Thunderball Movie Poster Image




Even James Bond can miss his mark.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Positive role models

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.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Bond does like his martinis.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:December 21, 1965
DVD/Streaming release date:October 19, 1999
Cast:Claudine Auger, Lois Maxwell, Sean Connery
Director:Terence Young
Run time:129 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

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Great handpicked alternatives

  • Darker than usual Bond; too violent for tweens.
  • Thrilling action comedy may be the best Bond.
  • 007's silver screen debut with action and bikinis.

What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byJoker15 July 3, 2009
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old April 22, 2011

the names bond, awesome, bond

cars blow up. a motorcycle shoots rockets. a redlighting is shown when a person is tossed into a shark tank. all you see is a red screen. bond stabs, punches, and shoots people and sharks
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

good movie

bond is really good but there are some violent spots


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