Black Panther

MOMMY MOVIE REVIEW: Is “Black Panther” OK for Kids?

If your kids are anything like mine, they’re probably begging to see Marvel‘s newest superhero movie, Black Panther. This one tells the story of T’Challa (the Black Panther), who returns to his home of Wakanda and prepares to take over the throne after the death of his father. If that doesn’t ring any bells for you, consider watching Captain America: Civil War again so you’re all caught up.
I’ve seen Black Panther and can tell you that it undoubtedly lives up to the hype,
but is it something you can share with your kids?
Here’s what you need to know before taking your crew to see Black Panther.
First of all, it’s rated PG-13 for violence, profanity and one middle-finger. That is flashed by T’Challa’s little sister, Shuri, played by Letitia Wright. She’s quickly reprimanded by her Mother (a regal Angela Bassett), but it might encourage your kids to try that one-finger salute out themselves. There’s some mild profanity as well, but the one issue parents might really have with Black Panther is the violence. There are several scenes of prolonged battle, including hand-to-hand combat, spear fights and, of course, shoot-outs. People die in Black Panther too, including important characters that the audience cares about. Phenomenal actors like Lupita Nyong’o, Sterling K. Brown and Michael B. Jordan bring a depth of emotion that’s uncommon for most superhero flicks. It makes for an A+ film, but the loss of certain characters might be difficult for younger viewers.
Black Panther is simply overflowing with positive messages though, which (I feel) outweighs any concerns about violence, swear-words or one perfectly-executed bird. T’Challa is like Steve Rogers in his unshakable belief in truth and justice, but he also has doubts about his ability as a ruler. He surrounds himself with the strongest warriors, smartest scientists and bravest activists, who all just happen to be women (something that won’t be lost on my daughters). Black Panther is also the big-screen solo debut for Marvel‘s first African-American superhero. It’s from Director Ryan Coogler, who is also African American, and features a largely African-American cast. Black Panther would be an important movie for those reason alone, but it’s also a GREAT film that’s opening in a time when it truly needs to be seen.
I’m taking my kids to Black Panther because I want them to see a movie that represents a monumental moment in film (and possibly U.S.) history. They, on the other hand, will see Black Panther as simply their new FAVORITE Marvel movie.


  1. Thank you for your great review. I just saw Black Panther and agree with all that you said about it. I just wish it could have been done without all the violence. Especially during these horrible times of mass shootings. But the good reasons to see this movie do outweigh the bad (explicit violence) in the film. I don’t have young children but there were many in the theatre, and I couldn’t help but cringe during the many violent scenes for myself, and them.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Belinda! It’s hard to find a superhero movie that doesn’t have a great deal of violence these days. It would be cool to see a rated PG flick from Marvel though. Wonder if that could ever happen. Thanks for your input!

  2. My parents want to take my 5 year old while we are out of town, is the gun violence bad enough that he should not see it at all or without us there? He has been begging to see it for a while and I want to see it too, but the violence he sees is mostly in a few of the Harry Potter films and Star Wars where it isn’t super realistic. We felt that Civil War was a bit too much for him so he can only watch some of it and we keep him distracted for the other scenes. It is so hard to balance pop culture, his interests, and what is appropriate for him.

    1. Boy, I understand that “balance” issue! The violence in Black Panther is essentially on par with what we see in the new Star Wars movies, so you’re probably fine there. He might be confused by the story-lines though and get a little bored. I don’t think there’s anything in Black Panther that would scar him, and he would definitely enjoy it, but it would probably be better if you saw it first and decided for yourself. There are some great kid-friendly flicks out right now that I’d recommend to your parents (namely Paddington 2 and The Greatest Showman) and ask them to wait until you could make the final call on Black Panther. I know how pushy Grandparents can be though! Let me know how it goes & what you decide to do!

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