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Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated PG-13 for intense war experience and some language

Sex & Nudity

  • No sex or nudity.
  • Male characters are shown squatting to defecate, but no nudity is visible.

Violence & Gore

  • There's very little blood in this PG-13 film, but death is everywhere.
  • When a German dive bomber drops its payload on the beach, a man flies upward in the ensuing explosion.
  • Another combatant falls down screaming after getting shot in the face.
  • In the opening sequence, six soldiers run frantically from German gunfire; five are eventually gunned down in the street.
  • Corpses line beaches and float in the water, from sunken ships all the way back to the beach.
  • Many soldiers, even when rescued, are disinclined to go below, into the hull of a ship.
  • We see why: It's much harder to get off a sinking ship from down below than when you're on deck.
  • We witness ships being bombed and sunk by torpedoes, the listing, sinking crafts taking many soldiers down with them into the briny deep.
  • Men fight desperately to get out of these sinking boats, and many simply don't make it.
  • A few other soldiers get caught between the water below and a burning slick of oil above.
  • When one soldier can no longer hold his breath, he's forced to the surface; we see him in the flames, screaming.
  • Another soldier hits his head and dies a slow death.
  • Someone's legs are apparently crushed between two ships.
  • We don't glimpse the incident, but we do hear the man's cries of pain.
  • It's suggested that a man burying a deceased soldier also stole that dead man's clothes.
  • The evacuation procedure gives priority to British soldiers, so a British uniform is the ticket to an earlier evacuation.
  • Fires, explosions and smoke from the battle smudge the air.
  • Wounded soldiers are carried aboard a ship, some wearing bloody bandages.
  • Officers discuss the grim arithmetic of war: one tells another that he'll need to rethink how many wounded soldiers he wants to evacuate, given that one stretcher takes the space of seven standing men.
  • Dunkirk contains intense and realistic sequences of war violence with many casualties by shooting, drowning, burning, and explosion shown. However, the film never lingers on the deaths and avoids showing blood and gore almost entirely.
  • A group of soldiers are shot at by their enemies, no blood, but most of them are killed
  • A group of soldiers are bombed by a plane, the explosions are very loud and some are implied to be killed.
  • A man is seen burying a dead man.
  • A ship is hit by several bombs and ends up sinking while several men attempt to get away.
  • A man is implied to have had his leg crushed by a ship. Nothing is seen, but he screams in pain.
  • A ship is hit by a torpedo and sunk. We see several people trapped inside and panicking as it fills with water. A man opens a door, allowing some of the people to escape, but it's implied that the rest of them end up drowning.
  • A group of men get trapped in a boat that's shot at repeatedly. One man is shot in the hand and screams in pain.
  • A man is threatened with a gun, though he doesn't end up getting shot at.
  • A man gets trapped in a sinking boat, and it's implied that he drowned.
  • A man gets trapped in a plane that sinks as he struggles to break free. He nearly drowns, but is saved by another man.
  • A ship is hit by several bombs and ends up sinking. Several men are seen attempting to escape from it as it sinks.
  • An oil spill is hit by a plane that explodes, causing a massive fire to erupt. Several men are seen getting engulfed in flames, though some manage to survive.


  • It's difficult to pick out profanities precisely in this film's often panicked and very British dialogue, but there are at least two f-words, three s-words and four uses of the British profanity "bloody."
  • We also hear "d--n," "h---," one misuse of God's name and two abuses of Jesus's name.
  • The word "Fuck" is used 4 times with 3 of them being completely audible. However one is mouthed but is clearly seen.
  • Three uses of the "f-word" but you can't hear the second one and one use of "Christ."

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • A couple of soldiers are given beer.
  • Another fishes around in a butt-filled ashtray, looking for a half-used cigarette to smoke.
  • Soldiers are given celebratory alcohol at the film's close.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • There is a lot of violence.
  • The whole film is impeccably intense in its nature. The displays of warfare can be particularly distressing although blood and gore is never really shown.
  • The character of the 'Shivering Soldier' is perceived as an analogy for shell-shocked soldiers as a result of warfare in WWII. His character's clear suffering of PTSD may be difficult for younger viewers to watch.
  • The film is intended to be realistic and demonstrate the stressful nature of warfare on those fighting it.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Violence & Gore

  • A teen boy is accidentally thrown down stairs and hits his head on a door, giving him a severe concussion and blinding him. Another teen boy attempts to bandage him up, with some blood seen. The boy is later revealed to have died as a result of this.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • The ending where a 'Spitfire flyer' is taken captive by the Germans may be emotionally intense.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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