Parents' Guide to

Iron Man

By James Rocchi, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

First MCU adventure has violence, Islamophobia.

Movie PG-13 2008 125 minutes
Iron Man Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 85 parent reviews

age 13+

Good movie but kids are the wrong demographic, take PG-13 rating seriously and don't listen to marketing that implies otherwise

The movie is good but it is too violent for younguns. Found myself distracting my 8-year-old nephew from excessively violent scenes far more often than I would have expected. There is some social commentary that clearly draws parallels to real world issues: the horrors of modern warfare, American soldiers being killed, and the twisted morality of arming corrupt governments/terrorist cells with advanced weapons for the sake of profit. Tony is a brash, impulsive, and sarcastic playboy industrialist-turned-philanthropist who is shown making plenty of questionable choices throughout the movie leading up to his big change-of-heart; Characters drink alcohol and smoke tobacco in a fairly limited capacity. A sort-of implied sex scene shows 2 characters making out + rolling around in bed in their underwear. The woman later wakes up nude with only a sheet covering her body. A little later, she is escorted from Tony's house by Tony's assistant Ms. Potts and the two women trade jabs at each other, ending with Potts making a clever derogatory remark about the woman's status as nothing more than a one-night stand, equating her to "trash". Some presumably intoxicated flight attendants with drinks in their hands and exposed midriffs are shown dancing suggestively next to some stripper poles (the poles are not used and the ladies aren't dressed too provocatively). Expectedly mild use of vulgar language for a PG-13 film: multiple uses of h*ll, d*mn, b*tch. One use of pr*ck. One use of "BS" (only the letters "B.S." are said, not the word itself). Scenes of violence are quite frequent, realistic, and intense and can be too much/too realistic for kids not in their teens. Characters are shot, blown up, paralyzed, crushed, tortured, and burned. Scenes in the first half of the movie vividly and realistically depict modern warfare/insurgency tactics; an armored convoy is ambushed and destroyed by an IED and several soldiers are killed on-screen; Tony is held prisoner in terrible conditions and is unwillingly commissioned into forced labor; an intense firefight with lots of machine guns, explosions, and large fireballs ensues as Tony fights his way out of enemy captivity; a tense scene with Iron Man intercepting a terrorist attack against a village features guns, bombs, lasers, and tanks as families (with children) are separated and held at gunpoint. Later in the film, the antagonist Iron Monger's identity is revealed and he has his big showdown with Tony; Iron Monger is a character hellbent on profit through destruction and duplicity. His fight with Tony results in some local destruction as Iron Monger expresses his lack of regard for collateral damage. Cars are flipped, thrown, and destroyed; missiles and autocannons are fired; and near the end a character is killed with a large bolt of electricity.
age 7+

Iron Man is great!!!!

I think ages 7+ should be fine watching this movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (85 ):
Kids say (327 ):

Director Jon Favreau keeps the film light and bright; special effects are impressively crafted, and the setup for the next film is handled gently and well. Iron Man knows that it's a comic book movie; not only does it have all the plot points and moral messages that we're used to from Spider-Man, Batman Begins, and others in the genre, but it also subtly mocks and twists them. The plot touches all the bases of the traditional "origin story" (how our hero becomes a superhero, his first outing with his new powers, etc.), showing plenty of hustle and style as it does so. However, offensive stereotypes of Afghans as terrorists and some disturbing violence make aspects of the story hard to watch.

But if there's any one thing that makes Iron Man more than just a run-of-the-mill superhero film, it's Downey Jr. His work here is funny, human, heroic, and completely engaging, capturing the brisk, breezy laugh lines, the adrenaline-fueled action, and the moments of bold purpose that every superhero has to have as they start out. He gives both Tony and Iron Man a little swagger and coolness -- something that would go on to become a calling card of the MCU style, in contrast to the stiffer, straight-laced heroes that came before him.

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