Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Thunderball Movie Poster Image
Even James Bond can miss his mark.
  • PG
  • 1965
  • 129 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 31 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Positive Role Models & Representations

Bond's womanizing and violent tactics make him an iffy role model -- though he does save the day in the end.


Shooting, stabbing, and spear-gunning. Men are fed to the sharks, but none of the scenes are overly graphic. Bond's first seduction is forceful.


Some bed-hopping and a few revealing bikinis.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Bond does like his martinis.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie delivers the usual Bond fare: sexy, scantily clad women, bed-hopping, and gun and fist fights.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMatthew S. January 30, 2017


Highly recommend this movie, I loved it as a kid and still love it until this day, the action scenes are so awesome, villian is great and its just so entertaini...
Adult Written byjmo97 May 25, 2016

Good story, but bad pacing

I feel like this is one of Connery's weaker bond films, even though the theme song is one of my favorites in the franchise so far. While the story was inte... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byrainwolf_thunder June 22, 2015

Best James Bond

This is my favorite James Bond. I know a lot of people may have different opinions, but I don't see what the complaint about it being boring is. The plot i... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 26, 2021

Okay bond film recommended for Sean Connery fans

Okay Bond film okay for ages 13 and up if you skip the one sex scene if you don’t age 14 and up some nice action in spots good one liners a few boring spots but... Continue reading

What's the story?

THUNDERBALL gets rolling when evil organization SPECTRE hijacks a British bomber and uses the two atomic warheads onboard as bargaining chips. They want uncut diamonds -- lots of them --- otherwise they'll launch the weapons at an American city. James Bond (Sean Connery) sets out to recover the aircraft, and ends up in the Bahamas with curvy, bikini-clad Domino. She helps him get the goods on SPECTRE's Number Two, who is hiding the stolen aircraft underwater, guarded by sharks.

Is it any good?

Thunderball bored the socks off adventure-hungry kids in the 60s, and time hasn't done it any favors. Sean Connery plays an admirable Bond, but he doesn't have enough opportunity to cap off his victories with suave witticisms. Tossed out with a deadpan, these comic touches are a hallmark of the series. Without many of these moments, the adventure seems lackluster.

This installment in the series doesn't follow the usual formula of pitting the debonair favorite against a cunning adversary. This time, Bond chases a lackey, a Number Two, and spends much of his time on a global egg hunt for a downed plane. The real crippler, though, is that much of the action takes place underwater. Although the cinematography is advanced for its day, the slow, unwieldy underwater fight scenes don't deliver a requisite adrenaline rush. Oddly, the scenes are cross-cut with shots of disinterested sea life, as if to suggest that director Terence Young was more interested in fish and lobsters than he was in the action sequences.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the James Bond character. Are viewers supposed to like him? Why does he have lasting appeal? How does he treat women? What do you think of this behavior? Has this changed at all over the years?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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