Gwen Stacey’s (Hailee Steinfeld) life imploded with the death of her best friend. When Gwen’s father discovers her true identity as Spider-Woman, he chooses to put his work before his daughter and decides to turn her in to the police. Before this can happen, Gwen takes matters into her own hands and joins an elite group of Spider-People who work across the multiverse keeping the Spider-Verse intact. Meanwhile, Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is struggling to juggle the various aspects of his daily life, including trying to be a good son and uphold school and family responsibilities, while at the same time secretly shouldering all the demands of being Brooklyn’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. A villain called Spot (Jason Schwartzman) is determined to strengthen his power and destroy Spider-Man, who he blames for ruining his life when a reactor room exploded and turned him into a white, faceless creature covered in holes. When Gwen briefly returns to Miles’ world, they immediately reconnect and Miles follows her into the multiverse. His actions inadvertently set events in motion that threaten to destroy the fabric of the Spider-Verse and lead him to Spidey Headquarters. There he encounters Spider-People from every dimension, including the Spidey leader Miguel O’Hara (Oscar Isaac) and his old mentor Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson). Despite similarities, Miles is not as welcomed as he had hoped and he must discover the strength within himself to stand up for what he believes in and for what he knows to be true. Only then will he have the courage to save the ones he loves.
Crime; death of a loved one; good versus evil; power and the weight of responsibility that comes with it
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has some violence. For example:
- There are numerous flashbacks that show different versions of Spider-People losing those they love.
- A character is shoved down and his glasses break.
- A character turns into a lizard monster and is crushed under falling debris after crashing a high school prom.
- A bomb blast is set off in the middle of police officers.
- A vulture creature knocks Gwen down and throws arrows at her.
- A creature pins Gwen against a wall and looks like he’s about to fatally stab her head with his talons when Miguel appears. He then attacks Miguel and destroys an exhibition at the art museum.
- A vulture creature deploys and detonates numerous ninja bombs that explode everywhere.
- A creature stabs at Spider-Woman with sharp, fishy scales.
- A creature is knocked down by a character on a motorbike.
- A creature releases bombs that impact a helicopter. Spider-Woman and others stop the helicopter from crashing into hundreds of people, moments before it is too late.
- Police shoot guns at Spider-Woman.
- Spot uses a baseball bat to hit an ATM.
- A shop owner chases Spot around the convenience store, trying to hit him with a baseball bat while Spot tries to take the ATM. The store is trashed in the process.
- There is a car crash. No injuries are shown.
- Spider-Man and Spot repeatedly fight, hitting, pulling, punching and kicking as they fall in and out of Spot’s holes and Spider-Man tries to trap Spot in a spider web.
- A ladder is chopped in half and a man falls off.
- A police car falls into a black hole.
- A LEGO neighbourhood gets damaged during a fight in another dimension.
- An armadillo is zapped and kicked away.
- Spot kicks Gwen in the face.
- Spot makes people disappear into his holes.
- Spot hits, punches and strangles others.
- There is a massive explosion.
- It is mentioned that when a character is killed and then replaced, that it almost destroys the Spider-Verse.
- There are versions of Uncle Ben dying.
- Miles explodes the cage that is containing him with his hands.
- All the Spider-Men try to attack Miles and stop him.
- A bunch of Spider-Men are blasted off a tightrope when it collapses.
- Spider-Men chase and attack Miles as he flees down the city streets, trying to get back to his world.
- A bike crashes into a bus.
- Miles kicks Miguel as he is chasing and trying to restrain him. They fall and fight in traffic, hitting, slamming and punching each other.
- Miles blasts Miguel off the train.
- Miguel is blasted through a window.
- Gwen is grabbed from behind by a creepy tech-spider creature and is sent home back to her dimension.
- Miles crashes through a dimension portal into his own world.
- Gwen throws a shipping container.
- Gwen tells her dad that she was out murdering her friends.
- Miles is hit by a bus and knocked into a car.
- Miles is knocked to the ground where he hits his head and lies unconscious.
- A character beats and restrains Miles. He smashes into the punching bag that Miles is tied to.
- A character, referred to as ‘The Prowler’, did a lot of bad things. In one dimension it is indicated that Miles is The Prowler.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has some sexual references. For example:
- Miles and Gwen appear to have an attraction to each other (though they don’t do more than look at each other and hug). Other people, including Miles parents, assume they are in a relationship.
- On one occasion, it is noted that the romantic tension (between Gwen and Miles) is so palpable that it must be difficult to concentrate.
- Spot is a white, human-shaped creature, lacking any specific physical characteristics and is covered in holes. He repeatedly mention his holes, which some may interpret as suggestive.
- Gwen falls for Spider-Man in every universe.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no substance use in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.
Nudity and sexual activity
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Miles is caught changing into Spider-Man. He is taking off his pants and stops with them partially down when he realises someone is photographing him. (He has his costume on underneath.)
- Miles’ parents embrace on a couple of occasions.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has some product placement. For example:
- Marvel comics.
- Nike sneakers (Air Jordans) are clearly shown and worn on a number of occasions.
- The book How to Talk So Your Kids Will Listen is clearly displayed.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse has some coarse language and insults. For example, ‘shut up’, ‘nosy’, ‘ass’, ‘kicked his own butt’, ‘dumb dumb’, ‘hell’, ‘crap’, ‘shoot’ and ‘damn’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is the sequel to the 2018 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The movie features a diverse cast and a fast-paced plot that is likely to appeal to older kids and fans of Spider-Man but may be confusing for some young viewers.
These are the main messages from Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse:
- Trust yourself
- If you remember where you come from, you will never be lost.
- You should never listen to those who tell you that you don’t belong.
- Bad things are going to happen – they make us who we are – but good things happen too.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children are teamwork, courage, responsibility, empathy and persistence.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like these:
- Using violence as a means to solve conflict.
- The notion of putting one life above countless others.
- Leaving without telling others where you are going.
- Lying to those you love.