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Are Marvel movies OK for children?

By Curtis Linnell

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 4 2014 6:55 p.m. MDT

Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).

Zade Rosenthal

Enlarge photo»

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” opens Friday, as if moviegoers did not know that already, and one of the questions we get most here at ok.com is, “Is (insert a Marvel movie) OK for my child to watch?

Kids love superheroes, and Marvel has some of the greatest superheroes around. Walk around on Halloween and you will notice a lot of little Avengers walking around.

All of Marvel Studio’s movies have been rated PG-13, and by definition of the MPPA means parents are urged to be cautious because the film may contain material they may consider inappropriate for children under 13 years old.

Studies show that PG-13 movies now are more violent than R-rated movies in the 1980s. The problem is that the rating of PG-13 is getting to be so broad in scope that going in to a PG-13 movie you never really know what to expect.

Ultimately, the decision is left to the parents. Kids want to see them but parents want to make sure they are old enough for the content. At ok.com we provide a resource that can be helpful to parents as they make decisions about their kids movie choices. The movie reviews and age appropriateness is done by you, the ok.com user.

Marvel movies are highly entertaining, but some parents are concerned they aren’t appropriate for their kids.

“Tony Stark’s playboy lifestyle isn’t precisely the greatest role model for kids,” ok.com user and Deseret News employee christine.rappleye wrote of “Iron Man.” “There is a lot of violence.”

This was the sentiment of one parent, but mom JennyB thinks “Iron Man” is appropriate for some of the younger kids.

“I think it’s great for ages 10 and up," she said. "Younger children might be confused by it, but all in all, it was funny and kept me entertained.”

On ok.com “Iron Man” is rated by parents as a 13+, but generally much younger audiences headed to theaters to see the film.

So, the question stands, are Marvel movies for kids?

“The Avengers” is one of the highest-grossing films of all time and is, by far, Marvel Studios' most successful film. The movie made over $600 million domestically and over $1 billion worldwide. The film has a 93 percent worth-your-time rating on ok.com and a 12+ age rating.

In order to make over a billion dollars plenty of kids under the age of 12 headed to the theater repeatedly to see “The Avengers.”

Is a 12+ or even a PG-13 rating fair? Or is “The Avengers” appropriate for younger audiences? Is it OK for the little ones who are begging to be Iron Man and Thor for Halloween?

“I loved the film,” bobyj46 wrote of “The Avengers” on ok.com. “I thought that it was perfect for the whole entire family.”

Even though the violence level was high in “The Avengers” many parents felt it was innocent enough for everyone in the family. But others felt it was too much for their kids.

“Though the writing is clever and the characters enjoyable (who doesn’t love a good superhero film) I can’t back this film completely,” ok.com user bendywhatler wrote of “The Avengers.” “The studios get away with throwing a lot of violence at us by putting a superhero on the marquee.”

As you browse through all of Marvel Studios films on ok.com like, “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Iron Man 2” and “3” you’ll notice that the reviews follow this same pattern. Some parents feel these movies are totally appropriate for their entire families while others don’t feel comfortable bringing their little ones to the theater.

So, let’s visit our original question, “Are Marvel movies appropriate for kids?” Well, that depends on you as the parent.

What do you think? Are these films appropriate for the young audiences they're geared toward with toy sales and advertising? Or are these films more adult and more appropriate for older teens?

We want to hear from you and find out your thoughts.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will surely make some big waves at the box office this year, but will you be taking your kids to go see it?

Curtis Linnell is a communications graduate from Brigham Young University and writes for ok.com

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