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"TWISTER"
(1996) (Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*Minor Mild Minor *Extreme None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Mild None Moderate
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Minor Minor *Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
A team of scientists chases tornadoes.
PLOT:
A team of scientists led by Jo Harding (HELEN HUNT) are chasing after the biggest outbreak of tornadoes in Oklahoma in years. It seems they are trying to place "Dorothy," a weather sensory unit into one of the twisters in order to retrieve data on the monsters. But they have competition from a corporate-sponsored team, led by Jonas Miller (CARY ELWES). Adding to the mix is Joís ex-partner and soon to be ex-husband, Bill Harding (BILL PAXTON) and his fiancť, Melissa (JAMI GERTZ). Bill is there to get the final divorce papers signed, but heís drawn back into the world of chasing tornadoes and soon joins the team as they have many close encounters with the deadly storms.
WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Of course. The special effects are the stars of the movie and kids are drawn to them. In addition, Helen Hunt (TVís "Mad About You") will draw them as well.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For intense depiction of very bad weather.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • HELEN HUNT plays a scientist obsessed with chasing tornadoes.
  • BILL PAXTON plays a man whoís drawn back into tornado chasing and ignores his fiancť over storms.
  • CARY ELWES plays the stuffy, antagonist leader of the competing scientific team.
  • JAMI GERTZ plays a rather ditzy fiancť who is thrust into the world of tornado chasing.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    OUR TAKE: 7.5 out of 10
    While this movie will never be remembered for its great performances or well-written dialogue, it will be remembered for one thing: The best filmed tornado/storm scenes in the history of film (as of its release). Of course the tornado encounters will lose impact (as well as size) on the small screen, but they'll still keep you on the edge of your seat. The drama scenes are there just as filler to allow you to catch your breathe in between the many exciting action scenes. Still, you'll remember this movie next time an ominous looking thunderstorm approaches. Watch for the tornado at the drive in movie scene. In real life, in a Midwestern drive in, a tornado struck while -- you guessed it -- this movie was playing. Talk about realistic effects! (Fortunately, no one was hurt in real life). This is a true "summer" movie -- big, dumb, and a tremendous amount of fun. We give "Twister" a big spinning 7.5 out of 10.
    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The main thing of concern here would be for younger children who may see this movie. If they do, you may have a child (or children) who will hide under the bed the next time a thunderstorm approaches. The tornado encounters are very intense and will probably scare the pants off little kids, so be forewarned about that. As far as other possibly objectionable material, there really isn't a great deal. Profanity is moderate (mainly "s" words, with 2 possible "f" words that we couldn't quite hear if that's what really was said -- but it's better to err by including their possibility than to exclude them) and violence is limited to what the tornadoes inflict upon people and property. As always, read through the category listings before allowing your children to see this one.

    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Just a story from long ago of Bill being drunk and naked and throwing his bottle of Jack Daniels at a tornado.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • A scientist is hit by a flying hubcap and gets a bloody slice across his head.
  • A tornado victim has blood on her head and some blood on her nightgown.
  • A scientist is impaled by some flying debris.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Just some minor stuff between the two competing scientific teams chasing the tornadoes.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Jo, as a little girl, sees her father ripped from a storm cellar and pulled up into a tornado.
  • There are many very intense encounters with the tornadoes. If your kids are nervous about thunderstorms, this movie will push them over the edge. On the other hand, if they werenít nervous before, they probably will be after this. The scenes are very reminiscent of the T-Rex attack in "Jurassic Park," and although this involves tornadoes and not dinosaurs, the scenes are every bit as intense.
  • There are several scenes from the horror movie "The Shining" that are seen on a drive-in movie screen right before a tornado hits.
  • The scientists rescue a woman from the collapsing remains of her tornado savaged house.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Chasing after tornadoes and generally being outside during thunderstorms.
  • Phrase: "Losers," "sucks," "shut up," "dirt bag," and "wiener."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Just some storm related incidents: Lightning strikes, and flying debris (large and small) that nearly hit the scientists.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Most of the movie is filled with adventure music, but a few of the tornado encounter scenes are accompanied by tense music.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • Possibly 2 "f" words (muttered), otherwise: 12 "s" words, 7 damnís, 4 hellís, 4 S.O.B.ís, 7 uses of "Jesus" or "Christ."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Melissa is a "reproductive therapist" and while talking to a patient on the phone says, "she didnít marry your penis -- okay, she didnít marry only your penis."
  • A minor story from long ago of Bill being drunk and naked and throwing his bottle of Jack Daniels at a tornado.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jo, as a little girl, sees her father ripped from a storm cellar and pulled up into a tornado.
  • Jo and Bill are in the process of getting a divorce (no kids are involved) and often are seen bickering.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Tornadoes and the chances of "being attacked" by one -- and in general, storm safety.
  • Talk of divorce.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Although they donít involve man made violence, the storms leave quite a path of destruction (and a few deaths) and put the characters at risk many times from the tornadoes themselves and the large and small debris that whizzes toward them.
  • Jo's father is yanked out of a storm cellar into a tornado (and killed).
  • Bill rushes over, grabs Jonas by the shirt and throws a punch at him and they have to be separated (after learning that Jonas has stolen their idea of "Dorothy" -- the storm sensory device).
  • A man is impaled by flying debris.
  • Another man is killed when a tornado lifts his truck into the air and then crashes it into the ground.



  • Reviewed May 10, 1996

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