Only the Brave parents guide

Only the Brave Parent Guide

Although an exceptional film, it unfortunately includes a torrent of profanities.

Overall B+

This drama is based on the true story of the elite crew of firemen from Prescott, Arizona who battled a wildfire in Yarnell, Arizona in June 2013. The film stars Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Miles Teller and Jennifer Connelly.

Release date October 20, 2017

Violence B-
Sexual Content B-
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is Only the Brave rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Only the Brave PG-13 for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material.

Run Time: 133 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

During June of 2013 a lightning strike started a wildfire. With winds whipping the flames toward the community of Yarnell, Arizona, various fire crews were called upon to bring it under control and to protect civilians. One of these was the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

This elite group of firefighters held the unique certification of hotshots, meaning these men and women are trained to meet demanding physical standards and to undertake complex fire mitigation methods. Even though they worked within the fire department of the City of Prescott, Arizona, they are considered an “interagency” resource, and could be called to serve anywhere in the US.

Only The Brave takes a great deal of time introducing many of the twenty members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on a personal basis. Being a memorial film (yes, this is a true story with a very tragic ending), this approach is not only appropriate but also provides an effective dramatic backdrop.

The spotlight is mainly on the group’s supervisor, Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin). Concerned that Prescott is in jeopardy of being inundated by a major fire one day, he campaigns the municipality for the formation of a hotshot crew. Working with Mayor Worthington (played by an actor with the ironic name Forrest Fyre) and fire chief Duane Steinbrink (Jeff Bridges), Marsh reaches his goal and begins recruiting members.

While each of the men gets some screen time, we closely follow Brendan McDonough (Miles Teller). Branded with the nickname “Donut”, he’s a former addict determined to convince the mother (Natalie Hall) of his baby daughter that his former life is well behind him. It’s a side story that provides a positive example of someone who overcomes an all too common ailment.

Other major characters are the women, who as wives and girlfriends accept just as much risk as the men. Amanda Marsh (Jennifer Connelly) isn’t happy with her husband’s work/life imbalance and often turns to Marvel Steinbrink (Andie MacDowell), the fire chief’s wife, for support and friendship.

An exceptional film that uses its long running time effectively, Only the Brave also unleashes a torrent of profanities in what seems to be an attempt to convince us the men we see on the screen are the real deal. Although it would be unrealistic to believe their language wouldn’t include a variety of four-letter words, the generous peppering of profanity and sexual remarks may cause parents to rethink this title for family viewing—and that’s unfortunate. Two sexual expletives, two crude finger gestures, a heaping pile of scatological curses and many other crass terms add up to far more than needed to get the point across.

The movie’s construction immerses its audience into the terrifying environment of wildfires. Watching these men deal with flames chasing them across brush and forests, we get a clear idea of some of the dangers. A damaged tree nearly takes out one member when it crashes to the ground. Wildlife, including a well-hidden rattlesnake, pose hazards (one person is bitten and we see a bloody wound). Even the water bombers pose problems when they inadvertently drop their load on the crew below. The result is a convincing tribute to the many people who put lives on the line to safeguard us from what seems to be an ever-increasing number of blazes encroaching on populations.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Starring Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Connelly, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch. Running time: 133 minutes. Theatrical release October 20, 2017. Updated

Only the Brave
Rating & Content Info

Why is Only the Brave rated PG-13? Only the Brave is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material.

Violence: Fire crew members are depicted in frequent peril while fighting flames. Although none of these events include explicit gore or detail, parents should be prepared to help younger audience members deal with the tragic conclusion. Some men are injured by natural hazards. A character is bitten by a rattlesnake and we see the bloody wound on a couple of occasions. A character falls asleep while driving and rolls the vehicle: we later see this person with superficial injuries. Bees chase and sting characters. Characters begin a physical altercation, but it is brought to a halt.

Sexual Content: Brief male buttock nudity is seen twice in a non-sexual contex. A married couple share a bath in a non-sexual context without nudity. A married couple is seen embracing in bed and discussing martial topics. Many male characters make crude sexual comments.

Profanity: Two uses of the sexual expletive in a non-sexual context, along with two crude finger gestures. Frequent scatological and vulgar expressions are heard throughout, along with crude terms for sexual anatomy and terms for sex.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A character uses drugs in a recreational context, however he successfully modifies his behavior and overcomes an addiction. Characters are seen drinking in social situations.

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More parents' guide for Only the Brave after the break...

Only the Brave Parents' Guide

To get a better understanding of who the real people were in this story, check this article published on an Arizona news website.

News About "Only the Brave"

Only the Brave was previously titled No Exit and Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The movie Only the Brave dramatizes the true story of a group of twenty firefighters from the Prescott, Arizona's Granite Mountain Hotshots. On June 30, 2013, nineteen of them perished while battleing the Yarnell, Arizona blaze.

Take an in-depth look at the tragedy and learn about efforts being made to preserve the memory of these brave men.

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Another group of firefighters are depicted in the movie Ladder 49. Comradery in the face of peril is also depicted in the film The 33, which is based on the true story of a group of miners who are trapped underground.