A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
When life gets scary and you feel powerless, stop feeling and start doing. Teamwork can help you overcome extreme challenges.
Positive Role Models
Women and men in work environment demonstrate teamwork, each bringing different skills, abilities to keep others calm in stressful situations. Norah is a smart, capable, brave, resourceful, quick-thinking computer engineer -- in keeping her head and thinking of others, she becomes a hero. Male members of the crew aren't hypermasculine stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Sci-fi violence includes frightening life-threatening explosions, discovery of dead bodies. Humans implode inside deep sea suits and battle terrifying monsters. Characters are in intense peril.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
When changing in and out of diving suits, male and female characters strip down to non-revealing underwear; this eventually leads to two female characters spending several scenes running around in only their skivvies. Two characters are dating but don't engage in PDA.
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Strong language includes "ass," "damn," "goddamned," "hell," and multiple uses of "s--t" and "f--k."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Underwater is a sci-fi thriller about a team of researchers who face unknown peril at the bottom of the ocean. This is a monster movie that's meant to scare you -- and it definitely does. But while you can expect deaths (including people imploding inside deep sea suits), near-constant peril, and lots of tense moments, nothing is especially graphic. It's basically an oceanic Alien, down to centering on a tough woman, Norah (Kristen Stewart), who has to figure out how to outsmart a terrifying creature. She makes a fantastic role model as a modern-day Ellen Ripley -- although, just like Ripley, she ends up taking care of some of her tasks in her underwear. The male members of the crew aren't hypermasculine stereotypes (one even carries a stuffed animal), and the group demonstrates both courage and excellent teamwork. Strong language ("s--t," "f--k," etc.) is used but isn't constant. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Yes, this is an Alien knockoff, but that doesn't mean it's not enthralling -- and it's modernized in a way that may appeal more to older teens. To that end, director William Eubank includes a couple of great lines in Underwater that will connect directly to Gen Z, tapping into a message of how to deal with feeling helpless in an out-of-control world. It's a little pat, but it's still empowering (and if the film winds up resonating with teens, the lines could end up on memes).
That message is a nice cap on a film that, while thoroughly entertaining, feels made to trigger anxiety attacks. You never know what monster will jump out or which character will die next (unfortunately, the film does stick with the scary movie cliché of the type of character who always dies first). Stewart's trademark acting style -- nervous and uncomfortable -- works well here; her character doesn't know what the next second holds, but she just keeps moving forward, one foot in front of the other. Norah is the embodiment of the airplane emergency instructions: She puts on her own oxygen mask first by summoning her own survival skills and then helps the others put their masks on -- in some cases, dragging them along behind her. Norah is so far from Stewart's weak-willed Twilight character Bella that, by movie's end, we've seen a total transformation of not only Norah but Stewart herself.
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.