A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Deadpool is a superhero story aimed at -- and most appropriate for -- mature audiences only. It has lots of graphic violence, sex (including partial nudity), adult humor, and nonstop strong language. Unlike most other Marvel superhero films, which only hint at romance, include just a few curse words, and skip the gore, Deadpool is decidedly grown-up, bloody, and raunchy by comparison. Expect words like "f--k" in nearly every scene, plus "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and much more. The violence is close-up and bloody, ranging from torture and decapitation to dismemberment, brains oozing out of skulls, brutal hand-to-hand combat, and more. A racy sex montage includes naked breasts, as does a scene set in a strip club; there's also a scene where Deadpool fights while naked -- both his butt and quick, obscured glimpses of his genitals are visible. Adults also smoke and drink. All of that said, the story does ultimately promote teamwork, collaboration, and love.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
DEADPOOL follows Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who's already in costume as he tells viewers how he ended up becoming a masked vengeance seeker. Motor-mouth Wade explains that he's a former special forces soldier who used to hire himself out as a private mercenary, doing things like threatening young stalkers for a living. Then he falls for Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), a former prostitute -- with a heart of gold, of course -- who's just as wickedly funny as he is. When Wade's diagnosed with incurable metastatic cancer, he takes up a mysterious visitor's offer for a chance of survival: to be experimented on (and tortured) until his body mutates and heals itself. Wade's sarcasm and caustic wit angers experimenter Ajax (Ed Skrein), who ends up torturing Wade until his skin looks burned and disfigured. After escaping, Wade feels too insecure to approach Vanessa and instead reinvents himself as Deadpool, with the goal of getting revenge.
Is it any good?
Those who thought Deadpool might just be a smidge more violent than your standard Avengers or X-Men movie, know this: It's NOT for middle schoolers. The adult language, the sex/nudity and innuendo, and the gore are too plentiful to recommend even for avid young high schoolers. But for adults and mature older teens who enjoy the Marvelverse, Deadpool is a fast-paced, entertaining origin story that winks enough at the genre without straying too far from the winning formula that even the credits acknowledge (starring "some idiot," "hot chick," "moody teen," "British villain," etc.).
For one thing, Reynolds was born to play this loud-mouthed, acid-tongued anti-hero with the ability to crush heads and crack up audiences in Marvel's decidedly adult action-comedy. With his action skills, athletic build, and well-honed comic timing, Reynolds was an ideal pick for the nonstop joker who breaks the fourth wall, makes lewd references to Wolverine, and wants nothing more than to look normal again so he can go back to his beloved Vanessa. Best known for her TV work (Firefly), Baccarin is equally well cast as Deadpool's tough, fiery, loving partner. And T.J. Miller is hilarious as Wade's only real friend, an arms dealer named Weasel.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the amount of violence in Deadpool. How much is shown, and how is it different than the violence in other superhero movies? How does Deadpool's humor affect the impact of the blood and gore? What's the impact of media violence on kids?
Why do you think the filmmakers decided to make Deadpool so much edgier than the typical superhero movie? Is there a risk in making this kind of movie inappropriate for younger comics fans?
How does the movie portray sex and romantic relationships? Are Wade and Vanessa in a healthy relationship? Does Vanessa's past matter to Wade? How about to audiences?
Is Wade/Deadpool a role model? How does he compare to other reluctant superheroes like Wolverine and Tony Stark?
- In theaters: February 12, 2016
- On DVD or streaming: May 10, 2016
- Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Gina Carano
- Director: Tim Miller
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes
- Run time: 108 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity
- Last updated: December 4, 2019
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