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Why Is GOTG 3 Rated PG-13? What Parents Should Know Before Letting Their Kids Watch

Contains minor spoilers for "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3"

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" is now playing in theaters, and James Gunn's MCU swan song will undoubtedly make a pretty penny during its opening weekend box-office run. The movie is rated PG-13, however, so some scenes might be hard to watch for the younger MCU fans out there.

Although the rating isn't anything new for the trilogy, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" pushes the limits of what an MCU movie can get away with. The film has a lot of violence, starting almost immediately after the Marvel Studios logo. While there's not much blood, parents should know it includes some pretty gruesome injuries, with a fairly shocking one at the end. "Vol. 3" also has a few scenes depicting violence towards animals, as Gunn dives into Rocket Raccoon's backstory. While we wouldn't go so far as to call it animal torture, it is uncharacteristic of an MCU film.

There's also plenty of adult language, which the movie uses to nail some of its jokes. Most notably, it features the MCU's first F-bomb, so be aware. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" isn't by any means as mature as some of Gunn's previous work, such as "The Suicide Squad" and "Peacemaker," but it does earn its PG-13 rating.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is an emotional rollercoaster

Parents need to be aware that while "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" pushes its PG-13 rating, James Gunn also packs a lot of emotions into the two-and-a-half-hour runtime.

The movie is the last time we'll see this iteration of the Guardians together, so many emotions come with this dramatic finale. Think of it like "Avengers: Endgame," but with the Guardians of the Galaxy. "Vol 3." is easily one of the most heartbreaking and heartwarming movies in the entire MCU, not to mention the scenes that explore Rocket's tragic backstory, as those won't leave any dry eyes in the theater.

Of course, every "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie has had an emotional backbone. "The first story is the story of the mother," Gunn told Marvel.com. "The second film is the story of the father; and this film is the story of the self so it's innately more intimate because of that." In "Vol. 3," that story comes through Rocket, whose unbelievably emotional past helps him accept who he is for the first time. While "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" does end on a high note, be prepared to console anyone that hasn't gotten off the emotional rollercoaster yet.