Box art for 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
  • Audience Score

common sense

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

    reviews counted: 0
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  • Audience


Audience Reviews

3 stars

I think this movie got ragged far more than it needed to. Kevin Costner wasnt given a break at the time and the huge budget was just insane. But I enjoyed the movie.

- jmanard52, Thursday, March 29, 2007

4 stars

Damn you guys are horrible how could the majority of you rate this as average? It was one helluva movie!

- Gx7, Sunday, September 19, 2010

4 stars

This movie is actually really well done. I don't see why so many people seem to hate it. It's really imaginative and pretty interesting. I love it for what it is, but I do have to agree with Roger Ebert on how it would have been nice had this film not simply been an overblown action movie, and tried to have some substance and explore the world and address issues with how the survivors deal with stuff like storms. Costner isn't amazing here, but he's not bad. Hopper is a little too hammy, but still fun to watch. Jeanne Tripplehorn looks good, and I wish her performance matched her looks, but she's not terrible either. Maybe it's because I saw this at a young age and was so floored by the concept that I'm unable to join the masses who hate this movie, but honestly it's really pretty good. It dosn't deserve the jeers it gets.

- cosmo313, Monday, August 15, 2011