MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1 1/2

When Jo (Helen Hunt) was a little girl, a huge tornado swept away her father. Haunted by that devastating event, she has become obsessed with figuring out a way to conquer the unpredictable force of the tornado. Now, she and her estranged husband, Bill (Bill Paxton), have come up with a machine that analyzes tornadoes. The only catch is that the machine has to be placed directly in the path of the tornado a tricky business at best. Jo and her crew of thrill-seeking tornado stalkers intend to get the machine close enough to an approaching funnel cloud without getting themselves killed. Bill shows up to sign divorce papers, gets caught up in the excitement of tornado watching and decides to go with Jo and her crew. Unfortunately, his fiancee (Jami Gertz), a rather uptight woman, comes along too and gets a quick introduction to the power of the tornado. Heart-stopping special effects are worth the price of admission as Jo and her team chase one tornado after another and get caught in some that destroy almost everything in their path. Most viewers won't mind that TWISTER's plot is very predictable, but with a few more twists in the story, it could have been the Jurassic Park of 1996.

The spectacular special effects offer enough drama and realism without offensive language to express fear and excitement. And the characters discuss the unbelievable power of the tornado with almost a religious awe. Yet the many obscenities and profanities they use are far from religious. The intensity of the storm accounts for horrendous property damage that could frighten young or sensitive audiences. One man is blown away and two die when their car smashes to the ground and explodes. These scenes are important, however, and give the film credibility. The really destructive, gratuitous feature is not the tornadoes, but the foul mouths of the characters. Refreshingly free of sexual content or nudity, TWISTER could have been an outstanding tribute to the power of an all-powerful Creator. It's too bad offensive language spoils that possibility.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 13, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (12) times - S-word 9, f-word 1, others 2

Profanity: Many (25) times - Regular 13 (J, C, JC, G), Exclamatory 12

Violence: Many times - Moderate (naturally occurring from the tornado, lots of property damage, one man blown away and two killed as their car smashes to the ground and explodes)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - references to intercourse

Drugs: None


Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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