The Marvels

Certificate: 12A

Starring: Brie Larson, Teyonah Parris, Iman Vellani, Samuel L Jackson, Zawe Ashton

Release date: 2023

4 out of 5


The female stars of Captain Marvel and Disney+ TV series Ms Marvel (plus Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury) unite to save the universe from a vengeful new leader of alien race the Kree in this swiftly-paced, fun addition to the Marvel comics universe.

While it helps to have seen Captain Marvel (the 2019 movie with Larson as superhero Carol Danvers), Ms Marvel (with Vellani as teen fan girl Kamala who gets her own powers) and also WandaVision (as the series explained how Carol’s friend Monica Rambeau became all super herself), you can still enjoy this adventure with only a working knowledge of the Marvel history – all you really need to know is that Carol and Monica are kind of estranged, and have to deal with that when they find themselves teleporting into each other’s situations (along with Kamala) at various points in the universe.

Things become more urgent when they realise they need to defeat Dar-Benn (Ashton), a Kree leader who is ripping open jump points in space for her own ends, endangering the entire universe in the process.

That’s the plot, but that’s not the main reason to see and really enjoy The Marvels. Instead, this – like the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies – is all about flashy, frothy fun, mixed in with strong performances from the three female leads (Iman Vellani is especially great), and some truly bonkers moments from the musical number on the planet Aladna to the return of our favourite outer space felines, the Flerkens (introduced in Captain Marvel, these cuddly kitties do have tentacles that may upset the squeamish – see notes below).

It’s all enjoyably silly stuff, and at one hour and 45 minutes, it’s also the shortest Marvel movie so far, and thanks to those central performances, one of the sweetest, too.

Is The Marvels suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

As with many of the Marvel movies, this adventure features lots of action, fight sequences and special effects that may be too much for very young children. The movie is aimed at older children and adults but most over-10s should be fine.

Sensitive viewers may not like the Flerkens, who look like cute cats but have very long tentacles that come from their mouths to swallow things (and people) up and regurgitate them, but once you are used to them, they are funny and feature in a major scene in the movie later on.

The main baddies aren’t very threatening and shouldn’t scare younger viewers too much. It is more likely sensitive viewers will be upset by a planet under attack and the residents fleeing the assault.

If you like this, why not try: