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"The Dark Knight Rises" -- A Parents' Guide to Summer Biggest Blockbuster

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By Lawrence Yee

"The Dark Knight Rises" opens this Friday -- and your kids are surely hounding you to buy tickets!

The conclusion of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises" is full of action befitting a comic book adaptation. Christian Bale reprises his role as the Caped Crusader, who faces off against new threats from Catwoman (Anne Hathaway) and Bane (Tom Hardy). The film comes with a PG-13 rating, but is the film's dark and intense plot too much for some young viewers? Momlogic breaks it down for you.

Warning: there are very minor spoilers below.

Violence: Bane is a brutal villain whose favorite means of dispatching victims is snapping their necks. One beating is particularly ruthless. In addition, the film is full of comic book-type action: hand-to-hand combat, car chases, gunfights. One fleeting but frightening hanging scene may scare younger viewers.

Sex: There is one non-explicit love scene. Hathaway's Catwoman is more sassy than overtly sexy.

Profanity: There is mild profanity throughout the film.

Adult themes: Bane's siege of Gotham City is evocative of 9/11. Younger viewers may not make that reference, but the scenes of destruction (and ensuing mayhem) can still be upsetting. The plot is more convoluted than previous Batman movies; we overheard two young viewers at the screening say they were confused by the ending.

Summary: Younger children will probably be less interested by the storyline and more interested by the action scenes and Batman's high tech gadgets (the Batpod motorcycle returns and is put to good use). "Rises" heavily references the two previous films, so if kids haven't seen them they might have a hard time understanding the plot.

Compared to "The Avengers," the battle scenes are less epic, but Christopher Nolan clearly set out to create a film where the action supports the story, not vice versa. Older children and young teens will be able to follow the plot's twists and turns better -- and therefore, enjoy the movie more.

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