Box art for Waterworld

Waterworld

action & adventure


In this futuristic thriller, Earth is covered with water and the human race struggles to survive on dilapidated boats and makeshift floating cities.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    43%
  • Audience Score
    43%

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
2 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5

Seagoing sci-fi swashbuckler fun despite bad reputation.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this post-apocalyptic epic postulates a semi-barbarous future where everything is traded and bartered -- including sex. The heroine is glimpsed naked from the rear as she tries to use her body to bribe the hero (he declines the offer), and there's a near-rape of her by another man in a similar "business" arrangement. Frequent violence includes death by machine guns, spears guns, bombs, crashes, knife slashes, drownings, and fireballs. There's a gruesome threat of execution by drowning in some sort of sludge made from human decomposition, and a mutilated main villain demonstrates graphically that he's lost an eye. A little girl is occasionally threatened with danger/death, usually via drowning. Swearing includes one use of the F-word, multiple S-bombs. Much cigarette smoking, and some drinking-carousing happens among the bad guys. The flamboyant lead villain, at one point, is made to look like a Christian evangelical preacher. Some viewers may be grossed out by the introduction of the Kevin Costner character, urinating and then distilling/drinking his own urine.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the reality of melting polar ice caps (whether by "global warming" or natural processes). Would it really raise the water levels this high? Which parts of the science in Waterworld seem bogus, and which parts seem well thought-out?
  • The movie became a joke in its day because of the incomprehensible budget -- $175 million, which would later become not too unusual -- and problems behind the scenes. Ask kids if the idea of "bad buzz" affects their enjoyment of a motion picture.
  • Explain the saga of the real-life Exxon Valdez oil tanker, which turns out to be a surprise key element in the plot.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    43%
    reviews counted: 10
    see all Waterworld reviews
  • Audience

    43%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: If the story seems a little waterlogged, it's still big, loud, and fun to watch.

- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fresh: In the tradition of the old Westerns and Mel Gibson's Road Warrior flicks, this film provides good escapist fun.

- James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Fresh:

- Janet Maslin, New York Times, Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Audience Reviews

2 stars

A truly terrible movie, but it's a train wreck that's at least half way fun to watch. Maybe it's because I had nothing to expect when I saw it, but this is so nutty and a staple of terrible 90s sci-fi. I will say that Dennis Hopper as the villainous leader of the Smokers was really awesome, he's really the shining moment of the movie. Kevin Costner was just way over his head when it came to directing and acting, I think he buckled under pressure.

- ythelastman89, Saturday, May 29, 2010

4 stars

Ideal for Children and makes a big change from CGI cartoons which dominate and are in demand. But Kevin Costner (lead) is good and so is Chaim Girafi (girl) but I didnt quite enjoy Jeanne Tripplehorn. The movie is full of Hollywood stunts and is a very well told story with a clear begining, middle and end. Plus its not out dated for a film made nearly 15 years ago.

- rezpatriot, Thursday, December 10, 2009

2 stars

It's not a great film but it?s really not as bad as people say it is. It has a great supporting cast!

- SirPant, Friday, October 2, 2009