Rip Tide

image for Rip Tide

Short takes

Not recommended under 7 due to lack of interest, OK for children aged 7 and up, although parents may wish to discuss some of the themes with younger viewers

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Rip Tide
  • a review of Rip Tide completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 18 September 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Lacks interest for this age group, so not recommended
Children aged 7-11 OK for this group, but parents may wish to discuss some of the film’s themes with their children
Children aged 11 and over OK for this group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Rip Tide
Classification: G

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Cora (Debbie Ryan) is an American teenager living in New York. Her mother (Danielle Carter) is the head of a top New York modelling agency and Cora is on track to a lucrative editorial modelling contract. One day, during a shoot, Cora becomes frustrated and overwhelmed by the stifling environment and the lack of connection with her busy mother. As she rushes out in an emotional state, someone takes a video of her as she tumbles down the stairs. The video goes viral on social media and Cora is an outcast, and on the verge of ruining her modelling career.

Needing to escape all the attention, Cora decides to take a flight to Australia to stay with her Aunt Margot (Genevieve Hegney) in a sleepy little surf town on the coast of Australia. Aunt Margot is an ex pro-surfer who is still recovering from the loss of her husband a year earlier. Cora takes some time to adjust to the rhythm of life in Australia but gradually she reconnects with nature and with her own buried aspirations, working out what she really wants from life.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Career choices and aspirations; mother-daughter relationships and tensions; grief at the loss of a partner; online bullying

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Nothing of concern

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

There are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Aunt Margot goes out surfing on a stormy day and the wild sea becomes dangerous.
  • Cora is emotionally distressed by her mother’s dismissive attitude.
  • Aunt Margot has regular ‘visions’ of her husband.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Younger children in this group may also be upset by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern

Sexual references

There are some romantic references in this movie, including:

  • Cora and Tom flirt with each other

Use of substances

There is some mild semi-nudity and romantic activity in this movie, including:

  • Cora and Tom kiss and hold each other
  • Margot and Owen dance together and hold each other
  • Tom has his wet suit pulled down to his waist, exposing his torso

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Rip Tide is a movie aimed towards pre-teen and early teenage viewers. It has some lovely cinematography of the Australian coast line, some good female role models and positive messages for young people. It lacks interest for children under 6 and parents may wish to discuss some of the themes with the 7 to 11 group.

The main message from this movie is to follow your aspirations, even when your parents have different ideas about what is best for you.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • the therapeutic benefits of connecting with, being active in,  nature.
  • the importance of strong relationships.

This movie raises a number of other issues that parents may wish to discuss, including.

  • being too driven by ambition and money.
  • superficial beauty standards.
  • online bullying.
  • dealing with grief.