Box art for Cutthroat Island

Cutthroat Island

  • Rated PG13
  • HD and SD formats available

action & adventure, children & family, romance

A female pirate and her companion race against their rivals to find a hidden island that contains a fabulous treasure.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 11
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Geena Davis brings girl power to the pirate ship.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that the heroine here behaves every bit the way a roguish male action-hero would (think of James Bond especially). That means she's not only strong and assertive, resourceful and unyielding in hand-to-hand combat against villains, but also sexually active, non-monogamous, and able to drink any man under the table. She also gets bloodied quite a bit in fights (but recovers pretty quickly). At one point she disguises herself as a cleavage-baring prostitute.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the gender-switch in the character of Morgan. Do you think this swaggering pirate woman makes an effective heroine or not? If much the movie had been done with a male lead instead (picture a favorite like Jackie Chan or Tom Cruise) how would that have changed the storyline? Would audiences have accepted the movie more? You could discuss sexual equality (and double standards) in real-life situations, such as jobs and sports, and even the few historical records of actual lady pirates.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 18
    see all Cutthroat Island reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Island is a one-of-a-kind, full-steam-ahead practical pirate event, and while it's bolted together with minimal attention to thespian proficiency, it sustains a special rhythm of eye candy and fortitude that makes it an enduring curiosity.

- Brian Orndorf,, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rotten: This pirate movie wannabe should walk the plank.

- Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: A fun popcorn movie.

- Chuck O'Leary, Fantastica Daily, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Cutthroat Island is a very fun pirate film with lots of action, humorous and witty dialogue and good acting. I cannot understand why this film flopped, it has everything that is required to be a box office hit. I think it's quite a shame. Renny Harlin delivers quite possibly the best film of his career This is a bare bones pirate film with a simple, yet effective story. The film doesn't include all the magic and sorcery of The Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy; its a pirate film about pirates looking for hidden treasure. Simple and classic, some may enjoy this film more than the POTC films. I enjoyed both films. This film is action packed and once it starts, it doesn't give you enough time for a breather. This film should only be viewed by pirate film enthusiasts or action film fans. If you're expecting a Pirates Of The Caribbean style film, you'll be greatly disappointed and if you do expect something of the sort by watching this film, then you should pass up on it. This resembles more the pirate films of old and doesn't include magical curses or mythical creatures with multiple tentacles. Geena Davis is very good here, and so is Matthew Modine. Also a key performance worth mentioning is Frank Langella as Dawg, he's definitely one of the strongest character on screen. Cutthroat Island is one fun, thrilling action packed swahbuckling adventure. A seriously underrated film.

- TheDudeLebowski65, Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1 star

Geena Davis did the Pirates of the Caribbean thing a decade before Mr. Depp. And did it a hell of a lot worse. Basically Renny Harlin failed to take into account the fact that it's supposed to be a period pirate film, and directed it in exactly the same way as he did Die Hard 2, explosions and all. Although everyone is dressed as 17th century pirates it has zero sense of period and therefore it's frankly laughable.

- garyX, Friday, May 11, 2007

3 stars

A predecessor to Pirates of the Caribbean that unlike those movies became a big flop in the box-office. The critics showed no mercy back then and yes, it is partially very cheesy and suffers from bad cinematography and directing. But nonetheless it is, suprisingly enough, a very entertaining film without a dull moment. It's easy to see where PotC got its inspiration from :-)

- CloudStrife84, Saturday, April 28, 2007