Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

image for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Not suitable under 14; parental guidance to 16 (violence, themes, scary scenes, language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • a review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 13 May 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 14 Not suitable due to violence, themes, scary scenes and language.
Children aged 14–16 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, themes, and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 16 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and action violence
Length: 126 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

When young America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) discovers she has the power to open portals to other dimensions, her parents are swept away in the process. America travels the multiverse looking for her parents, all the while trying to understand and control her power. She encounters a multidimensional Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who tries to help her but fails shortly before he is killed. The Earthbound Dr Strange encounters America in a dream and, after he and his friend Wong (Benedict Wong) save her from a monstrous demon, he agrees to help her. Leaving his long time love Christine’s (Rachel McAdams) wedding, Dr Strange sets off in search of the one person he thinks can help America. Unfortunately he tells Wanda, aka The Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), exactly what America can do and where she can find her. The Scarlett Witch is determined to take America’s powers and use them so she can travel the multiverse herself and live in a realm where she can be with her children. While Dr Strange and America traverse the universe searching for the Book of Ashanti, a sorcerers book rumoured to contain special spells, Wanda pursues them through multiple dimensions, doing everything she can to stop them and destroy them but little does she realise that ultimately she is only destroying herself.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Multidimensional travel; Regret; Violence as a means to solve conflict; Sorcery and Witchcraft.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • America and Dr Strange are trying to escape as a fiery demon watches them, trying to stab them. Dr Strange gets a bloody, burning gash in his leg.
  • Dr Strange tries to kill America before he is stabbed through the chest and he falls down dead while America is trapped and stretched apart.
  • A huge octopus monster tries to crush and kill America.
  • A monster throws a bus at Dr Strange, who slices the bus in half and is then thrown into a wall.
  • Wong slices a monster’s tentacles off with a sword and then Dr Strange impales it and blinds the monster by ripping out its eyeball as it falls to the ground.
  • The Scarlet Witch blasts warriors out of the way as she destroys their weapons, and archers are blasted off the roof as they fire on her. Men flee as she destroys the courtyard.
  • A man is incinerated as he tries to crawl away from the Scarlet Witch.
  • The Scarlett Witch tries to shoot her way through a window; she crawls her way through glass shards and comes out all sliced up.
  • The Scarlet Witch tries to steal America’s power, sucking the life from her.
  • A man is forced to squeeze mustard into his face and then punch himself in the face.
  • A book and a lady are both turned to ash.
  • Soldiers are tortured and killed.
  • A bunch of stone creatures look ready to attack The Scarlet Witch and Wong. They bow before the Witch and she throws Wong off a mountain.
  • A man takes a sword through the chest.
  • Wanda blasts soldiers and robots aside as she enters a chamber covered in blood.
  • Wanda is hit from behind and then she severs an opponent by slicing a shield through their body.
  • A character is crushed by a statue while another one is blasted apart.
  • A character tries to kill Dr Strange with a sword. They blast each other, both wearing special bracelets as they fight, flip and punch each other.
  • The Scarlet Witch overpowers America and tries to suck the power from her. She screams and writhes in pain.
  • Dr Strange talks about the little sister he had when he was younger and how she fell through the ice and he couldn’t save her.
  • Two Dr Stranges fight each other in a battle of sound and power. One is eventually blasted out a window and impaled on a spiky fence.
  • Dr Strange has to dream-walk into the deceased body of another version of himself. He must fight numerous black creatures that are trying to attack him and Christine.
  • America repeatedly hits The Scarlet Witch as she banishes her back to another dimension.
  • Wanda and the Scarlet Witch fight each other.
  • The Scarlet Witch destroys the dark hold and allows a temple to crush her.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are numerous monsters and terrible-looking creatures throughout the film, many of which would be deeply disturbing to young viewers.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • A flashback is shown of a young America and her parents enjoying a day out, until America gets frightened and accidentally opens a portal that sucks her mums away. She is left alone, distraught and horrified by what has happened.
  • Wanda is trapped in a bunker. There is a jump scare when her hand suddenly reaches out of a dark window for help. Red smoke appears behind the man attempting to assist her, it slowly engulfs him and out of nowhere, black, spindly, hands reach out and brutally snap his neck. He dies in both dimensions. The scene is very unnerving and could upset many young viewers.
  • A possessed Wanda, covered in blood, with red glowing eyes, limps quickly down a hallway as she chases America, Christine and Dr Strange. They manage to trap her behind a heavy door but there is another jump scare as she suddenly appears before them, bloody, dishevelled and set on grabbing America whom she takes to another universe while Dr Strange and Christine are blasted elsewhere.
  • Dr Strange must inhabit his deceased corpse in order to dream-walk to where America is being held and tormented. His mutilated, zombie-like, body is attacked by multiple flying demons that cling to him with bony, black, hands and try to pull him back, attack him or hold him down. They attack him in the other dimension as well while Christine attempts to fight them off.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Characters drink Martinis and wine at a bar and drinks are served at Christine’s wedding.
  • America and Dr Strange are drugged by something that is put in their tea. They both pass out and later find themselves imprisoned in another dimension.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Crap
  • God Damn
  • Hell
  • Sucks
  • Shit
  • Bitch.

In a nutshell

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a fantasy adventure based on the Marvel comic books. It contains a fast-paced plot and lots of special effects but due to the violent content this is not a family film but one that will be best enjoyed by older teen and adult audiences, particularly fans of the Marvel franchise.

The main messages from this movie are that the world needs heroes, that we must all face our fears and that just because someone stumbles and loses their way doesn’t mean they are lost forever.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Courage
  • Responsibility
  • Persistence.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Using violence as a means to solve conflict.
  • Taking what doesn’t belong to you.
  • Hurting others to get what you want.
  • The destructive power of deep regret.