Parents' Guide to

Stan Lee's Mighty 7: Beginnings

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Unlikely hero team has positive social messages for kids.

Movie PG 2014 90 minutes
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Comic-book legend Stan Lee –- or at least an animated rendering of him –- takes on a new role on the screen in this lively story, and the effect is surprisingly entertaining. Not only does his presence factor heavily into the heroes' potential success as a team, his regular-Joe character brings an unusual perspective to the typical superhero formula. While they're waging power struggles and contemplating the fate of the world, he's making cracks about tax expenditures and heading out for business meetings. The strange pairing adds a freshness that older viewers in particular will find amusing.

But the surprises don't stop there. Set against the familiar backdrop of flashy action sequences and heroic deeds is a compelling story rich in complex characters. From the first few minutes of the movie, viewers are encouraged to make assumptions about each of the Mighty 7 based on his or her present situation, but as the story evolves, those initial judgments are called into question for good reason. Not only does this give the movie more substance and fill in the spaces between the action, it also does an excellent job of illustrating for kids an important lesson in how to treat others. What's more, although their individual powers are impressive, many don't give them a huge advantage in battle without the support of another's -- further evidence of the value of teamwork.

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