Avengers: Age of Ultron has a 12A certificate, which, according to the British Board of Classification means: "Containing material that is not generally suitable for children aged under 12. No one younger than 12 may see a 12A film in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. Adults planning to take a child under 12 to view a 12A film should consider whether the film is suitable for that child."
However, as this is a Marvel film and, therefore, heavily marketed at children with costumes widely available for under 10s and Lego models for 6-12 year olds, you may find yourself pestered by a small person to see this film. I saw it today with my 9 year old and thought I would publish this guide, based solely on my opinions. I hope you find it helpful.
First and foremost, Avengers is a violent concept. It follows a group of misfits, with particular powers or skills, as they attempt to defend the Earth against something horrible. If you are unsure what to expect, I strongly suggest you watch the first Avengers film. Secondly, it is impossible to be specific, without including spoilers, so please don't read on if this is going to ruin it for you!
The very first would spoken is 'shit', this is the worst swear word to be heard. Other instances of swearing are;
"You bet your ass"
"Dick move, Banner!"
"Go ahead and piss me off"
"Poor bastard, miss him already"
"Fury, you son of a bitch"
"Get your ass on a boat"
There is a continuing sexual tension between Banner and Natasha, with some scenes of flirting and one or two kissing scenes. In one scene they discuss a potential relationship and Natasha talks about being sterilised, which could lead to potentially awkward questions from minors.
Stark (on observing Captain America try to lift Thor's Mjolnir), states;
"You've had a tough week, we won't hold it against you, if you can't get it up."
To Black Widow, on her and Banner's return from an abscence:
"I hope you and Banner haven't been playing hide the zucchini"
Stark to Rhody, replying to Rhody's ascertion that he could hold his own:
"If we get through this, I'll hold your own!"
These all went straight over my son's head though, as he didn't understand the secondary references.
As I've mentioned already, it is a film that is violent in nature. You could call it 'fantasy violence', in that most of it is not something that would happen in real life, therefore, there is an argument that children won't be affected by it in the same way as they would if it was a more realistic setting, but that is for the individual parent to judge. Below are some of the more dramatic or disturbing scenes that stood out to me. My son was not fazed by any of them, he took it all in his stride, as did the other youngsters of a similar age in the cinema.
The film opens during a fierce battle, featuring all The Avengers and including, as well as the usual guns and missiles, some fairly realistic hand to hand combat. This features expressions of pain and fear, as well as the sound of bones being broken by Black Widow.
Hawkeye is injured, with a fairly gory flesh wound, which is later artificially repaired in a medical lab-type environment, this may disturb younger children.
There are several scenes of the Hulk rampaging and causing destruction. He is pretty scary anyway, particularly on a cinema screen, but there was one scene in particular where there are close-ups of terrified civilians, in cars and on foot that could unsettle a young audience.
During a battle between The Avengers and several of Ultron's robots, there is an atmosphere of considerable peril and menace that might scare young children. There is also a scene where Ultron slices off Klaue's arm. You don't really see the wound, but you can hear the sound of blood and see the stump where the arm was.
Stark has a vision that shows all The Avengers dead, with closeups, Captain America suddenly grabs his arm and Stark is clearly affected by this. It is quite realistic and therefore could lead to questions and/or upset youngsters.
During Black Widow's vision, there is allusion to her shooting someone at close range. You don't see them shot, but the inference is pretty obvious.
During the rescue scene, Hawkeye goes back to save a small boy and Pietro shields them from a hail of gunfire. Pietro is seen dying with several bullet holes. Later on, Wanda rips the 'heart' out of Ultron. This is particularly aggressive and the object removed (a ball of mechanical parts) has a blood like substance coming from it.
I have tried to make this guide as comprehensive as possible, including anything I could remember that could cause a problem for a younger audience. However, in doing so, it very much detracts from the humour and light hearted nature of the film. It is a long film, and a considerable proportion of it is not violent and is actually very comedic. I enjoyed it very much and so did my son. My suggestion. if you are at all concerned, is wait for the DVD and watch it yourself first.