine in excellent, intense true story.

Movie PG-13 2022 142 minutes
Thirteen Lives Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 10+
My 11 year old son and I both enjoyed this movie. The writers and director did a fantastic job of weaving together both the technical and emotional aspects of the rescue. The movie is filled with role models who display tenacity, courage, and compassion. It's one of very few movies that we've watched that doesn't have an antagonist. Please keep in mind that there is one rescuer who perishes. Parents of younger kids may want to fast forward through this brief section of the movie. We opted to not do so because we didn't want to minimize the heroic efforts made by people who had no obligation to even be involved.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
5 people found this helpful.
age 13+

Um. Please change the language rating to reflect the f words

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (3):

Superheroes may dominate kids' entertainment, but director Ron Howard superbly showcases real heroes who pull off an extraordinary feat to save lives. The plight of the Wild Boars boys' soccer team -- trapped deep in a cave with no feasible method of escape -- seems ripped straight from the comics, where only a superpowered caped crusader could save them. There's even a supernatural element: According to folklore, the spirit of the mythical Princess Jao Mae Nang Non guards the cave, her statue marking the entrance, and locals believe she had a hand in the surprise flash flood. Howard's retelling is more grounded than an Avengers movie but no less sensational -- and far more impactful. These heroes are authentically brave, powered by decades of acquired specific knowledge, calculated collaboration, and selflessness.

While the documentary The Rescue, released to critical accolades in 2021, covers the same remarkable events factually and thoroughly, Howard's well-crafted scripted version is a great choice for tweens and teens. He strikes the perfect balance throughout, keeping the musical score light (or sometimes nonexistent) in the tensest situations so as not to manipulate viewers' emotions. The actual events, failures, and disagreements are re-created with honesty and respect for all of the participants. Howard discounts no one: The contributions from the boys' parents, farmers, a Hindu priest, engineers, the Thai province's governor, and even the trapped children themselves are shown to help the rescue effort as much as the divers' efforts. And Howard does an excellent job of establishing cross-cultural understanding and relatability, showing a deep sensitivity for Thai beliefs and values. Thanks to all of that -- and the fact that the rescue subjects range in age from 11 to 16 -- viewers in the same age bracket will be able to connect to this amazing real-life story and will be better for it.

Movie Details

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