Is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness suitable for children?

May 10, 2022

Last week’s release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has set off a debate about whether it is suitable viewing for younger tamariki.

Marvel films have typically been family-friendly affairs, but some commentators have noted that the film, directed by Sam Raimi (who directed the Evil Dead horror film franchise), has a darker and more violent tone than previous entries.

The film depicts physical, weaponised and magical violence and the sometimes bloody injuries that result, as well as a number of scenes involving elements of horror and threat. You can read more about its content here.

In New Zealand, the film carries an M violence rating, meaning that while there are no age-restrictions on who can see the film, it is more suitable for older viewers. The movie was cross-rated and the label was issued by the Film and Video Labelling Body. You can find out more about how cross-rating of unrestricted films works here.

Overseas, the film is rated M in Australia which means it is not recommended for children under the age of 15. It is classified 12A in Britain meaning it contains material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12, and no one under that age is able to see the film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. The film carries a PG-13 rating in the US, which means that parents are urged to be cautious, as some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.

Before watching any film with your tamariki, it’s important to know what to expect. Below are some helpful resources for you to make the best decision for yourself and your whānau.

Classification Office resources

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