Disney’s latest film “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” is creating a stir — and even trended on Twitter on Sunday — as a debate rages over whether the film should be rated R instead of PG-13 due to its “intense sequences of violence” and more.
The new Marvel Studios film is the sequel to the 2016 superhero movie “Doctor Strange” which had the same rating. But the follow-up movie reportedly contains “intense sequences of violence and action, frightening images and some language,” which has some wondering why the film didn’t get a higher age restriction, reported the Hollywood Reporter in a piece published Sunday.
The Likely Explanation for ‘Doctor Strange 2’ PG-13 Rating Amid Content Debate https://t.co/eUt3xNDzVj
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) May 8, 2022
Some have argued the movie has scenes that were dark and involved “graphic violence” that deserved a different film rating, while others called the criticism nonsense. The outlet noted that what seems to be getting people upset stems from at “least three moments of disturbing, graphic violence involving cameos” — but details were not disclosed in the piece.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Senior Staff Writer Ryan Parker said he ultimately decided the movie didn’t warrant a higher age restrictions and explained why.
No. Likely, the violence and horror elements were seen through the lens of being conducted by superheroes and supervillains, which is how parents taking their younger children to see the film would also likely interpret the images and action, thereby making PG-13 the appropriate choice. After all, the Classification and Ratings Administration (CARA) board is composed of an independent group of parents.
However, Variety Magazine’s Senior Awards Editor Clayton Davis had a different opinion about the Motion Picture Association’s film rating and said when asked by friends if they would take their kids to see it, he said “I don’t think I would.”
Davis said it’s “debatable” whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe film, directed by Sam Raimi, is the “franchise’s first horror film,” as Marvel head Kevin Feige described it.
It’s debatable whether “Doctor Strange” is strictly a horror film or a superhero film with horror elements, but with brutal scenes of people getting cut in half, shocking jump scares, and a sequence that is a terrifying (albeit terrific) ode to Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” we can safely classify this entry as the most “adult” MCU outing yet.
An IGN (Imagine Games Network) review said “for better and worse,” “Doctor Strange” is a Raimi film “through and through.” It explained that the “horror element” was a big elephant in the room for this film and that “Doctor Strange” isn’t the only thing that goes “bump in the night.” It also asked if the movie was too scary for kids and noted the “horror aspects” helped the MCU movie get its PG-13.
The debate raged on social media with both sides pointing out their thoughts as well. Here’s a sampling.
@Marvel I am completely aware that the new doctor Strange is a big movie and you have it at PG-13 but personally I think it would be the best as R-rated because I am disturbed mentally because of a certain scene in there (rather not say to spoil) but just info for next time.
— Nate Black (@Bitmixix) May 6, 2022
Lol, this Dr Strange Multiverse of Madness is rated PG 13😂? Movie is almost as gory as Deadpool without the comedy. Some scenes had me reaching to the random kids around me like pic.twitter.com/5Jskhf9I1g
— Bane (@Sujodamystique) May 7, 2022
It’s amazing how Multiverse of Madness is more violent and disturbing than both Venom films combined yet those get rated 15 (UK equivalent of an R) while MoM gets rated 12A (UK equivalent to PG-13) lol. That’s really funny to me. pic.twitter.com/f67rV7j9Pa
— Nitro-Spidey in the Multiverse of Madness (@NitroSpidey) May 6, 2022
I don’t care what anyone says, doctor strange 2 is not a pg-13 movie #DoctorStrange
— Meeps (@Meeps16809220) May 8, 2022
I’ve disagreed with many MPAA ratings, but I think PG-13 is perfectly acceptable for “Doctor Strange 2.”
IMO, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”, one of the films that led to PG-13 being created, is more intense and violent than DS2.
— Stefan Ellison (@MisterCoat) May 9, 2022
The Mummy is PG-13
Insidious is PG-13
The Ring is PG-13
Exorcism of Emily Rose is PG-13
A Quiet Place 1&2 are both PG-13
The idea that Doctor Strange is just too scary for a PG-13 is honestly laughable. https://t.co/Vf0tbIXcc2
— Fitz (@Fitzy205) May 9, 2022
(Disclosure: The Daily Wire has announced plans for kids entertainment content.)