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MPAA Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and brief suggestive content

Sex & Nudity

  • Some scantily clad women (prostitutes, actually in a bed - very suggestive, though not entirely graphic).
  • Reference to "having a shower together" in explicit terms.

Violence & Gore

  • The first act of terrorism we witness takes place in Hollywood's Chinese Theatre, filled with innocent tourists who are (mostly) utterly vaporized. (We see Tony's bodyguard lying on the ground, his face severely gouged.) The scene might make some moviegoers think of the Boston Marathon bombings, and indeed, the Mandarin makes it a point of pride to hit America in the fashion of a terroriststriking out at civilian targets and gloating over the results. He talks about how his men attacked a Middle Eastern church filled with the spouses and children of American military personnel, comparing it to the 1864 Sand Creek, Colo., massacre (when American troops killed Native American women and children while the braves were away).
  • But even discounting moments of uncomfortable real-world parallels, some of the scenes here are still downright disturbing. The evildoers don't make use of mere suicide bombers, but people who actually explodeheating up from the inside out until they pop like kiln-heated sausages. There is very little gore, but the people in the throes of this transformation are obviously in horrible pain, and we see the heat radiate from their skin, eyeballs and mouths. We see veins and bones outlined by the literal light from within.
  • You can probably guess from all this that the body count is pretty high, what with the innocent civilians destroyed by the Mandarin's men and the scads of evildoers laid low by Tony, Rhodes and their phalanx of armor-plated suits. People are bashed and smashed and crashed. They get hit with fists and feet and bullets and jet-like weapons and flying metallic gloves and grand pianos. They're burned or superheated or submerged in water or thrown into walls or plunged into massive fires or flung from aircraft.
  • We see someone's mangled body hanging lifelessly from telephone wires. Another person has an arm sliced off. An attacker is choked with a pair of handcuffs before her neck burns through the metal. It's suggested that someone takes a bullet to the head live on television. We see images of war and violence on TV. A man is strung up above an immolating pool of oil.
  • Tony spends the majority of the movie wearing blood on his face. He painfully injects sensors into his arms. He crashes in his suit. His suit crashes into him. Pepper is manhandled, nearly strangled and, in a way, tortured. And I should note that some of the bad guys are gals, which triggers some pretty serious, pretty up-close-and-personalviolentbattles between the sexes. We hear how someone contemplated suicide.


  • "Son of a Bitch," "Damn", "Hell", "Bad Ass", "Oh my God" and "Ass" are used. The insults "dick" and "pussy" are both used once.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • The film revolves around 'Extremis' which is a chemical compound that causes mutations, treated like a drug. It causes personality changes along with the physical mutations, and users become extremely agitated and violent, as well as experiencing druglike withdrawal. They also gain the power of heat, but may explode if this power is overused.
  • We see a man taking this drug with bad consequences.
  • It is said that a character is addicted to drugs and is constantly given more, although no drugs are actually shown. He is shown to be living with other people who likewise appear to be too intoxicated to think clearly.
  • Characters are seen to be drinking regularly and in some scenes they are drunk.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Much darker than the first two films.
  • Many characters are shown screaming, being ripped apart, behaving extremely aggressively (though they are somewhat dehumanized), terrorism is featured, and violence is heavy throughout.
  • The final battle is intense and emotional, with many characters dying.
  • The scenes of terrorism is intense especially the executions, instances of explosions, and television broadcasts by the organization the villain runs.
  • A main character, Tony Stark, experiences severe panic and anxiety attacks as well as associated insomnia due to nightmares; this is portrayed fairly realistically and is accompanied sometimes by images of the destruction caused by the alien attack in the first Avengers film. This is known as PTSD, and the spoiler describing this explains it with more detail.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Tony Stark is shown to suffer from severe PTSD, as he's seen experiencing panic attacks related to the battle of New York in "The Avengers" as well as insomnia and nightmares related to this. The depiction of this is extremely realistic and very accurate, and might be really intense for some, especially those who actually suffer from PTSD.
  • Pepper falls from a very high height. She's thought to be dead until she's revealed to have the powers from the Extremis
  • The Airforce Airliner gets part of it blown up and 13 passengers falls out of the airplane and goes skydiving. Tony Stark quickly has to make a decision by choosing to rescue them by getting 13 of them to hold hands and quickly pulls all 13 people before dropping them safely into the ocean but he gets hit by a big truck and survives but his suit is damaged beyond repair.
  • A terrorist executes a hostage on live TV (very intense). Later we learn this was just acting and in the end credits we see the man get up after the "shoot"
  • Soldiers are used as guinea pigs for experimentation without their awareness of what this will entail; they are exposed to a serum that they are told may assist the healing of their injuries (many are shown to be amputees, some look quite young) but actually causes mutations like super-strength, fire-related powers, and violent bloodlust. One soldier dies during the administering of this drug, exploding and incinerating all other test subjects; the coverup story is that he committed suicide with an explosive device, and the explosion site is shown (in the middle of a small town) covered in memorial tributes and flowers, still showing the scorch marks of where the victims burnt up.
  • A character threatens to kill herself at one point and is instead shot in the chest - mostly offscreen. No blood splatter is shown but it is emotional and disturbing.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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