Parents need to know that Avengers: Infinity War is the most intense of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films so far, due to the villain’s genocidal quest and the grave consequences for some well-known characters. It has plenty of humor and lighter moments, but it ultimately goes to places darker than in any previous Marvel Cinematic Universe entry. Also, it requires more knowledge of things that have happened in previous Marvel movies than other Avengers films have; it’s the meeting point of several franchises and storylines. Violence is the biggest issue; it’s stepped up even by MCU standards, with some torture and several impalings and crushings in addition to the usual smashed buildings, giant fights, and blasted spaceships. Thanos (Josh Brolin) is by far the most powerful nemesis the Avengers have faced, which the filmmakers establish right away with his brutal beatdown of one of the mightiest Avengers. The key plot element is mass murder on a universal scale, which might be a little much for younger viewers. Frankly, things get pretty grim: Key characters die, and the villains are much scarier than most comic book baddies. The gore level isn’t higher; it’s really the emotional impact that’s different. There’s also some strong language (including “s–t,” “a–hole,” “dammit,” and several colorful insults), but sex isn’t a factor beyond a few loving kisses. As always, teamwork and courage are core messages as the Avengers (including Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow), other MCU heroes (including Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange), and the Guardians of the Galaxy (including Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord and Zoe Saldana’s Gamora) come together to defend humanity — and the universe.