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Justice League: The New Frontier Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 11+

Busy cartoon pileup of DC Comics superheroes. Some blood.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a violent cartoon, with blood and dead bodies shown, and a little boy threatened with cult sacrifice -- although the worst of the gore and severed body parts seems reserved for monsters (specifically, mutant dinosaurs). There are two close-up fatal shootings and some light swearing. The PG-13 rating is possibly a little harsh, considering the fantasy nature of the material, but the feature does touch on some unsavory aspects of the 1950s, such as racism, the Korean War, and US government paranoia and treachery.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of comics icons. Ask kids who their favorites are: Superman, Batman, Wonder Women, the Flash, Green Lantern, or their competitors over at Marvel like the X-Men? Comics-savvy parents can talk about the "Silver Age" of comics, an era with which this film specifically deals, and how this movie weaves into the costumed-superhero mythology the historical offscreen menaces of McCarthyism, Jim-Crow lynch mobs, Communism, and xenophobia -- a DVD "extra" documentary helps with some of the background. You might be able to introduce older kids to the more literate (and more sexually explicit) Watchmen graphic novel and movie, which also maintain a strong Cold War backdrop.

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The characters here are all brave and noble, even as they disagree among themselves on how to go about the superhero business. There's a strong sense of teamwork and mutual respect among the heroes, and these good guys even come through when the public, military, and government persecute them. There's a somewhat negative portrait of the US in the 1950s as paranoid, homicidally racist, and conformity-ridden.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Blood flows from superhero and mortal injuries, and dead bodies are seen. Opening scene depicts a suicide-by-gun from the victim's POV. A dinosaur's head explodes, and monsters get dismembered. A little boy is threatened as a human sacrifice. Wonder Woman makes a brief, euphemistic reference to rape.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: "SOB" used often, "hell" used once.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Tie-in to vast quantities of related merchandise.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking, smoking in a glamorous Vegas setting.

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