Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Pearl Harbor

MPAA Rating:



Ben Affleck Josh Hartnett Kate Beckinsale Cuba Gooding Jr.


2001 Touchstone Pictures

Still shot from the movie: Pearl Harbor.

Read Review

Reviewed by

Overall C+
Run Time

Making the Grades

Director Michael Bay has tried to do it all---a romance for the girls with not one but two gorgeous heroes, and enough body-throwing, ship-sinking explosions to keep any guy glued to his seat--all this in only three hours.

Pearl Harbor - Official siteRafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and his best friend Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) are swept up in the frenzy that precedes WWII. As ace pilots, they are invaluable American assets and of particular interest to navy nurse, Evelyn Johnson (Kate Beckinsale). But three's a crowd when it comes to love and that causes some not-so-friendly fire between the childhood buddies. Fortunately Evelyn's dilemma (and the love story) is postponed while the US Navy deals with a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For a good forty minutes, air bombers, shellfire and torpedo assaults wreak havoc on the Hawaiian paradise and send military personnel scrambling to contain the damage.

Pearl Harbor - Official siteWhile the intense war violence includes spurting blood, burned bodies and drowning soldiers, Bay keeps a relative check on the gory details. But he gives us plenty of implied sexual encounters between the soldiers and nurses, and one carefully draped scene on the floor of the parachute hanger. Meanwhile, the film also promotes the notion that love comes only to the beautiful, and despite the unquestionable men to women ration favoring the nurses; only Evelyn wins at the game of undying romance. With an added heavy shot of profanity, this movie has a PG-13 rating that parents should heed.

Pearl Harbor - Official siteTo lend depth and reality to the film, the director includes portrayals of real life war heroes, Doris "Dorie" Miller--the first Black American to receive the Navy Cross, and Lt. Col James Doolittle who led the retaliatory attack on Tokyo, as well as showing viewers some little known facts about the raid and it's aftermath.

But that doesn't make it a reliable study guide for your next history test. Rather, Pearl Harbor is an ambitious attempt to honor the young men and women who heroically fought a battle they didn't start and to give us a feel for the events of December 7, 1941.

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Pearl Harbor.

During a night on the town, one soldier abstains from engaging in the passionate encounters of the evening, saying that he wants to come back from fighting knowing the best part of life is still ahead. Do you think it was difficult for him to abstain? Did this show his true love and respect for the young woman he was with that night?

“A brilliant man would find a way not to fight a war.” What did Admiral Yamamoto mean by this? Do you think he had some hesitations about the war and realized the danger he was putting his own young Japanese soldiers into during the attack?

How were minorities portrayed in this film including the black soldiers and President Roosevelt’s assistant? How many native Hawaiians did you see in this movie?

For more information about the Pearl Harbor attack, check out or Pearl Harbor Remembered at

Canadian Movie Ratings

14A Violence, Coarse Language
AB PG Violent Scenes
MB Not Rated Mature Theme
ON Not Rated Frightening Scenes, Violence
QC G Not Advisable for Children

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Pearl Harbor...

DVD Release Information:

  • Studio: Touchstone
  • Theatrical release date: May 25, 2001
  • DVD release date: December 4, 2001
  • Runtime: 183 minutes
  • Production company: Walt Disney
  • Package type: Keep case
  • Aspect ratio: Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1
  • DVD encoding: Region 1
  • Available audio tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS).
DVD Extras:
  • Introduction by director Michael Bay
  • Documentary—Pearl Harbor veterans return to U.S.S. Arizona memorial
  • Documentary—The real attack
  • Documentary—The unsung heroes
  • Music video—Faith Hill, There You’ll Be
  • Cast interviews

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.

Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

There are currently no comments on this review. Be sure to add yours with the form below.

You May Be Interested...

Also On The Web