Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 121 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 12+. This is a typical Marvel superhero movie, so there is a good amount of action and violence on a large scale, like planets being attacked, hand-to-hand combat, a prison riot, some gunfire, a main character who is an assassin, another whose entire family was murdered before the film began, etc. But it’s not gory or grotesque; there’s some cursing and a rude hand gesture; adults drink to excess and regret it; sexually themed jokes, the implication of a one-night stand, and a character who is basically a womanizer; and the mention of cruel scientific studies and genetic engineering on a character.
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ might be the most fun movie in the Marvel universe, even though it’s plot-dense and character-heavy. Against all odds, the balance of irreverent humor and world-destroying dread works well, especially thanks to the wonderfully cast ensemble.
By Roxana Hadadi
A movie like “Guardians of the Galaxy” shouldn’t do well, not with so many characters and so many locations and so much CGI and so much comic-book mythology and so many plot elements that interact with other pieces of the Marvel film universe. It’s too weird; too (literally) space-y. But director James Gunn and his writing partner Nicole Perlman keep the pace brisk; the script tight; the characters’ motivations clear. To cap off a year of Marvel movies, “Guardians of the Galaxy” does an admirable job.