Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 113 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

All of the characters put themselves in dangerous situations as part of their job, to study tornadoes. Some sex-related humor.


Jo's dad is killed by a tornado, as well as a few others. A man is impaled by flying debris. In the opening scene, a girl watches as a tornado carries her father away. There are many very intense encounters with the tornadoes.


One character is a "reproductive therapist" whose academic views on human sexuality provide comic relief.


Moderate profanity, with one "F" word.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There's a mention of a character being drunk and naked.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens will be excited about the great special effects in this adventure movie, although they may be disappointed by the thin plot. Parents should know that the main characters are a soon-to-be-divorced couple who are still sexually attracted to each other. All of the characters put themselves in dangerous situations as part of their job. In the opening scene, a girl watches as a tornado carries her father away, and there are several frightening scenes involving the destructive storms.

What's the story?

When conditions create a perfect storm for multiple tornadoes, storm chaser Jo Harding (Helen Hunt) finds herself re-teaming with her ex-husband Bill (Bill Paxton) in an attempt to collect valuable data using their high-tech invention called DOROTHY. Meanwhile, corporation-funded Dr. Miller (Carey Elwes), armed with a similar device, tries to get the vital statistics before Jo and Bill.

Is it any good?


Twister's raison d'etre is showing off elaborate special effects that create the experience of being near and even in a tornado. A tornado isn't an easy phenomenon to build a plot around--they can't be predicted more than three minutes in advance, and they don't last very long. So it's partly forgivable that the filmmakers haven't come up with much of a story. The relationship woes and scientific rivalries only serve as filler between the wholly believable scenes featuring huge objects hurtling through the air.

The opening scene, about Jo's first experience with a twister, is both exciting and scary. After that, the filmmakers satisfy themselves with thrilling viewers rather than frightening them. They also drop so many references to The Wizard of Oz that families can make a game of counting them. It's a bit of a disappointment that scientist-turned-scriptwriter Michael Crichton doesn't challenge the audience a bit more here. Still, despite being cliched, the characters are likable. In particular, Helen Hunt is as inspirational to young women interested in science as Jodie Foster was in Contact.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of disaster films, and what makes a good one.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 27, 1997
DVD/Streaming release date:August 27, 1997
Cast:Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, Helen Hunt
Director:Jan De Bont
Studio:Warner Bros.
Run time:113 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:intense depiction of very bad weather

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Kid, 11 years old August 3, 2009


My whole family (including my 8-year-old sister) watched the uncut version last night. First thing I have to say is the language is extremely profane. The word "f--k" is used once. The word "s--t" is used at least fifty-five times throughout the film. At least five times Bill Paxton's character refers to a man as a "son of a b---h". Two, the violence is pretty scary for younger kids. My 8-year-old sister had to cover her eyes a whole lot for the frequent twister scenes. Think of this: the film is 2 hours long; my sister only got to see about 40 minutes of it because of how much it scared her. She missed about 1 hour and 20 minutes of it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 7 years old November 8, 2009


if you like twisters,watch the movie.if you dont like twisters,DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byxotitanicox May 4, 2009

Great movie!

I loved it! It was just everything about it, I loved the special effects and the main charaters! I highly recommend to anyone looking for an adventure!