Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Themes of women's independence from those (especially men) who would control them, sisterhood, and finding your family. Teamwork and creative thinking help characters succeed. Examines concept of complicity when it comes to helping those who would do others harm: If you're not directly involved, are you still culpable?
Positive Role Models
Women are strong, clever, intelligent, powerful -- even more so when they work together. Natasha has courage and integrity; she and other female colleagues put themselves in danger to save thousands of women. Alexei has many flaws but also genuinely cares about Natasha and Yelena. Dreykov is a manipulative, selfish villain. All main characters are White; diverse representation within supporting cast.
Violence & Scariness
Heavy live-action comic book violence, including physical combat with knives, punches, hitting with a blunt instrument, kicks. Explosions, destruction, a massive avalanche put people in peril. Child threatens soldiers with a gun. Shoot-outs. Frequent life-endangering peril, including vehicle crashes and severe falls. Children are shown to be in deep distress while being separated from their parents. A montage of the Red Room's training process reveals it to be ruthless; many young girls don't survive. Upsetting scenes where surgery/medical procedures are implied or getting underway.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Moment of innuendo between a married couple. Natasha's back is shown without a shirt, but with a bra on. A man is shown shirtless as he changes clothing.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Strong language includes "ass," "bitch," "dammit," and "s--t."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking vodka and beer in moderation for gatherings or to talk.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Black Widow is an action-packed Marvel superhero adventure that takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Scarlett Johansson stars as Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff, who worked for the KGB as a spy from birth until the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., eventually becoming an Avenger. Here, she reconnects with her estranged sister-figure (Florence Pugh) and grapples with her past while being pursued by a deadly new enemy. While a certain amount of suspense is removed by the fact that the film takes place before existing MCU movies (i.e., we know Natasha will survive), violence is frequent and often intense: Expect tons of physical fighting (often with knives), explosions, extreme moments of peril, shoot-outs, and stabbings. Language includes "bitch" and "s--t," and characters drink alcohol in moderation.The movie's feminist story is ultimately about promoting women's independence from men who believe that women exist to be used by them. Characters exhibit courage and teamwork, and there are themes of family that may resonate with viewers who've experienced adoption, foster care, or feelings of abandonment. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While it took far too long for Black Widow to get her own solo film, she puts her moment to good use, blowing up the patriarchy in epic style. What makes Black Widow (the character) unique among the Avengers is that she doesn't have superpowers or super tech: Her brain and her body combine to make her a lethal weapon. But as Natasha returns to her roots, we learn that she's actually not entirely unique: There's a whole widow program, with thousands of "graduates." Natasha has always been a mysterious figure, wracked with guilt from her unwitting work as an assassin for the Russian government. In Black Widow, the Iron Curtain is pulled back to reveal the people she grew up with and the trauma she endured. More than the tragedy of being programmed as a killer, the film's heart beats with the emotional weight of losing parents, more than once -- and wanting your family to be better. While many films deal with issues related to adoption, foster care, guardians, and abandonment, few of them do it with full sensitivity. This one does.
While the male Avengers are always giving one another a hard time and poking fun, no-nonsense Black Widow is usually left alone. Going home again means that Natasha finally gets some long overdue razzing -- and it's pure delight. It's also fair to say that the movie's costumes, hair, and makeup are more aligned with female sensibilities than fanboys': They're functionally stylish (Yelena's praise of pockets is on point), and you get the sense that they're dressing to impress themselves. Nothing low cut, no ridiculous lashes, and absolutely no high heels (note to Marvel merchandising: Those combat boots are everything). No question, this is Marvel's most feminist film to date, and it's a winner -- executed in a way that will leave men cheering just as women have been cheering the male Avengers and others for decades. The action sequences are mesmerizing, perhaps even more fascinating than a typical superhero film because Natasha and Yelena are purely physical fighters, not "powered." That may help make this a particularly meaningful film: Unlike other female superhero projects (Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel, WandaVision), Black Widow is about women who've become wonders and marvels thanks to their own cunning and strength.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Movies and TV Shows in Order
Best Superhero Movies for Kids
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate