Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Great movie, but too intense, racy for younger kids.

Movie PG-13 1997 194 minutes
Titanic Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 125 parent reviews

age 10+

Not prepared for multiple references to suicide

I was not concerned about the brief appearance of breasts or the violence in a historical context - but what bothered my kids the most, and was the hardest to explain for me since I was not prepared for it, was the recurrent theme of suicide. Early on, the main character, who feels trapped by her social circumstances, climbs the ship's railing and dangles over the water before she is talked down and assisted down. Later, when fighting breaks out over lifeboats, a crew member shoots a passenger, then overwhelmed, he points the gun to his temple and pulls the trigger. This shocked my young kids. We are also told, but not shown, that another main character who survived the wreck later "put a pistol in his mouth" when the stock markets crashed in 1929. Lots of questions from these scenes, and we had to talk about coping skills! Less noticeably, there were also people both jumping and falling from the sinking boat as it sank, and an older couple who opted to stay below deck and die together, but as that entire sequence at the end of the movie was intense, my kids did not ask many questions about these.
age 11+

Great movie and excellent source for discussions

It’s been years since I first watched this movie and we decided to watch it with our 8 and 11 year old daughters. My husband and 11 yr old we’re going to see Titanic the musical and thought it would provide good background. The language for the most part didn’t bother me. Long ago, we had the discussion that sometimes you will hear inappropriate words in movies, songs, and during football season. You will be allowed to experience such things at my discretion as long as you don’t repeat the words, and we haven’t had any issues. I did cringe a little at the whore line, although I don’t think either of them understood the meaning. My husband fast forwarded thru the sex in the car scenes although I honestly think it drew more attention to it than just letting it play out. I will say though that while you don’t see much, it is clear what is happening. The nude painting scenes didn’t bother me. My kids have seen nude art before and while this did have a romantic twist on it, I wasn’t concerned, esp for my 11 yo and esp when taking into consideration the overall experience of the movie. I think the most concerning part is the death at the end, including people falling to their death and specifically the closeups of the frozen dead bodies in the water. It definitely belongs in the movie - it accurately depicts the horror and tragedy of the event. But it was a little much for my 8yo (I had forgotten how graphic it was, esp with the bodies in the water) and could be too intense for an older child that isn’t very mature. In hindsight, I probably wouldn’t let my 8 yo watch it yet. She had a lot of questions the next day, although they were more about her trying to understand that the events of the Titanic were true but Jack and Rose weren’t based on true people. But just seeing how intense it was for her while watching it, I would prob wait. That said, she is completely fine. Both loved it and I would have no issues with my 11yo watching it again. This movie provides an excellent opportunity for discussions on the events of the Titanic, the distinction between social classes at that time, and what it means to have good character. We talked about some of these before and after watching the movie and for the next several days. Ultimately, I would say you have to weigh the maturity of your child along with the benefits you get from exposing them to such a powerful portrayal of an historic event.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (125 ):
Kids say (721 ):

One of the highest-grossing movies of all time, this enthralling saga achieved commercial and critical success, winning 11 Oscars out of its 14 nominations. The irresistible love story of Titanic stars two of the best actors of their generation; dazzling visual effects involve the most famous ship disaster of all time; a smug, rich villain is so easy to hate that he should be sporting an evil, twirling mustache; James Horner's score soars, coupled with Celine Dion's hokey-but-touching "My Heart Will Go On" theme; and there are fine performances by supporting actors like Kathy Bates as the "Unsinkable" Molly Brown, Frances Fisher as Rose's snobby mother, Bernard Hill (known best as King Theoden in that other epic, Lord of the Rings) as Captain Smith, Victor Garber as the Titanic architect, and, of course, Oscar-nominated Stuart as the narrator, Old Rose.

Strong central female characters are the heart of Titanic, along with a look into the differences between social classes. Fans of romance will adore the journey of the star-crossed lovers, while action fans will appreciate the suspense and tension as the ship begins to sink. This is truly a film that has something for nearly everyone.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate