Avengers: Infinity War Parent Guide
Infinity Stones: Collect them all.
Parent Movie Review
Every good superhero movie needs a very, very bad villain and Avengers: Infinity War has one. Thanos, intergalactic megalomaniac and past ruler of the dead moon Titan, fits the bill. Obsessed with the dangers of overpopulation and environmental degradation, Thanos decides to eliminate half the population of every planet. “This universe is finite,” says the giant purple bad guy. “Its resources are finite. It needs correction.” Thanos initially tries to “correct” overpopulation through conquest and slaughter but decides he needs a more efficient form of genocide. This leads him on a quest for the six Infinity Stones, elemental gems formed as the universe was created in the Big Bang. If he can place all six stones in his gauntlet, he will be able to control the cosmos with a snap of his fingers and instantly kill anyone he wishes.
Of course, Thanos won’t have a trouble-free path to his goal. The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy stand in his way, determined to protect the four stones Thanos does not already possess. However, they face some daunting challenges in their self-appointed mission. Some of the Avengers are still estranged after the events of Captain America: Civil War. And the superheroes are hopelessly outgunned in this fight. They can barely hold their own against Thanos’ minions and when he obtains more Infinity Stones their ability to resist him is strained to the breaking point.
When the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy unite against Thanos, they provide positive messages about overcoming past conflicts, working together, sacrificing for others, and fighting bravely in a hopeless cause. As Spider Man says when he has stowed away on a dangerous journey, “I can’t be the friendly neighborhood Spider Man if there’s no neighborhood.”
The movie also provides a warning against the dangers of uncontrolled anger. At one point, a group of superheroes have managed to neutralize Thanos and have almost succeeded in removing his magic gauntlet. Then one character loses his temper, which rouses Thanos to defend himself and renew his attack on the Avengers and Guardians.
Positive messages aside, the most serious downside of Avengers: Infinity War is its unrelenting violence. Action is a staple feature of superhero movies, yet Avengers: Infinity War is made up almost entirely of violent set pieces separated by thin strands of plot and exposition. While fans of this genre expect a certain number of fights, explosions and some fantasy action, Avengers: Infinity War, ups the ante with mass civilian casualties and three scenes of torture. In addition, a parent murders his own child. Families should also be aware that over a dozen main characters are killed in this movie.
The only mitigating factor in this non-stop bloodshed is that its cost is not minimized or downplayed. The suffering of those who lose loved ones is portrayed as is the emotional price Thanos pays for his choices. “Did you do it?” asks a character of Thanos after he obtains one of the infinity stones, “What did it cost?” “Everything”, Thanos desolately replies.
Despite this bit of emotional honesty, the violence is so pervasive in Avengers: Infinity War that is not suitable for young children. The PG-13 rating is fully deserved and should be taken seriously. Teenagers will likely enjoy the movie, as will fans of the series. For those who are not plugged into the Marvel Comic universe, this two hour and forty minute marathon may just feel infinitely tedious.Directed by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo. Starring Josh Brolin, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Robert Downey Jr.. Running time: 150 minutes. Theatrical release April 27, 2018. Updated April 27, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War
Rating & Content Info
Why is Avengers: Infinity War rated PG-13? Avengers: Infinity War is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references.
Violence: Characters hit, punch, throw, stab, impale and strangle other characters. Characters blow up others. Vehicles, trees, and rocks are thrown and rolled on to characters. Three characters are tortured – one by her own father. A father kills his child to further his ambitions. A character tries to kill his girlfriend at her request after she has been captured. A spaceship filled with refugees, including women and children, is destroyed. A planet is invaded and half of the civilian population is slaughtered.
Sexual Content: Male and female characters kiss.
Profanity: Frequent use of scatological slang, crude language, names of deity, and mild and moderate profanities. A partial sexual expletive is heard and finger gesture is seen. Christian deity used in a derisive, but not profane, context.
Alcohol / Drug Use: No alcohol or drug use was noted.
Page last updated April 27, 2018
More parents' guide for Avengers: Infinity War after the break...
Avengers: Infinity War Parents' Guide
Concern over overpopulation drives the villain of this movie. It has been a hotly debated issue since Thomas Malthus wrote about it in 1798. Some governments have tried to forcibly reduce their populations - India through mandatory sterilization and China through its One Child Policy. Both approaches did manage to slow population growth but at significant cost. How do you feel about growing populations? Do you think over population is inextricably linked to environmental degradation? Should governments have the right to forcibly reduce the number of their citizens? What other approaches or technologies might mitigate the effects of population growth?
Thanos repeatedly obtains Infinity Stones from superheroes when he tortures another character in front of them. The Avengers also have the capability to destroy an Infinity Stone before Thanos can obtain it (at the cost of killing or harming one of their fellow superheroes), but they refuse to do so. “We don’t trade lives,” says Captain America. Is this the right choice? Is it acceptable to sacrifice the life of a friend to save the universe? Is it acceptable not to? In a phrase from another movie franchise, do “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”? Is the calculus different if you are sacrificing yourself instead of someone else?
News About "Avengers: Infinity War"
From the Studio: As the Avengers and their allies have continued to protect the world from threats too large for any one hero to handle, a new danger has emerged from the cosmic shadows: Thanos. A despot of intergalactic infamy, his goal is to collect all six Infinity Stones, artifacts of unimaginable power, and use them to inflict his twisted will on all of reality. Everything the Avengers have fought for has led up to this moment - the fate of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain. Written by Marvel Studios