By Tara McNamara,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Great cinematography, poor script in violent WWII actioner.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
With perseverance, good will triumph over evil. Never leave a comrade behind.
Positive Role Models
Capt. David Holden and his squadron are brave in the face of danger and death. They persevere and work together as a team to stop a Nazi battalion.
Main character and another Allied character are Jewish Americans who wear Star of David necklaces while fighting Nazis. Allied forces include Black Americans and a female French resistance fighter pilot, all depicted as brave and tough.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Close combat involves horrifically realistic shootings with graphically bloody bodies. Massive explosions with bodies being blown up into the air. Beatings. Torture, including a prisoner being stabbed through the hand (actual moment not shown). Planes shot down. Close-up of a deep, bloody wound. An attempted rape is thwarted. One character bites another's tongue off.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language includes "Nazi bastards," "crap," "g-ddamned," "hell," "pain in the ass," "s--t," "son of a bitch," and one use of "f--king." Antisemitic statements from Nazis.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Nazi radio communications officer smokes in a way that seems intended to be perceived as sexy or appealing.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wolf Hound is a World War II action drama inspired by true events. The "Wulfe hund" is the name given by Nazi forces to a USAAF B-17 bomber they captured and used for training, intelligence, and secret missions. The film's plot hinges on a failed Nazi plan to fly over and bomb London in disguised aircraft; the movie imagines what would have happened if the German forces had come closer to succeeding. It has impressive aerial cinematography (featuring actual vintage warcraft), but the aggressively patriotic story is fairly farfetched. And wartime violence is intense, especially a long, real-time dogfight in which airmen are graphically gunned to death and one falls from the sky to his demise. The nonstop peril and combat could be particularly upsetting for those who've seen military action. Guns, explosives, bombs, knives, and arm cannons get plenty of use, menacing Nazis beat prisoners up, and there is an attempted abduction with the intent to rape. Language includes "s--t" and one "f--king," plus antisemitic remarks by Nazis. Period-accurate smoking.
To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
Based on 1 parent review
Report this review
What's the Story?
Inspired by true events, WOLF HOUND follows Jewish American Capt. David Holden (James Maslow) and his squadron of World War II fighter pilots as they're attacked by Nazis flying in Allied B-17 bombers. After Holden's plane is downed, he parachutes into Nazi-occupied France, where he learns the full extent of Hitler's nefarious plan.
Is It Any Good?
A ridiculous script and improbable action sequences make this historical fiction feel more like fan fiction. Which is too bad, since Wolf Hound's stunning aerial cinematography (featuring vintage WWII planes, including a B-17, P-51 Mustang, and Messerschmitt Bf 109) immerses viewers in the experience of what it might have been like to be an Allied fighter pilot in a dogfight against the Luftwaffe. The camerawork is clear and up close, creating a look and feel that seems like the film could have been made for a science museum theater. But at the same time, it places viewers in the cockpit while the characters endure a relentless attack. And even though they're gorgeous, the constant up-close angles create quite a bit of confusion: Too many characters, too many planes, and too little character development.
Really, there's just no nuance at all to this celebration of American patriotism. World War II is an era that's often seen as purely black and white: Nazis are really bad, Allied forces are really good. But even civilians will question poor strategy and highly unlikely outcomes. And the story seems meant to create an environment in which it's OK to enjoy violence, as the dialogue reinforces that the Nazis deserve it. When they're shot, their bodies fly off their feet and hurl back in eye-popping choreography. Explosions are made into fiery works of art, bodies pirouetting through the air like battle ballet. Think of this like a cinematic version of a video game, in which viewers don't wear headsets but still cheer, comment, and guffaw with each other throughout. Though that does set up a bit of a contradiction to how this feat of aerial photography should be seen: On the biggest screen possible.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Wolf Hound. How did it make you feel? How do you think it was intended to make you feel? Do you think it was authentic or glamorized?
How does Wolf Hound compare to other modern movies about World War II? How does it compare to the propaganda films that were made to support the war effort in the 1940s? What happens when you depict an enemy as evil? Is that ever justified?
The planes used here are rare, authentic WWII aircraft. Does the experience change for viewers when "the real thing" is used, rather than green screen or CGI?
Does the movie make war look heroic? Horrifying? How? Which of the characters are role models? Why? How do they demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?
How does Capt. Holden show compassion to Major Roth? Since Roth is less gracious in returning the consideration, is there a message being sent by the filmmaker about misplaced compassion, and should we accept that message?
- In theaters: June 3, 2022
- On DVD or streaming: July 12, 2022
- Cast: James Maslow, Trevor Donovan, John Turk
- Director: Michael B. Chait
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Friendship, History
- Run time: 130 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence
- Last updated: October 13, 2022
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.
Suggest an Update
Where to Watch
Our Editors Recommend
World War II Books for Kids
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