A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Documentary discusses the creative devolvement of many of DC Comics's most notorious villains, and the importance of an effective villain for both the development of a good story, as well as the chance for superheroes to show what they're made of.
Positive Role Models
Features interviews with writers, directors, and voiceover actors as they discuss the importance and development of the super-villains of the DC Comics universe.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoon violence in the animated and cinematic depictions of the superheroes and villains. Heroes and villains fight in a variety of methods.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some of the superheroines are scantily clad in comic drawings or animations, wearing revealing superheroine costumes.
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Products & Purchases
Documentary about characters from the DC Comics universe, who are also marketed and sold in a wide variety of merchandise.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Talk of "bad guys" going out to get a beer after a mission.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics is a 2013 documentary that looks at the evolution and importance of the infamous characters of the DC Comics gallery of rogues. While the discussions of the necessity of the villain character in story, and especially in comic book stories, may be dry for some, the insights shared by the writers, directors, and voiceover artists should be illuminating and inspiring for the aspiring writers of the family. These perceptive comments from those taking part in this documentary explain how villains drive stories, how they bring out the best in superheroes, and how they reflect contemporary understanding of evil in the world. Expect cartoon violence in the animated footage. Infrequent mild profanity ("badass," "hell"). Some of the superheroines are scantily clad in comic drawings or animations, wearing revealing superheroine costumes. Talk of "bad guys" going out to get a beer after a mission. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics offers a fascinating glimpse into the process and craft of story and character development. While focused on the infamous villains of the DC Comics universe, one doesn't have to be a comic book obsessive to take away valuable insights into why stories need villains, and how character backstories help to bring these characters to life. Appropriately narrated by Christopher Lee, the documentary features interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Michael Shannon, and numerous writers, directors, and DC Comics executives who share their insightful reflections on what makes characters like The Joker, The Penguin, and Harley Quinn so iconic and unforgettable.
Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics weaves philosophical discussion on evil and how society's conceptions of evil evolve over time with the craft of creating memorable characters and story. Such discussion may be dry for some, and superfans of DC Comics aren't likely to learn anything new, but for those interested in how these characters are brought to life, and how their actions serve to highlight the good in their superhero rivals, there are fascinating takeaways in every interview. It's an illuminating discussion that leaves the viewer with a deeper appreciation for the amount of thought and effort it takes to create these characters who attract and repel us.
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.