Justice League is set several months after Batman verses Superman: Dawn of Justice.
For thousands of years three alien boxes of immense power have been hidden on Earth as a safeguard. They’re called the ‘Mother Boxes’. One box was given to the Amazons, one to the Atlantians, and one to the races of men. But now an evil alien called Steppenwolf (voice of Ciaran Hinds) and his army of parademons have come to Earth to recover the Mother Boxes and destroy Earth in the process. To stop Steppenwolf, Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) form the Justice League and recruit several meta-humans including The Flash/Barry Allen (Ezra Miller), Aquaman/Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg/Victor Stone (Ray Fisher).
But the Justice League still might not be powerful enough to defeat Steppenwolf. Unless they can find a way to resurrect Superman, the fate of the world looks grim.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Superheroes; aliens; world destruction; terrorism
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
Justice League contains extended sequences of violence, which is brutal at times. It also shows violent deaths and mass destruction. For example:
- A rooftop fight between an armed thief and a superhero ends with the thief bound and hanging from a pole over the edge of the rooftop.
- A superhero impales a parademon on a spear.
- Several armed men enter a bank and fire their weapons at people who fall to the ground (they’re probably dead, but no blood is shown). Other people scatter in terror and children scream. The captives huddle together on the floor, and a bank robber fires at them. The captives are saved by a superhero who deflects the bullets.
- There are several battle scenes in which dozens of warrior women fight a giant demon wielding a battleaxe and numerous smaller demonic flying creatures. The women fight with swords, spears and bows. The demon uses the axe to slash women. One woman is stepped on and crushed, and another is pinned under her horse and killed.
- In other battle scenes more modern weapons are used, including jet planes, armoured vehicles, laser weapons, automatic guns and missiles. There are lots of explosions as well as property damage on a large scale.
- A parademon attacks a man. We hear the sounds of bones breaking and see the man fall to the ground. In another scene the demon grabs a superhero by the throat, lifts him into the air and attempts to crush his face.
- In one brutal scene the demon creature rips the legs and arms from the body of a cyborg (we later see the cyborg repaired and uninjured).
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, Justice League has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight years. For example:
- The parademons are scary. They’re humanoid in shape and have large bug-like eyes that glow green, long sharp pointy teeth, green skin, and insect-like wings that allow them to fly at speed. They’re aggressive and driven to attack and destroy humans.
- The movie’s leading villain has a mummified appearance. He is twice the height of a normal man, wields a power axe that pulsates with a glowing light and wears a metal helmet with horn-like structures protruding from the top. He also has red glowing eyes.
- Young children might also be scared by the appearance of some of the superheroes, particularly those with non-human characteristics.
- One superhero fires laser beams from his eyes. The beams engulf his enemies in flames.
- Two superheroes dig up the body of a third and lower it into an electrified pool. Tendrils of light and electricity engulf them all, and the dead man bursts up out of the pool and into the sky, alive and well.
- A woman is struck by an alien weapon. Her face and body instantly age (as if mummified) and then disintegrate.
- In one scene hundreds of parademons attack a house inside which a father and his children have barricaded themselves. The terrified young girl hides under the kitchen table. Over several scenes an alien crystalline structure rises up out of the ground and grows over the house, trapping the man and his two young children.
- In a couple of scenes superheroes get covered in parademon blood, which looks like green slime.
Children in this age group are very likely to be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above.
Younger viewers in this age group might be scared by some of the scenes mentioned above, so we recommend parental guidance.
Justice League has some sexual references. For example, a male superhero talks about a female superhero, saying that he’s only interested in her ‘skill set’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Justice League shows some use of substances. For example, characters drink spirits and beer.
Nudity and sexual activity
Justice League has some partial nudity and mild sexual activity. For example:
- In several scenes two male muscle-bound superheroes are shown with bare chests.
- A female superhero’s costume includes a short skirt and a top that reveals cleavage. She also wears tight-fitting pants.
- A couple kisses and hugs.
- After being thrown through the air by an explosion, a young male superhero ends up lying on top of a female superhero, which is awkward for him.
Merchandise associated with Justice League is being marketed to children. The movie also shows brand-name cars like Mercedes.
Justice League has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Justice League is a superhero action adventure targeting teenage and adult fans of DC comics. Fans are likely to find this movie more entertaining than its predecessor, Batman verses Superman. There’s also a hint of more movies to come.
Justice League is being widely advertised and might attract younger viewers, but it isn’t recommended for children under 13 years. This is because of its violent and scary scenes and characters. We also recommend parental guidance for children aged 13-15 years.
These are the main messages from Justice League:
- It’s important to be willing to take risks.
- Good always triumphs over evil, but at a cost.
- When you work together and combine different skills and abilities (or superpowers), you can achieve goals that seem impossible.