Brie Larson plays the titular superhero in “Captain Marvel,” the first film from Marvel Studios to be built around a female character. (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Captain Marvel (PG-13)
Age 10+

Powerful female superhero story has some violence, language.

Captain Marvel” is the first female-led superhero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s an Avengers prequel, telling the story of how Air Force pilot Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes Captain Marvel, one of the most powerful superheroes ever. Although there’s plenty of action violence (including guns/weapons), most of it is of a sci-fi/fantasy nature, with just a couple of curse words (“s---” being the strongest). The film offers several positive messages related to perseverance, integrity and more, but the greatest takeaway is watching a fearless, confident, mighty woman become a superhero. Carol Danvers is a fantastic role model: She always sees herself as capable, she’s not objectified, male counterparts recognize her intelligence and strength, and she has a strong sense of integrity. Women support women, the characters are diverse, ageism is nonexistent, and romance doesn’t figure into things at all. (124 minutes)

Tyler Perry, right, in “A Madea Family Funeral.” (Chip Bergman/Lionsgate)
Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (PG-13)
Age 13+

Madea says goodbye in winning but dirty slapstick comedy.

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral” is supposedly the final entry in the long-running Madea series created by and starring Perry. There’s plenty of iffy stuff, but there are also well-intentioned messages about the importance of family, respect and honesty. Most of the mature content is in the form of jokes: about marijuana, about “pimps” and “hos,” about violence toward women (“Only time I punch a
b---- is when she say something I don’t like!” says one male character), about whether an angry-seeming white cop is going to shoot a car full of seniors and so on. Two elderly male characters (both played by Perry) leer at women, making remarks about the women’s attractiveness (and their backsides). At one point, one tells an attractive woman that she’s more deserving of kind treatment than an “ugly woman.” Characters are shown in bed kissing in their underwear and heard having a riotous bondage-style encounter; a woman is later shown in a black corset. Men are frequently shown shirtless. A man pushes a woman during an argument, and a dead man is shown repeatedly. Madea repeatedly slaps others in the face, at one point knocking someone’s dentures loose. A wife tolerates her husband’s infidelity for decades and finally explains why in a powerful, relatable speech. Characters drink and refer to smoking; one has had his larynx removed, which family members blame on his smoking. Language is frequent: “a--,” “hell,” “b----,” “goddamn,” etc. (109 minutes)

Maxwell Simba stars in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” (Ilze Kitshoff/Netflix)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (TV-14)


Age 12+

Superb true tale of remarkable teen; some violence.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is based on the true story of William Kamkwamba, a 13-year-old boy living in a small village in Malawi, Africa. Both English and Chewa (subtitled) are spoken in the film. In 2001, after flooding ruined the grain fields upon which William’s village depended, the entire population faced starvation during the dry season. Smart and determined, using only an old American textbook and his ingenuity, the young teen created a device that would restore the land and save his people. Viewers can expect sad moments, including some significant deaths. There are a few violent sequences: Government officials beat and bloody a village chieftain; thieves invade a home, threatening two women. A sprinkling of curse words are heard: “damn,” “hell,” “bulls---.” The movie’s source material is Kamkwamba’s book of the same title. (113 minutes)

Available via Netflix streaming.

Doom Patrol (TV-MA)


Age 16+

Fun, heartfelt superhero reboot has language, nudity.

Doom Patrol” is a mature reboot of the classic DC comic of the same name. It contains nudity (bare bottoms, breasts) and simulated sex acts, cursing and, like most grown-up superhero adventure shows, lots of violence. In addition to the standard explosions and crashes, people burning to death and bloody corpses are visible. There’s some drinking and pot smoking, too. But it also contains positive messages about teamwork, loyalty and being willing to sacrifice for others. (Hour-long episodes.)

Available via DC Universe streaming.

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