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"THE PERFECT STORM"
(2000) (George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Moderate Heavy Extreme Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Minor Heavy *Minor Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Extreme Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Action/Adventure: The crew of a commercial fishing boat tries to return home with their record haul, but must contend with a ferocious, storm of the century that sits in their path.
PLOT:
It's the fall of 1991 in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Captain Billy Tyne (GEORGE CLOONEY), the veteran skipper of the fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, has had a recent run of disappointing catches. The boat's owner (MICHAEL IRONSIDE) isn't happy with the lackluster returns, and Billy's crew isn't pleased with their resultant low pay. Fellow captain and friend Linda Greenlaw (MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO) tries to offer some support to Billy, but it doesn't help.

Determined to make one last run before the end of the season, Billy informs his crew that they'll be heading back out after only a few days of rest. Knowing he needs the money, rookie fisherman Bobby Shatford (MARK WAHLBERG) agrees to go along, but his girlfriend, Christina Cotter (DIANE LANE), who's had bad dreams and feelings about such expeditions, isn't crazy about the idea.

Even so, Billy joins the other crewmembers, Murph (JOHN C. REILLY), who needs the money for child support; Sully (WILLIAM FICHTNER), who can't stand him; Alfred Pierre (ALLEN PAYNE), a Jamaican known as a ladies man; and Bugsy (JOHN HAWKES) who's encouraged that a single mother he tried to pick up at a bar, Irene (RUSTY SCHWIMMER), has arrived to see him off.

With her, Christina and Bobby's mother and local barkeep Ethel Shatford (JANET WRIGHT) waving goodbye, the crew of the Andrea Gail sets off into the waters of the North Atlantic, hoping that their recent run of bad luck will end with this expedition. As they make their way across the Atlantic, however, they're unaware of three storm systems that will eventually collide behind them, forming what local TV weatherman Todd Gross (CHRIS McDONALD) will soon call a "perfect storm."

After what eventually turns out to be a successful run, Billy and his crew decide to head back, but learn from a radio dispatch from Linda that they're headed directly into the storm. Realizing that their haul is too valuable and will spoil if they wait, the crew decides to continue.

As they do, little do they realize that a coastguard team that includes Lt. Barry Ennis (JOSH HOPKINS) and Lt. Kenny Mitchell (DASH MIHOK) has already been summoned to rescue Alexander McAnally III (BOB GUNTON) and his sailboat that carries several people -- including Melissa Brown (KAREN ALLEN) -- and has become stranded in the tumultuous seas. With the weather worsening and the waves only growing larger in size, Billy and his crew must decide whether and how to proceed through the dangerous storm.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Clooney, Wahlberg or summer-style action films, they may want to see this one.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language and scenes of peril.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GEORGE CLOONEY plays the divorced fishing boat captain who's desperate to make one last big strike to prove that he hasn't lost his fishing abilities. As such, he pushes his crew and his luck by heading straight into the monstrous storm. He briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • MARK WAHLBERG plays one of his rookie crewmembers who's in the process of getting divorced and thus needs the money from his share of the haul to support himself and his girlfriend, Christina. He briefly uses some profanity, smokes a few times and apparently gets drunk one night.
  • DIANE LANE plays his girlfriend, who wants him to stop fishing, settle down with him and help raise her kids that currently don't live with her. She drinks, smokes and cusses some when not worrying about him.
  • MARY ELIZABETH MASTRANTONIO plays another fishing boat captain who's worried about Billy and tries guiding him through the storm.
  • JOHN C. REILLY plays a crewmember who smokes and doesn't get along with Sully.
  • WILLIAM FICHTNER plays that crewmember who likewise smokes and doesn't get along with Murph.
  • JOHN HAWKES plays yet another crewmember who smokes and drinks and wants to get back to his new lady friend, Irene.
  • ALLEN PAYNE plays the last crewmember, a Jamaican man who has a thing with the ladies.
  • BOB GUNTON plays a sailboat captain who thinks he can sail through the storm, thus endangering his and his passengers' lives, including that of KAREN ALLEN.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a quick look at the content found in this action/adventure film that's been rated PG-13. A great deal of the film takes place on the seas during a monstrous storm that tosses various ships around like toys with its gargantuan waves and ferocious winds. As such, many scenes (accompanied by suspenseful/ominous music) come off as tense and suspenseful due to the constant peril and close calls the storm creates.

    Profanity is rated as heavy due to at least 1 use of the "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also present. Some non-explicit sexually related comments are made and it's implied that a couple has vigorous sex on the floor above a bar (due to the lights attached to the bar's ceiling shaking/moving). Some passionate public displays of affection also occur.

    Various characters drink in several scenes (including a reference to two of them being drunk the night before and not remembering what happened), a great deal of smoking occurs, and some bad attitudes are present (including two crewmembers who don't get along and unrelated decisions that unnecessarily endanger the lives of others).

    Several people drown (although we don't see the actual act or the bodies) and another is attacked by a large shark onboard the fishing boat. Various characters are a bit bloody from being tossed out by the storm, while plenty of large fish are even more so after being cut up by commercial fisherman. Beyond that, some tense family moments are present in the form of divorced characters and other related material.

    Should this summary not answer your questions about the film's appropriateness for anyone in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what occurs in the film.

    For those concerned with the repetitive flashing of bright lights on the screen, several instances of that occur (from lightning at night).



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Billy tells Murph to go into the local bar and get drunk. Moments later, we see various characters inside the bar drinking, including most of the crewmembers as well as Christina and others.
  • Murph jokes with his young son wondering if he wants to shoot some pool and have a drink in the local bar (the son says that he does).
  • Bugsy and Irene have drinks in the bar.
  • The next morning Bobby and Christina can't remember what happened the night before (due to drinking) and Bugsy has a beer.
  • Christina has a beer while an old fisherman, Quentin, has a drink.
  • Various people drink in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see a dead body covered in transparent plastic that's carried off a boat (an old fisherman died onboard), but beyond being dead it isn't bloody or gory.
  • We see some cut open and headless fish that are a bit bloody as well as some blood on the wooden dock from them.
  • We see a large, bloody hole in a shark's head after Billy shoots it there (to free Bobby from its mouth).
  • Bobby's leg is somewhat bloody from where a shark bit him.
  • We see a large fishing hook through a character's hand.
  • One of the crewmembers removes the bloody guts from a large fish.
  • Various characters have bloody cuts/gashes on their faces, etc. from being tossed about during the storm.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Murph and Sully don't like each other and make that known to each other and everyone else.
  • McAnally has both for not heeding warnings about the storm and thus endangering the lives of the two passengers on his sailboat.
  • Animal rights supporters might not like the commercial fishing scenes showing large fish being pulled into the boat via hooks, gutted and later seen beheaded (not the actual act, just the look afterwards).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • For anyone uneasy about big storms or becoming seasick, most of the entire second half of the film concerns various characters caught in a ferocious storm (with gargantuan, rolling & crashing waves) and plenty of shots of rocking boats in such seas.
  • Animal rights supporters might not like the commercial fishing scenes showing large fish being pulled into the boat via hooks, gutted and later seen beheaded (not the actual act, just the look afterwards).
  • The crew unknowingly pulls a huge shark onboard and it thrashes about and repeatedly tries biting Bobby, eventually getting his leg. Billy then shows up, and kills the shark with a shotgun blast.
  • A hook goes through Murph's hand, yanks him overboard and drags him under the water (it's attached to a line extending from the boat). Sully and Bobby then dive in and swim underwater, trying to reach him before he drowns (in a several minute sequence).
  • We see a small sailboat being tossed about in the middle of a storm. Later, the huge waves flip it over.
  • A huge, rogue wave hits the fishing boat.
  • A coastguard helicopter team and its "parajumpers" attempt to rescue the crew of a sailboat at night during the raging storm (with huge waves, ferocious winds). During this, the rescue cage they've lowered becomes entangled with the sailboat's mast and the passengers on the sailboat try to hold on as both are whipped around by the storm.
  • Bobby attempts to climb up a ladder to the top of the fishing boat to fix a damaged antenna as the boat is thrashed about by high winds and waves (a several minute sequence during which he's nearly washed overboard).
  • As the storm worsens and the fishing boat heads right into the middle of it, conditions worsen and the boat is thrashed about. An anchor then breaks free from a line and whips around the boat, occasionally crashing into it and nearly hitting various characters. Billy then goes out on the trawling arm, hoping to cut the anchor line, but must contend with the trawling arm swinging back and forth from an upright to an extended position (with him on the end of it).
  • Rescuers jump from a helicopter as it's about to be ditched into the ocean (due to low fuel) and the pilot then finds himself trapped into the copter as it hits the surface and begins sinking further into the ocean.
  • Various characters find themselves floating in the huge, tumultuous seas and/or being washed overboard by the waves.
  • As a coastguard ship tries to rescue people from the water, waves overturn the fishing boat and it begins filling up with water, trapping some of the crew inside.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun: Used by Billy to kill a shark brought onboard that's grabbed Bobby by the leg.
  • Guns: Seen being fired in some old movie playing on a TV in the background of a shot.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Don't f*ck with me," "Sh*tload," "Holy sh*t," "Full of sh*t," "Laid" (sexual), "Freaking," "Stick it up his ass," "Stick 'em up your ass," "Blowing smoke up my ass," "My ass," "Screwing around," "Knucklehead," "Suck," "Shut up," "Screw up," "Kiss my ass," "Little runt," "Jerking off" (nonsexual) and "Hell bent."
  • Bugsy gives Irene a pickup line, "You know what would look good on you? Me."
  • Sully has a large tattoo on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • An anchor suddenly crashes into a window, nearly hitting someone.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of ominous and suspenseful music occurs during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • A song contains the lyrics, "Lord, take me downtown. I'm just looking for some touch" (although the meaning of that is never clear).
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word (with another possible one), 12 "s" words, 1 slang term for sex ("laid"), 11 asses (2 used with "hole"), 11 hells, 3 craps, 2 damns, 2 S.O.B.s, 14 uses of "G-damn," 4 of "Jesus," 3 of "Oh my God," 2 each of "For Christ's sakes," "For God's sakes" and "Oh God" and 1 use of "Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Bobby and Christina make out in a bar (with her legs wrapped up around him).
  • A comment is made about a couple being upstairs above a bar and having such vigorous sex that they shook the lights hanging in the bar. Moments later, we see/hear the lights shaking above the bar (from sex occurring above it - not seen) and everyone in the bar cheers.
  • Bobby comments that another character needs to be "fishing" with a longer "pole" (a presumed reference to genital size).
  • It sounded like Bobby tells Bugsy to go "get laid," with Bugsy replying that it's easy for him to say that.
  • Bugsy gives Irene a pickup line, "You know what would look good on you? Me." When she rebukes that advance, he states that he has feelings too, causing her to ask, "Where? In your pants?"
  • We see part of Murph's bare butt as he gets a shot there.
  • SMOKING
  • Bugsy smokes more than 10 times, while both Murph and Sully smoke more than five. Meanwhile, Christina, Bobby and Irene smoke several times, while Ethel and some background characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Murph and his wife are separated, and he talks with his young son about the boy eventually getting a new dad (which upsets the boy because he doesn't want one).
  • Bobby states that he has a divorce lawyer and mentions that Christina (his girlfriend) should get her kids back (from wherever and with whomever they're currently located).
  • Billy states that he's divorced and that his ex-wife has their two daughters.
  • Various characters grieve over loved ones who perished in the storm.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The risks taken by Billy and his crew, as well as that of McAnally, in trying to make their way through the storm, thus endangering their lives and those of the coastguard team trying to rescue them.
  • Why the crewmembers of the fishing boat didn't wear life preservers during the storm.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Bobby has a black eye, presumably from Christina hitting him the night before (not seen), but neither can remember what happened.
  • Sully nearly hits Murph with a cue stick.
  • Later, Murph and Sully have to be separated again as they're about to fight.
  • The crew unknowingly pulls a huge shark onboard and it thrashes about and repeatedly tries biting Bobby, eventually getting his leg. Billy then shows up, and kills the shark with a shotgun blast.
  • Upset at what's transpiring, Christina grabs the fishing boat's owner and hits him several times on the chest.
  • Various characters drown during the storm (their actual deaths are not seen, however).



  • Reviewed June 22, 2000 / Posted June 30, 2000

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