Parents' Guide to

Band of Brothers

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Equal parts heroism and horror in WWII miniseries.

TV HBO Drama 2001
Band of Brothers Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 10 parent reviews

age 16+

Inspiring

Inspiring story of 101st Airborne as it prepares for and does invade Europe. Courage and friendship are highlighted. Occasionally intense violence is to be expected but would be appropriate for ages 14+. One short but intense sex scene in Ep. 9 unfortunately changes the calculation.
age 15+

Very good WWII drama with fairly graphic violence.

BAND OF BROTHERS follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division as they bond and battle across Europe during WWII. It is based on interviews with surviving Easy Company members as well as Easy Company soldiers' journals and letters. This miniseries contains moderately graphic war violence--nowhere near the level of that seen in THE PACIFIC, but still enough to make it inappropriate for younger teens. Mostly, soldiers are shot, usually with some blood spurting or spraying. One particularly gruesome scene shows two soldiers each having a leg blown off; another shows a soldier being shot in the throat, with the camera lingering on his bloody and exposed windpipe, and his shocked expression as he slowly dies. These are the most graphic instances of war violence in this show. So, it gets pretty grisly, but not like the beach landing scene in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN or anything in THE PACIFIC. In the ninth episode, Easy Company finds an abandoned concentration camp filled with horribly emaciated (mostly living) Jews. This is very disturbing. Profanity is fairly infrequent: "F*ck" is said a few times per episode, and other curse words are used as well. There is one scene in which a soldier and a woman are shown having sex, with her breasts and his butt visible. For viewers seeking a solid war drama with a familiar setting (WWII in Europe), an emphasis on bonds formed among soldiers, moderately graphic violence, and an overall positive feeling when watching, BAND OF BROTHERS is a good bet. For viewers seeking a more challenging, more powerful, and more negative war drama, I highly recommend THE PACIFIC.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (10 ):
Kids say (33 ):

This miniseries pulls no punches when it comes to showing the horrors of war. Like Saving Private Ryan, which also boasts the marquee exec-producing powerhouses Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, the battlefield scenes here are so pulse-poundingly realistic and graphic, chaotic and terrifying, that viewers will be riveted, if not a little sick to their stomachs. Unless they know a bit about WWII history, they may also be confused as to who's fighting whom and why it matters. But unlike Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers has the screen time to flesh out who's inside the soldier's uniform. You get to know each character in the unit as the series unspools, so when one is killed, it's all the more crushing. We see the soldiers rank each other out, train together, fight together, and then, all too often, grieve for each other.

But there is heroism amongst the horror. Since the series follows a large ensemble cast, including many who were almost-unknowns when they appeared, such as Ron Livingston (Office Space), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), and a baby-faced Michael Fassbender, it's tough to identify a central character. But the series' heart lies with Lieutenant Dick Winters (Damian Lewis), the stoic and gentle father figure of Easy Company, who leads his men both on and off the battlefield with courage and conviction. Watching Lewis as the stalwart Winters gives the series its best moments.

TV Details

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