Bottom line: Marvel's The Avengers is an epic scale super hero action movie that is as full of wit and charm as it is of explosions and super brawls. The movie contains heavy action violence throughout (light on blood and gore), some language, and some drinking.MPAA Rating: PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference
Guide age recommendation: 12+
Runtime: Approx. 143 minutes
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson
Studio: Marvel Studios
Director: Joss Whedon
Release Date: May 4, 2012
Marvel's The Avengers - Overview
Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and others from S.H.I.E.L.D. are in the midst of experiments attempting to harness the immense energy of the Cosmic Cube known as the Tesseract, when suddenly the cube begins to exercise power all on its own. Before the agents can figure out what is going on, a mysterious being is transported into their presence. The being turns out to be the fallen god Loki, brother of Thor. Having teamed up with a deadly group of alien beings, Loki is intent on having a throne of his own and making the inhabitants of earth his loyal subjects.
Knowing S.H.I.E.L.D. cannot battle Loki on it's own, director Nick Fury assembles his dream team the Avengers. Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow come together to fight Loki and his allies. One member of the team is coerced into fighting for the other side, however, and the Hulk may be more dangerous to his own team than he is to the enemies. Add to that the fact that a couple of members of the team don't play well with others, and the Avengers project begins to look more like a recipe for disaster.
Meanwhile, the cunning and powerful Loki determines to use his enemies' weaknesses to his advantage. If Hulk can't learn to control his own power, and if the Avengers can't figure out how to work as a team, Loki will take down the Avengers, including his own brother Thor, and the whole earth with them.
Marvel's The Avengers - Guide Review for Parents
Marvel's The Avengers is being touted as the best Marvel movie yet, and as such, the movie is a big deal. Kids are going to want to see this movie, and not only that, but Marvel/Disney is going after the family market in a big way on this one. So let me start out by saying that yes, this is one of the better super hero movies ever made. The genius of it lies in the balance of action and comedy. A perfect blend of these two components equals a large scale action film that has enough of the realistic (executed by amazing actors) to make implausible comic book heroes epic and enough brilliantly snarky comedy to allow the film not to take itself too seriously.
But what about for kids? The film is PG-13, for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference. Action style violence occurs throughout the film. We're talking bashing, thrashing, shooting, exploding, punches that send super heroes flying, massive weapons, missiles, alien attacks -- and more. That being said, this film is generally what I like to call Disney PG-13. The violence is light on blood and gore, the language is fairly mild (for a PG-13 film), and there is very little sex/nudity. If you've seen the previous Avengers movies -- Captain America, Thor, Iron man -- or Disney epic adventures like John Carter or Pirates of the Caribbean, then you know about what to expect content wise. These films are not gritty, dark or bloody, but they are epic action adventures full of large-scale battles, and as such they do cross into that PG-13 realm.
Parents should also know that one agent dies, which could be frightening, sad or disturbing for kids. Also, one agent is interrogated with threat of torture looming. Kids may be tempted to imitate the battles and fighting that occur in the movie, especially with all the Avengers toys available that make recreating the scenes easier. Older kids may even mimic or pick up on the snarky one-liners that the super heroes spout off to each other and their enemies as they struggle to save the day. The movie also depicts main characters drinking alcohol or referring to drinking in a couple of scenes.*See some good examples of the above described movie content in these Marvel's The Avengers trailers, clips and featurettes.
Marvel's The Avengers - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (Extreme): Heavy, action-style violence occurs throughout the film. While there is not a lot of blood and gore, there is a lot of beatings going on complete with demolishing of property, explosions, terrified screaming from civilians and more. One agent is killed, and we get a pretty intimate look at that. Another agent is tortured (the torture is mild with threat of more brutal methods). A lot of things blow up and are otherwise demolished, especially by the Hulk who pretty much pounds destruction wherever he goes.
- Scary Scenes (High): Kids may be frightened by content such as that listed under "violence." A couple of "jump scenes" occur which may startle or frighten kids. Civilians on the streets are seen screaming and running as aliens rain down in an attack and buildings are being demolished around them.
- Sex/Nudity (Low): For a PG-13 film, there is little sexual content. Some kisses and innuendo occur. A couple of characters wear revealing or tight clothing. Tony refers to himself as a "playboy."
- Drugs and Alcohol (Medium) Tony Stark is shown drinking in a scene which is very focused and obvious. Drinking is referred to in other scenes. Reference is made to injections which turned Captain America into a super hero.
- Language (Medium): The words "damn," "hell," and "ass" are used. "My God" and related phrases are used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Extreme): Loki is on a power trip fueled by vengeance. He desires to rule over others. The super heroes make many snide and sarcastic comments which are often comedic insults. A lot of imitative fights and battles occur throughout the movie.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Medium): A good agent is killed and his death mourned by his friends. Another hero is feared to have sacrificed his life.
- Movie Topics Kids Might Have Questions About: super powers, radiation, science, weapons, aliens, other worlds, gods, power, drinking alcohol and what it does for people, heroism