The Summer movie season gets an early start with the arrival of Avengers: Endgame. This marks the fourth outing for the Avengers and acts as the penultimate film in the 23-movie arc Marvel has planned for phase three of its cinematic universe. If you didn't follow all of that, don't worry. The film is one of the most anticipated action movies of the year, and there are plenty of internet breakdowns outlining the connection between all your favorite characters, from Captain America to Iron Man. But if you're wondering whether it's worth assembling your teens and tweens for this superhero-stuffed blockbuster, we have eight insights that will help you decide.
Warning: some spoilers for Avengers: Endgame ahead.
- The PG-13 rating makes sense given the material.
The film opens on a somber note regarding the fatal Thanos snap from Avengers: Infinity War. We won't completely spoil the surprise, but let's just say our surviving heroes are still struggling to recover from the loss of their families and the elimination of half the world's population. We should also caution parents that there is a significant amount of violence — including the use of handguns and a sword fight that draws a significant amount of blood. In addition, the third-act battle sequence may prove challenging, as there are monstrous-looking creatures and large weapons with loud sound effects that could scare younger viewers.
- Several deaths occur over the course of the film.
There will be more than one death in Avengers: Endgame, including a fairly gruesome one early in the film, which might shock or disappoint tweens and teens alike.
- This is still a comic book movie filled with humor and wonder.
Despite the violence, comradery and teamwork take center stage. New heroes like Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, and Hawkeye arrive to share their skills, and the group's comedic banter grows livelier with the infusion of these new characters. Kids will enjoy seeing how the Avengers' powers complement each other as they develop their plan to defeat Thanos.
- Audiences will encounter mild profanity.
The big-ticket curse words are avoided, but characters utter a few off-color gems such as son of a b*tch, goddamn, sh*t, sh*tting, and ass.
- This movie is longer than average.
With a runtime of three hours and 58 seconds, the length of the film makes Avengers: Endgame the longest cinematic property in Marvel Studios history. So, you probably want to visit the restroom before the movie starts and go easy on the snacks and drinks. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it) the movie doesn't have a postcredits scene. However, there is a mysterious clanging sound in the final seconds reminiscent of Iron Man's suit closing. No clips during the credits means you'll be able to get your antsy kids into the bathroom as soon as the story ends.
- Kids will enjoy the diverse representation and the myriad of role models.
Women and people of color play a prominent role in the plot. Plus, Brie Larson arrives as Captain Marvel, who we all know is Marvel's first female superhero lead to hit the big screen.
- This movie has time travel and heavy callbacks to the early films.
As stated in the intro, an encyclopedic knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn't necessary to enjoy this action flick. However, if you have an Ant-Man and the Wasp fan in your household, they may find the callbacks to that plot especially helpful in understanding characters' motivations and the time travel element introduced in the film's first half. Although the time-bending elements may sound complex, the movie uses a few Back to the Future and Terminator jokes to remind us not to worry about the scientific jargon or the logistics behind it all — although looking up some of the terms may be a fun family project after the credits roll.
- The themes of unity, cooperation, and family are the big takeaways.
Courage, sacrifice, and collaboration are all on display in Avengers: Endgame. Our heroes aren't just fighting for the sake of revenge, they're fighting for redemption and the people in their lives that they love the most — a strong message for kids and adults alike.