The Shallows parents guide

The Shallows Parent Guide

For fans of the human verses nature thriller, the film offers an idyllic location, ominous music, plenty of intense attack scenes and gallons and gallons of blood.

Overall B-

The water may not be very deep, nor the shore very far away, but reaching safety for a young woman (Blake Lively) stranded on a rocky outcrop still means having to brave the dangers of an encircling shark.

Release date June 24, 2016

Violence C
Sexual Content B+
Profanity C
Substance Use B+

Why is The Shallows rated PG-13? The MPAA rated The Shallows PG-13 for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language.

Run Time: 87 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

A paradisal (yes this spelling is correct) surfing trip to a secret beach turns bloody for Nancy Adams (Blake Lively) who is looking for solace after the untimely death of her mother. With her board in tow, the med school dropout has been traveling the world. Finally, with the help of a local (Óscar Jaenada), she finds her way to the Mexican shore where her mother went surfing after discovering she was pregnant with Nancy. Hoping to feel a connection to her mom, Nancy strips down to her bikini and hits the water.

Only two other surfers are riding the waves in the secluded tropical bay. At the end of the day they offer to give Nancy a ride back to town but she opts to catch one more wave. Paddling out into the ocean, she unintentionally comes upon a shark devouring the floating carcass of a dead whale.

She scrambles to retreat but the shark strikes, leaving her boardless and bleeding from a jagged gash on her leg. As the shark continues to circle, Nancy climbs atop the decaying body of the whale to escape. At last, she manages to swim to a nearby outcropping of rock visible only during low tide. With just a few hours until the rocks are underwater again, Nancy pits her will against that of the shark.

Much like Tom Hanks in Castaway, Lively has to carry this film on her own with only an injured seagull for a co-star. (The other nameless actors become shark bait.) As a result, the dialogue is limited and punctuated with plenty of groans and whimpers as Nancy does her best to self-administer medical aid. Still, the feisty survivor spews out a brief gush of profanities (including a strong sexual expletive) when the shark makes its final deadly attack.

For fans of the human verses nature thriller, the film offers an idyllic location, ominous music, plenty of intense attack scenes and gallons and gallons of blood. Of course there are plot holes—the height of the water on the rock ebbs and flows to fit the situation—and Nancy pulls off some pretty amazing feats. Chalk that up to adrenaline. Yet the script avoids much of the cheesy gore found in teen thrillers like Shark Night. This is a story of survival against all odds. And in the end, Nancy proves she is a fighter just like her mother was.

However, if you’re the type who finds the musical score from Jaws is enough to make you nervous to enter the water, you might want to think twice about wading into The Shallows.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Starring Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Sedona Legge. Running time: 87 minutes. Theatrical release June 24, 2016. Updated

The Shallows
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Shallows rated PG-13? The Shallows is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for bloody images, intense sequences of peril, and brief strong language.

Violence: Several characters are attacked and killed by a rogue shark in intense scenes of nature vs man violence. Blood is frequently depicted along with gruesome injuries. A character clings onto the decaying body of a dead whale. Later she has to perform a type of surgery on herself. Sounds of a shark attack are heard and later a man is shown bitten in half. A character performs a medical treatment on a bird. The death of a woman is discussed. A character fires a flare gun at an animal. Oil on the ocean surface bursts into flames and engulfs a fish.

Sexual Content: A character wears a bikini throughout the film. Some brief sensual shots are shown.

Language: Brief strong language includes a sexual expletive used in a non-sexual context and some scatological slang.

Alcohol / Drug Use: A drunken character is shown on the beach. Another character is unable to meet her friend because of a hangover.

Page last updated

More parents' guide for The Shallows after the break...

The Shallows Parents' Guide

While stuck on the rock, Nancy finds a Go-Pro camera and records a final message to her family. What would your final message be? Who would you send it to?

While driving through the jungle to the secret beach location, Nancy is focused on her phone. The driver tells her to put it away and look at the amazing scenes around outside. Why is it sometimes difficult to put down devices? What wonders do we miss when we are glued to our screens? How can you encourage yourself or others to appreciate the outdoors?

How does Nancy’s medical training help save her life? What basic life skills are important for a person to acquire?

News About "The Shallows"

Learn more about the Great White Shark.

From the Studio:
In the taut thriller The Shallows, when Nancy (Blake Lively) is surfing on a secluded beach, she finds herself on the feeding ground of a great white shark. Though she is stranded only 200 yards from shore, survival proves to be the ultimate test of wills, requiring all of Nancy's ingenuity, resourcefulness, and fortitude.
Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Home Video

The most recent home video release of The Shallows movie is September 27, 2016. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: The Shallows
Release Date: 27 September 2016
The Shallows releases to home video (4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray or Blu-ray/DVD/Digital) with the following extras:
4K Ultra HD
- Feature film in resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR)
- Dolby Atmos soundtrack (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible)
- Also includes the film and special features on high-def Blu-ray
Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Bonus Materials Include:
- Deleted Scenes
- Four Featurettes: Shooting in The Shallows, How to Build a Shark, Finding The Perfect Beach: Lord Howe Island, When Sharks Attack

Related home video titles:

Jaws is the definitive shark movie. Other characters face dangerous waters in All is Lost and In the Heart of the Sea.