Guardians of the Galaxy

Is Marvel’s newest superhero flick Guardians of the Galaxy appropriate for kids? Oh man, that’s a tough call for any superhero loving family. Superheroes, and their movies, have gotten darker over the years and parents can no longer rely on what a film is rated when deciding whether to take their kids. It boils down to what parents believe is appropriate for their child. I have written reviews where I said kids shouldn’t see something and parents disagreed. I have also written reviews where I said the movie was fine to see with the kids and parents have gotten angry with me after taking their child.

So here is what I will tell you about Guardians. There is quite a bit of swearing for a comic book movie, but as my son pointed out, they never yell the swear words in anger, only to be funny. (Take that for what it’s worth, if anything. It obviously stood out to my son.) There are at least two sexual references, one of which will probably go over most kid’s heads, but that’s about it in the sex department. And violence, well it is a superhero movie, so there is plenty of it. Most of the deaths are of faceless aliens, but there are a few gruesome close-ups of recognizable faces. As in most sci-fi films, the violence in it is more cartoonish than realistic.

Putting aside any misgivings I may have about the swearing and over the top violence, I really liked this movie. It is as exciting and funny as any comedy or action movie you will see this summer. My ten year old son and I both left the theater feeling happy. You can’t ask for much more than that. When my wife asked me how it was when I returned home, I said, “It was really, really good. Way beyond what I expected it to be.” I had expected a hokey, over the top film reminiscent of Flash Gordon. What I got was a clever and surprisingly complex movie that never took itself too seriously, yet kept me on the edge of my seat, even as I laughed out loud.

If you are looking to bring your family out for a fun-loving movie that is not aimed at children, then Guardians would be a good choice. Especially if your kids are 10 and up.

Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13 for violence, sci-fi action, and language and stars Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation fame, Zoe Saldana from Avatar, former WWE Superstar Dave Bautista, and the voices of action star Vin Diesel, and 2012’s Sexiest Man Alive Bradley Cooper. (Yes, I know he’s done a lot of films.)