Pearl Harbor

Theatrical Release: May 25, 2001
DVD Release: December 4, 2001
Pearl Harbor


Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) grow up like brothers and become pilots together in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Life is laid back and rather easy in the military with girlfriends and the good life, until Rafe is assigned to England to fight in Britain’s Royal Air Force. Meanwhile Danny and Rafe’s girlfriend (Kate Beckinsale), a Navy nurse, are assigned to Hawaii where romantically, things begin to heat up for Danny and Evelyn. Life is full of surprises and changes for everyone on December 7, 1941, the day (as Roosevelt said) will live in infamy.

Dove Review

THE GOOD:…This incredible epic is unlike any war movie you’ve ever seen before, delivering heroism and tragedy that’s real and tangible. It’s a glimpse into our nation’s past capturing the realism of war with historical filmmaking techniques and digital special effects that go emotionally and technically beyond “Saving Private Ryan” – never before has war looked so real! The story delivers a satisfying account of that infamous day in history doing justice to both sides, giving the Japanese’ perspective and reason for war instead of simply painting them as pure evil. Affleck and Hartnett prove they are both leading man material delivering the essence of bravery and heroism in most of the dramatic action and the humanity side of the story that captures our hearts. But directors/producers Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer have likewise assembled a talented cast playing important key roles (Beckinsale, Baldwin, Gooding, JR., Voight, Tom Sizemore) that are emotionally pivotal to the story. From the bullets ricocheting through the water, the huge battleships Oklahoma and Arizona sinking, incredible aerial shots of bombs being dropped and the magnitude of thousands of men (and women) hurt or dying in battle, to personal triumphs like Roosevelt (Voight) proving his manhood to a room full of doubting military leaders by standing from his wheelchair and the first black man (Gooding JR.) honored by the government for his heroism in shooting down two planes. The incredible script by Randall Wallace, gorgeous scenery, wonderful period costumes, stirring musical score by Hans Zimmer and incredible cast make this a spectacular ode to American history that simply shouldn’t be missed by anyone, especially teenagers. I was moved and enthralled with this movie. It is the first serious Oscar contender this year and will undoubtedly be the box office hit of the summer. THE NOT-SO-GOOD:…This is a movie made for adults and mature audiences who can understand and deal with, wartime issues and themes. Anyone who sees it needs to be mature enough to handle these themes as well as the romantic love scene that’s too mature for a young PG-13 crowd.

Content Description

Offensive language: Mild cursing and references to anatomy is all that’s used until wartime starts, then religious profanities fly in the face of battle. Sexual situations: I am about to reveal a plot point important for parents to know about so anyone else may not want to read past this point…here goes. I applaud the fact that Rafe chooses not to have sex with Evelyn because he respects her and wants to return from England to marry her properly. When Rafe is reported killed in combat, Danny and Evelyn turn to each other for comfort, fall in love and have sex. The passionate scene is handled tastefully and beautifully (in a parachute hanger) with sex and nudity implied (nothing is fully shown) by creative camerawork but is still too adult for kids or young teens to see. This immoral act is an important plot point later in the movie so teenagers who see it need to be old enough to understand the consequences. A humorous scene takes place in a hospital where young service men have to get painful shots (only one partial rear nudity shot is shown.) Violence: A fight takes place among men in a bar. Wartime battle scenes showing men shot, blown-up, burned and drowned, but nothing as vivid or severe as shown in “Saving Private Ryan”.


Company: Buena Vista Home Video
Director: Michael Bay
Genre: Action
Runtime: 183 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Holly McClure