Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review: Is My 8 Year Old Going?

My husband grew up as a Marvel comic book fan, so he has been thrilled with the recent Marvel movies. About 2 years ago we began to introduce our daughter to the movies and she is mostly caught up (except for the Toby Maguire Spiderman series). We started our daughter on the movies by watching them at home and worked our way up to the theater with Iron Man 3. Until this spring, we watched the movies first (rated PG-13) and then made a decision. With Captain America, Amazing Spider Man 2, and X-Men Days of Future Past (also rated PG-13) this spring we felt confident enough with the past films in those series to let her watch the movie without watching them first.

However, with Guardians of the Galaxy which opens today, we were less certain that the film would be one we would let her see based on my husband’s knowledge of the comic having more adult themes. So, my husband and I wanted to watch the movie before letting her see it. Fortunately, Disney invited me and a guest (my husband) to a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday night so we were able to determine whether our daughter could see the movie.

For background on Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel provided the following synopsis and information:

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team—the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits—Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand—with the galaxy’s fate in the balance.

Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which first appeared in comic books in Marvel Super-Heroes, Issue #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime and Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.


James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige, p.g.a., producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is written by James Gunn and Nicole Perlman and releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014.

Catch the extended first look below:

My husband and I loved the movie and the way that it continues the Marvel tradition of combining laughs with the action. Guardians of the Galaxy has a run-time of 2:01. The movie was very tight and did not suffer from the bloat that bogs down some movies with longer run times. If anything, the movie could have been a few minutes longer to include a little more backstory on some of the characters or more screen time for the villains. Unlike Loki in Thor/Avengers, the villains, particularly Thanos, suffered from a lack of development/screen time. I can only hope that this is a teaser to a larger role for Thanos in a future movie. While Guardians of The Galaxy is the movie least connected to the other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it contains a couple of nods to previous movies, particularly as we meet The Collector (who was introduced in a post-credit scene in Thor: The Dark World). Since my husband and I both grew up in the ’80s,  it was fun to see Quill’s references to ’80s music, decor, and pop-culture (he left Earth in 1988). Our only disappointment is that there was not a post-credits scene as is typical of Marvel movies. We also had some questions that were left unresolved about The Collector. However, my husband did some searching online and discovered that there is at least one post-credits scene which has not been shown on most of the advance screenings and is related to The Collector.

Guardians of the Galaxy is rated PG-13. The violence is in-line with the other Marvel movies. With the lighter tone of the Marvel movies, the violence is more comic-book than gory (as compared to the DC movies such as Batman Begins and Dark Knight which have a darker, bleaker tone and the violence is more real despite also having a PG-13 rating). The language in Guardians of the Galaxy is a bit coarser than in a movie like Captain America or Spider Man, but less than Space Balls (PG rated) which we recently watched. I also found the sexual content to be less than the Iron Man series. For some children, the beginning of the movie may be disturbing as Peter Quill’s mother is dying from cancer.

So are we taking our daughter to see Guardians of the Galaxy? Yes, we are planning to take her to see it this weekend. Since we didn’t get to see the post-credit scene, I am glad that we will be seeing it again this weekend.

Our screening of Guradians of the Galaxy was in 3D and I do recommend that. However, we are seeing a 2D showing this weekend. With wearing glasses, my daughter isn’t always fond of wearing 3D glasses.

Disclaimer: I am compensated for sales through Fandango links. I appreciate your support of my blog by shopping through my links. 

Locally, Guardians of the Galaxy is playing at both Quality 16 (2D and 3D options) and Rave (2D/3D/IMAX 3D options). Did you know that you can now buy tickets for both theaters via Fandango. While you will pay a service fee, it may be worth having your tickets in advance if you will be attending a crowded evening show. I know we often make a special trip to the theater to buy the tickets in advance particularly if we are on a tight time schedule, so the service fee would be worth saving the trip.

Guardians of the Galaxy Tickets

If your child is a super hero fan, don’t miss out on participating in The Super Run coming to Ann Arbor on September 6.  I am giving away a free entry and their own super hero cape, so don’t forget to register/enter the contest.

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Ann Arbor with Kids is your go-to source for Ann Arbor Family Fun. It got its start in an activity list that I was compiling for the playgroup I ran at our church. When my daughter started preschool, the other moms were thrilled to hear about my list. I decided to take the list public in 2009.

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