A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Logan is part of the X-Men series and is said to be Hugh Jackman's final appearance as Wolverine. Unlike almost all other superhero movies (except Deadpool), it's rated R, so expect a lot of very edgy material. The main issue is the extremely strong, bloody comic book violence, including characters being sliced through flesh and skulls, shot, shown in pain, and killed. A young girl is involved in the fights, and there's disturbing footage of children being mistreated in a laboratory setting. Suicide is considered. Language is also really salty, with many uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and more. A woman is shown topless, and the main character drinks frequently -- the possibility that he's an alcoholic (or a "junkie") is discussed. Despite the mature material, the movie -- which explores the importance of family -- is quite powerful and is a high point in the superhero genre. Expect teens to be very eager to see it.
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What's the story?
In LOGAN, it's the year 2029, and Logan (Hugh Jackman) -- the mutant superhero once known as Wolverine -- isn't what he once was. His healing powers are ebbing, everything is harder for him, and he's in constant pain. He hides out in a desert compound with the now-90-something Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), who suffers from chronic psychic fits, and albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Their superhero days are over, and no new mutants have appeared in years. Then a woman arrives, asking Logan to look after a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) and take her to a safe place in North Dakota. Along the way (possible spoiler alert!), Logan learns that the girl is actually his daughter, created in a horrific lab experiment using his DNA. And the men who created her are coming.
Is it any good?
The movie equivalent to Frank Miller's renowned comic book The Dark Knight Returns, this entry in the X-Men series is amazingly moving and grown-up, elevating the superhero genre to new heights. Jackman gives an astonishing performance as a hurting Logan; he's no longer Wolverine, just a man who's lived a hard, hard life and is looking at an unforgiving, grim future. Meanwhile, director James Mangold completely reverses the hatchet job he did on his last outing The Wolverine, here delivering a sad, fatalistic -- yet stunningly poignant -- look at regret and loss.
It's almost like a Western, filled with cracked, dusty American spaces. (Shane is shown on TV.) Characters wrestle with the landscape on the exterior while wrestling with their pasts, fears, and desires on the interior. It helps that we know Logan so well and that he's been so impossibly cool for so long. Now he becomes human for the first time, experiencing what a family might have been like, as well as a longing for resignation. The movie has action, but, rather than celebrating exhilaration, it's deliberately wearisome, shadowing the end of an era. Perhaps most profoundly, Logan achieves a sense of generations, of life changing, unknown, leaving some folks behind but trudging forever on.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Logan's violence. How does it compare to other, somewhat milder superhero movies? How does the fact that there's more blood affect the impact of what you're seeing? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Why do you think the filmmakers decided to make Logan edgier than the previous X-Men/Wolverine movies? Is there a risk in making this kind of movie inappropriate for younger comics fans?
What does the movie have to say about family? Why does Logan believe he doesn't deserve, or can't have, a family?
- In theaters: March 3, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: May 23, 2017
- Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
- Director: James Mangold
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures
- Run time: 137 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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