River Wild Parents Guide

RIVER WILD parents guide review and Ratings, Age rating, objectionable content, positive messages, cast overview, and family suitability.

Release Date1 August 2023
StarringLeighton Meester, Adam Brody, Taran Killam, Matt Devere, Courtney Chen, Eve Connolly, Olivia Swann, Nick Wittman
AudienceTeenagers and adults
Runtime91 minutes
DirectorBen Ketai
Executive ProducerNone Listed
ProducerOgden Gavanski, Daniel Kresmery, Anne-Maria Roberge

River Wild Movie Review

RIVER WILD is a Netflix remake of the 1994 Meryl Streep thriller, featuring entirely new characters in a similar situation. In the original film, Streep played a mother whose family faced a terrifying ordeal with two criminals during a kayaking trip. In the new movie, the story revolves around Joey, a single female doctor, who joins her brother Gray on a remote kayaking adventure. Unexpectedly, Joey discovers that Gray’s friend, Trevor, a person who has always given her an uneasy feeling since high school, is now part of the expedition, fresh out of a three-year prison term. This setup seems destined for trouble.

RIVER WILD includes some thrilling action sequences, especially in two intense fight scenes. However, the excitement on the water is limited, with extended, less engaging periods between these action moments. Moreover, the characters are underdeveloped, and a sudden plot twist feels forced and out of place. Lastly, the performances in RIVER WILD do not measure up to the star quality of the original 1994 movie. The film also contains intense violence and over 20 instances of strong language and profanity.

You may also check out A Million Miles Away Parents Guide Review.

River Wild Parents Guide


 The movie includes 21 instances of strong language, including two uses of the “f” word, one instance of a profanity involving Christ, two instances using the GD profanity, and a character making an offensive gesture.


The film depicts various violent incidents, including a character suffering a skull fracture after falling off-screen, a character claiming an attempted assault before the fall, a character with a head wound experiencing seizures, attacks on a park ranger, choking, stabbing, shooting, and a character briefly contemplating suicide. There are also intense fights, intentional raft flipping to harm passengers, and a character self-inflicting a minor chest wound.

Sexual Content:

The film references unwanted sexual advances, including a character taking advantage of someone at a young age and another character facing a similar situation that results in injury. However, there is no nudity depicted.

Alcohol Use:

Some characters are shown consuming alcohol during the movie.

Smoking and Drug Use:

 Smoking is portrayed in the film, but there is no depiction of drug use or abuse.

Other Immoral Elements: The antagonist in the film engages in lying, manipulating, and terrorizing the female hostages throughout the story.

What You Should Know:

RIVER WILD is a reimagining of the 1994 Meryl Streep thriller. Instead of focusing on Streep’s character and her family, it centers on Joey, a doctor, joining her brother Gray for a kayaking trip. Trevor, a recently released ex-convict, and Gray’s friend, accompanies them. An incident involving another woman, Van, leads to a series of escalating conflicts and a struggle for survival.

While the film contains some well-executed action scenes, especially two intense fights, the overall pacing is uneven, with extended dull moments between action sequences. Character development is lacking, making it difficult for viewers to emotionally connect with the cast. The plot includes a surprise twist that feels contrived and out of place.

The performances in RIVER WILD are decent but fall short of the caliber of the original film, starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon. The movie showcases both beautiful and intense scenery, depending on the mood, but its pacing issues make it a challenging journey to undertake.

RIVER WILD contains intense violence, references to unwanted advances, and significant strong language, including a few strong profanities. For these reasons, MOVIEGUIDE® recommends caution when considering viewing.

RIVER WILD, while attempting to modernize the storyline and introduce new characters, struggles to capture the same intensity and depth as its predecessor. The action sequences offer moments of excitement, showcasing the characters’ struggles and conflicts. However, the film’s pacing issues are a noticeable drawback. Lengthy stretches of dialogue and exposition between action scenes can leave viewers feeling disconnected from the plot.

One of the film’s main shortcomings lies in its character development. Unlike the original, where Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon delivered memorable performances that allowed the audience to empathize with their characters, RIVER WILD falls short of establishing a similar emotional connection. The characters lack the depth and complexity needed to make their survival journey truly engaging.

Moreover, the plot twist introduced in the film feels forced and comes across as a cheap attempt to shock viewers rather than a well-integrated narrative element. Instead of enhancing the story, it disrupts the flow and coherence of the plot.

In terms of performances, the cast does a decent job, but it’s evident that they don’t reach the star power and charisma of the original film’s actors. The chemistry between the characters, which played a pivotal role in the success of the 1994 version, doesn’t quite come to life in this reboot.

The film’s cinematography offers a mixed bag of visuals, with some breathtaking scenery contrasting with tense and harrowing moments. However, these visual elements alone are not enough to compensate for the film’s pacing issues and underdeveloped characters.

My Thoughts

In conclusion, while RIVER WILD attempts to recapture the thrills of the 1994 original, it falls short in various aspects. The film’s pacing problems, lack of character depth, and forced plot twists make it a less compelling experience compared to its predecessor. Although it features some well-executed action sequences and moments of tension, these highlights are overshadowed by its narrative shortcomings. Viewer discretion is advised, particularly.