Marvel's The Avengers

| 15+ 
Cautions: violence and some intensity, brief sensuality and immodesty, language, and some ethical confusion

The Avengers’ mysterious villain has plans to attack New York City, but just at the wrong moment finds himself face to face with Captain America… and the Hulk… and Iron Man… and Thor… and a couple of assassins. Superhero solo careers join forces in the not-sure-this-is-a-good-idea Avengers Initiative, bringing together their unique strengths and their clashing styles and moral standards, in an action-packed battle to save the world one more time.

2012 | Joss Whedon | 143 min Watch Trailer

Note: The Avengers involves characters from previous films in the franchise, some of which are not recommended by Purity and Precision.

Violence and Some Intensity
There are several fights and battles involving guns, throwing knives, arrows, missiles and hand-to-hand combat.

A brief but intense scene for squeamish viewers involves a villain forcing a man down and using a noisy little machine to extract his eyeball. This is heard, but not actually shown, and there are other distracting noises.

A good guy is shot and later dies. Some blood is shown.

There are a couple of panic scenes, with innocent bystanders running from bad guys, explosions and falling debris. Cars, helicopters and fighter jets are involved in major wrecks and explosions.

Intense scenes involve a female agent being chased and attacked by the Hulk, who has lost his reason. Later, she is also attacked by, and defends herself from, a male agent.

Scenes in which good guys are instantly transformed to bad guys (eyes going all black, etc.) may be intense.

The superheroes multiple times offer to, and sometimes try to, fight each other as a means of settling personality clashes, but this is negatively portrayed.

There is a startle moment.

Brief Sensuality and Immodesty
Iron Man and his romantic interest (the exact nature of their relationship is not clear) kiss. She is seen whispering in his ear her plans for “later”. A brief, joking remark is made about her “bunking over.”

Throughout, a female character’s uniform is form fitting. In one scene, a woman wears a short black dress with a low neckline. Another woman wears shorts for a scene.

A male character is briefly implied to be naked, visible from the thigh down and the waist up, though in a context of shame, not sensuality.

son of a gun

Some Ethical Confusion
The characters of Thor and Loki are indirectly drawn from Norse mythology. As in the movie Thor, however, it’s claimed that they are not actually gods, but have been mistaken for them in the past. For instance, a side character says that Thor and Loki are basically “gods”, and superhero Captain America replies, “There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.” Loki, the villain, claims to be a god at one point, but is easily proven wrong. A somewhat negatively-portrayed side character references Thor as a “god”, though nothing comes of this.1

“Magic” is referenced, in connection with Loki’s abilities. An inanimate object from another planet is said by the bad guys to have “awakened”.

Side characters are placed under spells by Loki, causing them to become villains also. One of them, still under the spell, says that what Loki has shown him is “more than knowledge, it’s truth.”

Iron Man/Tony Stark is sarcastic, insulting, and a jerk, and not necessarily negatively portrayed. However, the differences between him and the more righteous superheroes are quite clear enough for viewers with a solid idea of appropriate behavior.

Thor, seeing the earthlings’ petty quarrels, says, “I thought humans were more evolved than this.” This can be taken either as an honest but wrong reference to Darwinism (likely), or as a sarcastic use of the earthlings’ own views against them (preferable).

A U.S. government agency secretly taps every satellite camera in the world (including those owned by private individuals) to find the villain. The ethics of this are not addressed in the movie.

Several of the fighting scenes involve one or the other of two female side characters who have been trained for dangerous careers.

A side character lies to the superheroes in order to inspire them to action.

A character admits, soberly, to having attempted suicide at one point. This is not positively-portrayed.

The plot revolves around the idea of different worlds within the same physical universe. However, Thor and the other non-earthlings with souls are not necessarily implied to have originated as different species in those different worlds. Other-world characters occasionally refer to people as "human" and "mortal", but merely as synonyms with "earthling" and "shorter-lived".

On Iron Man’s entrance, a brief clip from the AC/DC song “Shoot to Thrill” is featured. The lyrics are not really audible. Tony Stark wears a Black Sabbath shirt, but nothing is made of this.

A character makes a few philosophical remarks that are untrue, but then turns out to be playing a part to trick the villain. A side character says that “until such time as the world ends, we will act as though it intends to spin on.”

A positively-portrayed character claims that he is always angry, although he never looks it.

A character swears something on her life.

An indirect reference is made to the movie The Wizard of Oz.

A brief, joking reference is made of “weed”.

Yoga and meditation are briefly and jokingly referenced.

Iron Man gets a drink and offers one to Loki.

1 For the biblical use of the word “gods” as an appropriate designation for obviously non-divine rulers, see Psalm 82:6 and John 10:34.

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