Avengers-Endgame-Entire-Team

Parental Guidance: Avengers: Endgame

This is it, the big one, the final chapter in the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the culmination of 21 prior movies. Endgame has already smashed box office records worldwide and is poised to be THE biggest movie of the year. 

But should you take your kids to see it? 

As parents and film fans, we want to share the best of the cinematic world with our kids. But when you haven’t seen a new movie yet, how do you know if you should take your kids? Obviously every kid is different, and they change with age; the same child who had to be escorted, weeping, out of Guardians of the Galaxy might completely fall in love with Deadpool two years later (true story). But it’s also true that movie marketing can be misleading – no-one wants to be that mom who had to leave Pan’s Labyrinth with an emotionally-scarred 10-year-old. With this ongoing feature, we’ll aim to offer some loose, spoiler-free, age-by-age guidelines as to what parents might expect from new features marketed to families, so you can make the best judgment call for your youngsters.

Okay you guys, I’m going to try REALLY hard not to spoil anything here, because everyone who wants to see this movie should get to enjoy it with fresh eyes. For more details, read Victor Stiff’s full review here.

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If you’ve seen or even heard of Avengers: Infinity War you know where we left our heroes. It’s been mere days since Thanos (Josh Brolin) used the Infinity Stones to wipe out half of all life in the universe, and the heroes that remain are dealing with the aftermath. The movie thoughtfully and sensitively shows us the survivor guilt and grief that those left behind are struggling with. These are superheroes; they’re not accustomed to losing, and they definitely lost to Thanos. Now, they have to figure out a way forward. 

The stakes have never been higher, and the risks are astronomical too. The fear of losing to Thanos again is palpable; but these beloved characters know that the most important thing a hero can do is stand up and keep fighting. They have to regroup, take stock, make a plan, and carry it out. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that we know they’ll triumph eventually; the question is, how will they do it, and what will it cost them along the way?

There are lots of tense moments in this movie, and times when I feared the MCU’s roster of characters would be decimated at the end; but it’s not all grim. The trademark Marvel humour is here in abundance, there are plenty of fist-pump moments of victory, and of course lots of clever nods and callbacks to previous films including some fun cameos. 

I really have to commend the writers (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) and directors (Joe and Anthony Russo), as well as Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige. The mythos of the entire 22-film arc is masterfully woven throughout this movie, but not in such a way that you have to have seen all of the previous movies to appreciate the story. The plot is inventive and unexpected and the ending feels earned, and while we will miss the MCU as we knew it, this is a completely satisfying close to this chapter of the Marvel story. 

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So, should you take your kids to see it? 

Under 10s

There are some pretty intense moments in this movie, but if your younger ones managed to endure the dark times of Infinity War, they should be fine. Be warned that if they haven’t seen all the movies, you might need to answer some questions mid-film about who everyone is. Also be aware that there is onscreen death and destruction — but this is Marvel, it’s nothing they’d need to watch between their fingers or anything.

Tweens and Teens

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If they’re fans of the movies at all, heck yeah. This is Marvel at its best, and the unmissable final chapter in a 22-movie saga. 

Adults

Having just completed an epic two-week rewatch of the entire MCU, I can tell you that this film reached into my chest, grabbed my nerdy heart, and squeezed. Bring tissues. 

Wee time: The running time is a surprisingly tight three hours. The consensus seems to be that if you must make a dash to the restroom, the time to go is the minute Hulk sits down to eat in the diner; you’ll miss a couple of jokes, but nothing too crucial to the plot. 

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Bottom line: Unmissable. See it on the biggest screen available, and revel in this epic. 

Jenny Bullough is a movie fan and mom based in Toronto. She has missed the middle 5 minutes of every kids’ movie because of her kid’s small bladder, and she let her kids watch Deadpool at an inappropriately young age and stands by her choices.

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