Doctor Strange Parent Guide

Amidst the violent depictions, this origin story provides a crash course on Doctor Strange, his strength and weakness, and the struggle required to overcome his challenges.

Overall B

After a serious accident, Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) gets a second chance to serve mankind when his mind is awakened to the metaphysical universe.

Release date November 4, 2016

Violence D+
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B-
Substance Use A-

Why is Doctor Strange rated PG-13? The MPAA rated Doctor Strange PG-13 for action violence and some frightening images.

Run Time: 115 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

One more Marvel character is liberated from the confines of pen and ink in the cinematic release of Doctor Strange. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the surgeon who, if you can imagine, is played with even more pompous confidence than his characterization of Sherlock Holmes. Worse yet, Strange drives his Lamborghini with the same arrogant attitude. It’s an activity that proves disastrous – and supplies the inciting incident for the egoist’s transformation.

When the doctor awakens after his accident, he discovers his hands are replete with steel pins and immediately complains about the medical team that tried to put him back together. His tirade only intensifies when his colleague and former lover, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), suggests his days in the operating room may be over. Unwilling to accept reality he exhausts his savings attempting to find a cure. When Western science fails him, he considers alternative treatments. Hearing of another man (Benjamin Bratt) with debilitating injuries that were inexplicably reversed, Dr. Strange heads to the source of the miracle—a Tibetan healer known as The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton).

Like all stories involving hubris, Eastern philosophy and bald spiritualists, our protagonist is going to get tossed about by his mentor and her assistant Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor). The former demonstrates her superior knowledge by literally knocking Strange’s soul from his body so he can take a planetarium-on-steroids tour of the multiverse (warning for those with problems viewing 3D movies), while Mordo teaches cool tricks with sticks and creating sparkly portals with your hands. The student is a slow starter at first but, as expected, soon proves to have great potential. Also, as anticipated, long before Strange has really mastered the art of spell casting or the humility to be obedient to his teacher, he will be forced to lead the forces for good against an evil antagonist in the climactic battle that makes up the film’s final act.

It will come as no surprise either that the greatest content concerns in this movie are the depictions of violence. It doesn’t seem to matter how sophisticated the superpowers are, the story still typically boils down to people being hit, thrown, punched and stabbed with a variety of weapons (supernatural and otherwise) and an occasional fist. More exotic offensive tactics include being cuffed or whipped by fire-like bands of energy (the sparkly stuff mentioned earlier), crushed by buildings that fold over each other like a pop-up book (reminiscent of the special effects in Inception), trapped in parallel universes and a character who gets bricked into a wall. These frequent physical altercations are enhanced with sound effects. As well there are some explicit depictions of surgical procedures and injuries that are accompanied by ample blood.

Fortunately, the script offers some positive messages too, which may have some parents considering this action flick as a possible viewing choice for teens. While I have no idea what this protagonist’s comic book legacy reveals, within the confines of this movie Doctor Strange demonstrates desirable growth in the areas of sacrifice and service. These messages are reinforced with reminders of the benefits of looking outward and seeking to help others, rather than dwelling on narcissistic tendencies and self-preservation. Depending on your perspective, other elements of this film may or may not be appealing. For example, Dr. Palmer demonstrates love and forgiveness toward her friend, yet she could also be accused of enabling his bad behavior and allowing herself to be a target of his verbal abuse.

Even for those of us who haven’t studied the complete Marvel Comics canon, this origin movie is likely to please. The screen adaption provides a crash course on Doctor Strange and supplies enough information for the audience to appreciate the strength of character required for him to overcome the personal challenge he faces. However, I’m suspicious the next adventure with this peculiar physician may reveal his new found altruistic attitude will still require great effort to maintain.

Directed by Scott Derrickson. Starring Rachel McAdams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton . Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release November 4, 2016. Updated

Doctor Strange
Rating & Content Info

Why is Doctor Strange rated PG-13? Doctor Strange is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for action violence and some frightening images.

Violence: Various weapons (some real and some magically conjured) are used, including fire-like restrains, shields, spears, knives, swords and clubs. A character is decapitated (off screen). Frequent hand-to-hand battles and physical confrontations occur with some body-crushing sound effects. Buildings and natural elements are manipulated to crush and kill others. Many scary images are portrayed, including frightening characters, transformations, falling from heights, traveling through space and out-of-body experiences. Graphic depictions of surgical procedures and medical treatments are shown with blood effects. Bloody injuries are frequently depicted and corpses are shown. Reckless driving leads to a violent car accident and sends the driver off the side of a cliff and through the dash of the vehicle. Explosions and property damage occur. Characters frequently fight for their lives. Magical spells are used to transport across space and time. Characters are murdered and one is bricked into a wall. A character regularly insults and verbally berates others.

Sexual Content: Verbal references are made about unmarried sexual relationships. A couple embraces and kisses.

Profanity: Infrequent profanity, scatological slang and terms of deity are used.

Alcohol / Drug Use: Medical procedures are shown in some detail. A man drinks a large mug of beer.

Other: Magical spells and mythical philosophies are key to the plot.

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Doctor Strange Parents' Guide

Doctor Strange has a large ego. Why does he feel this has helped him in the world of medicine? How well does his pride serve in the mythical multiverse? What does the Ancient One mean when she suggests his self-protection instincts are keeping him from a greater destiny? Could her advice apply to real world situations?

News About "Doctor Strange"

Learn more about the Marvel character Doctor Strange.

From the Studio:
Marvel's "Doctor Strange" follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City's Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilising a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe. Written by Marvel

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Doctor Strange movie is February 28, 2017. Here are some details…

Home Video Notes: Doctor Strange
Release Date: 28 February 2017
Doctor Strange release to home video (Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following special features:
- A Strange Transformation – Open your eye to a new dimension of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and see how the filmmakers brought one of comic books’ greatest characters to life.
- Strange Company – Find out what it’s like for the cast to work on a Marvel film, and how Director Scott Derrickson engineered one of the most ambitious, imaginative films ever.
- The Fabric of Reality – Take a closer look at the movie’s extraordinary sets, meticulously crafted costumes and amazingly detailed production elements.
- Across Time and Space – Explore the countless hours of dance and fight choreography the actors endured in preparation for their physically demanding roles.
- The Score-cerer Supreme – Join Composer Michael Giacchino and a full orchestra during live recording sessions, and experience the movie’s mind-bending music.
- Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look – Get an early peek at Marvel’s spectacular upcoming films, including Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War.
- Team Thor: Part 2 – See more of the hilarious partnership between Thor and his roommate Darryl in this satirical short.
- Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Audio Commentary by Director Scott Derrickson

Related home video titles:

Other Marvel Comics characters who have been brought to the big screen include: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk and Ant-Man.

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