Theatrical Release: February 4, 2011


This 3-D action-thriller Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific’s Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank’s team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

Dove Review

The premise of this James-Cameron-produced film is that a cyclone floods a cave entrance, and a group of explorers face one catastrophe and problem after another as they attempt to find their way out. As you would expect from a James Cameron film it is visually stunning. The point-of-view shots from a helicopter and along the flowing course of a river might be a bit much for some viewers, but the movie does make you feel as if you are there. Of course Cameron didn’t actually direct the movie. Alister Grierson did. Ultimately the movie seems to be about death and how people react to it. In one scene which might bother viewers, a man drowns a badly-wounded character in what he believes is a mercy killing. Also, in one scene a character refers to a cave and says “There’s no God down there.” This film will urge the viewer to think about the topic of pain and unexpected troubles. One also can’t help but think while watching this movie that sometimes something like some extra water can sure cause a lot of problems.

At any rate, the movie has a lot of action but in addition contains a lot of strong language, including the F bomb and biblical profanity. Due to the content level, we cannot award our Dove Seal to this film.

Content Description

Sex: A few graphic sexual comments and innuendos.
Language: GD-3; J/JC-9; Ch*ist-1; G/OMG-3; F-27; S-26; Slang for male genitalia-2; Slang for female genitalia-1; H-6; A-4; D-3; SOB-3; PO-1; B-1; Bloody-1
Violence: A very bloody face is seen; a few characters drown and one character is drowned in what a character considers a "mercy drowning"; corpses are seen; man attacks another man; a few struggles.
Drugs: A few drinks and talk of drinking and one brief drug comment.
Nudity: A man moons a character; a woman is seen in bra and panties; cleavage; shirtless man.
Other: A man flips off a character; a jump scene with a man suddenly attacking another; a man questions God's existence; the theme of death and suffering and unexplained pain.


Company: Universal Pictures
Writer: John Garvin & Andrew Wight
Producer: James Cameron
Genre: Action
Runtime: 109 min.
Industry Rating: R
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter