Taking Chance

2008 TV-PG 1h 18m DVD

Taking Chance

2008 TV-PG 1h 18m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Based on an article by Marine Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, this HBO original film tells the story of Strobl's emotional experience traveling across America as a volunteer escort officer for the body of fallen 19-year-old Marine Chance Phelps. Along the 2004 journey to Phelps' hometown in Wyoming, Strobl (portrayed by Golden Globe winner Kevin Bacon) witnesses -- and is moved by -- acts of respect by everyday Americans.
Kevin Bacon, Tom Aldredge, Nicholas Art, Blanche Baker, Guy Boyd, Dominic Colon, Liza Colon-Zayas, Mike Colter
Ross Katz
Widescreen 1.78:1
English, Spanish (Neutral), French, Portuguese
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
TV-PG - This program contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this somber film traces the journey of Private Chance Phelps, from his death in battle in Iraq, to a military mortuary in the United States, and finally to his hometown where he is buried. It also follows Lt. Col. Mike Strobl, who volunteers to escort Chance's coffin on the final stages of the trip, and along the way comes to grips with his own conflicted feelings about his duty as a Marine. The spare, emotional drama keeps politics in the background, and focuses instead on the soldiers serving, and dying, in Iraq. Whether or not people believe this conflict makes sense, the film makes it clear that anyone who gives their life in battle deserves honor and respect. Though there is very little violence, sex, swearing, drinking, or anything else that might alarm parents, the complex and poignant themes are probably better for a mature audience.

Sexual Content


No violence, though there are some detailed conversations about the horrors of combat. Several scenes show mortuary workers preparing a soldier's body for burial; though they mention that the corpse is quite damaged, the subtle shots do not include any explicit images, and focus instead on small, telling details, such as cleaning blood off a watch.


Very minor. "S--t" is used in conversation twice.

Social Behavior

The film focuses on what it means for soldiers to make the ultimate sacrifice. Many characters, whether they agree with the war in Iraq or not, show support for the soldiers.


Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Characters drink during a memorial party. At first they are exuberant; later, they seem melancholy.

  • 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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