A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages about the strength and power of teamwork and female friendship. It's important to take responsibility for your actions and to atone if you've done something wrong/in error. Family accepts you no matter what mistakes you might have made. Also themes of perseverance, courage, and empathy.
Positive Role Models
Carol, Monica, and Kamala are strong, brave, and empathetic. They persevere and learn to work together as a team when their powers become entangled. The villain is complicated, because she's hurting others while trying to save her own people from doom. The Khans are protective but understanding of Kamala's calling to be a superhero. Nick Fury is encouraging and believes in The Marvels.
Strong female representation both in front of and behind the camera. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) was the MCU's first female superhero to get a stand-alone movie, Ms. Marvel is the MCU's first Muslim Pakistani American superhero, and Monica Rambeau is a Black female superhero. Antagonist Dar-Benn is also a woman and is played by Zawe Ashton, who's of Ugandan and English descent. The filmmakers are mostly women, too, including director Nia DaCosta and her co-writers Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik. Positive supporting female characters include Monica's mother/Carol's best friend Maria (in flashbacks) and Kamala's loving mother, Mrs. Khan. The cast is racially diverse overall, including actors who re Black, Asian, South Asian, and more. Crowds and background characters are also diverse in terms of race and body type.
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Violence & Scariness
Several alarming, destructive scenes of the Kree siphoning natural resources from other planets and leaving the inhabitants to die as their planets crumble. The Kree warriors and the Marvels battle each other with fists/kicks and weapons (laser guns, spears, knives, scarves, missiles, etc.). Spaceship dogfights/pursuits/crashes. People are hurt, some presumably killed, and planets are terribly damaged. Characters are stabbed, shot at, and die in supernatural ways. In one disturbing sequence, the heroes can't evacuate an entire population in time and watch as the planet -- and everyone left on it -- is destroyed. The Kree homeworld of Hala is in imminent danger of destruction due to its dying sun and lost resources. Flerken cat monsters use their tentacles to swallow people and objects whole and then spit them out later.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
In one scene, Carol and a prince sing and dance together, and Monica admires the prince's attractiveness.
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A few uses of "s--t," "damn," and "hell."
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Products & Purchases
Lots of off-screen Marvel tie-in products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Marvels is a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie that brings together the heroes of Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and WandaVision. Carol Danvers (Brie Larson), Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) must figure out how their powers have gotten entangled so that they can work together to stop the Kree from destroying other planets. Although there's plenty of action violence and peril, plus a smattering of strong language (mostly "s--t" and "damn"), this movie is less intense and bloodily violent than some other MCU films. Expect lots of fights (with weapons including laser guns, spears, knives, and more) between the three superheroes and the primary villain and her minions. There are also moments of large-scale devastation when planets are stripped of air, water, and more -- sometimes before all of their inhabitants can be evacuated or saved. This woman-centered story offers positive messages about the strength and power of teamwork and female friendship. Plus, the film's behind-the-scenes credits include a female director, co-writers, composer, and more. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Thanks to Vellani and Rambeau, this MCU entry embraces the clever and goofy fan in all of us. No, The Marvels isn't the "best" Marvel movie, and the trio does't have the emotional gravitas of the three past and present Peter Parkers in Spider-Man: No Way Home. But that's definitely not the point here. Director Nia DaCosta, working from a script she wrote with Megan McDonnell and Elissa Karasik, explores the joy of Kamala's secret fantasies about collaborating with Captain Marvel actually coming true. On the flip side, Rambeau's fraught past with her "Aunt Carol" provides the heart of the story, as she and Carol are decades overdue for a heart-to-heart conversation. Carol herself is slightly less interesting than her proteges, except for when it's discovered that she has unexpected alliances of her own across the universe.
Plot wise, thanks to the proliferation of the Disney/Marvel properties, the movie is all over the place. It has to provide exposition about characters and developments associated with various TV shows, in addition to previous movies. Planets and civilizations are brought up in one sequence and then never discussed again. And the special effects are a bit lackluster for a Marvel film; they're more on par with what you'd expect from the small screen. On the plus side, the cat-presenting Flerkens are back -- and hilarious. In keeping with the movie's woman-centered story, the Kree villain is also a woman, and Ashton plays her with a grimace-filled zeal. Despite the film's uneven execution, audiences will surely want more of Monica's story, more Ms. Marvel seasons, and more Flerken kitties.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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