Parents' Guide to

True Spirit

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Teen faces perilous scenarios in inspirational true tale.

Movie NR 2023 109 minutes
True Spirit is based on a real story of a girl who sailed around the world.

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 2+

Very powerful to show Young Kids

age 10+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20 ):
Kids say (6 ):

It would be hard not to give a stamp of approval to this uplifting, family-friendly biopic based on the inspirational real-life journey of an Australian teen, despite a few overly formulaic aspects. Sure, True Spirit could have found a more original way to convey Jessica's lifelong motivation to sail around the world than (cute) childhood flashbacks. The narrative arc of the cynic-turned-cheerleader journalist doesn't feel essential or genuine either. But these slightly cloying elements don't diminish the true story of Watson, whom Croft embodies with a combination of steadfastness and vulnerability.

Structuring the film by days at sea, skipping 20 or more days at a time, and parallel editing her time on the boat with her family's life back home, keeps the pace of the story moving at an entertaining clip. The relative calmness of Jessica's journey -- captured in an especially gorgeous scene where the starry night sky is reflected in the still, black surface of the sea around her pink-lit boat -- lulls you into thinking sailing around the world could be easy. That sense of peace makes a climactic storm scene all the more intense and bolsters the emotional finale.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate