I’m not going to lie, this may not be the most objective review of this movie you’re going to read. I totally fan-girled at this one. I love Marvel movies – I even love most of the movies starring Marvel characters made by other studios (there are some exceptions here of course, The Fantastic Four movies, the newest two Spider-Man Movies, X-Men: First Class). I also loved the Civil War comics that the idea for this movie is based on. So, yeah, I loved this movie.
But what about the kids? The movie is rated PG-13 for “Extended scenes of violence, action, and mayhem”, which is pretty typical stuff for a super-hero flick. The big difference here – and what will undoubtedly be most disturbing to younger viewers – is that a lot of the “violence, action, and mayhem” occurs when the Avengers and friends are fighting each other. These fight scenes, especially as the movie reaches it climax, got increasingly more violent. I actually gasped at one point when I thought one Avenger was going to bash another Avenger’s head in. An arm gets ripped off, an assassin brutally kills a couple of civilians. Bombs go off, buildings collapse, people die. None of the wounds are especially gory or gross, but there is blood. It can be pretty rough. That being said, if your kid has seen a bunch of other superhero flicks, this one probably isn’t going to phase them much.
The plot may be confusing to the youngest viewers. Once the civilians in the Marvel Cinematic Universe realize that all of these super cool battles come with a high number of civilian casualties, they push the government for oversight. The UN creates the Sokoiva Accords, which require Superheroes to register with and be governed by the UN. (Side note: This was the most ridiculous scene in the movie to me. Secretary of State dude hands a 600 page document to Black Widow who looks at the title and hands it to War Machine. War Machine also glances at the title. Bam! Everyone’s mind has been made up – no one even cracks the cover of the Sokovia Accords). After being confronted by the mother of a civilian casualty, Iron Man chooses the pro-registration side. Captain America falls firmly on the side of personal autonomy and THE LINES ARE DRAWN. Because this is technically a Captain America film, the fight centers around Bucky, the main villain from 2014’s Captain America: Winter Soldier who is also Cap’s BFF. No spoilers here, but be aware that the plot could get confusing for younger viewers. There are a lot of side-changing and false accusations.
There’s a little bit of swearing (a goddamn, a son of a bitch and a shit).
While this movie is a little bit more intense, if your child is comfortable with the other Avengers films, this one should be fine. Just be ready to talk about why Captain America and Iron Man are fighting, and to go over some of the more confusing plot points.
So, “Can I bring my six year old to Captain America: Civil War?” I’d be fine with Kitty (currently age 9) seeing it, though I do think the plot is going to be tricky for her.