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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Iron Man 3 is another big-budget entry in the Marvel universe, and after the immense popularity of 2012's The Avengers, it will have huge appeal for tweens, teens, and adults alike. The violence is as explosive, large-scale, and pulse-quickening as you'd expect from this franchise. While the body count and mass devastation aren't as high as in The Avengers, scenes of both extremely destructive public bombings and casual shootings could be disturbing; overall, there's a bigger "human" factor to the violence here than in Robert Downey Jr.'s previous Iron Man movies, which involved more robot/machine action. On the other hand, there's less sexuality here (aside from a mention of a one-night stand and shots of women in bikinis or bra and panties) than in the other two, and language is on the milder side (one "s--t" and "p---y," plus "goddamn," "jerk," "hell," "ass," etc.). Expect some drinking and product placement. Iron Man 3 is as much about Tony figuring out who he is without the suit as he is with it, and there are some mature themes about identity, anxiety, the dangers of unchecked power, and the necessity of a moral compass.
  • Families can talk about the movies in the Marvel universe. How does Iron Man stack up against the other Avengers films? Do you prefer the individual superhero movies or The Avengers together? Why?
  • How has Tony changed since the events of The Avengers? How is this movie a response to Captain America's question about what Tony is without his suit? Why does Tony wonder whether he's as worthy as his other "super friends"?
  • Tony's going through an identity crisis in Iron Man 3. Which other superheroes have comparable moments of introspection of anxiety with their "super" gifts?
  • Are weapons of war glamorized in the movie? Should weapons be portrayed as that shiny and cool? What message does this send?
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