Avengers, The

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Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 14 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Avengers, The
  • a review of Avengers, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 May 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 13-14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children over the age of 14 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Avengers, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length: 142 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

For several decades an inactive alien artefact called the Tesseract, a source of untold renewable power, has been in the safekeeping of a covert national security agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Without warning, the Tesseract suddenly activates and opens a portal to a distant galaxy. Exiled god Loki (Tom Hiddleston) steps through the portal and steals the Tesseract, placing the Earth in dire peril. Apparently Loki, brother of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), needs the Tesseract to create a stable space portal to allow an army of aliens to invade and conquer Earth.

To stop Loki and the alien invasion, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), head of S.H.I.E.L.D forms The Avengers, a team of superheroes that includes Thor, Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner/the incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson). While initially finding it difficult to work together as a team, the Avengers manage to sort out their differences, but not before Loki uses the Tesseract to open a portal and allow the alien invasion force through to Earth.


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.

Superheroes; alien invasion; world domination

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.

The Avengers contains intense action violence throughout with numerous deaths but minimal blood and gore. Examples include:

  • Loki uses a power staff to fire bolts of energy, killing several people. He uses brute strength to physically hurl a number of people against walls and through the air and also throws knives at several people, killing them.
  • Loki uses his staff to bash a man across the back of the head and then hold the man down while he stabs the man in the eye with large three pronged implement designed to scan and send images of the man’s eye.
  • Loki uses a bladed staff to stab a man through the back, the blade appearing out of the man’s chest. Some blood is depicted on the blade and the man’s lips, and later we see the man lying dead with his eyes open.
  • Dozens of people are shot and killed with both automatic weapons and handguns; we see some victims shot at point blank range, although with minimal blood and gore.
  • Hawkeye ruthlessly shoots men with arrows, mainly in the chest, while a number of aliens are shot in the face.
  • On a number of occasions Hawkeye uses arrows that explode on impact causing the structures and equipment to explode in flames.
  • The film contains several car chases involving cars exchanging gunfire and attempting to ram each other off the road. Cars are driven in an extremely reckless manner, crashing into each other, rolling over, and exploding in flames.
  • Black Widow is bound to a chair and surrounded by a number of soldiers. A soldier strikesher across the face with his hand. He threatens to push her over a ledge, and then forces her mouth open and picks up a pair of pliers as if he intends torture her by extracting her teeth.
  • Black Widow effortlessly and ruthlessly uses stylised action violence to kick, punch and throw her attackers about; some images include the sound of bones breaking.
  • Several scenes depict fierce battles between Loki and the Avengers.Superheroes and gods are thrown hundreds of meters through the air after receiving blows to the head.
  • Thor uses a large hammer as a weapon, which he either throws or uses to strike his attackers.
  • The Hulk rips a plane apart then grabs hold of the ejecting pilot and throws him through the air.
  • The Hulk chases Black Widow, striking her and sending her flying through the air and against a wall.
  • The Hulk grabs Loki and slams his body into the ground numerous timesleaving him lying unconscious on the ground.
  • When an army of humanoid aliens come through the space portal and attack a city, crowds of people run screaming and confused. Aliens fire laser beams at cars and buildings with cars exploding in flames flipped over and blown into the air and buildings exploding with rubble falling onto the streets and people below. Giant alien spacecraft cause mass destruction as they weave their way through city buildings, crashing into and destroying many.

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 and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under eight, including the following:

  • The film contains scary images of threatening humanoid aliens and giant alien spacecraft like centipedes with snapping jaws.
  • In one scene we see Bruce Banner transform into the Hulk. His muscles suddenly begin to enlarge, ripping his clothes as he transforms into a giant green snarling ogre-like creature. 
  • We see people evacuating a large army base, and then see the army base engulfed in a nuclear-like explosion with the entire complex collapsing into the ground. A woman in a car is trapped in a cave-in as the base collapses but survives uninjured.
  • Loki is able to take possession of people’s minds by touching them with a power staff. Their eyes transform into black orbs and then take on a crystalline appearance.
  • In some scenes, Loki appears wearing alien armour and a horned helmet, taking on a demonic appearance.    

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.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

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.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above mentioned scenes.

Product placement

None noted.

Sexual references

None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Women wearing low-cut tops and brief shorts
  • Black Widow wears a tight fitting body suit
  • Some kissing

Use of substances

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

  • social drinking at parties.
  • Tony Stark asks Bruce Banner if his secret for remaining stress free was a huge bag of weed.

Coarse language

The film contains some coarse language and name calling. Examples include:

  • mindless beast; freak; Oh my god; son of a bitch; pissed off; bastards; damn; stupid arse

In a nutshell

The Avengers is an action adventure bringing together a number of Marvel’s most famous superhero characters.  It is targeted at adolescent males and adult fans of Marvel comics. It contains violence and scary scenes which make it unsuitable for children and some younger teens.

The main message from this movie is that individuals who work together as a team can achieve far more than those working independently.

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

  • cooperation
  • selflessness