Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Captain America Civil War Adoption Movie Review

A year ago, the Avengers defeated Ultron, but the fight caused many casualties in Sokovia. Now, the Avengers have defeated another villain, but civilians have died in the wake of the battle. The United Nations demand to have oversight of the Avengers, and the Avengers are divided over whether to concede to this request. Meanwhile, Helmut Zemo desires to break up the Avengers in order to avenge the deaths of his loved ones, who were innocent casualties of the fight in Sokovia between the Avengers and Ultron.  

The Adoption Connection

Multiple characters have lost parents or other family members, and those losses are primary motivating forces for many of them. The Avengers have formed a family of sorts, but its unity is threatened.

Strong Points

Tony Stark has invented a device that allows him to clear traumatic memories by reliving them and making different choices; he uses it to work towards closure over the loss of his father.


Two characters lose parents in violent attacks. One character learns that his friends have kept a very painful secret from him.  

Weak Points

Some scenes of violence (one character murders another by slowly drowning him) will be difficult for some viewers with past histories of trauma.


Captain America Civil War captures the all-too-real truth that sometimes, we cause harm even when we intend (and achieve) good. There are scenes of violence and themes of parental loss that might be triggers for some viewers who have lost parents to adoption or viewers who have experienced violence. The film is entertaining, captivating and thoughtful, and seems likely to be a good fit for most kids ages 12 and up, and their parents. It might be too violent for younger kids.  

Questions for Discussion

If you had a machine like Tony Stark’s BARF machine, which situations would you try to work through?

Is it better to act to do good, with the risk of causing harm, is it better to remain inactive, or is there a third option?

What role does guilt play in our decisions? Do your guilt-driven decisions generally turn out better or worse than other decisions you make?

Where would forgiveness and self-forgiveness help these characters? 

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