Here are some of the most kid-friendly Marvel movies out there
With dozens of films making up the beloved Marvel Cinematic Universe, the superhero flicks are a popular choice for family movie nights. With kids clamoring to see their faves—whether that’s Iron Man, the Hulk, Black Panther, or Captain Marvel—parents sometimes need to make a tough call about what exactly are the most kid-friendly Marvel movies. With none of the films rated lower than PG-13, moms and dads have to figure out what their little fans are old enough to understand and be exposed to. To make that decision a little easier, we’re breaking down which films are more likely to be OK for younger viewers, and what to know before watching.
The Most Kid-Friendly Marvel Movie: Captain America: The First Avenger©Marvel Studios
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Captain America’s first foray into the MCU does have some slightly scary elements—including pretty much anytime Red Skull is on screen—but this flick is about as wholesome as Marvel gets. That’s mostly thanks to Cap himself— a genuinely good guy who just wants to save the world after a top-secret serum changes him from a scrawny kid from Brooklyn to a super-soldier with a ripped physique.
The Avengers©Marvel Studios
The first time the whole squad comes together to fight an alien threat is one of the most exciting moments in MCU history, so this one’s a must-watch for any major Marvel fan. The over-the-top action is mostly shown through massive blasts and explosions that leave New York City in rubble, but the movie is relatively light on actual blood and gore. Just be prepared for a joking reference to marijuana between Tony Stark and the Hulk.
Some of the more recent installments in the MCU have taken on some heavy topics, but 2015’s Ant-Man is often described as being on the lighter side, with tons of laughs throughout. Of course, there are plenty of action and fight scenes, but most likely nothing graphic enough to scare little ones away, which is it’s on our list of most kid-friendly Marvel movies.
Ant-Man and the Wasp©Marvel Studios
There’s more science than swear words in this 2018 sequel. Much like the first film, it’s heavy on humor and thankfully light on graphic violence. If your kiddos just can’t get enough of Scott Lang, he’ll be back for a third turn next year in the forthcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Like any Marvel movie, Thor features some violence and fighting. But there are lots of laughs to balance it out, and it’s surprisingly light on profanity. There’s a little romance, too, thanks to Natalie Portman’s Jane, but nothing inappropriate for kids.
Thor: Ragnarok©Marvel Studios
Thor’s absolutely awful sister (the appropriately named Hel) might be too scary for younger viewers, but older kids will likely love Thor: Ragnarok—especially the hilarious scene-stealer Korg, voiced by director Taika Waititi.
Black Panther©Marvel Studios
Fair warning: Black Panther does feature some bloody flight scenes and graphic violence, so this one may be for older kids only. But Chadwick Boseman’s turn as an African prince turned Avenger was a milestone for the MCU—the first movie led by a Black superhero, with a majority black cast, and even a black director. It was not only a box office and critical success but also an inspiration to millions of children of color who got to imagine themselves in a starring role for the first time. That’s worth a watch.
Captain Marvel©Marvel Studios
Captain Marvel is practically the definition of girl power. As fun and important as it is for little ones to see a female-centered superhero movie for the first time in the MCU, this one’s another flick that might be best for the slightly older kids. Some of those extraterrestrial fight scenes might be a little spooky for young ones.
Guardians of the Galaxy©Marvel Studios
This light-hearted romp through space is a decent choice for kids, but you may want to warn them not to repeat some of the more colorful language afterward. And don’t let that cute little raccoon fool you—he’s one of the worst offenders. Parents may also want to guide kids through the sad opening scene, which features Peter Quill’s mother dying from cancer.
Spider-Man: Homecoming©Marvel Studios
Peter Parker is the youngest member of the Avengers squad, by a lot. Kids will get a kick out of watching Spider-Man balance fighting crime with being a not-so-average high schooler, and thankfully, parents will find the movie largely free of gratuitous gore and profanity. A heads up, however, that there is one joke alluding to pornography that may make this one a no-go for some families.