You know how every family has that cool Uncle? The one who shows up and says and does inappropriate things and everybody loves him for it, but then you take your kids aside later and say, “I don’t want you to say those things or act that way.” Well, the X-Men are the cool uncles (and aunts) of the comic book world.
Most of the people in the viewing world have seen at least one of the X-Men movies. The characters are complex; they struggle between good/evil, love/isolation, humility/greatness, happiness/grumpiness, vengeance/forgiveness, and their desires to blend in or take over. And if you have seen one of the movies or read the comic books, then you know that certain characters (I’m looking at you Wolverine) are not the most kid-friendly superheroes. Now I love Wolverine, and Magneto is one of my favorite villains, but I’m not so sure their words and behaviors are appropriate for my kids (ages almost 10 and 8).
As a fan, I will rave about the film and say if you love comic books and superhero movies, then you’ll probably love this film. But as a parent of young kids, I don’t think this movie is right for mine. The themes are complex and intense and the violence is personal and up-close. I’m not a prude parent; I allow my kids to watch superhero movies and other PG-13 films and I just gave them the green light to watch Godzilla. For movies like X-Men, Age of Future Past, though, if I let them watch it at all, it will be at home with the mute and fast-forward buttons handy. But that’s me and your kids and their sensitivities might be different.
Here are some things to know about before you take your kids to see the movie. There’s swearing and sexual references and Wolverine wakes up in bed with a woman and he makes it known they were having sex. Also in this scene, a naked Wolverine gets out of bed and you get to see some superhero butt. The violence in the film is intense, much like X-Men First-class. People and mutants are killed and in one scene dead bodies are shoveled away. Also, one of the previews before the movie was Sex Tape, so that could stir up an interesting conversation between you and your kids.
All in all, I think this is one movie better suited to older kids. My verdict – probably okay for middle schoolers, but I would pass on the movie for elementary-aged kids.