Rescue Dawn

2007 PG-13 2h 6m Blu-ray / DVD

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Rescue Dawn

2007 PG-13 2h 6m Blu-ray / DVD
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  • Details
Captured by the enemy and held in a Laotian torture camp after his plane is shot down during a bombing mission, fighter pilot Dieter Dengler defies death by organizing one of the most daring escapes of the Vietnam conflict.
Blu-ray DVD
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Widescreen 1.85:1
English, Spanish (Neutral)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 15+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 15+
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age 15+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this intense POW film isn't for younger viewers. The sometimes-bloody action (which is both heroic and not-so-heroic) is filtered through complicated historical and political contexts that aren't exactly kid friendly. Also, the prison camp abuse scenes are visceral and potentially upsetting, with violence that's both physical (beating, dragging, shooting, machete attacks) and psychological. Starving prisoners look extremely thin and weak; they also eat live maggots and a snake (these scenes are explicit). Characters smoke cigarettes, and there's some language, including "s--t."

Sexual Content

Brief suggestive talk ("nice ass for a sailor").


The film opens with discussion of the Vietnam War's start. Early images include bombs dropping and exploding from pilots' perspective. Dieter's plane goes down, and he falls through trees, resulting in minor (but a bit bloody) injuries. In prison camp, abuse includes beating, kicking, tying up, dragging behind vehicles, hanging upside down (including a disturbing POV shot), tying a hornets' nest to a victim's neck, shooting near the head (ears ringing effect on soundtrack), chaining to planks, and starving (prisoners become alarmingly thin). Escape involves shooting, fighting, and knifing, resulting in bloody corpses. Brutal violence includes machete attack (bloody splatter on witness' face, decapitated body visible), and leads to an unnerving hallucination/ghost.


Military men's language includes repeated uses of "s--t," plus occasional uses of "goddamn" and "son of a bitch."

Social Behavior

Prisoners argue, then collaborate to escape; captors are brutal and cruel.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Frequent cigarette smoking by pilots, prisoners, and guards.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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