Parents' Guide to

Titanic (2012)

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Emotional small-screen retelling humanizes historic tragedy.

Movie NR 2012 184 minutes
Titanic (2012) Poster Image

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Kids say (23):

This four-part miniseries gives an intimate glimpse into the lives of more than just the elite class of passengers, by spotlighting a different set of characters in each segment of the series. Their stories become intertwined once they're aboard, which makes their desperate fight for survival -- often at the expense of someone else's life -- all the more anguished. It's impossible to watch this small-screen re-telling without drawing comparisons to its famous high-grossing, Academy-Awarded counterpart, and the similarities don't end with the familiar dining room settings, unexpected romance between a reluctantly proper British lady and a handsome American man, or the dramatic reenactment of the ship's final moments. But it's the differences between the two interpretations that ensure that this one is more than just a timely copycat.

There's a discomfort to watching this story unfold because of your awareness of the outcome before it starts. It's hard to get emotionally drawn into the lives of the characters, fiction or not, knowing that many of them won't survive the story. On one hand, Titanic does a good job of reminding us that the century-old statistics from the tragedy are more than just numbers, that they were real people with hopes and dreams and families who loved them, regardless of their traveling class. On the other, the story is too emotionally wrenching for most kids for that very same reason. Mature tweens who can handle this aspect of the show will be fine with the content, however, and the show's portrayal of the class system and prejudice can spark some discussions about how those issues have evolved over time.

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