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X-Men: First Class

By Christopher Gildemeister

Release Date: June 3, 2011

MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some sexual content including brief partial nudity, and language.

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Rose Byrne, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Kevin Bacon

Recommended age: 16+

Overall PTC Traffic Light Rating: Red


  Brief partial nudity, sexual innuendo


  Murder, stabbing, guns, explosions, fantasy violence


F-word, “g***amn,” “a****le,” “Jesus,” most other profanity


Murder by “hero”

The year is 1962. Charles Xavier is a scion of wealth and privilege, devoted to the principle of noblesse oblige – the obligation of the superior to help others. He’s also capable of reading and controlling others’ minds. Erik Lensherr is a child of the Nazi death camps, who saw his mother murdered before his eyes, and who has the power to control magnetism. Both are mutants, with an awareness that they are part of a new breed of human being. But while Charles seeks to convince Erik for mutants to be the “better men,” Erik is obsessed only with revenge – and the determination that the new “race” of mutants will not be wiped out as his previous race was. But despite their divergent world-views, Charles and Erik team up to recruit other mutants in order to oppose the evil Sebastian Shaw, whose plan to start a nuclear war causes them all to race toward Cuba – and a date with destiny…

X-Men: First Class contains a large amount of problematic content for a PG-13 movie. Like its predecessor Wolverine, profanity in First Class is extreme, with the f-word used once and most other forms of profanity used repeatedly. Violence is also more explicit than usual in a superhero movie. Erik’s mother is brutally shot down before his eyes; later, Erik tortures a man by magnetically extracting the fillings from his teeth, stabs and shoots various Nazis in the hand and chest to gain information, and murders another man by magnetically driving a metal object slowly through his head. Another character brutally guns down or stabs literally dozens of soldiers. All this is in addition to the use of guns, punches, acrobatics, explosions and fantasy violence typical of the genre. Sexual content is somewhat more limited: some innuendo in dialogue is used; there is a scene in a Playboy Club-style tavern, during which many women (implicitly prostitutes) are seen in lingerie; another scene, introducing the mutant Angel, shows her working as a stripper, though no nudity is shown;  and several scenes show the mutant Mystique in the nude, although because of her powers, odd blobs cover her body, so no naked breasts or genitals are seen. In addition, Charles is shown tipsy on several occasions, and other characters (even underage ones) drink and smoke.

Like the other films in the series, X-Men: First Class is an exciting addition to the superhero movie genre; but because of its often adult content, the Parents Television Council does not recommend this film for viewers under age 16.   

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