Parent reviews for Black Widow

Common Sense says

Strong women in ScarJo superhero film; violence, language.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 68 reviews
Adult Written bybeacon hiller July 10, 2021

Human trafficking scenes at beginning are intense

We tried to watch this movie with my daughter (9y) and son (11y) and sadly hadn't read the reviews from the teens which I now see capture what was hard in this movie for my kids. The early scenes of being forcefully removed from parents (the daughters are injected and taken away) and placed among many other female children. The eldest sister has very strong reactions about her sister being subjected to what she knows is to come for them and their dad basically subjects them to the trafficking. There is a lot of imagery flashed that is basically human trafficking of young girls shown with Nirvana song and it was jolting. Then it shows the powerful trafficker selecting specific girls to be trained for assassins. Depending on children's knowledge of trafficking and young girls being subjected to this environment it could be extremely confusing and upsetting. We just had a pretty tough convo recently about trafficking and so the imagery was too real. It also represents what so many children are facing every day at our borders being forcefully taken from their parents. I definitely think the pg-13 rating holds true for this movie and there could even be a trigger warning for anyone who has personally experienced been taken from their families, intense themes and imagery even for adults to grapple with.
Adult Written byKeeshac80 July 17, 2021

Very dark/violent

I wish I had known how dark and violent this movie was before I took my 13 year old to see it.
All of the Avengers movies have some violence but this one was much worse.
But the brutal human trafficking of children was the worst part.
I know as parents we all have different standards of what we allow our children to watch. But for me, I didn't feel this movie was appropriate for a 13 year old.
I think it should have an R rating.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 12-year-old Written bySupergirlJedi July 12, 2021

Good bit of language

In my opinion, this was a solid movie. Definitely kept our attention. Some funny parts. Not one of the best MCU flicks, but they did a good job. Lots of over the top action sequences, some worthy of an eye roll. I was disappointed at how much language was actually in the movie. They said s**** more times than I can count. Wasn’t crazy about my 12 year old hearing it at all much less that many times. We’ll do our own editing when able so that we can watch it free of all of that.

This title contains:

Language
Adult Written bynatalia_2284 July 9, 2021

ABSOLUTELY STUNNING

Black Widow is finally here. 10 years later. While there is a good amount of superhero action, the storyline and acting is what makes this movie phenomenal. Marvel Studios could not have chosen a better director. Cate Shortland added the perfect amount of action, humor, and heart to this long awaited solo film. Black Widow has strong female leads and great messages about female empowerment. Having a woman in the director's chair definitely had its benefits. When we were first introduced to Natasha in Iron Man 2, she was very sexualized. 10 years later this has completely changed. Some scenes may be distressing for young or sensitive viewers but if your child has seen other Marvel movies they should be okay. There are explosions, fights, an avalanche and a few car chases. The family dynamic between Natasha, Yelena and her parents can be a little intense at times as she was taken away from home at a young age. Together they try to work out and resolve as many problems as they can. Some parents may not be comfortable with this. Language in minimal except for a few curses (sh*t, one use of b*tch, and h*ll). Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansson and Rachel Weisz stun in this action packed, female led thriller! I would definitely recommend watching this with your kids.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byBryan_L July 9, 2021

Finally the backstory that Black Widow deserved.

I very much enjoyed this movie. The tone of the movie is great as it transitions from action to light-hearted conversations. The pacing was great as well since the 2+ hour running time never felt overly long. The movie has the same feel as Winter Soldier which is actions and decisions have weight, and when others deem it necessary to make decisions for you then your humanity is stripped from you.

My only complaint is a few words by Romanov close to the end of the film. In my household we realize that profanity is used by many and have accepted this in the movies we watch, with the exception of using God's name in vain. As I said close to the end of the film Romanov says G-D**n, but in a very clever way so the movie could protect their PG-13 rating and to not venture into the R rating. She inserts a short breath between the two words so that the MPAA would approve they were two words instead of the one-word curse. Clever side-stepping of the rules aside, the intent was clear.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Language
Adult Written byPoochie123 July 11, 2021

Good movie, better than I thought

I watched this movie when I came out, and it was really good! I was expecting worse because I heard it was almost R, but it really wasn’t that bad. The language isn’t that bad, and the violence isn’t too graphic. I think they cut some disturbing scenes out that were in the original trailer, because it was nowhere close to an R rating. Overall, I would recommend this movie!
Parent of a 12 and 13-year-old Written byJMomofBoys July 11, 2021

Gratuitous abuse of women

Disturbing violence overshadows what should have been a compelling story.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byCalvinkel July 10, 2021

Possible the best origin movie in marvels

To be honest I think Black Widow is by far the best origin movie in Marvels, beats winter solder, beats the hulk, beats captain Marvels. And to top it all off it's crazy funny like I know I was smiling throughout the whole movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bydenise_p_111 July 9, 2021

Good Movie, for older kids

Black Widow is such a good movie. Scarlett Johansson is such a good actress. This movie had lots of action in it, but lots of intense violence. There were even a lot of swearing like S**t, B***h, A**, Damn, Dammit, etc. and even Some swearing in Russian language (With subtitles) like "No S**t and Ah, B***h. Overall Black Widow is a good movie, but I think this movie is for older kids due to the strong language in the movie.

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written byJoeyy June 2, 2021

Awesome

This movie was great my friend at the movies has the movie there and I was able to watch it but be cautious

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Adult Written byNatalie_cza July 25, 2021

Finally the movie we’ve been asking Marvel for!

Disclaimer: my children are 5 and 9, she/her and he/him respectively, and they both saw this opening day at home after I saw it in IMAX.

Spoilers!

I had no issue with my children seeing it, we have discussed slavery, trafficking, autonomy, and abuse hundreds of times and they both know Natasha’s storyline from the comics which is way darker than anything marvel would put out. The trafficking scene was painful, and we paused to discuss right after; with proper prep I see no reason to keep these things from children.

Actual review now: this movie is the absolute best Marvel film yet. I’m on my 12th rewatch now. First, you can tell a woman directed it and you can see Scarlet Johansson’s influence. Natasha is thrown around in fight scenes that are absolutely brutal and are hands down the hardest fight scenes Marvel has ever had for a female character. Her clothes are for comfort. She is barefaced or her makeup is minimal… and what makeup she does wear gets completely messed up and gross at the end of a fight as it should! Her hair is a veritable rats nest after a fight. Yelena and Nat have a scene discussing their forced hysterectomies and it is spot on- you can feel their anger! Not at a loss of future children but at the loss of their choice! Bodily autonomy for the win. And while we are on that we have Body Positivity too- Alexei (David Harbour) is clearly fat and instead of making jokes about it or insinuating that it makes him less of a hero (ie Thor in Endgame), it is simply stated and then never mentioned again!

The villain is an actual villain. He has no redeeming qualities, no redemption storyline and he is simply blown up. It’s not the villain of other marvel movies where they are slightly ok or slightly human. This is a villain who is created by a sexist society that churns out more and more of them. We are not meant to feel sad at his death. We are meant to feel triumphant and hopeful that the girls he imprisoned now have their autonomy.

I highly recommend Black Widow. It’s a movie made by women for women.

No sex, some cursing, a good amount of violence, and fantastic empowering role models.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byMom of two kids July 22, 2021

LOVED THIS MOVIE!

We were so excited for this movie to come out because we love Black Widow, and it surpassed our expectations! Scarlett Johansson’s performance was outstanding, and the other main characters were perfectly cast as well, especially Florence Pugh. There is a lot of exciting action and very clever humor, but it is so much more than just an action film. The plot makes you care deeply about the main characters and elicits deep emotions from the audience. There are a few precautions for kids under ten. (Spoilers ahead.) There are three scenes I would fast forward through if young kids are in the room. The beginning of the opening credits is upsetting with children screaming and crying as they are being trafficked and torn apart from siblings. This scene is brilliantly done and adds a lot to the plot, but it would upset little ones. There is also a scene in which we first met Yelena that she brutally stabs another character. The third scene is shortly after that when an injured character shoots herself in the face with an unseen weapon. Otherwise, it is very entertaining and fun for the whole family. As the story progresses, you become more and more invested in the characters, their well-being and their mission. Great messages about self-sacrifice, friendship and teamwork. We’ve watched it about ten times on Disney Plus! Highly recommend it.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written bySCALmom July 22, 2021

Exciting action for older teens only

My 16-yr-old daughter and I enjoyed this movie tremendously. I was glad that my younger daughters did not join us. Psychologically, it was made for older teens and adults, not for younger kids. There was a lot of woman-on-woman violence (v. woman on robot/alien, so it was an improvement for Marvel) and psychological warfare that was not meant for younger kids to see. There was also humor and enjoyable banter between the characters. And a love between the characters (positive familial love) which was interesting to see develop over the course of the film. I recommend this for older teens and adults!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bygogo108 July 21, 2021

A REALLY GOOD MOVIE

This movie is a VERY INTENSE marvel movie. BUT, it is still a very good movie, the effects are very realistic looking. Also, the characters suits look really epic, and there are some really action packed exiting scenes. This movie takes a break from the story to have really intense fight scenes a lot of times. This movie starts out with a lot of sad scenes, that are deeply upsetting, but not the whole movie is so sad. In conclusion this is a great movie, with lots of intense action. I think this movie is ok for 12 and up.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byMarineCat36 July 20, 2021

Surprisingly violent and intense for an MCU film, but still great fun for teens.

Parents need to know that Black Widow is definitely one of the more mature MCU movies. For starters, It's got more blood and disturbing content then most movies in the franchise. Aside from the explosions and shooting that are too be expected in an action movie, there are numerous fight scenes that often start to touch into the brutal side. People are slammed against hard objects, punched, burned, shot, stabbed, and just beaten really hard. Two of these fights sort of remind me of the type of thing that you would see in a Jason Bourne movie. In one scene near the beginning, there is a knife fight. One character ends up stabbing the other in the stomach before ripping the knife out to the side. It's not shown in graphic detail, the camera is behind the person getting stabbed. However, you can definitely tell what is going on, and the sound effects don't help with that at all. The wound isn't shown until the woman who was stabbed falls to the floor and starts gasping for breath. The other woman who just killed her then takes the same knife and cuts open her leg to remove a tracking device. This is shown fairly quickly but it's bloody and painful to watch. The bloody tracking device on the ground is then zoomed in on. Later in the movie, a woman under partial mind control falls off a building and breaks her leg. She looks at the main character with obvious fear and says "I don't want to do this" before the villain forces her to shoot herself on camera. It's done with a laser gun, but her half-fried head is shown as the camera backs away. In another scene a man beats a woman under partial mind control pretty hard, and she can't fight back. She slams her head against a table which breaks her nose but stops the partial mind control thing. She has a bloody nose, and she is shown up close pushing her nose back in place. During an intense sort of chase scene, a character follows a trail of blood. A woman blows up a building with a little girl inside. (She is shown walking into the building before it is detonated.) Now, I'm going to talk about a scene that most other parents have an issue with: The human trafficking scene. At the end of the opening scene, a dad gives his two girls up and they are drugged and taken. Then the best and most emotionally intense opening credits scene that I have ever scene starts. A more emotional and slow version of "Smells like teen spirit" plays as the girls are forcefully separated, imprisoned, selected for training, brainwashed, trained, and basically turned into assassins and soldiers. I'm not 100% sure, but I think this scene takes place during the cold war too, so that is why the girls are used. This scene is not for the faint of heart and is actually gritty and intense, unlike the rest of the MCU. I am so glad that they touched on this, because human trafficking is a real thing that happens. This type of thing happens to girls all over the world in real life, except they usually aren't being trained into assassins or soldiers, but sex-slaves and prostitutes to make money for their masters. It's sad, and it's very real. I wish Marvel would make an entire movie or series about the two girl's lives growing up, and about how Natasha escaped. That is a great opportunity for social commentary. Anyways, this scene at the beginning shouldn't be taken lightly. Kids 13 and up should be able to handle it though. As far as language goes, there is around 15 uses of sh*t and a few uses of b*tch. Also, Yelena gives a fairly graphic description of how in the program they reached up into her vagina and pulled out her uterus and sexual organs. Also, there is one minor sexual reference when the dad tells his wife that since he has been in prison for so long, he has a lot of... "energy." Overall, Black Widow is definitely one of the better Marvel movies, and I would totally recommend it for teens and adults. It works as it's own movie and there is absolutely no reason why you would need to see the other marvel movies to understand it. I do wish they would have touched on the Widows' origin story a bit more, but the movie is still good. I would give it a solid 75/100 and recommend it for ages 13+. Parents, beware this isn't as kid friendly and light as the other marvel movies, at least near the beginning. It's not super mature though, the PG-13 rating is perfect for this one though.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written bychrisd9831 July 19, 2021

Excellent but has a rating for a reason

Okay so I'mma start off by saying that this is one of the best movies so far this year I personally loved it
Heavy in action and adventure light in objective material however as light as it may be there is reason this movie is rated pg-13 it's got a lot of intense violence some profanity so if that sounds like a deal breaker skip it but aside from that I say two thumbs way way up

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bychathamsq July 16, 2021

This title contains:

Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Adult Written byNative1957 July 14, 2021

Sucked

I was so disappointed, they made such a big dear about. The acting really was bad for everyone. I'm glad I didn't pay to see it.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Adult Written bymchumley02 July 14, 2021
Adult Written bySoulsis415 July 11, 2021

Deep, slightly dark (and scary TRAILERS at some theaters)

I took my mature kid who just turned 12. I watched the trailer and read the reviews, and anticipated enjoyment of the kick butt girl power, female focus, emphasis on family and repair (over finding a love interest, etc.). Those themes performed very well. The film also included character depth and complexity (remorse, grief, abandonment / betrayal. forgiveness) which were top notch but may require emotional maturity. I agree with the other reviewer who cautioned about the darkness of trafficking in girls, human exploitation/extraction/slavery, forced sterilization, and parents who are self dealing (bad guy).

As noted by Commonsense Media in an article I had missed, the theaters and distributors decide on the trailers. This PG-13 film was preceded by a terrifying trailer for a HORROR film by that M. Night Shaymalan. (And a trailer for Suicide Squad.) Granted those are both somehow rated PG-13. Look, as consumers we can chose whether or not to go see such movies and use our own judgment, intelligence, and resources like this one (yay!). But we DON'T get to choose the trailers. So those SHOULD be appropriate for all audiences as they once were.

COMMONSENSE MEDIA please come to the rescue. The MPAA isn't even a real Thing. They are just a self appointed group of people without a fraction of the intelligence, data analytics, or experience of Commonsense Media.

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