Dr. Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, stands in the secret sanctum during the trailer of "Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness."

Parents guide: Darker ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ earns its PG-13 rating

Dr. Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, stands in the secret sanctum during the trailer of “Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.” (Disney, Marvel Studios via AP)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — If you were expecting “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” to be similar to the first Doctor Strange film (or any other Marvel movie, for that matter), you will be disappointed. This time around it gets decidedly darker and much more frenetic than other MCU films in the past. With the darker and heavier twist comes a level of awareness you will want to have before you take your kids to this film. The film is rated PG-13 and is not recommended for children under 13 for good reason. Let’s get into why:

Violence/gore

There is quite a bit of violence in this film, ranging from fistfights to all-out war. We see blood, open wounds and severe injuries. A lot of the imagery is stylized and goes by quickly on the screen but there are some moments where some of the imagery is prolonged and may be difficult for younger children to watch. There are few jump-scares in the movie as well, nothing too serious but possibly starting if you’re not ready for them. Beyond these things, we get the usual visually impressive scenes of destruction we have come to enjoy from Marvel movies.

Horror

This film definitely teeters on the edge of being a horror movie with some intense subject matter such as witchcraft and sorcery. There are scenes where the dead come back to life and there are plenty of other monsters in this film. This is the first time a Marvel movie has dipped its toes into the horror genre so be aware of your children’s ability to process this type of film and its related themes.

language

While we do get a full helping of PG-13 curse words, none of the language goes beyond the usual mid-tier swears we would expect from any other Marvel movie.

Sexual content

This movie really has very little in the way anything sexual, visually or within the dialog. This is just not that type of movie.

Conclusion

This film definitely sits on the far end of the Marvel spectrum in terms of genre and content. Although nothing goes beyond what a PG-13 film will allow, it does feel dark, heavy and much scarier than what we’ve seen before. Beyond the decidedly “horror” feel to it, this film is also very disjointed, messy and difficult to follow at times, especially for younger children.

If you are not sure what your child can handle, it may be a good idea to screen this movie first before dropping the kids off at the theater for the afternoon.

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Dave Clyde comes from a family of “movie people” of which there are actors, screenwriters, a set designer, a director and yes, a couple of movie reviewers. When Dave isn’t busy living in the real world, he is busy living in someone else’s version of it on a movie screen.

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