X-Men Apocalypse: Should kids see this movie?

X-Men: Apocalypse

OK, this isn’t a formal movie review like you’d see on other sites or blogs — if you’re looking to see whether you should go see X-Men: Apocalypse or not, there are other reviews out there (although I really enjoyed the movie).

This being a Geek Parent site, I’d rather answer the question, “Should my kids see this movie?” With a rating of PG-13, this raises lots of questions for parents who might be considering taking younger children to see the film, especially if they’re fans of the other Marvel movies or the X-Men comics.

The first thing to consider is whether your kids have seen previous X-Men movies, especially the last one, Days of Future Past. The X-Men movies in general are a bit darker thematically than those in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers, Captain America, etc.). Mutants — and humans’ reaction to mutants — are often a metaphor for real-world issues of racism to those who can recognize them (especially when they discuss Magneto’s past in the World War II concentration camp). If they have seen those previous movies, then this one just continues some of those themes, so they should be fine.

akb_dtlra_stills_120415.089228 – Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has the power to manipulate magnetic fields. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

Erik/Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has the power to manipulate magnetic fields. Photo Credit: Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox.

The next thing to consider is the violence;  this movie is more violent than the MCU movies. There are many casualties (on the human side), and lots of building destruction (landmarks being destroyed, etc.). While they don’t show people in these buildings getting killed, it’s a logical step for viewers to surmise that a lot of people don’t make it out when the destruction occurs. It’s a theme that was tackled in the recent Captain America: Civil War film — that often the heroes don’t understand the consequences of their actions. But for the most part, as long as kids understand that these are comic book / superhero movies, they shouldn’t be too bothered by the destruction (they should be able to recognize the CGI effects anyway).

Without spoiling parts of the movie, there are a few characters who are killed — you should know whether this will bother kids. But it’s not to the level of some characters dying in other movies (including Finding Nemo and Guardians of the Galaxy).

This being a PG-13 movie, there’s one utterance of the ‘F’ word – it’s used as a noun – OK, the line is “What the F just happened?” There are a few other minor curse words as well.

Days of Future Past came out in 2014, when my son was 7 — we felt that the movie was a bit too dark for him then. He’s about to turn 9, and he’s seen enough of the other MCU films and mature enough to handle those, so I was fine with him seeing this one. I’d say that kids from 8.5 on up should be fine with this movie, where the parents won’t have to worry too much (as long as these kids have seen some of the others beforehand). The biggest questions my son had were not about any disturbing scenes, but having to explain some of the characters and who they were (like, “Who’s Jubilee?”).

On the positive side, the film does a lot of good fan service that geeks will appreciate. The Quicksilver scenes are fantastic once again, there’s a Stan Lee cameo (hope that doesn’t spoil anything), and there are some other surprises that I won’t spoil. My son loved the film as much as I did, and he’s now old enough to see some of the earlier films in this series that we didn’t let him watch originally because he was too young (such as X-Men: First Class, and X2: X-Men United). We still won’t let him watch X-Men 3: The Last Stand, because that was just an awful movie and we’d be horrible parents for letting him watch that.

And, no, we would never let him watch Deadpool.

One great way to catch up on some of these movies? Buy them through Amazon! See some links below!


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