The Washington Post
Teamwork, ingenuity shine in excellent, intense true story.
“Thirteen Lives,” directed by Ron Howard, recounts the true events of the against-all-odds rescue of a boys’ soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand in 2018. Just as it was in real life, the peril is intense, so you’ll probably want to let kids know ahead of watching that the boys survive. But one diver does perish, and his drowning is shown on camera. Like the 2021 documentary about the same events, “The Rescue,” this film depicts teamwork and striking bravery. Every person in the movie is portrayed as a hero or role model, working through communication barriers and cultural differences to come up with a solution. There are many positive takeaways, including the idea that pulling off the impossible comes from combining a range of knowledge and skills. Specifically, viewers are likely to gain an appreciation for geology and engineering. Expect to see a couple of adults smoking, and kids are given sedatives and ketamine through needles and pills without parental consent. Language isn’t frequent but includes “s---” and “a--.” (147 minutes)