Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness safe for kids? Read this Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide to the new Doctor Strange 2 Marvel superhero film sequel. No spoilers! #DoctorStrange #MultiverseofMadness May contain commissioned links.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review | Safe for Kids?
The doctor is in…or is he insane?
Phase Four of the MCU has already brought some unusual twists to the big screen. While next level yet bizarre streaming series like WandaVision and Moon Knight have become overnight hits, the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies haven’t all been winners. (Um, looking at you, Eternals.)
But where does that leave our beloved Doctor? Is he out of office in a strange dimension (yes, the mom jokes only get better!)? Or does this Marvel sequel finally level us for another round of Marvel movie masterpieces?
In this Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m breaking down the visuals, the story, a full PG-13 age rating explanation for violence/suspense, adult themes and language, and what kids’ age recommendation is suggested for this new Doctor Strange movie sequel in this full parents guide. A no-spoiler parent review of the new Marvel film, how does Doctor Strange 2 compare to the original and stack up to the other Marvel movies that we love? Or is this Phase IV teased “horror film” too much for children? And most importantly, is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ok for kids? Hang on, parents. This is a doozy.
I remember the first time watching Doctor Strange on the big screen – and how the visuals were truly breathtaking, beautiful, and beyond what my wildest imagination could have envisioned. CGI to the next level, Marvel moved me into thinking how the impossible is possible. And that visually, a film could be so much more.
I admit that my love for the first Doctor Strange film gave me high expectations for the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness sequel visuals. Maybe a little too high. But visually, Doctor Strange still continues to be visually exceptional. A combination of mind bending realities, CGI, super hero abilities and this round even high stakes makeup, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness does not disappoint Marvel fans – constantly drawing the audience in with new action pack sequences and unreal visual artistry.
Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock“), Elizabeth Olson (“WandaVision”), Benedict Wong (“Raya and the Last Dragon“), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“The Lion King“) and Rachel McAdams (“The Notebook“) return to the big screen for this Doctor Strange sequel and introducing newcomer Xochitl Gomez (“The Baby-Sitters Club“) as America Chavez (C’mon, it’s in the Multiverse synopsis – not a spoiler.), plus many other cameos. (Not revealing the cameos, yo. Those are spoilers.)
Teased as the first “horror film” for Marvel, we all knew that the Multiverse was going to open up the door to an endless amount of script angle possibilities – along with a huge question mark. Especially with horror director Sam Raimi at the helm. But is the story too much and too far, even for Doctor Strange?
Well…where do I even begin? Without giving away plot points or spoilers, it’s truly hard to break down the story of this magnitude with you. Even going into this film expecting horror, suspense and intense scary imagery, my imagination couldn’t fathom what was about to unfold on the big screen. Sam Raimi movie first, Marvel movie second. The pacing of the story definitely kept interest, but overall the tone was dark – very dark, almost like the years of pandemic has worn on the Marvel universe as much as it has broken the world around us.
It was a more mature story, more adult story. Confusing at times, (not quite Moon Knight level though) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse takes some adjusting for our brains to grasp the multiple realities, multiple characters and multiple dimensional layers to this film sequel. Scratching the surface but never settling into the “usual” Marvel movie plot line, I’m curious to see if this film is as divisive for fans as I anticipate. A few rare laughs, but overall very little reminiscent connective threads to the Doctor Strange of 2016. Themes of grief, loss, emotional suffering and pain were woven throughout the movie, with only a few glimmers of hope to cling to – loyalty, love, sacrifice.
That PG-13 Rating
Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness movie ok for kids? Um, did somebody say first Marvel horror film? Parents, should we be scared of what’s next from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It’s no secret that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, PG-13 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language and The Jungle Cruise not disclosing suspense??). With film ratings unpredictable these days, even PG ratings oscillating between Turning Red intense to Christopher Robin calm, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie is family friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness rated PG-13? In this Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review | Safe for Kids?, the new Marvel film sequel is rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language.” But those who have watched the first Doctor Strange film, don’t expect this to be on the same level of your more kid friendly Marvel superhero films. This Doctor Strange movie promised to be a first for Marvel, a horror film (with the first Marvel horror-like series going to Moon Knight).
Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness too scary for kids? How intense and frightening does Dr. Strange 2 get? Here’s the full parents guide and PG-13 age rating breakdown of the new Marvel superhero movie for kids. Parents who have allowed their kids to watch the original 2016 Doctor Strange film release – be warned. Here’s what parents need to know before watching Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness movie together with your children:
Adult Themes. Sexuality. Yes, there is a moment of talking about “my moms” and the presence of a rainbow flag pin on a jacket. But for most children, this concept is not a hard focus of the film, but used to expand on a character background. No other sexual content in this film.
Other adult themes include consumption of alcohol, witchcraft and associated rituals (She is Scarlett Witch.), loss, grief and emotional pain that comes with that (possibly triggering for those who have lost loved ones). Overall, mild adult themes in this Doctor Strange film.
Language. Some language? I’m pretty sure that the first three phases of MCU movies had some language compared to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Doctor Stephen Strange has a bit of a potty mouth for this movie. For this Doctor Strange 2 sequel alone, I counted over 20, easily. Bad language in this film includes: 3 @ss, 4 sh!t, 4 d@mn (one g-d d@mn, one d@mn right, and 2 d@mned in correct context), 3 crap, 3 suck(s), and 6 uses of h-e-double-hockey-sticks (some in correct context of the place versus an adjective).
While none of the words seem to be for punchline effect (aka for our sponge-like children to say on repeat), there are definitely enough bad words in one film to have even me questioning the copious amount present. And 2 of the words were said by children.
Violence/Suspense. It wasn’t a tease. This Marvel film goes where no Marvel film has gone before – deep into the realm of HORROR. Think gore, lots of blood, open wounds, severe injuries, use of weapons including swords, knives and super powers, gruesome fight scenes, deaths and insinuated deaths, possessed humans (almost zombie/inhuman at times), body contortions, witchcraft, demons/monsters, MULTIPLE jump scare suspenseful scenes, and gruesome depictions and images of corpses. Yes, I said corpses.
Teetering at times at the intensity of scary films such The Ring and The Exorcist, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is unlike any Marvel movie you have ever seen, period. I strongly caution and urge parents to prescreen this movie just for the horror content alone. I cannot emphasize enough how much the horror/suspense/intense scenes may be frightening, terrifying and beyond traumatizing for young kids, especially those who love Marvel movies and shows.
What Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Age Rating Is Recommended for Kids?
Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness kid friendly? At a runtime of 2 hours 6 minutes, this new Marvel film fits right in as far as movie length goes. However, being one of the first theater only releases post pandemic, those with wiggle worm kids should be cautioned, and perhaps wait until the Disney+ streaming release.
Parents who have allowed their kids to watch the majority of the MCU releases thus far may want to reconsider letting kids watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Intense horror/suspense thriller themes and terrifying images (aka nightmare territory) for young kids, I as a mom and a parent movie reviewer cannot believe that this is only a PG-13 age rating, and NOT rated R instead. I can only imagine how much Marvel/Disney had to “pull back” to keep this film within the PG-13 rating genre. I repeat, of all of the Marvel movies and series available right now, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is definitely the most intense and scariest film ever produced by the MCU.
What age is recommended to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Can kids watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness? Most comparable to the Marvel What If episode 4, “What If…Doctor Strange Lost His Heart Instead of His Hands?” and the new Moon Knight series, mixed in with scenes from the likes of The Ring/The Exorcist, Doctor Strange 2 really kicks up the thrill factor for more mature audiences, with suspenseful jump scares, gory visuals and psychological elements that intensify as the film progresses. For those reasons alone, my 9-year old daughter will NOT be watching the new Doctor Strange sequel for many, many years.
However, I do feel that mature teens not prone to scaring easily (my 13-year old son was fine – but definitely on the edge of fine) will enjoy watching along with their parents. But I highly do NOT recommend Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness movie for young kids at all, even the hardcore Marvel fans who have enjoyed watching Phases I, II and III with their families. This Marvel horror film is unlike any other Marvel movie your kids have seen so far, closer to the horror themes of Oscar Isaac in Moon Knight than of the more family-friendly first Doctor Strange film.
The doctor is in…SANE?! I mean maybe I am too, because my mind is blown. Marvel has stretched beyond this universe (insert all multiverse jokes here) as far as this movie sequel goes. But can a movie be too Strange? You’d have to be a little “mad” to create a film like this. Visuals, story, characters, intensity – every dial is turned up. Madness is 100% right. But there is a method to the madness. There is one mid credit scene and one end credit scene in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
Honestly, I’m still processing this film, still trying to digest what I just saw. I’m not sold on the genre pivot from family-friendly action to adult horror. I’m not. And Doctor Strange 2 is a far cry from top tier Marvel level, aka not my favorite. But the most disturbing part of this Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness film is trying to figure out what the heck Marvel is trying to accomplish here and where they’re going to go next.
It seems like Marvel is reaching for extreme polar opposites in their movie styling from family-friendly, story-driven, beloved super heroes to horror and suspense thriller – but to what end? Just to say that they did it? To curtail to more mature adult audiences? I’m scared that more than the new horror direction, many families who have enjoyed watching Marvel films together will no longer have that connection at the theaters and on the couch, isolating a huge fan base that have truly made the past 10 years of the movie franchise a success.
And if you look deep down, the world didn’t fall in love with the Marvel movies for it’s gore and violence, but that deep personal connection with the characters – showing their weaknesses, failures, and humanity. The Marvel story takes a backseat to gory makeup effects, over-the-top violent acts, and suspenseful gasps. But hey, if you love a Marvel and horror mashup, this movie is 100% for you. However, I for one am upset that my family can no longer trust the Marvel footprint as a family-centered genre filled with heart and heroic storytelling. But perhaps in creating a chaotic film like this, Marvel is really taken hold of my reality and thrown it into a multiverse of madness.
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It’s a new dimension of strange. Marvel Studios all-new sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness unlocks in theaters on Friday May 6, 2022. Will your family be watching this Marvel movie?
I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Movie Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Marvel/Disney. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!